by Maria Dahvana Headley
Harper Collins (April 28, 2015)
Aza Ray is dying. She’s dying of a disease so rare, it’s named after her. Meaning, she’s the only one who has it, and she’s slowly suffocating. But lately she’s been hearing voices calling for her. And not just voices, but SEEING things that are so real, they can’t be regular medicine induced hallucinations. Right? RIGHT???
But one night, when Aza is overcome by a seizure, the voices come for her and she’s too incapacitated to get away. Aza gets swept away to a place in the sky called Magonia. A place where she can finally, truly breathe. It’s there that she must decide who her true people are, and where her true home is, because Earth and Sky are about to go to war.
The first 100 pages are super gripping, but finding the rhythm of this story took me several pages because Aza speaks quickly, and a lot of her thoughts are crammed together in a very distinctive voice. (but once you get into it, it’s easy and I liked it.) Aza and her best friend, Jason, take turns narrating chapters, so you get to know both of them pretty well.
The characters, or should I say race of “people", in this book weren’t familiar territory to me. I’m used to fantasy characters of the wizard/faerie/unicorn etc variety. Something about them being so new made it hard for me to decide if it was just a new experience, or straight up weird. haha. My main problem with this story is that it was very rushed. It’s barely 300 pages and A WHOLE LOT happens. (I wish there were at least 200 more pages for this unique story.) An entirely new world and race are introduced, Aza’s storyline is super complex, good guys and bad guys, a history that causes war… I felt like nothing got it’s due and many things were rushed, assumed, and thrown in. In the end, I felt very little connection to any of the characters other than Aza and Jason. I felt like Aza was realistic and believable, but she’s about to get me involved in a love triangle, and I’m not happy with her about it. haha.
I LOVED this world. I am interested in the characters. I think the plot is super complex. I just wish that this story was given the space to grow and be explored instead of hurried and crammed in!