Friday, September 18, 2015

Review: Magonia

Title: Magonia
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Release Date: April 28th, 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 320 pages
Rating: 4 Cows

Goodreads Description: 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?

 
 
            I’m pretty sure I’m head in the clouds right now as I sit down to write this review.  And if I spend too much time staring up at the sky today, it’s a direct result of reading Magonia by Maria Dahvan Headley.  First things first…
            I have to start at the end before I can begin.  Endings tend to go one of two ways.  You’re left with a cliffhanger, which is the author’s way of hooking you for the next book in the series, or you’re given a conclusive ending that you either hate or completely love.  With Magonia, it was actually a combination of the two.  Since this is a series, Maria Headley didn’t give away everything at the end because there are definitely some unresolved issues and events that are likely to take place for Aza in the weeks to come.  The state of Magonia, as well as the decisions she makes at the end of the book put her in a really dangerous position going forward.  So the anticipation for book 2 is pretty high right now!  On the other hand though, the denouement of Magonia was like a new beginning within an ending. I loved the ending so much, that I actually went back and read the last 10 pages twice.
            As a big fan of Neil Gaiman’s work, especially his book, Stardust, I found the whole concept of Magonia fascinating.  To think that there’s this whole other world up in the sky, rather than just a mass of clouds and space, is such a beautiful and intriguing idea.  It reminded me of children looking at the clouds, trying to find pictures in the clouds.  Much like Stardust with the ships in the sky, the world of Magonia operates above the human world we know. 
            Perhaps I’m interpreting this wrong, but I thought Headley’s portrayal of the characters in her book said volumes about how we perceive others.  For instance, take Aza.  On earth she’s extremely sick and has a disease that no one else has.  She’s weak, fragile looking, and unable to breath a majority of the time. It turns out though that there’s more to her than meets the eye.  She’s actually incredibly powerful and not sick at all.  The people of Magonia can’t live in the human world on the ground, because the oxygen/air there isn’t meant for them. While it may seem to those around her that Aza is delicate and sick, there’s more to her than anyone realizes.
            I also loved the quirkiness of Aza and Jason.  Their friendship consists of extremely dorky, but adorable things, such as going to unique museums and watching videos online of giant squid.  It’s not overly romantic, but cute and realistic. Sometimes the relationships between people in YA are so unrealistic, I worry that it’s portraying a false standard for teenage readers and it was nice to see otherwise in Magonia. 
           

8 comments:

  1. You had me at 'Gaiman' and 'Stardust'. I've added this to my to-read list, thanks!
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review
    Follow me on Bloglovin'

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    Replies
    1. i'm so glad! :) i feel like anyone who liked Stardust can't possible hate this book because they are pretty similar in concept! thanks for checking out my review Rebecca!

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  2. ohhh head in the clouds..... i'm totally all for it. I'm buying this one in a few weeks.... Can't wait!

    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex

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    1. i hope you enjoy it! i am really into the whole "city in the clouds" idea at the moment. I am keeping an eye out for similar books to read! if you have any suggestions, let me know! thanks for checking out my review Aparajita!

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  3. This one did catch my eye! I'm quite unsure of books that get compared to Gaiman though (he's a great writer, but the style and kinds of stories he tells just don't always work for me) so I'll probably go learn more before I check it out :)

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    1. I know what you mean! The first time i read anything by Gaiman it was an adjustment, because his writing style is exceptionally unique. It reminds me of classic storytelling, like that of The Princess Bride, where you feel like you're listening to a fairy tale. I will say though, Headley's writing style is nothing like Gaiman's. In that regard alone, these two authors differ. The concept of Magonia simply reminded me of the ships in Stardust! I hope you give this book a try because it truly is spectacular! Thanks for checking out my review Mogsy!

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  4. It's funny because every time I've seen this book, I could have sworn it was called Magnolia! I've only just noticed it's not. I'm still not sure if I want to read this one or not, but I feel like I'll probably get it out from the library at some point. Great review :)

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    1. haha don't worry Patty i thought the same thing when the book first came out! i kept thinking of the flower and was confused by the bird feather on the cover! i hope you like this if you give it a shot! thanks for checking out my review!

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