Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Aza Ray is drowning in air. She’s had a lung disease her whole life, and no one expects her to live very long. When she sees in a ship in the sky, her family thinks that it is another hallucination side effect to the many medications that she has to take, but Aza knows that it’s real because she can hear someone on the ship calling her name. Only her best friend, Jason, believes her, but before they can learn about what it is, Aza is taken from her regular world and put into another: Magonia. This is a world of trading ships above the clouds and here she can breathe. She also has incredible power if she discovers how to use it. But in this new world, she doesn’t know who to trust, and she realizes that she might have to go to war against her old home of Earth. Magonia has to choose her loyalty over the family she knows and the family she is just discovering.
Magonia is unlike any other book. For the first section of the book, it feels like another book about a dying girl, but then fantasy collides with the real world and takes the reader into a world that is unique. The author uses rich, poetic language that is likely to make the reader feel intense emotions about what Aza Ray is going through. Aza Ray and Jason are well-developed, but other characters are not as well described, and at times the new mythological world is confusing and strange. Parts of the story felt rushed and unclear, feeling like it could have used more time to develop some of the ideas. Because of its uniqueness, some readers will be put off, but others will love reading something that feels entirely new.