book review
2 Stars, Book Reviews

{REVIEW} Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

by Maria Dahvana Headley

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pub Date: April 28th 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins
Length: 309 pages
Spoilers: N/A
Goodreads ♦ Amazon($8.68)



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?


Wondrous Worlds
The world of Magonia is so fantastic! It’s unique, it’s intriguing. There are so many parts of it that are offered to the reader and yet… there’s one part that created a barrier between me and the world: the intangibility of it. Much of the world was explained in vague concepts. It’s like the author was going for ‘mysterious and alluring’ and landed somewhere in ‘confusing-ville’. Really disappointed with that because there was so much potential for the world.

Racing to Catch Up
This story took forever to get going. It wasn’t until 1/3 of the way through the book that it actually had a plot and I struggled getting to that point. It’s because of this initial slow pace, though, that the last 2/3 of the book felt like a scramble to catch up. Yet, even with the race to catch up, the scenes dragged. Thus, it felt like a constant back and forth between fast and sluggish.

So… the protagonist
The protagonist of the story, Aza Ray, is annoying as all get out. I understand she’s a teenager and she’s gonna have a horribly morbid outlook on life since she’s been dying her entire life, but still. She’s overly-brooding. She’s terribly naive. And she’s self-centered to boot. Frankly, I couldn’t stand reading from her point of view.


finish the series

book recommendations

8 thoughts on “{REVIEW} Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley”

  1. Wow, I had this book on my TBR list, but after reading your review, I don’t think I want to read it. I don’t think I could stand the protagonist or any of the rest of the negatives you found about it. Thanks for your honest thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just finished this last night. I read the last page, turned to my friend and said what the hell did I just read? It had soooo much potential but the world building just threw me for a loop. It was as if Headley was just pulling ideas out of a hat and tossing them into the story. I loved the uniqueness of it, but needed a little more background and information. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! I kind of felt the same way as you at the end. I was like: ‘well… that was kind of a waste of my time.’ I agree, though, it had some serious potential with the world. If it had been described better and implemented/utilized in the plot better, it would have been cool. But, honestly, it didn’t really seem to be a plot point. It was more like ‘arbitrary cool world items insert here’. Such a shame. :/ There was definitely a disconnect somewhere.

      Thank you for reading! Glad you enjoyed my review! ^.^


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