Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Me on Magonia
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Release Date: April 28, 2015
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?
Magonia is mysterious and wondrous, like a brand new fairy tale. It's the story of a girl who discovers she's more than she thought, a girl with a power and a purpose she's unsure of.
Aza has a realistic and practical attitude brought on by living with her disease. It's a bit of an angry but honest view of the world. She sees through the veils we put up, the fake promises and the dreams, and sees the reality of it all. That sometimes it doesn't matter. She's living as much as she can, But then she's taken, taken up above the clouds to Magonia, and she's lost. Confused. This defies all logic. When she starts to get to know those around her, she becomes wary of their plans. Plans that, somehow, involve her and a hidden power she never knew she had. But they never bother to really tell her what their plan is, what her power is, which is so frustrating.
The world-building is so intriguing. Magonia is a curious place up in the sky, full of airships, magical creatures, and the looming threat of war. The ships travel the world, searching for supplies, cursing those who live on the ground. They stay hidden from human eyes, rooting themselves in fable and myth. What child hasn't looked up at the clouds, at their shifting patterns, and wondered if there was something up there? What child hasn't looked up and thought they saw something that shouldn't be there?
I wonder if one of the reasons why I found this book so interesting is because I was able to let go and believe it was all happening. That I was willing to believe in the impossible, the mystical and the magical and the bizarre. My favourite parts were when Aza was up on the ship, the ways in which the Magonians are different than humans. The birds. Don't be fooled by the the title comparisons. Stardust? Yes, I can see it. The Fault in our Stars? No. In no way is that a good comparison to this book. A definite read for fans of fantasy mixed with reality, for fans of the impossible, for fans of characters lost and struggling to find their own voice in order to save what they care about most.
(I downloaded an e-galley of this title from HarperCollins through Edelweiss.)