Review: A Mortal Song by Megan Crewe


A Mortal Song by Megan Crewe // VBC ReviewA Mortal Song
Megan Crewe
Published: Sept. 13, 2016 (Another World Press)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review Source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review 

Reviewed by: Beth

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Sora’s whole life has been a lie. She has always believed that she is kami—Japanese spirits that help protect the world. But on her seventeenth birthday she finds out the truth—she is human, switched at birth to protect the real kami child who is part of a prophecy. The kami powers she thought were hers were only borrowed from the mountain they call home, Mt. Fuji. When that home is threatened by a demon and his ghostly followers, Sora has a decision to make. Does she allow her hurt and her anger to take precedence, backing away from all she knew? Or does she embrace what makes her human and help defend what she *thought* was her home?

I truly enjoy reading about the spirit worlds within the different Asian cultures. They are so deep, and so rich, that one could never truly get to the bottom of them. Megan Crewe mines this content for a story that is quite different from the usual vampire/werewolf/love triangle stories that seem to have taken over so much of YA fantasy. It is those differences that make it stand on its own. Crewe does quite well explaining some of the more unusual aspects while not dragging the story out, and not once did I feel left behind by any of the cultural aspects. She intertwines them so thoroughly into the story that there was never a reason to try and figure out what she was talking about.

The characters within the story were fairly well done, though a couple of them did fall a little flat for me. Takeo, the guard who is with Sora, didn’t feel very fleshed out—even though he is in the entire story. Haru also seemed a bit pale in relation to the others. However, the remainder were interesting in their own right—all with very different personalities and strengths/weaknesses. Once I wrapped my head around the idea that kami were of a specific nature that didn’t ever change, then it became a bit easier to understand how Chiyo (the real kami) was relentlessly upbeat (which could have been seriously annoying). Keiji, as one of the other humans who gets involved, was one of my favorites. He was not what some would consider a strong contender for possible romance, but that made him all the more likeable. As for Sora, I like it when characters show growth in at least some aspect of their character. No one goes through life without struggling, and she was no different.

The whole story in A Mortal Song took place in modern-day Japan, and it was fun to follow the characters as they dealt with both the modern and the mythical. One minute they’re riding in a car, the next they are staying in a shrine that is surrounded by ogres or ghosts. Crewe did a great job melding the two—it could have been extremely clunky, but it flowed well from one to the other. And sometimes both at the same time!

Overall, I enjoyed A Mortal Song. I couldn’t seem to find out if this was a stand-alone, or if there might be future books, but the world was intriguing enough that I would happily immerse myself in it once again.

Sexual content: none

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