I hereby declare this the “Week of A Mortal Song” here on the blog, as I bring to you a two-part feature on Megan Crewe and her upcoming YA novel. I had the tremendous honor of reading an advance copy of A Mortal Song, and I can’t wait to share my thoughts on this amazing story with you today. Then be sure to tune in on Writer Wednesday, when the author answers all of my nosy questions! Without further ado…
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 loved it. Sora is very real, very relatable, very sympathetic. The idea of going from normal to special permeates YA novels, and with good reason. We all want to think we’re special, or that someone out there is. That there’s more than the every day normalcy of our lives. But going from special to normal? That’s much harder to come across, and Crewe pulls it off by creating a character that we can all relate to. The side characters are wonderful and three-dimensional as well, including upbeat Chiyo, endearing Keiji, and honorable Takeo.
Crewe also created a vivid world around the kami, mixing both the fantastical and the real (just as she did with her characters). You can tell that she put a tremendous amount of research into creating a realistic world. On her blog, she even details her trips to Japan to follow in her characters’ footsteps.
The plot was fast-paced, with lots of action-packed fight scenes and a little bit of slow-burning romance. The way that “magic” is incorporated is beautiful and realistic – it’s not just a magical free-for-all. There’s a system, and Crewe makes her characters stick to it. This makes it hard for Sora, but it needs to be as she learns what it means to be “human” instead of “kami.” Even the villain is well-developed and the climax/ending was well-done and appropriate for the villain and Sora.
In summary, A Mortal Song is a beautiful, unique, and captivating standalone novel, with diverse characters and a fresh take on the “Chosen One” trope. Pick it up, especially with this pre-order deal the author has going on. Click on the pic for details!
For more information, including an excerpt, character images, playlist, and details about the author’s trips to Japan to gather inspiration for A Mortal Song, click here. Make sure you come back on Wednesday for my Q&A with Megan Crewe, the author of this five-star tale!