Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Let me begin by saying that I enjoyed reading this book immensely. The characters are easy to become attached to and the story is unique.
I struggled with the plausibility of this fantasy simply because it takes place in modern society. If Magonia, a country that exists in the sky, was, perhaps, in a parallel dimension or hidden by magic, I could more willingly suspend my disbelief. BUT! In our world of Global Positioning Satellites, there are no more hidden places- especially not the entire sky! Magonia couldn't become invisible to us simply by hiding within storms- despite the fact that they are quasi-magical storms. I am curious to see if Headley can better convince me of this plausibility as the series continues.
THAT being said...
This is a love story of the truest kind. From the moment he laid eyes on Aza Ray in preschool, Jason has loved her. Despite the fact that she was emaciated, gasping, and near to death, Jason always saw the power and spark within her. Aza Ray has loved Jason since she was small as well. His genius, his anxiety, his insatiable need to know things has been the epicenter of her universe forever.
So, when Aza Ray dies, Jason knows the truth when no one else does. Jason knows about Magonia.
Headley expertly develops her characters. Jason is even more lovable than Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars (and he is super-lovable). Aza Ray starts out powerful and admirable, wavers in her resolve midway through the novel (and you kind of want to shake her)- but her power returns.
This may prove to be a wonderful series...so far 4 out of 5 stars.
For ages 12+