Review: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Giveaway
Publication Date: April 28th 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Family, Magical Realism, Science Fiction, Lyrical


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?


I know everyone has dreams of flying, but this isn’t a dream of flying. It’s a dream of floating, and the ocean is not water but wind.

I call it a dream, but it feels realer than my life.

Breathe, Lola, breathe!

descriptionOh god. What did you do to me, Magonia? How dare play with my emotions… over and over again? You showed me your careless, beautiful, powerful, pitiless and heart-wrenching sides… when I was not prepared for them. Is this how Aza felt, daily, living on Earth, her lungs not being able to function properly? Well, if that was your goal, you succeeded.

Aza can’t breathe. Her disease is a mystery to every doctor and… incurable. She’s going to die soon; she always knew it would happen. Things are getting worst though. It’s when all her hopes falter and she feels herself weaken to a very dangerously sensitive and raw state that she sees something spectacular amid the sky: ships that sail into the air! What is the significance of this? Why is she the only one able to witness such thing? Is that…

While, by moment, it reminded me of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender and Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Magonia remains one of the most creative and original and unique stories I’ve read in years. I can’t even categorize it… it both felt like a magical realism story and a fantasy one. It was the kind of book that makes you believe in everything that is happening inside it and brings all of your senses to life, but it nonetheless did contain creatures of multiple sorts and an invisible-to-the-human-eye world surrounded by air.

Aza started off as impertinent and know-it-all and judgemental, but her peculiar and sarcastic humor charmed me:
Rare, like my disease is standing onstage in a tuxedo belting out a torch song that has a chorus along the lines of ‘‘Baby, you’re the only one for me.’’ And then the disease just stands there, waiting for me to walk into its arms and give up resisting.
Who talks like that? No one. Loved it.

The great thing about Aza, you have to know, is that she experienced so much… and it changed her throughout the story. Her character development will not go unnoticed. I’m saying this because, if Aza gets on your nerves at the beginning, you might think about giving her another chance… She will prove you that she is more than she appears to be.

There was a love-triangle. But an interesting one. And it actually ‘‘made sense.’’ After all, Aza thought she would never ever see boy #1 and her and boy #2 had a rare bond that couldn’t be broken in a snap of finger.

The writing… I devoured it. It had everything I consistently look forward to inside a writing style: figures of speech, short and long sentences, germane descriptions. And it also gave an appropriate depending-on-the-scene atmosphere to the story, which is something I think to be very salient when it comes to a narrative.

Magonia is my favorite 2015 publication so far. Therefore, I am recommending it to you, reader.


21 thoughts on “Review: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

  1. I can’t wait to read this! I’m glad it lives up to the great blurb and beautiful cover. I’ll try not to hate the main character, but it’ll be hard 😛 Now I need enough money to go buy it!


  2. I was already going to pick this up because of it’s gorgeous cover, but after this review, I needssss it! lol. I’m probably one of the few people that isn’t turned off by love-triangles, and the fact that Magnoia includes one that actually makes sense has me completely intrigued. Great review as usual girl 🙂


  3. Wow it sounds so good and intense! Poor Aza, so many things there! I didn’t know about this one and I wouldn’t have expected such a topic with this kind of cover (beautiful too) but I confess that you made me curious! thanks for your review!


  4. I’ve seen this book around and the cover was what made me want to pick it up but after reading your review, I’m definitely reading this! Don’t know when since my TBR is completely out of control, but I’m reading it!


  5. Lola, I always enjoy your reviews but, this one is amazing and gave me all the “feels” that you felt reading Magonia! I’m so glad you loved it so much. Thank you for sharing – needless to say, I’ll be picking this one up. Beautiful review 🙂


  6. WOW 5 stars?? I really do love the cover of this one, I hope to check it out sometime soon! The protogonist sounds wonderful though, You have me all excited and happy chappy now!!! Lovely review Lola 🙂


  7. WOW! This book sounds amazing, I swear the more I read of the synopsis I just started inching closer and closer to the computer screen, this sounds like such a beautiful story, great review Lola (props to you for the Tangled meme ;))


  8. THIS IS SUCH GOOD NEWS! I’ve been ummming and aaahing about this new release, rather reluctant to read it, but you’ve convinced me to give it a go! It sounds absolutely amazing! THE WRITING! I want to read beautiful writing! Fabulous review, girl! ❤


  9. I’ve been trying to decide whether or not I wanted to pick this book up when it was released. After reading your review, I will most definitely be adding it to my to read pile. Thanks!


  10. I definitely need this book in my life RIGHT NOW. Been anticipating it for so long and to see a praising review like this? The book must be absolutely breath taking!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s