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Eight Million Gods Mass Market Paperback – 5 Aug 2014


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Baen Books; Reissue edition (5 Aug. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476736693
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476736693
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.8 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 593,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

John W. Campbell Award Winner Wen Spencer resides in paradise in Hilo, Hawaii with two volcanoes overlooking her home. Spencer says that she often wakes up and exclaims "Oh my god, I live on an island in the middle of the Pacific!" According to Spencer, she lives with "my Dali Llama-like husband, my autistic teenage son, and two cats (one of which is recovering from mental illness). All of which makes for very odd home life at times." Spencer's love of Japanese anime and manga flavors her writing. Her novel Tinker" won the 2003 Sapphire Award for Best Science Fiction Romance and was a finalist for the Romantic Times" Reviewers' Choice Award for Fantasy Novel. Her Wolf Who Rules" was a Top Pick by Romantic Times" and given their top rating of four and a half stars. Other Baen books include space opera thriller Endless Blue" and Elfhome, "third entry in the Tinker series. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By humanitysdarkerside VINE VOICE on 22 May 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
here is a reason I love Wen Spencer’s writing. Her characters are all odd-balls trying to fit in with the rest of the world. Some are more successful than others. Having pretty much grown up in mental institutions ensures that Nikki is going to have a harder time of it than most people. Having an obsessive compulsive disorder called hypergraphia isn’t helping Nikki fit in.

"The driving compulsion to write; the overwhelming urge to write. Hypergraphia may compel someone to keep a voluminous journal, to jot off frequent letters to the editor, to write on toilet paper if nothing else is available, and perhaps even to compile a dictionary. Hypergraphia is the opposite of writer’s block."

The way Wen Spencer describes Nikki’s writing compulsion is pretty intense. At one point Nikki tells us that she would even use her own blood to write if the urge became too strong. Wow! That is some disorder to have.

"For some weird reason, quoting law to some policemen was like hitting Superman with kryptonite. They just couldn’t cope with material from their home planet. (p. 1)"

When Nikki’s mom drags along a police officer to have Nikki interred in a mental institution, quoting law to the police officer is one of the tools Nikki uses to get away. She does get away to Japan on a roller-coaster ride of gods, goddesses, super-natural creatures (like tanuki) and new friends.

But first things have to be resolved with the police officer and Nikki’s mom.

All mom’s are nuts, but some moms are crazier than others. While Nikki certainly has a pronounced form of OCD her obsession is fairly easy to satisfy. All her mom had to do was make certain that Nikki had the writing implements she needed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By F McCarthy on 25 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great characters, typically fast paced plot with a wonderful sense of just how weird Japan is to westerners. There is a glossary at the end, but with the Kindle edition I just looked up the mythology as I went.

Good fun as the story switches back and forth between various points of view. I loved the uncertainty between the fiction in the story and the novel itself.

.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By F McCarthy on 25 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great characters, typically fast paced plot with a wonderful sense of just how weird Japan is to westerners. There is a glossary at the end, but with the Kindle edition I just looked up the A
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By Autia on 3 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked the style, and the world very much, Asian myths and legends are virtually non-existent in mainstream fantasy and it was great to read something based on them rather than the over used western myths. I also liked the conclusion. My main complaint would be that there wasn't enough depth to the story, especially to the characters, the love interest is very two dimensional, a guardian figure giving unconditional love and protection to the heroine, and her two sidekicks are likewise lacking. Also the world building could have been more fleshed out. There were some glaring editing errors, several times the same description was given twice, where it had presumably been rewritten and the author had forgotten to delete the original, and at least twice there was sections of text missing, for example once an answer was given to a non existent question.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 64 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Potential got loss amid the chaos 12 Sept. 2013
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I am a big fan of Ms. Spencer's from her Tinker series and was thrilled to see that she had another urban fantasy coming out. Unfortunately, 8 million Gods was a slight disappointment. I expected more in terms of writers craft from the author and some of the issues that I had with this book were things I would expect to see from a novice writer rather than an experienced one such as Ms. Spenser.

I will start with the good:

1) Nikki is a pretty solid heroine. I like how she grows in confidence and self-esteem as the story moves. She has a nice developmental arc. She isn't as awesome as Tinker but she could be.
2)Atsumori: I couldn't believe how much I liked this supporting character. Especially given his nature. But I like his partnership with Nikki and would like to see it further developed if there is a second book.
3) The plot device, Nikki's hypergraphia, is good! I love how it drove the story and will be a great starting point for any future books.

Now for what really annoyed me:

1) Erratic plot. Seriously, it's one thing for a plot to move briskly, it's another altogether for it to lurch and zip all over the place. The author may have chosen to write the story this way as a reflection of how Nikki's hypergraphia and her Talent works but seriously, it made for confused reading. A good editing could have made this story great but as it is, you never really have an idea about why all this running around occured in the first place! Motive for some of the actions in the story are also poorly defined.

2) Too many characters: Way too many. Many were just distractors from the two or three main plot lines. The reader brain kept having to stop and think: ok...this person is connected to this person. And this person wants to get rid of this person because of this. And why again is this person helping this person?

3) Contrived relationships: (Mild Spoiler) Leo and Nikki go from barely knowing each other a few days to being IN LOVE? Not even to "oh you are hot and kind of interesting" but to LOVE. As in sacrificial I want to be with you always LOVE. That...kind of ruined it for me. It made no sense at all. In fact, it made the whole last part of the book not work for me.

4) The book is very talky. LOTs of exposition. That is never a good sign. It bogs down the story. The rule of writing is show not tell.

5) Major plot lines just dropped with no sense of proper closure: Huge thread through out the story is Nikki's relationship with her mother. The resolution of this story like is just awful. I was so annoyed at the writer.

6) Some pretty significant editing problems.This may be isolated to the Kindle version but it was still annoying.

Over all, it you are a Spencer fan, the book is readable. It has some interesting premises but it is FAR from her best work. If you are new to this author, definitely read Tinker instead.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A little bit mind blowing and lots of fun! 6 Jun. 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book reminded me of the wonderful anime Princess Tutu. No, bear with me. Princess Tutu starts off as a fairly typical fairy tale, though one told better than most with its themes and music taken from famous ballets. Halfway through though, you're given a happy ending and you think what next? This next is where the similarity comes in. The next part has reality ripped to pieces as you find out the storytellers are part of the story, and the characters can take a hand in writing it too. What is story? What is reality? How do we know which is which and is there really a difference that matters?

Those are questions at the heart of this fun new fantasy novel by Wen Spencer. Her main character, Nikki, has an obsessive need to write, to the point where her powerful senator mother is constantly trying to commit her to insane asylums. Nikki is smart though and not without friends, so she's constantly running and hiding, and this time she runs all the way to Tokyo.

Once there, her writing and life take an eerie turn when they seem to merge, and Nikki finds herself in the middle of a battle of gods, one that she started writing, and to her horror she realizes her books always end with death.

My head was spinning while I was taking this in and it was a whole lot of fun unraveling it along with Nikki. Along the way, we're immersed in the Japanese culture as this Westerner sees it, noting all those things about another culture that makes the world slip a little from the familiar to the strange. She did a great job at world building. A lot of Japanese phrases and words were tossed into the story, but they are all explained well where they are used, so it only adds to the atmosphere.

And readers of manga will have fun catching references here and there along the way (I prefer the host club called Ouran, thank you very much).

About the writing itself: because of Nikki's gift, we're given a close look into most of the characters in the novel that takes them from two dimensions to three. Even the villain becomes fleshed out by the end. Only the gods are immune to this, and really, who can understand gods?

The flow of the novel feels a little erratic at times because the POV necessarily jumps so much, but it tears through what is happening and drags you along. It rarely slows for more than a few pages. I love the characters we met in this, and really do hope it's the start of another series. This is a great cast and I'd love to see them in adventures around the world. I'm just glad I'm not the one who will have to live them, but this book makes me wonder if Ms. Spencer is in possession of a certain katana... ;)
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Good first half, but then the writing fell apart. 18 Oct. 2013
By Sara Juveland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The first half of this book was great. It was solidly written, intriguing, and moved at a good pace. Characters and the plot made sense. The idea of a the gods of Japan being real and modern day people getting wrapped up in their conflicts was interesting.

However, I have to give this book a low rating because it fell apart in the second half. Suddenly, there were spelling mistakes, grammatical mistakes, and just general plot mistakes. It honestly looked like the second half was a sloppy first draft that the author or editor didn't have time to check before publishing. I was shocked by the change in the writing from the first half.

It is not a problem of a plot that is hard to follow - as a matter of fact, the author explicitly explains everything, to the point that it's annoying at times (as if she thinks the plot is too complicated for readers to understand so she has to have Nikki explain everything in her thoughts). But at many points some sentences or paragraphs seem to come out of nowhere - like there had been more text there that had just randomly been deleted. Character personalities seriously suffer in the second half of the book. For some reason the author tries to make jokes with asides to Naruto, Lilo and Stitch, etc., but they come across as forced. The strangest part is how Nikki's power had no boundaries.

**Spoiler**

At first Nikki could only write; she couldn't control who or what she wrote about. And everything she wrote happened. Eventually she learns that she can choose who to write about by focusing on them - fine, makes sense. Eventually she even writes a future death for a boy but then gets there beforehand and saves him. Okay. (By the way, in the book, they save the boy and then... take off running after the float... so what, they just left him behind? There's no clean up of that scene.) But when she goes to meet her mother suddenly she was able to write some 16 different scenes about the future and choose which one she wanted to play out... this is a HUGE jump, and there is nothing leading up to this. Nikki has never been able to write alternate futures before and choose which one - her "talent" is that she sees the future and past, not possible futures. But okay, maybe we can run with this, except - after she used that ability to save Leo, she's in a cell and writes her own death, and suddenly she despairs. Um... sorry, but didn't you just learn how to write multiple possible futures and choose which one you wanted to come true? Why are you now freaked out about this one? And... um, it's written in pen so it can't change? Unless you cross out the words? What?! So why didn't you cross out other people's deaths up until now? Why not write in pencil and erase every bad thing? As you can see, the author just loses control of Nikki's ability. Then later she not only writes the future, but controls the future by writing (she kills a monster simply by writing "die" on it). Then it's not even writing, but simply by speaking she changes THE PAST by saying Sato (a main villain) actually died 70 years ago in Hiroshima so suddenly he vanishes out of this timeline... um, except for the fact that if he had died then the whole story wouldn't have happened... serious, major plot holes. And this in the climax of the book. Ridiculous. If the author wanted to write about changing the past/future she should have shored up even the basic rules first. And Iwanaga Hime's sudden and completely too easy repentance and surrender? What the heck? To go live at the shrine of the sister she hates for stealing her husband? Um...????

*** End Spoilers ***

Basically it seems like the author had a great idea for a beginning of a story but then couldn't figure out how to end it. The characters become laughable, the powers spiral out of control, and the ending is unbelievable.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Love it! 1 Jun. 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really didn't know if I would like this book. I love Wen Spencer's work, but this was a little out of my comfort zone, especially since my background is in Western not Eastern mythology. I found myself constantly looking up terms (I didn't find the glossary until after I read the book), which I enjoyed. Books, even fun fiction, should teach us and encourage us to learn. I thought the characters were marvelous, the plot complex but intriguing, the manga references (though confusing to me some of the time) well done. In short, I would recommend this book for anyone wanting a good read.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
An author's muse taps into magical reality! original fantasy 25 May 2013
By Rae Murray - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I couldn't put it down! Nikki lives as an American expat in Japan. She becomes embroiled with an expanding series of Japanese magical and spiritual characters when she learns that her creative Muse of horror/dark fantasy is actually a kind of written precognition.

I loved the authentic details of Japanese language and culture that make the reader feel as though they are also involved with kami, gods, swords, mysteries and magic. There is a romantic interest but the story does not get explicit about sex…lots of gore though, especially in te beginning. I recommend this book enthusiastically.
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