Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Book Review: Aerie

Aerie (Magonia #2)
By: Maria Dahvana Headley
Published by: HarperCollins
Release date: October 4, 2016
Genre: YA fantasy
320 pages
Source: galley kindly provided by publisher

Read my review of book 1 here.

Let's be honest: this book was blurbed by Neil Gaiman. If that isn't enough to make people pick it up, I don't even know what is going on in this crazy, mixed up world.

But just in case you feel like my opinion might make more of a difference to you than his, here's my review.

The world building here in book to continues to develop, and becomes even more tremendously amazing than it was in book 1. The author picks up the thread from the end of the first volume and runs with it, weaving in just enough review detail to refresh the reader's memory without becoming tedious. Sometimes this is a real trick to accomplish, but it's beautifully done here.

I love the alternating points of view. It allows the reader to both be in Aza's head, and see what's happening from a human point of view, in Jason's voice. The story really can't be told well without Aza's voice, and I think it would suffer without the familiarity of a human voice. I commend the author for using the device to give the story more dimension. Jason't voice, in particular, really develops in this volume, though; he's been Aza's protector and savior for years, and now he finds himself in the role of the vulnerable one who needs her. The situation gives his character, and therefore his voice, another dimension, because he can better understand what Aza has gone through.

I am still intrigued by the originality of the story. I love how many classic elements of fantasy that have been included in a story's lore that is unlike anything else I've ever read. I mean, really- a character who is human-like, who can carry a bird where her heart should be, and who can sing weather into a frenzy- it's the best fun to contemplate the idea. I would love to hang out with this author for an afternoon and just brainstorm ideas for fantasy writing; I am sure her imagination is off the charts. Again- blurbed by Neil Gaiman. And absolutely deservedly so.


Where is home when you were born in the stars?

Aza Ray is back on earth. Her boyfriend Jason is overjoyed. Her family is healed. She’s living a normal life, or as normal as it can be if you’ve spent the past year dying, waking up on a sky ship, and discovering that your song can change the world.

As in, not normal. Part of Aza still yearns for the clouds, no matter how much she loves the people on the ground.

When Jason’s paranoia over Aza’s safety causes him to make a terrible mistake, Aza finds herself a fugitive in Magonia, tasked with opposing her radical, bloodthirsty, recently-escaped mother, Zal Quel, and her singing partner Dai. She must travel to the edge of the world in search of a legendary weapon, The Flock, in a journey through fire and identity that will transform her forever.

In this stunning sequel to the critically acclaimed Magonia, one girl must make an impossible choice between two families, two homes—and two versions of herself.

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