The Witching Elm (Momento Mori #1)
C. N. Crawford
Published: December, 2014
Seventeen-year-old sorcerer Toby Corvin has single desire: to return to his girlfriend in Maremount, a world of talking ravens, ancient spells, and bone wardens.
There’s only one problem—he’s trapped in downtown Boston without the spell to get home.
After a violent civil war forced Toby into our world, he took refuge in Mather Academy, blending in as a high school student in a prestigious old boarding school. Within its creaky walls, he secretly plots to save his home.
But if anything can distract him from his mission, it’s his wild-haired and intriguing classmate Fiona. Of course, she has her own distractions with the rich and mysterious Jack.
When a ghostly army from Maremount descends upon Boston, Toby and Fiona must work together, racing desperately to stop the slaughter. In the process, they face unspeakable danger while unearthing dark secrets of New England’s past—a past that holds the key to saving both worlds from destruction.
What I liked: This story has a wonderful weaving of fantasy and history put together that makes for a really great story. I really liked how the story started out, quickly paced while at the same time there was world building that was both necessary and explained just enough for me to understand what was happening. I also enjoyed how the different planes interconnected and allowed one to transition from one to the other if they knew how. The way things were revealed in the story kept my attention and wondering what exactly was going to happen next, and how even with a larger cast of characters I could tell they grew over the course of this novel quite quickly as they banded together and became a close group of friends. I also liked how even the the feel of the book being more towards the younger YA or even the MG group as the story progressively went on it lost that feel and as it became darker it felt like it became more centered around just the YA while not being too dark or anything for those in the younger YA. The world building continues even after Toby leaves his plane and we learn more about what’s happening.
What I didn’t like: There are unexpected transitions between what character we follow in different chapters, and I wish that it would have been marked so that I wasn’t thrown for a loop by this. It also took a while to sort the names to different characters so that I could know who was who because there were so many quick introductions in the beginning. I also thought Fiona’s deduction about Toby’s story was too quickly done, it should have taken her longer in my opinion to figure that out.
Overall Review: While very different from my initial thoughts about what was going to happen, The Witching Elm was a very good story that kept my interest the entire time that I read it. With characters who surprised me and a story that was woven together with history of Boston and the magic of Toby’s plane this was a novel that I found very entertaining during my read. I very much look forward to reading the next book that follows!
Recommend?: I do, it’s a good read!
Buy it for only $.99 from the 5th to the 11th!
My Rating: 3.9/5
About the Authors
C.N. Crawford is not one person but two. Christine (C) grew up in the historic town of Lexington, and has a lifelong interest in New England folklore – with a particular fondness for creepy old cemeteries. Nick (N) spent his childhood reading fantasy and science fiction further north during Vermont’s long winters.
Together they work to incorporate real historical events and figures into contemporary urban fantasy novels.