Review: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley || In which I think I’m an Audible narrator pt. 2


Magonia #1

Maria Dahvana Headley


#1 New York Times bestseller Maria Dahvana Headley’s soaring sky fantasy Magonia is now in paperback!

Since she was a baby, Aza Ray Boyle 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—but as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war between Magonia and Earth is coming. In Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?

Publisher: Harpercollins

Published: April 28th 2015


“Bang, bang, you’re dead. Close your eyes and go to bed.”

I mention this often, but I tend to read the first third out loud to myself when it comes to this book… because I like Aza’s voice. It’s a thing that I do, don’t judge me.

This book is so entertaining, I loved the characters and this book is so quotable. I did question the romance, but I’ll get into that below.

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I don’t even know what to say. I don’t want to spoil people, because this is a mixture of so many things. Contemporary? Fantasy? Save the world what genre is that? So, I won’t try to summarize— you’ll get everything you need from the Goodreads synopsis. The story does take a shift in genres as there is something obviously unique about Aza, but if you’re okay with fantasy, things should be fine.

magonia fanart

I don’t normally go into detail about world-building, because I don’t really care about that character focused person over here, but it needs to be mentioned: Flying ships? Bird people? Storm whales?! This book won’t be for some people, I’ll admit it. But it does have some amazing imaginative aspects to it. The writing also has a… unique form? It’s flowery and cynical and a mix of a lot of other things. I’ll just say it, this book is jarring and like a fever dream. I was confused for a while, but I like going with the flow sometimes, so I wasn’t too bothered.

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“Yes, I’m a reader. Kill me. I could tell you I was raised in the library and the books were my only friends, but I didn’t do that, did I? Because I have mercy. I’m neither a genius nor a kid destined to become a wizard. I’m just me. I read stuff. Books are not my only friends, but we’re friendly. So there.” 

Aza as a character was a surprise, I think this was the first time I’ve read about an unlikeable character. She’s not an absolute asshole, but she’s rude, speaks her mind and she’s dying with a rare disease that’s unique to only her, so she’s not really caring about others at the moment.

“I can’t imagine a universe in which I try to unlove her.” 

She has one friend, Jason who suffers from OCD I believe if I’m wrong please correct me and he has two  moms(!!); The way these two meet was cute and showed the loyalty they had for one another throughout the years. The support between them was great to see and I did like them together, despite my issues with Jason towards the end.

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The ending could’ve been great, if it wasn’t one unbelievable scenario after the other. And that’s ironic, considering the genre. But no. There was a bit of Missing Parent Syndrome happening towards the end and some things that were more implausible than the bird people.

And there was a hint at a love triangle that never went anywhere, though I was kind of rooting for the other guy, just to spite the story because I do that sometimes. Look, this is one hell of a book. It’s weird, lyrical and beautiful.

13 thoughts on “Review: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley || In which I think I’m an Audible narrator pt. 2”

  1. I think I got this book in a book subscription box and finally read it this year. I did really enjoy it, but things got weird after a while. lol. The beginning made me excited for a series, but by the end I just wasn’t into the series. Definitely don’t think I’ll continue with it. BUT, like you, I adored Aza’s voice – she had such a great sense of humour and was so sarcastic, it was hilarious.

    Liked by 1 person

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