Release Date: April 28th 2015
Genres: Death & Dying, Fantasy & Magic, General, Legends, Myths, Fables, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Neil Gaiman’s Stardust meets John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars in this fantasy about a girl caught between two worlds…two races…and two destinies.
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?
This book and I had a very interesting relationship. There was a point where I was really tempted to give up on it but I continued after reading so many positive reviews. I am glad I did, because MAGONIA is truly a unique novel and I love originality, particularly in YA. However, I remain conflicted about the book as a whole.
In the beginning, my experience with this one was very similar to THE STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL SORROWS OF AVA LAVENDER, a book I had tried reading about six months prior to this one and failed. Like I mentioned above, I love original plot-lines but I guess even I kind of a draw a line where I expect a familiar reality-to a point. MAGONIA was just a bit too confusing for me, but this is a personal preference.
I wish I had the imagination to create the fantastical creatures and concepts Headley did. It is so complex I could easily see multiple books exploring the world of Magonia and sky ships, batsails, heartbirds and so much more.
I think I would have enjoyed this one more if the real aspects were kept out of it and it was strictly a fantasy, there was just too much to cover and I think more time should have been given to some elements, particularly the ending that felt wrapped up a bit messily.
Besides the main character of Aza, I felt like the other characters were not fully developed. This might have been due to my initial disconnect with the novel itself, but all the characters seemed more like game pieces to move about rather than characters that could interact with the world around them.
All things considered, I liked this one. It transports you to another world that does not seem too far away, although it is definitely different than anything you could ever imagine. Back to the real world now!