Thursday, September 29, 2011

White Tiger - Kylie Chan

White Tiger (Dark Heavens book one)
Kylie Chan
HarperCollins
Copyright: August 2011
978-0061994050

The amazon.com product description:
Action, intrigue, demons and dragons
Kylie Chan creates a fast and furious story balanced between the celestial and the mortal, the powerful and the innocent . . .
Emma Donahoe has just started her new job as nanny to Simone, the daughter of John Chen, a very rich Hong Kong businessman.
She understands that Simone may be a target for kidnappers but she does not expect to be drawn into a world of martial arts, magic and extreme danger, where both gods and demons can exist in the mortal domain.
When John and his American bodyguard, Leo, teach Emma their particular style of martial arts, they begin to realize that Emma herself is more than she seems . . . 
White Tiger is one of those unexpected books that just grabbed onto my mind and refused to let me go until I had turned the last page. I say "unexpected" because I picked up the novel on an impulse. It looked neat and I like a lot of urban fantasies. Not to mention that the setting is unusual. Maybe I just haven't read a lot of urban fantasy/paranormal novels, but this is the first one I've seen where the setting is not North America. Instead, the book is mostly set in Hong Kong.

From the first pages I just had to keep reading, to find out more about the characters and what was going to happen next. Emma's introduction to the world of her employer and his secrets worked really well for me, introducing me to a world I knew nothing about. And, knowing nothing about Chinese myth and culture is no barrier to enjoying White Tiger either. Enough is explained in the course of the book to make sense of it, and Kylie Chan has included a good glossary at the end.

The author has included something else I really like seeing in a book (though usually I make this comment about a historical novel, rather than a contemporary one): a list of sources for more information and further reading.

White Tiger is good value for your money too. It's a substantial book which took me several days to read (and believe me, I was putting a lot of my time into it). No four hour read here. Instead, it's a book that will grab you for several days and keep you intrigued and waiting for the next book in the series.

That's another bonus with this series. The second book, Red Phoenix is out now, and the third comes out at the end of next month, so it's not going to be too long a wait. Whether there's going to be more books after that, I don't know.

Right now, that doesn't matter too much to me. I just want to know what's going to happen next to the characters. Maybe I've been reading too much paranormal romance, but I've gotten into the habit of wanting everything to be resolved by the end of the book. Not happening here. Enough is resolved for a good ending, but also a lot isn't and you're left waiting for the next book. I'm still wondering about Emma's former employer, and why she keeps calling her. If you've read the books though, don't tell me. I want to find out for myself while I'm reading.
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