A Mortal Song by Megan Crewe

Blurb:

30376044Sora’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.

images     scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

My Review:
4.5 stars — I’m a day late, but I started reading this book to fulfill the January theme for one of my Diversity challenges, which was “Stories based on/ inspired by diverse folktales/culture/mythology.”  This book fit that theme PERFECTLY and I’m so glad I picked it up with this challenge in mind, b/c I was thoroughly entertained by Sora’s story!  This is not a book that typically piques my interest, as I tend to go for either contemporary or more modern paranormal/sci-fi.  But after reading a review from Lillian @Mom With a Reading Problem, it sort of just stuck with me.  So when I saw it go on sale, and noticed it matched the diversity theme, I snatched it up.

So after that long-winded explanation…ahem.  I really loved that this one introduced me to some mythology from Japan.  It was all so enchanting, and I loved the blending of the world of the Kami with the modern world in Japan.  I’m not really a huge fantasy reader b/c I enjoy the linking back to the real world, so I loved that this was both…I guess kind of urban fantasy then, eh?  If you couldn’t tell, I’m really not that familiar with the genre.

I loved the uniqueness of Sora’s journey.  So often we read about a seemingly ordinary girl who actually has extraordinary powers and saves everyone.  In some ways Sora’s story was kind of opposite.  She grew up thinking she was a being of extraordinary powers, but in the end she was a normal human.  But it was her normal humanness that helped save everyone (sort of).  I really LOVED that.  I loved seeing her struggle with the lies she had been told, and how she would deal with her new reality, eventually coming to embrace what it meant.  I enjoyed Sora as a narrator, I thought her struggles were relatable and she grew in a reasonable way.

And the plot kept me hooked!!  I enjoyed the journey the whole group went on to fulfill the prophecy and defeat the bad guys.  There was exciting fight scenes and intriguing plot twists.  I was up til 3am reading this bad boy, before I had to finally put it down.

I’m not a fan of love triangles, but this one only bugged me a little since it was pretty shallow, though I will admit that I fell for the first boy and didn’t give the second boy nearly enough of a chance, so I didn’t really get totally on board with the romance.  It’s funny, b/c I tend to require romance in the books I read, but I wasn’t super invested in this one.  It had some great butterfly moments, but I wasn’t always convinced of the feelings involved.  Perhaps I didn’t get what was drawing them together outside of attraction.

As for the side characters, I really enjoyed them and loved that they all had some depth, with both admirable qualities and flaws.  I thought Chiyo would annoy me, but I actually came to enjoy her and root for her (and I loved her romance with Haru).  I felt similarly about Haru, but he really surprised me, and I kind of loved that.  I almost wished I knew more about Takeo, b/c I really enjoyed him, and I felt like there could be more there.  And then there’s Keiji.  I had a harder time forgiving his flaws, but I also enjoyed his redeeming moments (and they made me bawl).  I also really liked that he was a bit of a nerd and beta boy.  I even kind of enjoyed the bad guy and the story surrounding him.

One of the things that has me rounding down instead of up is that I found I guessed a few major plot twists, and how to defeat the bad guy, quite early on, and so it was frustrating to wait around while Sora (or the others) figured it out.  Sometimes I get giddy when I figure things out, but this was just quite obvious so it wasn’t quite as fun.

Regardless of all that, I was fully invested in this story, and I LOVED that this was a standalone novel, and I felt like the story got everything it deserved in just one book.  And Sora is definitely one of my favourite YA characters, she deals with so much and I admire how she navigated her journey.

Lenoreo_small

Wind Warrior by Jon Messenger

Wind warriorBlurb: THE EARTH GIVES WAY TO THE SEA,

THE SEA BOWS BEFORE THE WIND,

THE WIND FEEDS THE FLAME,

THE FLAME BURNS THE WORLD OF MAN DOWN TO THE EARTH.

The sleepy town of White Halls harbors a dangerous secret. On a picturesque street, two houses down from a lovely little park, in a quaint little home with a wraparound porch, lives a family that seems rather normal. Sure, their twenty-year-old son, Xander, still lives at home, but he’s going to college and dating the leader of the schools top sorority. It’s all very… normal.

However, when a man is miraculously saved from being hit by a bus, Xander’s life turns in to the living embodiment of the tornadoes he can suddenly create with a flick of his wrist. Whether he wants this gift or not, Xander must learn to use his new ‘super power’ quickly if he wants to survive. For his kind is a dying race, and when this sleepy town has a sudden influx of new, blonde, fire wielders, no one is safe, especially Xander. It doesn’t help that one of these blondes happens to be the most beautiful girl he has ever seen. Xander can’t deny the instant connection he feels to her so, when she tries to kill him, it certainly makes things complicated.

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

4 Stars

THIS BOOK IS FREE!

This book was a bit short for my tastes.  But it was a very engaging story that I read with ease.  I kinda feel a bit like there was no closure.  Nothing was really answered enough for my tastes.  This is my second book by Mr Messenger and it was a nice change in between reading my other books.

Xander is pretty cool.  He has a good head on his shoulders and we get taken into the action almost right away.  The emotion in this book is lacking, hence the minus one star.  I didn’t really feel the attraction between him and… well, anyone in the book.  The only thing that really stood out emotionally for me was the head butting he had with his father.  Hello kindred spirit!  I feel so hard on that one Xander!

The fire caste were some great bad guys.  Very violent and angry, but we still never find out why.  We didn’t really learn much about why they wanted to kill all the wind caste and take over.   And that left me wanting.

Curly Carla_small

Phoenixed (Guardians of the Angels book 3) by Anyta Sunday

PhoenixedGold.
Such a beautiful color.
Such deadly consequences.

As one of the three keys to Eirene, Sylva must protect it at all cost to stop the Derinyes from storming the heavenly realm and taking it for their own.
Sylva must keep its whereabouts secret.
But it’s a secret that tears her apart. Saving a realm of souls comes at the price of destroying the few she cares about.

In the final chapter of the Guardian of the Angels trilogy, Sylva, Attic, Marcus, and Alyse are locked in the battle between good and evil, right and wrong. And none of them are sure which side they’ll come out on in the end.
And whether their hearts will remain intact.

 

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

5 Stars

Ahh, the year of the finale.  It has begun.  That’s two series down, 210 to go.  The ending was wonderful.  It wasn’t rushed and it didn’t leave any loose ends, two things that I usually find when finishing a series.  It just felt right to me.  I was sad to see it end but happy that it didn’t disappoint.

Let’s talk about the POV’s in this book. There was a big difference this time around.  It was like she went willy-nilly with them, I felt I was reading first person and third person multiple or third person omniscient.  It got a little confusing but once I realized what she was doing I rolled with it and the story was enhanced because of it.  Now, I wish I could have read the whole series like this one.  I feel like I missed out on their voices in the other books.

The bad guys were bad and the world building of the underworld was detailed and vibrant. And can I say that I didn’t figure out the betrayer till the last minute, and even then wasn’t sure until it was confirmed!  Good job on that Mrs. Sunday.

On a side note, it was so much fun to watch Oli and Dylan’s relationship progress.  They were so cute to watch!

Noob status

Oh and I noticed the art reference from book one, kudos for throwing that in there!

Favorite Quotes:

But he wasn’t sure that right and wrong existed anymore.  If they did, they were thin lines separated by a wide sea of gray.  Richard Lark had spoken wisely about that.  Life was only decisions. Some better than others, but none perfect.

My room looked like it had been thrown into a food processor and set on high.  Covered in feathers, peppered with glass, and dripping with trails of smeared blood as if a corpse had been dragged into the corner.

“Before we ride, Lark.” he said seriously, holding my gaze, “you need to understand something.” I grinned.  “Let me guess. Don’t act unless I’m willing to pay the price?”  “Yes.”  Attic dipped his head and our lips brushed.  “And I will always act for you, because you will always be worth the price.”

 

Curly Carla_small

Grimnirs (Runes book 3) By Ednah Walters

grimnirsSynopsis: Straight out of the psych ward, Cora just wants her life to be normal. She doesn’t want to see souls or the reapers collecting them. The guy she’s loved from a distance for years moves away without saying goodbye. So yes, she’s nursing a serious heartbreak. It’s no wonder love is the last thing on her mind when Echo storms into her life.

The chemistry between them is mind-blowing. The connection defies logic. Even better, the souls leave her alone when he is around.

Too bad Echo is the poster boy for everything she hates in a guy—hot, beautiful, and cocky. He is also a soul reaper. A Grimnir.
The very beings she wants out of her life. Maybe normal is overrated because Cora wants it all. Answers. Love. A life.

Amazon

Goodreads

5 Stars!

By far my favorite book in the series. I don’t know what it is about third books but they always seem to be my favorites.  This book goes off the beaten path and tells the story of Cora, Raines BFF.  Now Cora has always been my favorite character so I was real excited to read it.  She has this gravitational pull on everyone who knows her.  She is smart, funny and I love her Vlog.

Look, I’m probably going to go in to some spoilers but it’s the third book so what can you really expect?

The chemistry between Cora and Echo is off the charts people!  Echo is an old soul, after being betrayed by his people he only cares about himself and what others can do for him.  His cockiness and his take charge attitude are fairly attractive but it’s how he is with Cora that really made me fall for him. He finds himself truly caring about someone other than himself, and it’s like he is a whole other person.  Sweet, gentle even and he puts Cora above everything, even his life.  He reveals things about his past to her, he lets her in and trusts her when everyone else seems to be dodging her questions.  Which is hard for him to do after flying solo for so long.

Cora is a bit overwhelmed at first with her reaction to Echo.  She should be pinning over Eirik’s absence since she is supposed to be in love with him.  But those feelings suddenly disappear when Echo enters her bedroom. You know what they say, out of sight, out of mind.  She trusts him, they have great communication, which is a big deal for me.  Poor Cora has to deal with some psych who she doesn’t even remember because memory wipe.  And this is where the story takes a bit of a turn for me. The main plot took a backseat toward the end and I ain’t even mad about it.

The love story is the main focus of this book, and honestly the mythological plot was pretty weak in my opinion, but the love story made up for it.  YA appropriate for 18 and up due to violence and some sexual innuendo.

This book is a side story of the runes series but I would recommend reading it in the order that I am to get the timeline right.

Curly Carla_small

Immortals (Runes series book 2) By Ednah Walters

immortalsSynopsis: Nothing can stop Raine Cooper when she wants something…
Raine finally knows that her gorgeous neighbor, Torin St. James, is a legend straight out of Norse mythology, and that her feelings for him are strong. Torin is crazy about Raine too, breaking the one rule he lives by: Never fall for a mortal. The problem is he no longer remembers her, his memories erased by Norns—Norse destiny deities—to punish her for defying them.

So Raine comes up with a plan…
She will make Torin forget his one rule a second time and fall in love with her all over again.
But she quickly learns that well-laid plans do not work when dealing with deities and supernatural beings. Desperate, Raine makes choices that could not only tear her and Torin further apart, but lead to the destruction of everything and everyone she loves

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1OpD87h

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18218570-immortals

4 Stars

The beginning of this book was awesome.  I enjoyed Raines efforts to get Torin to remember.  Torin, bless his heart, tries his best to resist her advances but he quickly succumbs to her charm.  This book has a few different storylines that I had a hard time separating from each other.  I can be dense at times but for me it was a bit to sort though, especially when the memories get erased things start to get a bit sketchy.

Raine has some guts to go up against the Norns, those breezies are scary.  Who wants to cross paths with the Fates? Not me, I’m cool.  One thing I didn’t like was how she gave up on Torin in the beginning so quickly. Come on!  You act like you love him, then don’t give up.  She redeemed herself though, so I gave her a pass on her faulty ways.

I really feel bad for Eirik though.  Even more than Torin, poor kid can’t catch a break. Not only is his former girlfriend not interested in him anymore, but he can’t control his emotions; AND someone is out to get him!  The plot twists are ripe in this installment though, I was pretty blindsided at the end.

All in all, a good read, it’s YA Mythological so it’s appropriate for 16 and up in my opinion.  This is one of my top ten series to recommend.

Curly Carla_small

Runes (The Runes Series 1) by Ednah Walters

RunesSynopsis: Seventeen-year-old Raine Cooper has enough on her plate dealing with her father’s disappearance, her mother’s erratic behavior and the possibility of her boyfriend relocating. The last thing she needs is Torin St. James—a mysterious new neighbor with a wicked smile and uncanny way of reading her.

Raine is drawn to Torin’s dark sexiness against her better judgment, until he saves her life with weird marks and she realizes he is different. But by healing her, Torin changes something inside Raine. Now she can’t stop thinking about him. Half the time, she’s not sure whether to fall into his arms or run.

Scared, she sets out to find out what Torin is. But the closer she gets to the truth the more she uncovers something sinister about Torin. What Torin is goes back to an ancient mythology and Raine is somehow part of it. Not only are she and her friends in danger, she must choose a side, but the wrong choice will cost Raine her life.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Ufbnyj

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18046743-runes

4 Stars

This book is FREE!  It’s a mythological YA.  I love these books; they are so fun to read.  Raine is a forceful character and I love how the book doesn’t really center too much on just her.  It really shows all aspects of her friends and family as well.  She is very involved in her life, and looks to her future without seeming too mature for a seventeen year old.  It shows in the writing how she truly cares about things outside of herself.    She may seem a bit dense sometimes but I think that was intentional.

One thing that stuck out for me was the two love interests in this book.  They have an opposites attract thing going on; which makes for better story telling IMO.

Eirik is sweet and almost like a beta-alpha if that makes sense.  He cares for Raine but doesn’t try to take over her life.  He respects her and gives her space.  He is there for her when she needs someone to lean on.  I love Cora, she is spunky and fun.  She helps to keep Raine from taking life too seriously.  We all need a friend like Cora.  Torin is mysterious yet can’t seem to help himself when it comes to Raine.  He likes to stir the pot and get Raine all riled up for no other reason than to see her get flustered.  Their verbal foreplay is awesome and it really makes the tender moments that much more poignant.

The plot in this book is pretty intricate I think.  I realized after reading it a second time that I missed some things.  This is definitely a book you need to pay attention too.  The mythology in this book is profound but written in a way that it doesn’t hurt you head too much.  I appreciate the background done to make this book more three dimensional.  There is more than one plot and they all seem to intertwine making it a bit hard to understand at times.

If you like mythology, I would recommend this book.

Curly Carla_small