Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley

Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley

Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley

Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley
Series: Magonia
On Sale Date: October 4, 2016
Young Adult Fiction \ Fantasy
Ages 13 And Up, Grades 8 And Up
HarperCollins, 320 pages
Source: Publisher
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

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.

Aerie is the second novel in Maria Dahvana Headley’s duology, Magonia, which was one of my favorite reads last year. As a fan of Headley’s writing and highly anticipated, Aerie ended up being an enjoyable read, if somewhat of a lesser loved one. 

There is just something unique and wonderful about Headley’s writing that continues to draw me back again as a reader. Lush, vivid prose mixes with snarky, authentic teen voices. Magical realism, yet contemporary.

The qualities that I loved in Magonia and looked forward to in Aerie were there mostly, only I had to read through a good portion of the story to get to them. 

The main difference between Aerie and Magonia is the relationship between Aza and Jason who are facing some heartfelt teen drama. Aza is trying to deal with being back on the ground with the loving family and boyfriend who missed her. Her heart is torn between her family and the skies that call to her. Jason is agonizing over a questionable choice he has made while struggling emotionally with the fear of losing Aza again.

I do love the fact that their relationship, both physical and emotional, is realistic and sweetly portrayed, yet I needed the story to move to the skies. I needed action and magic. I wanted less teen drama. I wanted their story to go forward and not backward. Well into a third of the book, I was still waiting.

I needed my Magonia! This is what I wrote about it in my review last year, “A world mirrored above ours where the sky holds ships whose sails are made of hum and speed. Where Stormsharks and Squallwhales mingle. There, in an ocean of sky, you’ll find blue-skinned Magonians and sword carrying Pirates clashing like waves. There Tsunamis rise out of singing - waves form from the air, breathed into existence.” 

I’m happy to say that when MDH finally took us to the skies it was wonderful - just what I had been waiting for. The strange world above was laid out, new magic and creatures, a few secrets revealed and identities discovered. I enjoyed the direction and growth from both Aza and Jason, and the strong, positive family ties portrayed. 

Overall, Aerie was enjoyable - once I got to skies and Magonia. What the beginning lacked for me, the ending made up mostly for. Recommended for fans of book one and Headley’s writing. 

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