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I Belong

Review: Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley

Title: Aerie

Author: Maria Dahvana Headley

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: Magonia (Book #2)

Publication Date: October 4, 2016

Format: Hardcover, 320 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062320556 (HarperCollins)

ISBN-13: 978-0062320551 (HarperCollins)

Reviewed by: Tara


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.

Quick & Dirty: Interesting sequel to Magonia but it left a lot of questions unanswered.

Opening Sentence: I listen to the sound of singing.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

While I enjoyed the premise and world in this story, I wasn’t really able to connect with the characters as much. Also, I think I would have enjoyed it more had the pacing been a bit better. However, the world Headley creates is still stunningly beautiful and I love the magic system and the writing. The beginning of the novel informs the reader of the events of the first book very well so don’t worry if you don’t remember all of the details.

The book begins with Aza back on Earth wearing a new body and adjusting to life after the events of Magonia, book one in this series. It’s been a year and she’s having trouble accepting her life on the ground. Jason, her boyfriend, is having trouble accepting that Aza dreams of returning to Magonia and her life in the sky. Additionally, Jason is keeping secrets of his own and these secrets may prove dangerous to the only one he longs to protect.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the relationship between Aza and Jason in this book. While I understand why Jason worried, he tries to be overly controlling of her. Also, he lies to Aza about something big and then, when the lie blows up in his face, tries to justify it by citing his concern over her well-being. There’s an unnecessary amount of drama and angst in their relationship and it was a bit of a turn-off for me. However, both of them did mature toward the end. I do still wish that the book would have addressed the issues between them a bit more though. I adored Aza’s relationship with her sisters. The relationships were quite different but felt very authentic to me. Due to that, I was somewhat able to emotionally connect with the novel.

The plot had the potential to be wonderful but the pacing felt a bit off to me. I would have liked to see the latter half of the book expanded quite a lot. I felt as if the author skimmed over some information and scenes that were vital to the book. Given that this is the last book in the series, I was left with quite a lot of questions at the end. The descriptions of the world were just as beautiful as they were in the first novel. I still love the idea of the magic of Magonia and it was interesting to learn more about it.

This novel was an interesting sequel to Magonia but it left a lot of questions unanswered. If you enjoyed Magonia, you’ll probably enjoy this one.

Notable Scene:

Aza swallows. I turn my head and she’s looking at me, really looking.

I add, “You’re still my favorite thing about being alive.”


“Really.” I take a second, because . . . why is she asking me that? I bring it back to our own version of discussion. As much as I don’t want to ask this—“Do I hold horrors for you?”

She takes a second.

“No,” she says. “You’re my favorite thing about being alive too, and that’s mostly because you’re going to make me some kind of amazing cake. Yes?”

She gives me a look that’s one part attempt at reasonably fine, no one here is stressed about anything, people are thinking only of celebration. The rest is silently pleading with me not to make her talk about any of this anymore. I know this look. It’s the look she used to give to people who asked her what it felt like to be sick.

I give her what she wants.

I pretend it’s fine.

She’s up and going through the door before I even realize it. There’s something about her that’s lying to me, and there’s something about me that’s lying to her.

I know what I’m lying about, because before I follow Aza inside, I pull out the second phone she doesn’t know I have.

And I send a text.

Magonia Series:

1. Magonia

2. Aerie


FTC Advisory: HarperCollins provided me with a copy of Aerie. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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