Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Eight million gods by Wen Spencer

Nikki has an unusual affliction, she has hypergraphia, a compulsion to write - not a bad thing in itself, but everything she writes turns out dark (and often deadly) for her characters.  For most of her life she has been checked into mental institutions and kept under the thumb of her mother and her mother conviction that Nikki is a danger to herself and everyone around her.  Escaping to Japan and living off the radar seemed like a good idea, it will be nearly impossible for her mother to find her in a city of millions and she can work on the novel her publisher expects her to deliver within the next year - another romantic thriller, doesn't seem too hard (except all her love interests keep getting killed off).

Life is trundling along in a haze of writing when bouts of hypergraphia strike, and it seems like she may meet her deadline - until there is a murder in the city that is eerily similar to the murder she just blogged on her website.  Suddenly Nikki is a murder suspect in a foreign country, and she is in serious danger of navigating the Japanese justice system or even worse - dealing with her mother.  When she is follows clues in her writing that lead her to a sword hidden in a locker Nikki has no idea that she is about to dragged into the world of Japanese mythology, a world of eight million gods who will stop at nothing to get what they want.  Along the way Nikki will face some personal demons, and a few bad guys.

I have loved Wen Spencer since I picked up Alien taste for the first time, and have even managed to track down a few in New Zealand to call my very own instead of having to borrow them from the library.  Eight million gods is what I have come to expect from Spencer, a carefully created world with lots of detail that supports believable and relateable characters.  In a departure from her other novels Eight million gods has been set firmly in this world and is densely populated with Japanese cultural references that lends a rich depth to the story but at times was a little overwhelming to try and keep everything straight - thank goodness there was a glossary in the back of what the terms meant to Spencer because that helped a lot.

This is a fast paced novel that covers a short space of time and has a complex interwoven cast of characters that come together through Nikki's eyes as she figures out everyones place in her story.  There was one thing about this book that drove me absolutely nuts - missing words!  I don't know how it happened but the copy I had was missing five words in the first 100 pages, and they were obviously missing words because the sentences only made sense if you inserted a word, and there must have been more than 10 errors in the whole book!  I was so frustrated with this because it kept nudging me out of the story, and at one point I was slammed out of the story because there were two words missing out of the same paragraph.  Apart from this frustration I did enjoy the story and hope that there might be some more novels set in this reality.

If you like this book then try:
  • Alien taste by Wen Spencer
  • Tinker by Wen Spencer
  • Precinct 13 by Tate Hallaway
  • Prowlers by Christopher Golden
  • Children of the night by Mercedes Lackey
  • Cast in shadow by Michelle Sagara
  • Summon the keeper by Tanya Huff

Reviewed by Brilla

No comments:

Post a Comment