Monday, July 1, 2013

WHITE TIGER by Kylie Chan

Dark Heavens Series, Book One
Harper Voyage
August 30th, 2011
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Dawn (
Obtained by Publisher


Emma Donahoe has quit her job at a local kindergarten teaching English and has taken a full time nanny postion with John Chan. But secrets swirl around John Chan and his daughter as well as the people who guard them that leaves Emma wondering what is going on. When things spiral out of control, it will take all of Emma’s strength to believe in the man she has slowly come to love even as danger stalks their every move. But Emma is more than she seems and she is the key between light and darkness….

WHITE TIGER tries to deliver a fast paced fantasy story set amid Chinese legends/myths and the author does a good job in creating some intriguing characters but falls a little short with the storytelling aspect. The story is told through Emma’s eyes and frankly I would love to have had a different narrator. She was quite a boring character to begin with and the story was very slow in taking off especially when the constant “Will tell you soon!” kept popping up between Emma and John Chan or his bodyguard Leo. After the first five times, it got old really quick. There wasn’t a lot of action which really disappointed me as this was a great premise for a story series. There are not a lot of stories set around Chinese myths and legends and I was eager to experience it. But alas, WHITE TIGER just didn’t do that for me.

This felt like a set up for the next book in the series and did a lot of information dumping at times that had me confused.  I felt I needed a score card to keep track of plot points as well as who was evil and who were the good guys. If the author could have subtly entwined the legends within the storyline, cut out maybe 300 pages or more of repetitive scenes then tightened up the storytelling, then it probably would have gotten a higher rating from me. As it was, WHITE TIGER is long, at times repetitive, and kept throwing me out of the storyline with those long information dumping. What got my attention was how the author really knows Hong Kong and that translated well into the setting of the book and brought that city alive to me through the pages. I just wished she spent more time on tightening the story and making the characters a bit more enjoyable to compensate for the lush setting.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement

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