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Literature / Eight Million Gods

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Eight Million Gods is a 2013 novel written by Wen Spencer and published by Baen Books, following a young girl named Nikki Spencer. Nikki is a published novelist with an unusual psychological disorder where she is compelled to write. While hiding in Japan from her mother, a senator who has repeatedly attempted to commit Nikki to an insane asylum "for her own good", Nikki writes the next scene for her book, where an expatriate American is killed messily with a blender, and posts it to her fanpage. Shortly thereafter, a policeman overhears her description of the scene and promptly arrests her for the murder of a man who was killed just the night before in the exact same manner. Nikki faces tanuki assassins, a sinister government organization, and a mysterious deadly man who has a fondness for kittens.

This work exhibits the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Nikki is on the run from her abusive mother.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: If Nikki can't find a pen, she'll resort to this when her hypergraphia sets in.
  • Cat Boy: Leo, on account of his bakemono heritage.
  • Disappeared Dad: Leo is looking for his.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: A pretty extreme example with Nikki's mother, which only solution to her daughter's OCD is to toss her in an insane asylum and forget she exists. The fact that Nikki, even with her compulsion, is a writer good enough to get a consistent money flow and is otherwise a fully functional person is something she doesn't give a damn about.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Mildly justified since the book is set in Japan, but the casual reader will need to refer extensively to the glossary in the back of Japanese terms.
  • Historical Domain Character: Taira no Atsumori.
  • Hollywood Law: Hypergraphia is not a psychological disorder that is dangerous to either Nikki nor other people (it has been beneficial for Nikki, even, because she's gotten plenty of money from getting some of her stories published), and thus her mother would not be able to order such a hard-core manhunt as the one the police has taken over on the United States. It is implied that she has used her political power as a senator to force the cops' hands.
  • Neurodiversity Is Supernatural: It is flat-out mentioned that Nikki's psychological compulsion to write horror stories is a direct result of having medium powers.
  • Mad Oracle: Nikki and her grandmother have previously been committed to insane asylums for yielding to their compulsions.
  • Magic Is a Monster Magnet: Being a sensitive attracts spirits to you because it also makes you vulnerable to being possessed by them.
  • Medicate the Medium: Nikki's mother's solution to her hypergraphia.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: Pixii
  • Possession Burnout: A person, or an object not specifically blessed and purified as a shintai, will gradually fail and fall apart if it is possessed for too long by a kami.
  • Powers via Possession: Being possessed by a kami gives you unnatural strength, speed, and durability, and makes you completely invisible to cameras and scrying.
  • Room Full of Crazy: When Nikki feels compelled to write, she will write on any surface she can find, including the walls.
  • Shout-Out: Inuyasha and Naruto get mentioned by name. Ouran High School Host Club and Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi don't, but it's still made very obvious that's what they're talking about. Lucky Star is mentioned in the glossary.
  • Supernatural Sensitivity: Sensitives can pick up on other sensitives and tend to group together.
  • Tsuchigumo and Jorogumo: A jorogumo appears working for the Big Bad.
  • Youkai: Mainly Tanuki, but a Jorogumo also works for the villain. One of the leads is part nekomata, although they use the term bakeneko, a catch-all term for cat youkai.