Maria Dahvana Headley's soaring YA debut is a fiercely intelligent, multilayered fantasy where Neil Gaiman's Stardust meets John Green's The Fault in Our Stars in a story about a girl caught between two worlds . . . two races . . . and two destinies.
Aza Ray Boyle 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—but as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war between Magonia and Earth is coming. In Aza's hands lies fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?
Terminally ill from infancy, Aza is willing to accept that she's dead. There's a container of ashes to prove it. It's on Earth, along with Jason the boy who she's long loved and who loves her in return and every other familiar touchstone of her brief, angry existence. Yet Aza is very much alive on the massive Magonian airship Amina Pennarum, with a piratical captain, who declares herself Aza's true mother, and a crew of jays, robins, owls and one screaming ghost. Headley, who co-edited Unnatural Creatures with Neil Gaiman, riffs like an improv comic through the factoids of a Google age, giving her characters retentive memories and lightning search skills. Like the best improv, the first-person narration is funny, furious, and vulnerable. The haunting conclusion leaves many issues unresolved, but the ferocious, intelligent power of Aza and Jason's bond is completely affirmed. Sweeping, strange, and built around a richly imagined world of chimerical bird-men and airships, the novel is ideal for fans of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone and its sequels. Ages 13 up.
I usually don't write reviews, but here I am. This book gives me life. My first sci-fi book and it's amazing. I never cared for sci-fi until now!
Am I the only one?
Didn't like it. Couldn't even finish it. It's a shame I was so in love with the first bit where she was on earth. I even cried a bit when she "died". But the execution of what promised to be a great story was just not there
This book is defiantly on my top ten list. It is interesting right from the first page. I recommend this to anyone ages 12 and up. 📚