Starfire's Reviews > Red Phoenix

Red Phoenix by Kylie Chan
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's review
Mar 08, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: urban-fantasy, mythology, martial-arts, 6-10
Read from March 08 to 13, 2011

There's probably nothing I can say to describe this book more succinctly than the comment I made in one of my status updates: that it makes me think of the unholy lovechild of Mortal Kombat and a pulp paranormal romance (and actually, thinking about it, a young Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa makes a nice visual representation of John Chen too!)

I think the story would have been an immeasurably better read if the author stopped the constant Mary-Sueing with Emma, started giving her some genuine flaws and depth, and included characters who didn't like her for genuine reasons that lasted longer than a few pages before the character in question 'saw the light' and started loving Emma as much as the author.

Then again, I get the impression Ms Chan realised what she was doing because halfway through the book, she actually started lampshading it - characters started giving Emma gold coins whenever they had been going to say how remarkable she was. Which was cute, but wasn't as good from a characterisation viewpoint as an actual 3D character would have been.

That said, I *did* enjoy the book overall (in a guilty pleasure kind of way). Again, the mythology woven through it was great, the martial arts descriptions were fun, and there were even baby steps towards sex scenes.

As with Book 1, I finished it hoping the author's writing will grow and improve over time. But there's enough good stuff to keep me reading - at least until the next book anyway.
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Reading Progress

03/08/2011 page 37
7.0% "Hmmmmmm... whatever it was that endeared "White Tiger" to me despite the book's flaws seems to be missing in action from this instalment. The incessant Mary Sue-ing started in the first couple of pages, and hasn't let up yet. I'm going to give it a couple of chapters to sort itself out, and if it doesn't, then this may well be my first DNF of 2011"
03/08/2011 page 99
18.0% "OK, it's started to catch my interest again, although I'm not sure I can put my finger on exactly why. I still maintain this series reads like the unholy lovechild of Mortal Kombat and a pulp paranormal romance. But at least it's re-established its ability to entertain me now." 3 comments

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