“I read stuff. Books are not my only friends, but we’re friendly. So there.”


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?


I really enjoyed this book. The characters were well drawn, the plot was unique, and the pace kept up a good clip. Ms. Headley had an amazing idea, and she carried it out very well.

Aza Ray is an awesome heroine- a lot of them lately have been really frustrating to me, but Aza never got whiny, she didn’t lay around being sad- she took matters into her own hands and went crazy with it! Her audacity and strength, her willingness to go against people she found more powerful that she, it all joined together to make one awesome, powerful girl out of someone who, for most of her life, couldn’t breathe. Her best friend, Jason Kerwin, is also super duper amazing. He’s a fountain of facts and a hacker worthy of one of those spy shows, and I loved all his random knowledge and the interchange between him and Aza. Dai was great, too- just the right amount of swoon and just the right amount of non-love-triangle-ness. I hate love triangles with a passion, and I thought this book’s excellence would be dulled by one- but it wasn’t. Not at all. The singing was a nice touch, though. The secondary characters, including the birds (Especially Caru), were so integral to the plot and so intriguing that even when the action lulled, you got to enjoy the conversations and really getting to know the Rostrae and all their different personalities.

I definitely loved the plot. When I was 13, this was my dream. I wanted to be whisked away by the bird people. This was mostly due to my obsession with the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson, but as I love to sing as well, and having a heartbird to sing with me like Caru would be a totally amazing life. So Magonia really brought it plotwise. I also really liked how the Magonian people had an actual reason for wanting to destroy the humans. I mean, other than ‘we want to live on the earth, bwahaha!’ That’s a little old. I liked, too, that there were explanations for the actions taken. Some action/adventure books just let things happen and you don’t really know what’s going on. With this one, I always knew what was going on, even if I didn’t understand it.

That might have been my only problem with this book- a lot happened in a fairly short novel (only 320 pages) and usually with these kinds of fantasy books, it takes a lot more to get adjusted to the new world’s lingo and way of working. I mean, a bird flew into her mouth and lodged in her lung. That was so, so random, and I didn’t get a great explanation for why that happened until much later. Even though it was kind of confusing, I didn’t fault Maria for it. She made a really cool book out of an awesome idea.


Here’s the best part of this book- there’s nothing to watch for. I mean, I’m sure the more hardcore you are, the more you’d want to be careful of, but I don’t think anything save a brief description of a battle could be considered objectionable. So that’s another A+++ for this one!

Questions? Comments? Books you’d like me to review? Post a comment below and I’ll be sure to check it out!


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