Book Review: Magonia



Title: Magonia

Author: Maria Dahvana Headley

Rating: 4/5 stars


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Book Review, Read at Midnight

Magonia stars Aza, a teenager who’s been drowning in air ever since she was five years old.  She lives in our world, yet cannot be a part of it.  However, she soon sees vision of birds, a ship in the sky, and feathers in impossible places.  All this ultimately leads her to another world beyond her imagination.

The thing I enjoyed most about Magonia is the creativity that went into its worldbuilding and mythology. YA is a genre often plagued by trends: faeries one year, followed by angels, dystopian universes, terminal illnesses, fairy tale retellings. Magonia stood out like a breath of fresh air, offering us hybrid-bird sky pirates who inspired the world’s first account of UFOs. Yes, the familiar tropes are there: a dying girl, a childhood friend, destiny as the chosen one. However, Magonia had such a fresh take on them that I did not mind at all!

“If you look at the sky that way, it’s this massive shifting poem, or maybe a letter, first written by one author, and then, when the earth moves, annotated by another. So I stare and stare until, one day, I can read it.”

Aza was there with us to experience the strange wonders of this world first-hand. For someone who’s been told she had a timer on her life since she was five, Aza remains strong and curious about the world around her. I also enjoyed reading about her relationship with Jason, who’s an incredibly unique character himself. Though there are hints that he is physically swoon-worthy, but his defining characteristic was his keen intellect and his charming eccentricities. There’s also a strong focus on family ties in this book, I appreciated this as parents are so often brushed to the sidelines in these kinds of adventures.
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