Everybody’s looking for a new urban fantasy spin these days, so I was excited to see this new trilogy start up (well, new to the U.S., although I think it’s been out in Australia for a while)—full of dragons and demons and martial arts, set in Hong Kong. The first book in the Dark Heavens series by Kylie Chan is White Tiger, which comes out this week. Next month will come Red Phoenix, and then in October will be the final book, Blue Dragon. Kind of cool not to have to wait six months or a year between books.
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THE OFFICIAL BLURB: A young woman accepts a position as nanny to the young daughter of a handsome, wealthy, and mysterious Chinese businessman—only to discover her new employer is really a god…and every foul demon in creation is out to destroy him! With a premise like that, fantasy aficionados and die-hard action lovers alike will no doubt be expecting something exceptional—and Australian author Kylie Chan delivers big time! White Tiger is the first book in Chan’s trilogy that blends magic, martial arts, and urban fantasy with a healthy dollop of paranormal romance thrown in to sweeten the pot.
MY THOUGHTS: I ended up really, really liking White Tiger and am looking forward to the sequel. This despite an early problem with the heroine Emma, who’s a 28-year-old Australian working in Hong Kong as an English teacher. She’s a tough nut to warm up to, but the thing I chafed over was the fact that she’s been working (and half-crushing) on the sexy single father for a while and until he offers her a full-time job it never occurs to her to wonder why he comes home from “work” carrying a sword? I dunno, seems like I’d wonder about that on day...one, maybe.
Still, moving past that little niggly thing, this is a great story with a different set of mythologies, an unusual setting, and a not-so-kickass, not-so-sexy heroine who turns out to be way more than anyone expects. Chan’s writing is sharp and authoritative, and before too long I’m kinda crushing on John Chen as well. It’s two-thirds urban fantasy and one-third romance, so a nice blend of the two genres. All in all, a good start to a new trilogy without a long wait for the second and third books.
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