A long while ago I disemboweled this self-published piece of watery shit to cries of BULLYING!!! or something, and then I found my notes and remembered why I went after this author in the first place. Celebrate! Here’s part two and an explanation on why Melissa Goldberg is a racist little crybaby who’s not much better at being a progressive liberal than she is at writing. It must really suck to be so politically tone-deaf, unintelligent, self-centered and talentless at the same time.
Kayenmari resorted to shouting ugly demon curses at his opponent. “Casikareen vikane!”
HEY REMEMBER WHAT I SAID ABOUT IDIOTS AND CONLANGS? YEAH THAT.
Energy was radiating from him in waves, and with the newfound strength granted to him from the release of his demonic magic, he took Ishizano’s foot in both hands and thrust it from him, afterwards getting swiftly to his feet.
Ten bucks on him discovering he’s inherited amazing powers from his dad–it’s never the mom, because as we know Bob, women are useless ninnies good only for caring for sick children–and who am I kidding, I don’t think Melissa Goldberg can think in things other than cliches.
“Then strike me down.” Ishizano’s invitations were like taunts, mocking Kayenmari’s inability to act. Persuasive venom dripping in his voice, he added in his serpent’s silky tones
1) It’s not like a taunt, dude, it is a taunt. Why is the author so shit? Why?
2) “Persuasive venom”?
3) What is silky about snakes?
She brushed the dirt off her skirt, and she noticed that there was something different about her clothes. The material seemed worn somehow as though she’d been exposed to some sort of intense heat. Damn it. This was her good uniform. Her mom was going to kill her.
I’m just puzzled at this attention to pointless trivia when, once the time comes to flesh out the setting, Goldberg turns to bland, unspecific dribble–
She looked around in all directions, and spotting some buildings that looked as though they might form a small town, she began walking.
I mean, even by the standards of the talent-void, this is especially bad.
As she took in the thatched roofs and cobblestone streets, new worries sprang to mind. Worries such as would she be able to speak to the people, was she even still in America, what if they wouldn’t help her, or,
And here I thought Anglophones believed they can be understood anywhere as long as they scream loudly enough in English! Does the US not have cobblestones and thatched roof? Is Celina meant to be the type of teenager who’s never stepped outside her all-white suburban neighborhood, or is it the author?
Through the gap of the two buildings on either side of her, she could see things walking through the street. Some were lupine, avian, or ursine, and others insectile, reptilian, or piscine. All of them were upright like humans, but their features were bestial and frightening to behold.
Maybe Goldberg believes in minimalism? Except this isn’t minimalistic, it’s just shit.
The voice sounded friendly and not like it was coming from the mouth of some big scary monster.
I continue not to understand. Does the author hope this will ape the voice of a child, except Celina is sixteen, not ten? Evidence points to “Melissa Goldberg can’t fucking write.”
Her voice came out in a high-pitched whisper. “There are Demon Gods?”
“They used to be Angel Gods. Until they rebelled. Surely you’ve heard of Lucifer?”
Celina nodded. “Of course. He’s the devil.”
The demon chuckled. “Not exactly, but I can see why humans might’ve thought so. He’s the leader of our Demon Gods. Led them in a rebellion against The Almighty, lost, and were cast out of Heaven. The Almighty punished them by infecting each of them with their biggest sin, turning them into Demon Gods. Then they made Gehenna and created us demons as their people. Each province is ruled over by a different Demon God. This one, Kalu’Binai, is Lucifer’s.”
Presented without commentary.
It was like she was hearing the explanation of the world in a video game, manga, or fantasy book.
Celina, darling, you aren’t an anime character. Actually even the lampshading in Magic Knight Rayearth was less ham-fisted than this.
He reached out a hand to shake hers, and she was surprised that demons had similar customs to her own.
Convenient. By the way, this character has “navy hair” anime-style, a square jaw, and “His eyes were slightly upturned.” Ishizano of the vaguely-Japanese-sounding name has “narrow” eyes. So basically, Melissa Goldberg is writing characters with features that are implied to appear East Asian, but they shake hands. More on Goldberg’s racism later.
“Lower Class demons – the ones like in town there –are a bit more instinctual than the rest of us. They saw you, and they smelled immediately that you were a weaker creature so you became prey to them. Lower Class demons act more on their animal instincts whereas Middle Class, like me, or Upper Class are a bit more civilized.”
Remember that words like “middle class” and “lower class” and the rest have meanings? Now, well, read that passage. Incidentally the “middle/upper class” ones have magic. The “lower class” ones have bestial creatures and no magic. All the demons with speaking roles so far have been of the middle- and upper-class ones. WELL THEN.
“If so then…why are you helping me?”
“It’s a bit of a complicated answer. I was stopping by the shanty,” he noticed her confusion so he clarified, “the Lower Class village, and I saw you by chance, really. I followed you because I couldn’t believe that you were really a human, but then I could see clearly that you were. And…I don’t know.”
Basically, author fiat and plot device.
Celina sighed. Of course, nothing cool could possibly come out of this experience. She was just destined to be the weak female protagonist. Fantastic.
Presented without comment.
Now, some people have been wondering just why it is that I tore this book apart; what’s this claptrap if not self-published tripe that will never see the light of the day outside of whatever poor little fucks Goldberg will browbeat into buying a copy? Well, it’s because Melissa Goldberg is a racist tool.
About the ex-pat thing, there are definitely some people who are benevolently racist, but most of the people I hung around with genuinely loved Japan, loved the culture, loved the people, participated in cultural events with Japanese people (I participated in the local English club with a group of housewives, which was awesome), my friends went to a church run by Japanese people, we had Japanese friends, we could all speak Japanese near fluently, etc, etc etc. There was a couple in my town that kind of annoyed me in that they’d been there three years and hadn’t bothered to a learn the language at all. That kind of thing really bugs me. I mean, why live in a foreign country if you’re going to engage with it?
Basically, some ex-pats (many probably) are giant douches who just want to go somewhere “mystical” and “exciting” so they don’t have to be boring or whatever. But there are plenty of ex-pats who genuinely love, respect, and embrace the culture of the country they’re in and want to assimilate as much as possible and find a home there.
That’s a racist little shit who doesn’t want to consider the possibility that she is a racist little shit and improve herself–her final word on the subject was that she wasn’t having this conversation: this incidentally is sheer whitey privilege, the ability and inclination to walk away the moment one is losing face. She believes it’s possible to be “benevolently racist” and that by having Japanese friends and going to a Japanese church she and fellow bottom-feeding cockroaches cannot possibly be racist, when by all accounts she sounds like a full-time fetishizing orientalist who needs to shut her worthless white mouth. Elsewhere, in an attempt to deflect criticism of whites’ racism, she decided to bring up how the Japanese are racist!! to the Chinese. Being a clueless honky, she can’t see any conversation about race without defending her own ethnicity to the death, without derailing about how Other People Are Racist too. She’s not interested in punishing or removing racism; she’s interested only in saving her own face, because she feels that any criticisms leveled at the Aryan master is a personal affront against her.
I mean, certainly there are problems inherent in moving to another country and getting along there as a foreigner, and there are a lot of people who are horrible and belittling and terrible. But I felt that I – and the ex-pats I consider my friends – were all very respectful and felt mostly welcome in the country. Two of my friends just had their baby there. I certainly hope we’re not painting blanket statements like, “Ex-pats don’t deserve to be there and should go home” or “Fuck all ex-pats; we hate them”. I mean, there’s a lot to be gained from living in another country. It certainly opened up my eyes about a lot of things re: privilege and race relations and such.
And what’s there to be gained by the host country exactly, you narcissistic colonialist worm?
Melissa Goldberg’s biggest problem isn’t that she can’t write and should consider carpentry instead. Her biggest problem is that she’s a fauxgressive liberal dick who believes she’s an enlightened human being, a weeaboo dolt who insists her tedious fetishization equals love and respect. It’s disgusting.
But apart from that, it’s incredible how juvenile her magnum opus is. The set-up–a man showing up to snatch the protagonist to another world after implying she is special in some way–is copy-pasted from Juuni Kokki, complete with making the man in question a very pretty, yet intimidating boy. Not that Juuni Kokki is the height of originality to start with, but the similarities are quite something, even if no direct copypasta happened. It’s remarkable how very much better that anime is than this novel despite both predicating on the same tired starting point.
But then, the author of Juuni Kokki is probably not a blackhole where talent and skill go to die.