A MORTAL SONGAuthor: Megan Crewe
Source: eARC via Publisher
Publisher: Another World Press
Publication Date: August 11, 2016
Rating: 4/5 stars
Sora's life was full of magic—until she discovered it was all a lie.
Heir to Mt. Fuji's spirit kingdom, Sora yearns to finally take on the sacred kami duties. But just as she confronts her parents to make a plea, a ghostly army invades the mountain. Barely escaping with her life, Sora follows her mother's last instructions to a heart-wrenching discovery: she is a human changeling, raised as a decoy while her parents' true daughter remained safe but unaware in modern-day Tokyo. Her powers were only borrowed, never her own. Now, with the world's natural cycles falling into chaos and the ghosts plotting an even more deadly assault, it falls on her to train the unprepared kami princess.
As Sora struggles with her emerging human weaknesses and the draw of an unanticipated ally with secrets of his own, she vows to keep fighting for her loved ones and the world they once protected. But for one mortal girl to make a difference in this desperate war between the spirits, she may have to give up the only home she's ever known.
I really liked this one. I thought there was a good mix of action, questioning where you belong, and mythology to really satisfy me. The characters were all well written and executed and they made choices I could stand behind.
I really enjoyed the plot of this one. The novel started off with a bang and the action stayed pretty consistent throughout. I thought the action sequences were really well written and I could easily picture and imagine what was happening without any confusion, which is super important to me when reading about fight scenes. I think there was also a good allotment of reprieve between the fight sequences to allow both the characters and the readers to catch their breath. I liked that it was shown that the kami don't have unlimited power and had to recharge because it made them more relatable. I did think some of the pacing was off -- for it being over the course of four days, it felt like there was too much time spent on some things. I would have liked a bit more of the urgency we felt at the beginning to continue throughout into the latter part of the novel.
I thought Sora was a really great character. She was so easy to connect with and I found myself really feeling for her as she struggled to make tough decisions while realizing that she wasn't everything that she thought -- but maybe that meant she was more. I liked being in her mind while she started to realize that just because she wasn't a kami didn't mean she still wasn't strong and brave and all the other adjectives she used to describe herself.
The only thing I was meh about was the romance. I am not a fan of when a main character likes someone above their station but ends up with someone who is similar to them ~ because~ they are similar and I felt that was the case here. We didn't really get to see a lot between Keiji and Sora before they decided they liked one another and I felt like they didn't really have a "connection" in the same way that Tokeda and Sora did. I felt like I was being forced to like Keiji and Sora together because they were both humans and a kami and a human "shouldn't" be together. It was just one thing that I didn't want to get behind.
Otherwise I really enjoyed this one. I thought there was a really interesting plot and a great cast of characters. I liked how it played out and what the final battle's conclusion ended up being. I think this is one that will really resonate with readers who enjoy mythology, fantasy, and prophecies that come true in unexpected ways.