Series Review: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Series Review: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley is a breathtaking series that follows a ship in the sky. Its premise is imaginative and intriguing, and the world-building is phenomenal. Despite my enjoyment of the first book in the series, however, I couldn’t get into its sequel, and to me, the magic of Magonia is lost in Aerie.

Series Review: Magonia by Maria Dahvana HeadleyTitle: Magonia
Author: Maria Dahavana Headley
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: April 2015 to October 2016

three-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

Since she was a baby, Aza Ray Boyle 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—but as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war between Magonia and Earth is coming. In Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?

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Series Review: Magonia

This series follows Aza, a girl who suffers from a rare lung disease that makes her life immensely difficult. However, when she dies on Earth, she awakens on a sky ship above the clouds where she can breathe and is more powerful than ever. Caught between two worlds, Aza must decide which one she is loyal to. I enjoyed the blend of genres the series provides as it is both contemporary and fantasy at the same time. The use of dual perspectives is also effective as the reader gets to experience both worlds at the same time. These books are fresh, and I was captivated by the magic and mystery found within them.

❀ Fantastic World-Building

One of my favourite elements of this series is the fantastic world-building. Much of the book takes place on a ship in the sky, and it is surprisingly easy to believe. The descriptions as well as the mythology paint a vivid picture for the reader. Not only are the physical aspects of the world so well-written, the bird people and the entire atmosphere aboard the ship are also developed. The singing birds inside people’s chests and the powers they provide add another layer to the world, and I must say Magonia is one of the most captivating settings I have read about.

❀ Second Book is too angsty

Where the series fell flat for me was the second book. When I picked it up, I was expecting an action-packed follow-up to the whimsical Magonia, however much of it is the characters moping, and I didn’t love all the angst. From what I read, nothing major really happened besides the characters sulking. Because I didn’t want to ruin the magic of the first book, I decided to put it down. This was disappointing as I had such high hopes for this series.

Magonia is a fantastical series about a girl who is caught between two different worlds. I found the premise to be very original, and I adored the world and how well thought out it is. The second book in the series does not measure up to the first, however, and this hurt my view of the series as a whole.

About Maria Dahavana Headley

Maria Dahvana Headley

Maria Dahvana Headley is a #1 New York Times-bestselling author and editor. Her novels include Magonia, Aerie, and Queen of Kings, and she has also written a memoir, The Year of Yes. With Kat Howard, she is the author of The End of the Sentence, and with Neil Gaiman, she is co-editor of Unnatural Creatures. Her short stories have been shortlisted for the Shirley Jackson, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards, and her work has been supported by the MacDowell Colony and by Arte Studio Ginestrelle, where the first draft of The Mere Wife was written. She was raised with a wolf and a pack of sled dogs in the high desert of rural Idaho, and now lives in Brooklyn.

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