Flying Star Ships in Magonia

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley




Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Publisher: HaperCollins
Published: April 2015
Pages: 320 {paperback}

Original review on Goodreads

**to see spoilers at any point in the review click on the link provided and you will be directed to the review on Goodreads where the spoiler will be hidden at that point in the review**

Is it really Stardust meets TFIOS?

So let me tell you the story of how I came to have this book in my hands. On a warm summer’s day Goodreads sent out their monthly newsletter proclaiming in big, shiny letters that we are expecting the birth of a novel that is the product of Stardust (Neil Gaiman) and The Fault in Our Stars (John Green). Framing on either side of this huge claim were several other deliciously good looking books (such as The Girl at Midnight and The Shattered Court) – so how were we even supposed to stand a chance? We weren’t. That’s the short answer. The newsletter lead to Goodreads, Goodreads lead to the Book Depository, and a few sweet weeks later, the Book Depository lead to my letterbox. As I unwrapped my precious white package I was once again faced with the aforementioned catch phrase and I gave the book my sassy who-do-you-even-think-you-are face because, really, how does that combination even work. So, I was 90% certain this statement would fall to the ground. I was wrong. This book cannot be described more perfectly.

The Story

Aza is a teenage girl ((Hazel Grace – Cancer)/sucky lungs = x), and Jason is a teenage boy (Augustus Waters – Cancer = x), and they are best buddies in an are-they-really-just-friends sort of way. Aza can’t breathe, and no-one can fix her. She’s skinny, she’s cold, she’s witty, sassy and cool, but the point is that Aza is dying. >>Insert much sadness<<

Jason is basically a whizz kid, hacking into everything and anything, albeit for the sake of giant squid footage (don’t dwindle on it), which makes him a very enjoyable character to read. The problem we have is that Aza keeps hearing her name called, keeps seeing glimpses of ships, keeps seeing a lot (really, quite a lot) of birds. But this name calling isn’t mean kids in the park, it’s people in the sky. The ship isn’t on the ocean, it is also in the sky. And the birds . . . well I’ll leave that for you to discover (but I suppose, for the sake of continuance, they are also in the sky – har har har).

So essentially, what we’re dealing with, is Hazel Grace going through a Gaiman-esque life crisis that will result in the inevitable removal of her from her life, spark a fake funeral full of tears and crocodile suits, and initiate the pirate training 1-0-1 involving everything you’ve ever dreamed of. I repeat, in long, this is indeed the love child of Gaiman and Green. On a side note, Harper Collins used the phrase multilayered fantasy to describe this book – isn’t that just the greatest expression you’ve ever read? I thought so.


Some fan art inspired by Magonia

The Feels

Warning ahead for the sensitive people who have a tenacity to cry muchly so – this is actually pretty emotional. I’m not going to lie, I cried during the fake funeral – okay! Okay! I know, it wasn’t like, overly sad, but the feels were just going so strong at that point in the book and urgh! Next thing I knew I was slapping my cheeks saying: Kirstie, get a grip man, she’s not even dead. Like, the blurb could tell you this. But no, tears were abound. I was actually surprised by how attached I got to this book – I flew through it! (Get it? I know, I’m terrible). I loved all the characters, everything (aside from most major plot aspects *coughFLYINGFREAKINGSHIPScough*) was totally believable – I wanted more, MORE I TELL YOU.

I don’t think I’ve read a book for a while that had me quite so invested in such a short time. Aza is so sarcastic, it’s honestly the most wonderful thing. Also, is this going to be a series?? Are we done with these characters? (I’m not). Are we okay with the fact that we probably won’t see another pirate, Hazel Grace, especially emotional relationship type of book for a while – IF EVER AGAIN? No. We are not. So, Maria Dahvana Headley, please write some more. Sincerely, me (et al). Finishing this book was like *humongous release of breath*. Like, I can’t express the catharsis. Oh wait, maybe I can:

Or maybe:

The Cover

Just look at. Look at it and sigh, for like, ten minutes. Done? Okay. Moving on.


I really, really, super-duperly, definitely recommend this book to everyone. I don’t even care if you don’t like fantasy, if you don’t like TFIOS (shame on you) or even if you don’t like reading (weirdo) – just read this book and feel the feels and enjoy the flying ships and then we can all have a crazy tea party of over-hyped Headley fanatics and discuss how the sequel to this book would go – and how best to capture Headley and force her to then write it. Excellent, excellent, excellent. I’m going to stop right here, because you need to run along and go buy a copy of this book. Besides, even if you hate it, don’t deny you’re in love with the cover (but do try to not drool all over the book, that’s gross, really).


  Have you read Magonia? What did you think?


Let me know in the comments below!

End Note

~~ Kirstie ~~




4 thoughts on “Flying Star Ships in Magonia

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