Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Title: Magonia

Author: Maria Dahvana Headley

Pages: 309

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Format: Paperback

My Rating: 4/5 stars

“Even people who’ve never seen a miracle can believe in miracles.” 

Goodreads summary:

Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live. 

So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn’t think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?

My review:

Also thank you to Anisha for allowing me to use her photo for my feature image <3.

I, surprisingly, liked reading this. It was just heart-felt and lovely yet strange at the same time. The writing was beautiful, the characters intriguing however the world-building I felt was slightly under-developed.

There were few times during the course of reading this where I nearly cried. Okay, it makes sense since Aza is sick and could potentially die at any given moment but still. The scene at the “funeral”, the “reunion” and the “death of a close friend” brought me to tears (I’m trying to be subtle but, as you can see, I’m failing horribly).

I love Aza’s name, it’s quite pretty and unique. Even with her poor health, she’s still a humorous girl and I found Jason and Aza’s friendship very sweet. It was supportive of Jason to go with Aza to her appointments and it was brave of him to be her friend because he knew one day she would stop breathing. I much prefer the relationship on a friendly base or even as siblings because I can’t really picture them as a couple. I also adored how loving Aza’s family was. Sure her sister and her didn’t get along as much, but that’s what siblings do (trust me, I would know, ahah). I actually liked Dai, though he appeared to be uncaring, he actually helped Aza a lot. But I hope that Aza and Dai don’t end up in a relationship because he seems loyal to Zal and she is bad news. (don’t trust leaders, they like to manipulate people. Ahaha, it’s happened in so many books and in politics too)

I feel like Magonia wasn’t described well enough because all I got out of it was that it was a supposed “city” in the sky with ships sailing the skies rather than the waters. I’m hoping the second book delves deeper into the world building. I also found elements of it to be quite strange. Birds being able to enter your chest, um is that comfortable? At least, the picture in my head is probably worse than what it is. I laughed when they explained that a feather had grown in Aza’s lung. It was just strange, but because of that I immediately figured out she wasn’t exactly human.

I’m hoping the second book to Magonia is going to be better and that the world building develops more, questions will be answered and new relationships be developed. I enjoyed reading this but it doesn’t hold much interest in me. But I’m willing to read the sequel, however it will not be a priority since it can be considered as a standalone. I think if you enjoyed The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, you might like this one.


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