Review: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Title: Magonia (Magonia #1)
Author : Maria Dahvana Headley
Genre : YA, Fantasy
Publication Date : April 28th, 2015
Publisher : HarperCollins
Goodreads | Amazon


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?


First of all, nothing nothing beats the pretty that is Magonia’s cover. I bought a Paperback inspite of owning the Kindle version of the book simply because it is so beautiful and you guys, I have no regrets AT ALL. It looks beautiful on my shelf, just as I knew it would, and the amount of painstaking detail on the cover is just magical! Definitely worth owning!

Magonia is the story of Aza Ray Boyle, who suffers from a rare and unique lung disorder that does not allow her to breathe. And this is the one and only thing I’m going to talk about in terms of the actual story, because I believe Magonia is one of those books you need to experience on your own, completely, and I’m hoping you, reader, are going to end up doing the same.

Aza was one of the most mature voices I remember reading in YA. She had the voice of not only a survivor and a fighter, but also of somebody who has accepted the inevitability of her own death. And she was funny! Goddamn was the girl funny and sarcastic and so much fun! Think Hazel Grace Lancaster, but triple the amount of sass. Asa made me laugh and guffaw, just as much as she made me bawl my eyes out. The girl was driven and full of life, and I found myself grieving internally because a girl like Aza deserved so much more. But Aza herself despised pity and that showed just how different and odd her little life was.

And I’m calling her life “little” for a reason.

One of the most interesting things about Aza was her relationship with her parents. They took so much care of her, and it was plain to see that she was loved greatly. Her parents were amazing, in my opinion, and I’m definitely looking forward to her sister Eli, and how her particular character grows in the coming instalments of the series. And then of course, there was Aza’s best friend, Jason Kerwin.

The thing with Jason? You can’t help but love this guy. From the moment I read him, he became a very important part of the story for me. The book is split into Jason and Aza’s first person POVs, and I found myself eager to always see what Jason was up to. He was the nerd and the best friend and the eye candy, but reading between the lines shows how from the very beginning how loyal and loving this boy is. He was the perfect yin to Aza’s yang and damn was I shipping this couple HARD. I was practically the Sam to their Dean and Cas, yelling “Kiss for Gods’ sake” all the time!

Of course, the book wasn’t all about Aza’s sass and Jason’s nerdiness. At its heart, it was about a dying girl, and somehow Aza never forgot that—and so, nor did I. She had a positive approach to her illness, she respected the time she had left, and yet I felt this undertone of bitterness and regret that her words made me feel. All of this, only made possible by Maria Dahvana Headley and her writing that could most likely make a piece of stone cry. I’m usually averse to reading lyrical prose, but Magonia just changed all of that for me. For real. The world building in Magonia is truly out of the world. No puns. The attention to detail (although I still have questions!) was intrinsic and fascinating! Combining ancient mythology with urban legends, lore and basic Sci-Fi can be no easy feat, but reading Magonia will make you realise how much fun it is to read! The entire concept of the book is unheard of (at least to me) and it came in like a wrecking ball a complete surprise!

The entire game changes once Aza dies on Earth and wakes up in Magonia. And I’ve got to say, true to her character, Aza is afraid/confused/blow away for a very short time. She becomes a part of the crew of the ship she is in. She learns how she is special. SHE NARROWLY AVOIDS BEING PART OF A FRIKKIN LOVE TRIANGLE.

All in all, Magonia is a Fantasy that is high up on my favourites shelf with ACOTAR and Ash & Bramble and Walk On Earth A Stranger. The writing is beautiful, the characters are fantastic, the world building is so unique and the cover is to die for! This book is compelling and almost eye-opening in the way Aza thinks, but it also entertaining and will guaranteed pull you out of a book slump!


2 thoughts on “Review: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

  1. corrallingbooks says:

    The cover drew me in, but the synopsis sounds great! So does your review, it makes me want to read it even more!! I mean “Magonia is one of those books you need to experience on your own, completely, and I’m hoping you, reader, are going to end up doing the same” is so persuasive omg >.< I'll check this book out – seems like a really great book!! 😀


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