Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Synopsis: 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?
Huge thank you to HarperCollins and Edelweiss for this ARC!
Wow, just wow. This book is so uniquely weird. If you don’t like weird books or unique writing styles, this wont be for you. But if you do, or you’re curious, try this. It’s amazing. It’s JUST weird and unique enough without falling into the “purple prose” category or the ‘wtf is going on” category.
Aza is a girl who is sick and tries her best to deal with it. She’s sassy and witty and dark. She knows that death could claim her at anytime and her family and her best friend deal with it the best they can. Her family is quirky, her best friend Jason is a mad genius, and Aza has no filter and knows no bounds. She lives her life and when it comes time she lets go.
And is taken up into the sky to a place called Magonia where birds transform into people (who have a lot of bird-like qualities) ships sail in the sky, whales make weather, and song can control all things.
The writing in this book is just the type that I love to read. It makes you work a little, makes you think a lot, and just flows. I know that a lot of people don’t like this and there ARE books that are similar that I’ve had a lot of trouble with (Grasshopper Jungle kept coming to mind while I read this, but that book was just TOO much for me, while this was just right). I loved how quirky everyone was and yet so normal. I loved how Jason was just a touch crazy at times. I loved how Aza was so manic about things.
The world building is exquisite. On the ground we learn about Aza’s disease and how it’s handled and then we’re slowly fed ideas about this place above the clouds and when we go there with Aza it’s just breathtaking how everything unfolds. How Aza came to be how she is, and how she plays into this larger issue that Magonia is having. How her mother, her biological mother, lost her and found her an is she really a good person?
This book does take a little work and it’s a slower read than most books. I took my time with it and I’m glad that I did. I highly recommend this!