BOOK REVIEW: Magonia – by Maria Dahvana Headley


Title: Magonia
(Magonia #1)
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
First published: April 28th 2015
Finished reading: July 22nd 2015
Pages: 320
Rating 2,5

“Death is the Santa Claus of the adult world. Except Santa Claus in reverse. The guy who takes all the presents away.”


I’ve read this book together with The Book Club of the Opinionated Hufflepuffs. I remember the first time I saw this book mentioned and immediately falling in love with the cover. It’s so gorgeous! I was really looking forward to Magonia… But unfortunately I didn’t end up enjoying it as much as I thought I would. I had a hard time getting into the story. Part of the problem was the fact that I was expecting a fantasy story from the start, and the first few chapters are more of a YA contemporary novel. I wasn’t convinced by the characters and the prose really bothered me. I know a lot of people actually love Maria Dahvana Headley‘s writing style, but to me it felt somewhat forced and annoying to read. What’s with all the ( ) [ ] anyway? As far as the worldbuilding goes: I do admit it is very creative and it shows she spent a lot of time creating Magonia. Unfortunately, I was mostly weirded out by the whole descriptions. I mean, a bird flying down the main character’s throat and then nestling inside her lung? Flying ships and half-birds singing to get things done? Not really my cup of tea. I guess Magonia might be one of those books you either love or hate… And I don’t think I belong to the first group.


Ever since she was little Aza Ray has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it very hard to even breathe properly. They didn’t expect her to live that long, but now she is almost sixteen years old and still holding on. When she thinks she sees a ship in the sky, people believe it’s just a side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn’t think it’s a hallucination; she actually heard someone calling out for her from the ship. Only her best friend Jason seems to believe her, but it seems to be too late… As her lungs doesn’t seem to want to breathe no longer. Can she still be saved? And what about that flying ship? And the myths about Magonia?


Magonia sounded so good when I first learned about it, but unfortunately I ended up not enjoying it that much. The only reason I haven’t given it a lower rating is because of the quite impressive worldbuilding. Maria Dahvana Headley spent a serious amount of time creating the world of Magonia and it shows in the details. It doesn’t take away the fact that I was mostly weirded out by the whole bird and flying ship situation and the fact that I didn’t like the main characters doesn’t really help either. And the prose… Some people might like it, but I was mostly just annoyed by it. I really wanted to like this one! But I guess you can’t always get what you wish for…

WWW Wednesdays #49 – July 22nd

wwwwednesdaysOriginally featured at Should Be Reading and now hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words, WWW WEDNESDAYS is still about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

thegoldfinchImagonia’ve finally made progress on The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, and I’m definitely enjoying this read so far. Hopefully I will be able to finish it before the end of this month! I’m also finally reading Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley for The Book Club of the Opinionated Hufflepuffs…I’m not sure what to think of it so far though; I’m not convinced by the prose.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

314americosisI literally started and finished 314 by A.R. Wise on the same day. I was looking for another thriller/horror read after finishing Game by Barry Lyga on Sunday… I LOVED that book and needed another dose of scary. 314 is a fast read and surprisingly good; I wasn’t expecting too much after seeing it has quite a low Goodreads rating. Some parts are pretty messed up though! I’ve also finished reading Americosis by Haydn Wilks, a thriller/horror/sci-fi short story that was both disturbing and left me wanting for more…

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

thirteenreasonswhythescorchtrialsWhat to read next? I seriously don’t know… Masquerade by Kylie Fornasier is still high on my list as well as the TBR jar pick The Kings Of Cool by Don Winslow I got at the beginning of this month. But I will probably end up reading something completely different. Maybe Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher or even The Scorch Trials by James Dashner?

Teaser Tuesdays #52 – July 21st: Magonia


TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme originally featured at Should Be Reading. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

I’ve finally started reading Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley for the The Book Club of the Opinionated Hufflepuffs! I normally try to read book club titles at the beginning of the month, but somehow I’ve managed to ignore Magonia until now. I’ve only just started reading it, but it looks really promising… And if the story is anything as good as the gorgeous cover, I’m sure I will end up loving it!


My teaser (39%):

“Nestling, ships have their secrets. Magonia has its secrets too. You’ll learn what you need to learn soon enough.”


What are you reading right now?

WWW Wednesdays #48 – July 15th

wwwwednesdaysOriginally featured at Should Be Reading and now hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words, WWW WEDNESDAYS is still about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

thegoldfinchthe5thwaveI’ve only made little progress on The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt during the last week. I guess it’s mostly because I just haven’t been feeling like reading it and decided to start other books instead… I’m currently reading The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey as well. Finally! I like it so far, although I’m still not completely convinced… Maybe I was expecting too much of it, who knows?

  • What did you recently finish reading?

madeyouuplingerI finally gave in and read Made You Up by Francesca Zappia. I was a bit afraid to read it because of all the hype around this book, but in this case it’s worth it. Such a great read! ❤ I’ve also made a promise to myself that for every new series I want to start I have to read a sequel of a different series first… I decided to read Linger by Maggie Stiefvater and although I liked it slightly better than the first one, I’m still not impressed. I guess it’s too much romance and too little werewolf action for my taste.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

gamemagoniaMasquerade by Kylie Fornasier is still high on my list, mostly because I need it for theWhen Are You Reading? challenge. I might end up reading either Game by Barry Lyga or Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley first though. Game because I really want to know how the story continues and Magonia because it’s The Book Club of the Opinionated Hufflepuffs July read…


Friday Finds #31 – April 10th


FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at Should Be Reading and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. I’m trying not to add any new titles because I have way to many unread books on my TBR shelf and kindle already… But I just couldn’t help myself and added quite a few anyway. Below you can find a selection of my newest additions; click on the book descriptions to go to its Goodreads page.

My finds:

fridayfindsapril10th2015 Continue reading