24 December, 2015

REVIEW: MAGONIA by Maria Dahvana Headley

Title: Magonia
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Series: Magonia #1
Genres: YA, Romance, Fantasy
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Kindle Edition
Pages: 320

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SYNOPSIS: 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?

In ThatOneReader's Book Club we voted to read Cinder this month and since a few of us had already read it we decided to read Magonia instead. I had read mixed reviews about this book, some said they loved it and some said it was okay but a bit too weird. I kind of agree with both views.

THE WORLD: This is technically still Earth but with an added fantasy element to it. Turns out that in this book there are flying ships (yes, flying ships) far up in the sky where a hmm "new race" of creatures live. Sorry, I can't say what kind of race or creatures because it would be spoiler... they were once considered Gods or Angels depending on the time period though. They survive by stealing human crops and cattle. They let down ropes from their ships, steal the crops and cattle, and then fly away. Sometimes humans see them and think about UFOs or aliens so it's actually not a complete secret, just a partial one. These nation is called Magonia obviously. By the way, Magonia is actual mythology and the name was coined in medieval times when according to popular beliefs it was a "flying city inhabited by brave sea-men able to create storms and wind up crops" now you can see the similarities... right?

CHARACTERS: The main character is Aza Ray Boyle, a fifteen year old girl who's... dying. She's very sick because she can't breathe properly, her lungs cannot support her and fail to deliver oxygen so she should've died long ago but there she is still, a miracle. Aza only has one real friend called Jason Kerwin (who by the way has two moms yay some representation!) and he's been there for Aza since they were 5. Aza and Jason are the main characters and narrators of the story, we also meet Aza's parents and sisters, Jason's parents, the flying creatures... I can't say what they are but I can tell you the names I guess so for the second half of the book these creatures become important and the main ones are the Captain of the Ship "Amina Pennarum" (let's just call her Captain) and Dai.

LOVE: There were these few chapters where I was seriously fearing a love triangle and I was getting really furious and frustrating but pheewww breathe because there is no triangle and I think there won't be one in the next book either.

PLUS: The mythology. Oh my... it was so original! I loved the myths' explainations and I loved how most facts were actually accurate and well researched.
I liked Aza and Jason as characters and narrators and I enjoyed their relationship because it wasn't one of those that came out of thin air, although I admit it was a bit over the top at times... that's what I would call obsession.

AND THE COVER? So beautiful... if I had to choose a tattoo I would choose that feather with those exact same colors because darn, look at that. It would look gorgeous as a painting too!

MINUS: I am kinda sad that Magonia was not described though... some facts were mentioned about how Magonia works but not many, just the necessary ones... I guess they will be said in the next book.
Also, I was very confused because at first it looked like Maria was going to pull off "a John Green" but then it changed 180ยบ and it was all myths and fantasy omg my head was spinning because it was a fast change but it's not a big minus or anything. It was alright.

OVERALL: 4 stars. I didn't know how to rate it to be honest because I enjoyed it for the most part but the last quarter was rushed and I don't know but something was just off, the order of events perhaps? Anyway, I would recommend reading it if you're into myths and fantasy for sure. The book had a sad moment as well... I cried yeah I'm a cry baby but it was emotional, I couldn't help it.

What do you guys think about MAGONIA?