Ahoy there me mateys! It’s raining eARCs here on the horizon and when it rains it pours! This review is of eARC number four since August 11th and I thought that was a lot (it is). Finishing this one meant all eArcs were read. Then I got approved for 7 more in three days it took me to read this one. Arrrrr! This Captain’s plotting and hard work is paying off. So I be reviewing and noting observations of eArcs in me log for many days ahead. After that I can get back to me ports to plunder list (or “to be read” to ye landlubbers). It currently is 768 and counting. And as always I stand amazed and positively giddy that publishers want the opinion of this salty Captain . . .
I received this young adult fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .
a mortal song (Megan Crewe)
Title: a mortal song
Author: Megan Crewe
Publisher: Another World Press
Publication Date: September 13, 2016 (e-book)
Yet again, the cover caught me eye (shocked?). In the past I would have said covers didn’t make me pick up books. But gorgeous cover art now tends to lead me to the blurb which usually determines if the book be a likely fit for me. This cover had 1) a young girl; 2) holding a sword; 3) with Japanese flair; and 4) a hint of magic to it. Cause of the mountain maybe? Her hair whipping in the wind? See . . .
The main character Sora (great name) is living on Mt. Fuji with the kami. On the day of her 17th birthday, she longs to begin training for her major duties on the mountain. Only the mountain and all the kami are taken hostage by a demon and Sora learns she is a human changeling. Can she and her companion find and train the “true hero” in time? Can Sora adjust to her new place in the world?
While I enjoyed this novel overall, I had some quibbles. Good things first. The setting in Japan was lovely with Mt. Fuji as the center point for the action. Seemed well researched overall. I liked the author’s use of kami and ki particularly where it came to Sora. Sora was a good character and the parts of her coming to terms with her humanness and the loss of her powers was the best part for me. The secondary character Midori was wonderful and I wish she could have played a bigger part. Oh, and I liked the ghosts and a certain sparrow. The set-up in the plot for why these characters existed made me happy.
The less happy things started in the second half of the book where the book’s premise wasn’t as strong. Add in prophecy and love triangle. Neither of which I enjoyed. The prophecy seemed like an afterthought with the humanness of Sora taking focus. The love in the book was simplistic and rather irksome. I did like that characters made mistakes but the resolution of them was kinda anti-climatic. As was the ending. It just kinda stopped.
There were magical artifacts that were never really explained. Action that took place “off-page.” Sora’s musical talent that is talked about a lot and then never plays a part of the plot. The characters go into cities and shrines as part of the plot and not much exciting happened in any of them though the ideas around them had potential. There was some blending of technology and magic. I would have liked to see more. The actual kami girl, Chiyo was kinda bland. Maybe some chapters from her point of view of how her life changed would have been fun.
Overall I just feel the extremely interesting ideas of this novel were not developed as much as they could have been. The book was a little repetitive. But again, I enjoyed the book and I am glad I read it. I would be willing to read another book by this author.
Side note: While perusing the author’s website, I saw the e-book is currently on pre-order for $0.99 and ye get some bonus content when ye buy. Interested? Click here for details on the author’s website!
So lastly . . .
Thank you Another World Press!
The author’s website has this to say about the novel:
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.
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