Review: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Posted April 22, 2015 by lockhartbecca in Reviews / 2 Comments


Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: YA Fantasy
Format: ebook
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Source: egalley received from publisher via Edelweiss
Rating: 4 Stars
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***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way changed my opinion of the book. The review below is my open and honest opinion.***


Synopsis from Goodreads:


Aza Ray is drowning in thin air.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:


Magonia was one of the most unique books I’ve ever read. About a girl who can’t breathe on Earth. A girl who is dying. Who finds as ship floating in the sky and learns there’s a whole world up there. A world where she can breathe, a world where she can sing.


I absolutely loved this idea of ships sailing in the sky. The creatures that inhabited the ships, the Magonians, the Rostrae, the animals were all so interesting. I loved learning about what they could do. The magic was unique and fresh. I loved how song was woven into it, partnerships and bonds between Magonian and Canwr (birds). It was just so different and fresh.


Something that I loved about this book was that it grabbed me from the start emotionally. I was crying in the first 30% of the book. I was extremely attached to the characters. I loved Aza’s family and Jason. They were all so supportive of her and unique. Jason especially stole my heart. He loved facts, he was brilliant, he was wholly his own person, completely different from everyone else, but absolutely perfect. I have never met another character quite like Jason.


My problem was, once Aza was in the sky with the Magonians, I started to feel a disconnect. I just didn’t feel that emotional connection with the new characters that I did with her family and Jason. And that was disappointing seeing as how she was in the sky for the majority of the book. I craved that emotional connection the whole time and the only time I felt it was when we were back on Earth every few chapters with Jason. I just really didn’t care about any of the Magonians even the ones I thought I was supposed to care about.


My other complaint is the world building. There’s a lot going on in this book, a lot of new and unique things. The author does give explanation, but I thought some of it was either too brief or confusing. I found myself getting a little lost on the details and I wish that it could have slowed down for a little so I could better understand this amazing world she created.


And lastly, I thought the ending was a little rushed. The book is actually a pretty steady pace, not too much action, but then at the end everything went really fast and I felt like there was no suspense because of that. I wanted more build, more edge of my seat freaking out and I didn’t get that. Still, I really enjoyed this book and I will definitely be continuing with the series. A unique world with a mostly amazing cast of characters. If you like fantasy and are looking for something completely different I would definitely recommend Magonia.


Have you read this one yet? What did you think? 

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2 responses to “Review: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

  1. I waited to read your review until after I had read and wrote my review (it's scheduled for Friday, I think), but we basically felt the exact same about this book. Jason. Loved Jason! Loved Aza and her sarcastic voice. Loved her whole family. Then the sky people…not so much. Just wasn't feeling it, for any of them and I had such a hard time figuring out what they looked like. But with the way it ends, I have a feeling I'll like the next book more because hopefully Aza Ray and Jason will be working together, etc. Great review! ~Pam

    • I love when that happens. When I read another review and I'm all like YES! Jason was definitely my favorite character. He was just amazing. I agree about the next book. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing where this series is going. 🙂

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