Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Published: April 28, 2015
Neil Gaiman’s Stardust meets John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars in this fantasy about a girl caught between two worlds... two races…and two destinies.
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?
Hello, readers! Today's book is one I've talked about in the past- one of my more recent book trailers featured Magonia as the subject. Now that I've got my hands on it, I have to say- not whatsoever what I was expecting, in both a good and bad way.
We'll start with our protagonist, a girl with a name so strange she must be out of this world. She's been plagued with bad lungs all her life, due to being a denizen of the world of Magonia, whose air is equally unbreathable to those living below. She's aided through life by Jason, in which turns out to be quite the heartwarming relationship. They try to out-fact each other and have fun compensating for each other- it helps that Jason is off the wall in terms of conventional thinking. He's slightly rich and in touch with the dark side of the internet, which makes for a contrast once Aza heads up into the sky. Happily, everyone else on Earth is just as fun- but I can't say that for anyone on Magonia. All of them manage to be supremacist in their view of "drowners", and decide to explain nothing about Magonia to Aza despite their desperate need of her. Dai the first mate especially is unlikable, as the only thing going for him is a sad backstory about how humans ruined his home. Yeah, air pollution and acid rain is hurting their ecosystem and making their perfect world harder to live in. While it's a fair moral in and of itself, it's pushed much too hard to make it anything but annoying, along with the fact that the Magonians never reveal themselves to the humans in order to make a point, and never give a reason why they stay hidden. The setting itself shouldn't be frowned upon, however. The whole place feels very real, with the ships sailing around using flying animals and bird-people working the decks. Singing holding unimaginable power, but often only in a group? Eh, I can deal with that, even if it's stretching.
While Magonia isn't all it's cracked up to be, the book is still interesting enough to hold my fancy for the length of it. And since the perspective shifts every now and then, you get a nice breather with the earthlings to keep you grounded. See you all on Friday!