Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley is a sci-fi YA fiction novel that is set to be released later this month. I happen to have an ARC and I actually read it BEFORE the novel was released. (This usually never happens for me.) Let me just say that while I did enjoy this novel and I would recommend it to other sci-fi/fantasy readers, the book itself didn't blow other things I have read out of the water. It was a enjoyable, quick read that was easy to follow, but it didn't amaze me like I thought it would.
I think the main reason the book didn't blow me away was because we got off on the wrong foot. First impressions do matter, especially in books and when I began this one I almost DNF it. In the beginning while the main character Aza was explaining to the reader her condition she came off as really pretentious and it was almost like the author was trying way too hard to write how teens talk. The fragmented statements and the way that it was written almost like a tumblr post really annoyed me. It really turned me off, but I knew from the summary that Aza was going to eventually find herself on some sort of spaceship so I wanted to get to the heart of the plot before saying this book wasn't for me.
Once the novel got into the plot and you meet all the different Rostrae and Magonians, I was in it for the long haul. This part of the novel is what made it so interesting to me. The descriptions here were really thought out and I could really picture what characters like Wedda and Kik, and even the Breath looked like. The idea of the war between the Magonians was also really cool, so I really enjoyed this book once I got to the action scenes.
The Magonian people also was a part that confused me. At times it seemed like the author used Rostrae and Magonians interchangeable and it took me some time to realize that they were different races (kinds?) of bird people (for lack of a better word.) I think that needed to be fleshed out and explained more. I wanted more about their capitol city and who they really were. I think that the book ends on a high note, but it also leaves some questions unanswered. So if there is a second book I would like to see a more clear resolution and the Magonian world fleshed out more.
So okay I'm complaining a lot, but I did really enjoy this novel! I loved that we got multiple perspective by also getting Jason's thoughts after he thought his best friend died. I love multiple point of view, and I think that Aza and Jason were distinguishable between each other. They didn't come off as two-dimensional so that was definitely one of the redeeming qualities to this novel.
Although I was really nit-picky with the novel, I would still go out of my way to recommend it, especially to fans of the sci-fi/fantasy genre. The mystical elements to the ships in the sky will definitely be something a lot of readers will love.
Happy Reads Everyone!