Defying Gravity: A Review on Magonia

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Okay, this was recommended by a dear friend of mine and bookseller. I found it hard to get into at first, but after about 10 chapters (they’re short by the way), I got used to the unique writing style and the plot got interesting. Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley centres on Aza who has been sick all her life and almost dies, but thanks to an interference by mysterious figures, she survives and discovers that she isn’t what she thought she was. Suddenly she’s part of a ship crew…in the sky. A ship crew consisting of…bird-like people and the ship captained by her real mother. It’s a lot to take in.

While everyone she loves thinks she’s dead, Aza journeys the skies, on a quest to save the land Magonia, but soon she discovers that all is not what it seems.

I found that Aza trusted her real mother and crew and adapted to her new life quite fast and most of the time, she and everyone else including sexy bird guy Dai frustrated me. It was so obvious that she was being used by the captain and crew – it would’ve been better if they were subtle with their goals. I was rooting for Jason, Aza’s best friend who hasn’t given up on her and looks for her, and that plot twist made me smile. I need more friends who turn into lovers (that’s not the twist by the way).

I love the concept of pirates and ship voyages in the sky, and even though I laughed at the idea of bird-like humanoids, I found them intriguing. They’re still much clouded in mystery by the end of the book. I do think that some of the characters are a bit flat and those that are interesting like Jik don’t get much of the spotlight. I guess Headley is saving that for the sequel.

As mentioned before, the writing is quite unique that it took me a while to get into the book. It sort of reminded me of Alice in Wonderland in terms of playing with words, creating them and formatting them in a weird but cool way.

If you love ships, pirates, geeky friends-turn-lovers and feathery friends, then I recommend Magonia.

Rating: 4/5

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