Thinking about Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

It’s Thinking Thursday and that means it’s time for a book review! I cried at least four times while reading this book, so I thought I’d note the four reasons the book made me cry. I hope I can do it justice—I’m not saying that it’s perfect, but it’s perfect for me.

Thanks to Goodreads!

Thanks to Goodreads!

Title || Magonia [Goodreads]
Author || Maria Dahvana Headley
Published || 2015 by Harper Collins
Form || Hardcover
Genre || Paranormal? Urban Fantasy? Magical realism?
Rating || 5/5
Yay || The worldbuilding, the characters, the voice/writing
Nay || I… don’t know
Summary || Aza Ray can’t breathe on Earth, and when she wakes up on a flying ship, she finds out why.


THE REVIEW

The Writing

From page one, I was emotionally invested in the book. The writing has such a voice to it, so conversational that it seems almost like someone is sitting in front of you and telling you this story, but some how removed enough that it’s almost as if it’s actually happening to the narrator. I was instantly sucked in and instantly cared. I felt the adoration (ad the frustration and fear) of Aza’s parents even in the first couple of chapters, as she described the inconveniences of her condition to her family and how much they cared for her. I’m tearing up a little now just thinking about it.

The Characters

If the writing hadn’t done it, the characters would have. I cared about Aza and about Jason and their parents. I won’t speak for the development—I’m a little too close to that to really see it, though I’m inclined to say it was wonderful. The characters themselves, though, were so real to me. I could imagine these people existing somewhere out in the universe, speaking and walking around. Their grief struck me in the heart and resonated so strongly with me that I can do nothing but applaud (and cry a little).

The Ending

The last chapter broke my heart a little, and managed to repair it at the same time. I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, but I will say that the way everything came together, the note it concluded on, was just what I wanted, just what I needed, and completely and totally satisfied me. This book could stand alone, but apparently there’s a sequel coming and I am sooooo excited.

The Other

These are the little things, really, that I loved about the book, even if individually they didn’t make me cry. The atmospheric set-up once we’re on the ships is wonderful and a little strange. There are several reviews I’ve read that commented on this book being a little weird for them, but this worked so incredibly well for me, personally. It was familiar enough to be comforting, to have me guessing, and different enough that it felt original. I love that the narrative is based around a myth I don’t think anybody else is using right now.

Recommend? Mostly yes
Recommended for? Fans of beautiful but conversational writing, people who don’t mind birds or a little weirdness, and lovers of emotional narrative


Thanks for reading!
Have you read Magonia?
What did you think?
If you haven’t, would you want to?


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