Monday, August 24, 2015

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley.

Publish date- 2015.
Publisher- Harper.


Review time...

(A Brief) Synopsis:
Aza is dying. She’s been dying all her life. Only something, something in the sky only she can see and hear and, it seems, believe in, is calling her. Calling her up and away and home.

What I thought:
Magonia, aka the book of 2015 that everything I read told me was the book for me. Destiny and all that. It promised to be magical and bizarre, beautiful and a retelling, different from anything I’d ever read and complete with Magical. Birds.

I mean come on I am there. I was there when I saw the cover, tbh.

And I did love it. I reveled in the bizarre, the unique way Aza thought and spoke and lived, the originality and the fact some of it I didn’t get. It didn’t really matter, if some parts were a bit off, because on the whole I was so completely there. Not as there, invested with every inch of my being as I had imagined, but I was captivated none the less, and that is what I needed. Captivation. By originality, pure and fresh, gorgeous imagery and a POV that switched between two characters and didn’t leave me disgruntled- it left me equally excited and moved.

Aza was perhaps not a character I could relate to, early on, because her actions weren’t the ones I would have made, but I so enjoyed being with her and Jason and having my heart moved by their loss and love and the painful reality of their situation.

There were certain aspects, like Aza’s choices in some circumstances, that I just didn’t find myself rooting for- the character of Dai, who I had bad feelings about and felt far off (or over) board when it came to hints at the romance of; Aza’s insistance that she needed to be on earth once she was in Magonia, although it was all she had dreamed about (this was done so well it didn’t bother me much, but for a while she didn’t even take in her surrounds for want of going home and that frustrated me); the Breath.

It was very thoughtful and enjoyable, though. I look forward to any possibility of a sequel and a reread wherein I will discover and appreciate this gorgeous story on different levels.

Rating: Ooh, very good/Excellent.
It wasn't Romi's book of 2015 (but wait, the review for that is coming up!), but it was still all I had anticipated: original, fascinating, expressive, beautiful. It just didn't hit me quite so hard as I needed it to.

25 comments:

  1. I'm going to read this next month! :D (As part of a challenge) and I'm reeeally excited. A little nervous, because sometimes when a book is more...beautiful? instead of logical? I tend to get a bit grumpy and lost. SO WE SHALL SEE. I'm very excited. :D

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    1. Oh, I'm so excited for you, Cait! Not sure, or going to try and predict, what you'll think of it, but I hope it's at least memorable for good reasons. It's still logical, mostly (I mean, it's fantastical but that doesn't count), but it's beautiful in a way that is sensical. If that makes sense?
      Looking forward to seeing what you think! x

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  2. This is one of those books that I've been planning to read since it came out. The polarizing reviews is worrisome, though, but I trust your judgement. :)

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    1. I have so many of those, Joy. It's hard to keep track! I'm really glad I nipped this one in the bud, though, because I don't have to keep reading reviews and planning to read it endlessly. I've done it! And it's nice owning a copy. I can revisit it whenever.
      AAW. I hope it works out well for you, then. xx

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  3. Oh goodness. I am actually a little afraid of reading this book because I have legitimately only seen positive reviews, and I have a really bad history with books that everyone loves (and by that I mean I usually don't love them *hides*). I am pretty sure this one is on my TBR, and if its not, it's only because I think this is turning into a series, and I CANNOT add any more series to my TBR (or start any more), because have SEVENTY THREE series I am currently reading, and I don't even know how that happened, or how I'll even remember them but ANYWAY.

    I'm super glad you liked this one! I love how unique it sounds, and it's always great when dual POV are done well. I can't stand it when they're interchangeable, or unnecessary.

    Lovely review as always, Romi <3

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    1. Only positive reviews makes for, generally, negative reads for me. I don't tend to agree with the positives, unfortunately, and my expectations are just SO HIGH. Hopefully I weighed some pros and cons? I mean, I wrote this review about two months ago *whispers*, so I don't really remember. I hadn't heard of it turning into a series, although I do kind of anticipate it. The ending certainly makes it a possibility.
      Seventy three series! SEVENTY THREE? Golly, Chiara, that is a lot. I am awed. I don't know if it's in a good way, but... BOOKS! That's all one can say, really.

      Yes. Dual POV or even more than one often do not work for me well at all. I'm so happy I've had a run of good ones!

      Aww, thank you lovely. xx

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    2. Yup, just checked. Apparently there's a second one coming out next year.

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  4. I've seen the buzz for this one, but haven't picked it up yet - I actually didn't know it was so unique, but it does intrigue me more now that I know. I hope to read this sometime. I'm very curious about your number 1 book for 2015 so far though!

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    1. I'm glad I might have helped you become a little more intrigued about it, Charlene! Hopefully you'll give it a try and see for yourself how original it is. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.
      Oooh! I'm excited to share it in my review! xx

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  5. Hmm, Magonia's been rec'ed to me a couple times too, but unlike you, I didn't connect enough in reviews/the synopsis to actually snag a copy. Dual POV sounds very interesting, though! Excited to see what your 2015 top read is!

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    1. Oh, well I get that. Despite being recommended something, if I'm not into what the reviews say or the synopsis then I'm not exactly eager to read it. I'll probably be interested, but it'll be on the back burner, for sure. We've gotta trust our gut!
      It was! I'm so glad I liked it, seeing as dual POVS tend to... frustrate me.
      Yay! xx

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  6. Magical. Birds. Wow, that's actually pretty cool. I even heard there were flying ships?? I'm really excited to read about the original world! *_* Nice review!

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    1. Magical. Birds. Exactly, Juwairiya. That is all needed. AND YES! There are flying ships too! This book delivers all the amazing one needs. Hope you love it! xx

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  7. Well know I'm excited to see what your book for 2015 is. How about a hint? Just a little one?

    I loved this one too Romi, it was so magically fantastical, the bird heartsong was just too lovely to even describe. And so vivid. The world building was a little lacking, but it was so lovingly written that I didn't even care. The dual points of view worked really well didn't they. The whole premise was absolutely breathtaking. So glad you loved this too Romi, your brilliant review makes me want to reread it again <3

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    1. Haha! Well, a hint. It's fabulous. That is all I'm going to give! The review should be up in about a month (my calendar is already so full of reviews, dammit), so keep an eye out!

      Definitely vivid. I love that in otherworldly books. You don't recognise the land personally, maybe, but it's so clear in the storytelling. And there's a sequel coming next year, which interests me so much!

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  8. Romi,
    I need a hint... not a tiny one- a BIG one. OK... just tell me what your book of 2015 (so far) is. ;) I have heard so many good things about this book. I hope to get my hands on it one day soon. As always, great review!

    -Jordan

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    1. Fabulous. That is the only hint I'm giving out. Not gonna tell you otherwise. It'll be up in about a month, the review, so look out.
      xx

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  9. Like you, I also loved the uniqueness and imagination that obviously went into this one. I did have a few pacing issues and agree that the story could be a bit confusing at times. Glad you enjoyed it for the most part though!

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    1. I'm glad you mostly enjoyed this one, too! It's so unique and one of the most distinct things I've read this year, so that's always fantastic. And the cover design is so beautiful. I got a hardback just to revel in it. xx

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  10. So glad you enjoyed this one Romi -- I unfortunately did not. I could not connect to Aza at all, and I felt the world-building was seriously lacking. Unique for sure, but I just expected it to be better you know? Especially when it's such a COOL concept too.

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    1. I remember reading your review, so I can understand fairly well what your issues were- you didn't enjoy the writing style, either, did you? I get that. For me it was just so different and exquisite in a really good way. Completely it's own. Definitely an awesome concept! I'm interested to see what the planned sequel brings. xx

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  11. You know, all I need to hear is that you were so completely into it. It's okay that it had flaws - not ideal, but okay. The most important thing in my mind is that it truly captured your attention with its originality of gorgeousness. You have me sold :)

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    1. Oh, yay! I'm glad to hear that- thrilled, actually. I think it's okay, too, for books to have flaws. And I'm sure you will be swept up by this- possibly some things might slightly niggle at you, but... I don't think you'll really mind. I can't wait to hear how it goes! xx

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  12. I haven't heard too many positive things about this book, but despite that I still really want to read it! I am glad you could enjoy it even if Ava made some choices you didn't disagree with some of the time. The magical realism side of things draws me in...

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    1. Oh no, I'm sorry to hear that! But good on you, Olivia, persevering! I think you might really enjoy it- do let me know what you think, alright?
      The magical realism is beautiful, the whole worlds and shifting narrative is so gorgeously done. And Ava's not too bad, she's actually kind of super, despite some of her choices. xx

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Have a beautiful day.x