MAGONIA by Maria Dahvana Headley

art by Artem Rhads Chebka

Just finished Magonia by Headley – which had excellent characters, families, and a surreal and highly unusual fantasy world floating above our own. In this book, there is a  world above the clouds, filled with shapeshifting birds and other surreal creatures who have long roamed the secret spaces of the air. These creatures aren’t quite human, though many can transform themselves into humanoid forms. Unable to breath in the lower atmosphere, they have a strange relationship with the human world – basically “fishing” out food and supplies when needed. I must say – it was intriguing.

Unfortunately… it had two severe draw backs. The antagonist was shockingly undeveloped- which was unfortunate. And my biggest qualm, the two main characters were stupidly smart.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love nerd characters. I like obsessive research characters. I have no issue with clever and ingenious young people. Give me Hermione and Willow any day. Math nerds. Astrology nerds. Kids obsessed with poets and literature. But don’t me some insane mega genius who can do literally everything – hack governments, quote ancient philosophy, create robots in his garage, blah de blah. It’s too much. BOTH teenagers were such Renaissance mega minds. Sigh. I will forgive such over indulgence in ‘the smarts’ when dealing with ancient vampires or goddesses or aliens or some such… but no. Not in 16 year olds. Not in 46 year olds. Just… no.

Though I confess I enjoyed reading all the obscure references.

I’m glad I read book but I will not be continuing this series.

That said – I’ll keep an eye out for this author as this was her first book and she’s definitely a good writer – gripes aside, the girl has a fantastic imagination and a way with words.


Title: Magonia
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Originally published: April 28, 2015
Genre: Fantasy Fiction

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