If I knew I’d be getting such lovely responses, I’d get into the reviewing business much sooner. (I would’ve linked it, but the blogger in question sadly deleted it.)
At the same time, though, I think there can be something dangerous about reviews like these (especially about the Deathless review). They can dissuade authors from stepping out of their own comfort zone (granted, some authors should be dissuaded, but certainly not all). And in a publishing world that is made up largely of middle-class, heterosexual, white characters, when you cut into authors for stepping into someone else’s experience and getting it a little bit (or a lot) wrong, you only perpetuate that status quo. If you tear into people for trying, there’s no incentive for the privileged to step outside of the confines of what they know, and what you end up with is the over-representation of white, westernized characters which only helps to normalize things like racism and exoticism and ethnocentricism. And is that really what you want?
What I’m trying to say is that maybe the solution to cultural appropriation is to not just rip someone apart, but to point out what’s wrong, the harm they might have done, and then graciously teach them how to do it right.