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White Tiger (Dark Heavens #1)

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3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,057 Ratings  ·  349 Reviews
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 dr
...more
Paperback, US/Can edition, 499 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Harper Voyager (first published July 24th 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Karissa
Dec 16, 2012 Karissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in the Dark Heavens trilogy. This is a tough review for me to write because I am a bit torn about this book. I loved the idea and the Chinese mythology...but the writing is just sooooo bad. It’s almost like Chan has trouble with her English and didn’t have a decent editor.

Emma is a native Australian teaching English as a second language in Hong Kong, she also teaches private lessons after hours. John Chen, a client of hers, wants to hire her to be a full time nanny for his
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Nu
Jan 02, 2009 Nu rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Noone
Recommended to Nu by: Lythias
Shelves: books, fantasy
Rather long and dull. Obviously a start to a long trilogy as it felt that a lot of story angles and plot lines were being set up but none were addressed or resolved in the first book.

Lacked a sense of immersion as I never felt that any of the characters were ever truly in any peril and anything that surprised me (read:that wasn't predictable) was only due to the fact that it didn't make sense and came completely from left field.

I feel that anything that needs a 20 page glossary to explain the te
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Courtney
Feb 12, 2015 Courtney rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rant-worthy
I picked this book up because the title caught my attention. "White Tiger? One of the four guardians? Sweet!" Alright, my thought process wasn't exactly like that, but the gist is there. So I see that. There were also two other books out on the shelves, each with a name similar to the first. Hm. A series. Could be interesting.

Well, then I start reading. Let's get into that.

Emma Donahoe is an Australian living in Hong Kong. She finds herself in the employ of Mr. John Chen, a wealthy man who needs
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Kyle
Sep 25, 2011 Kyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, fantasy
This book, and the rest of it's series, is amazing. People have been complaining about the fact that there is too much information being presented straight away, but as I did before I read this book, not everyone has knowledge of Chinese Mythology. I most certainly didn't know a thing, but now that I have read the book, I'm seriously interested in Chinese Mythology. Also, all the information that Kylie gives you pretty much adds up to your total understanding of the story. Without some of the in ...more
Becky
Dec 02, 2009 Becky rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book believing it would be a gripping, fast paced, action packed story with martial arts, Chinese culture and mythology.

Basically, it's not.

It's someone who has experienced chinese culture, and wanted to write a book about it. However, they cannot write a story and it has ended up reading more like a non fiction book.
The actual story is completely ridiculous; The development of the plot and the characters were stupid to the point where I was actually laughing at it. The protagon
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David
Jul 06, 2011 David rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Set in Hong Kong, this book tells the story of Emma Donahoe, an Australian nanny, and her new employer, a very rich Hong Kong businessman. The blurb talks about the possible targeting of his daughter Simone by kidnappers and Emma's entry into a world of martial arts, magic and extreme danger.

Emma is a bossy young women who thinks that the world should revolve around her. In spite of the fact that she has absolutely no personal charm, the world seems to comply. Inexplicable really. She would have
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Starfire
OK, I can see why many of the reviewers below complained so bitterly about this book. It *does* read as though written by a fairly young author who's writing her very first novel; and especially towards the last third of the book, the Mary-Sueing with the main character (whom everyone loves and everyone is always praising, and who's just perfect at martial arts and energy work to the point that *I* wanted to slap the author upside the head) starts bordering on obnoxious.

And I also understand to
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Dan Leduke
This is one of those books that while I read it I didn't think much about it and just mindlessly drove through. On reflection, I realized I had just read through Twilight: Chinese Mythology Edition.

Stop me when this sounds familiar:
1) Otherwise unremarkable girl (read: Mary Sue) encounters attractive guy
2) Guy has mysterious but poorly concealed supernatural tendencies
3) They fall in love for no clearly defined reason
4) Once they do, they can't be together physically because supernatural powers
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Kita
No. Just. No.

I can't take anymore of this. I've read 188 of the 516 pages of this nonsense. I can't fathom what was going on with the publishers to make them think this book was worth publishing.

Characters
All of the characters were dull and needed some serious development.
We know little about the main character, Emma, who is about as boring as they come in terms of a protagonist. All we know is she's from Australia and moved to Hong Kong to teach English. We know nothing about her family or frie
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Jennie
May 07, 2013 Jennie rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
My visceral hatred for this book is completely irrational and out of proportion to its actual offensiveness. It's not an offensive book - it's just insipid and stupid.

86 pages of Mary Sue-I-mean-Emma's first-person narrator stomping around the house, demanding to be told what's going on, even though Kylie Chan drops anvils so often and so hard that I'm going to seek medical help for my concussion as soon as I post this. Emma is an effing idiot who can't see what any reader with half an IQ point
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Kara-karina
Feb 08, 2016 Kara-karina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
UPDATE: With a re-read years later I can see a lot of flaws. This book is bulky and at times quite awkward, but at the same time still very enjoyable for me. It definitely doesn't have enough world-building and Emma is way too perfect (even if I know now the reasons for it). It needed to be more human, show more faults in Emma's characters, show more intimacy between her and John. At the same time, the martial arts and the immersion in Chinese mythology is still fab. 4 stars instead of original ...more
Nicole Luiken
Aug 30, 2012 Nicole Luiken rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sfantasy
It took me ages to read this one. It started off well: exotic Hong Kong setting, original Chinese fantasy elements, cool magic, sympathetic main character (Emma, an Australian nanny) and then I started to notice something annoying. SPOILER WARNING.

The same conversation would repeat. For the first 90 pages Emma would ask various people what her employer (John) did for a living. No one would tell her. "Later, Emma." No additional clues, no forward progress. By the time the truth was revealed both
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Nancy Lorenzen
Lots of potential, greatly disappointing

This book is like popcorn. It's hard to stop eating even though you know it's not good for you, and at some point you'll realize that you should have stopped some time ago.

There's are some really interesting ideas in here, especially the idea of using Chinese mythology for urban fantasy instead of the usual vampire thing, but really, it's still cut and paste urban fantasy. We have a smart-ass first person viewpoint from a female main character who skates
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Dianne
Nov 30, 2013 Dianne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: galleys-arcs


A twist of fate puts Australian Emma Donahoe, into a prime position in the John Chen household. As a part time teacher of John's daughter Simone when there is a problem with Mr. Chen's nanny and he needs a new one, Emma steps into the fray. She should have known things were not what they seemed. Mr. Chen is no ordinary Chinese executive. He is ultra rich, highly secretive, ultra worried about his daughters' safety, skilled in Martial Arts and various swords and other tools of the Art. He is extr
...more
Zaphoddent
Oct 04, 2012 Zaphoddent rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Juvenile! I was waiting after every sentence for the main character to giggle, bat her eyelashes at the handsome boss, swoon at his return smile and just be oh so taken with his irresistibility. She did all that and more. All the females in the book seem obsessed with upward mobility by hanging on tight to the handsome well off male characters. There’s the usual “I don’t like her boyfriend cause he gives me this vibe” and sure enough chapters later turns out the guy is a cad. Shocking! The main ...more
Brandy
Dec 02, 2013 Brandy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not even that far into the book and I hate it. The premise sounded really interesting--girl starts as a nanny for a family in Hong Kong, supernatural stuff happens, Chinese mythology, etc., but the book is just so poorly written that I'm probably just going to give up on it.

The dialogue is very awkward, and doesn't sound like any conversation that I've heard between two functional adults. The descriptions are very juvenile, akin to something I would have written in middle school, and often v
...more
Morgan
May 26, 2010 Morgan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
One of my friends raved to me about this series and from what she told me it sounded like my kind of book. I was certain that I'd like it, so I went and bought them. It took me a couple of weeks to read this one. I think I'm pretty generous with my reviews but some books just rub me the wrong way. Usually sci-fi romance are easy reads but this was too mushy and childish for me. I also don't like any of these characters, they're so two-dimensional. They're all so uncomplicated they might as well ...more
Georgina Martin (Bookz and Bitz)
The cover sold the book to me, it looked like a Jet Li extravaganza!

The story is of Emma an australian teacher in Hong Kong who is persuaded to become a full time nanny for a very strange family. Then follows the revelations of why they are a bit odd (no spoilers though...) although it was obvious anyway, quite how she didn't know for so long I don't know!

The writing was a little odd, I actually went to look up to see if it was translated into english, as at times it did appear to be. The same
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Alex Telander
Dec 19, 2011 Alex Telander rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kylie Chan’s Dark Heavens trilogy has been a popular bestseller in Australian and Asia, with its fascinating portrayal of Chinese mythology in a modern setting, combined with martial arts, some strong women characters, and an entertaining diverse cast. White Tiger is a thrilling fantasy with a great story, which definitely sways over to the romantic side at times, but overall keeps readers hooked with a fascinating world, compelling and complex characters, and a gripping storyline that will have ...more
Rachael
Sep 09, 2011 Rachael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I picked up this book and I loved it from the get go. Simone the kid that everyone loves I admit sounded a bit wishie washie but it was about right. From what I gather the author does know about chinese culture having lived as an english teacher herself for many years.

It was a well written book and I enjoyed the triology as well.
Robert
Mar 31, 2014 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating read. Not only because of the rich Chinese background, but also because the characters are very well defined.
Perhaps a slightly repetitive quirk, being part of many books, is the far too quick development of one of the main characters. Emma, while she has her own problems to deal with, becomes extremely powerful in a very short amount of time. One way this is illustrated is when some characters make quite serious mistakes, which should be impossible, considering their years
...more
Rhonda
Aug 06, 2011 Rhonda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow I have never heard anything about the mythology of China. Just a little bits here and there. It was confusing for me to get it straight but sounds like others do to or they mean different things in different regions and different names. I enjoyed reading about them.
Emma is a kindergarden teacher in Hong Kong from down under. Emma has one private student she teaches english to Simone. Simone father is Mr. Chen a rich powerful man. The owner of the school Miss Kwok wants Emma to spy on Mr. Che
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Bea
Told truth, I'm not sure how to rate this book - some parts I loved, but some others I really hated.

I like fantasy based on mythology and Chinese is quite new for me. The story was enjoyable, the action was good (not great), and the idea about earthly household of god is refreshing :) Even though the story contains a lot from daily life, I wasn't bored by that, I had no urge to stop.
The annoying parts are mostly connected to Emma. I really hated how intrusive she was. She also ignored one of b
...more
zjakkelien
I happen to be the kind of person who likes slow books. I enjoy descriptions of daily life, and I don't need the action exploding around me. My feelings about White tiger are a bit ambiguous though. The book is slow, albeit for a definition of slow that includes fights with demons, but in some respects it felt too slow even for me, where the aforementioned fights with demons became too repetitive. So how come, even though I think the book was too slow, I still like it? I thought the love affair ...more
Leslie (That Chick That Reads)
The author is very knowledgeable about Chinese Mythology and martial arts. It was very interesting to learn about it because it’s new territory for me. I loved some, not all the characters though. I loved the little girl, she was just a cute character and a very strong one as well. Although I really wish that the author would have explored her character a little more. It has a pretty awesome storyline, although it kind of drifted off coarse here and there but it got right back on. Ok on to some ...more
Tahlia Newland
Feb 19, 2011 Tahlia Newland rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I loved this. Set in Hong Kong, it moves from a very normal situation deeper and deeper into the world of Taoist Gods and demons. Great stuff. It would make an awesome KUng Fu movie.

The heroine is gutsy and very Australian in her openness and directness and the other characters are all just plain gorgeous. Strong and oozing love and devotion to each other. That's a very powerful state of mind/heart. I finished this one and had to go out and get the next in the series straight away. I just couldn
...more
Lexie
Ordinarily there's a couple of things in White Tiger that would make me get frustrated pretty quickly. Rapid fire information dump, multiple radical changes in a character's life in less than a dozen pages and abrupt transitions. What saves White Tiger however comes down to 2 important details: 1) I've been waiting for this series to have domestic publication in America for four years and 2) contextually a lot is explained because of the character's personality. I probably would have forgiven Ch ...more
Sarah
Feb 19, 2013 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I really wanted to like this book. The concept is fascinating, and the world Kylie Chan has created is replete with depth, potential, and a wealth of interesting characters. But the writing is just so bloody awful! I made it about 3/4 of the way through and couldn't force myself to sludge through the rest of it. I normally don't have a problem with less-than-stellar writing, but between the endless repetitions, terrible pacing, huge assumptions of reader knowledge and awkward construction, I jus ...more
Stacy
Mar 13, 2012 Stacy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
(possible spoilers ahead!)
I originally saw the cover, which was what attracted me to the book. Chinese mythology? Awesome!
Unfortunately for me, the book was too drawn out with too many characters that came and went and made me feel like they were meaningless when their names sounded far more important.
I couldn't bring myself to like Emma I can't believe that anyone can just accept that their boss is a Chinese God in an instant. She seems to be unafraid of absolutely anything and I just couldn'
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Meg Laverick
The Chinese mythology that permeates this book is absolutely fascinating. As an avid Asia-nerd I have an extremely passing familiarity with some of the stories and so had some great cackles of joy at the image of the Four Gods sitting down and playing mahjong together and the appearance of the Monkey King. It was nice to learn more about these stories in such a fun and action-filled way.

The writing was a bit trying at times, though. Apart from the repeatedly used device of other characters telli
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Kylie doesn't participate in the Goodreads network. You can find her fanpage on Facebook or visit her website at www.kyliechan.com.

Kylie Chan married a Hong Kong national in a traditional Chinese wedding ceremony in Eastern China, lived in Australia for ten years, then moved to Hong Kong for ten years and during that time learnt a great deal about Chinese culture and came to appreciate the custom
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More about Kylie Chan...

Other Books in the Series

Dark Heavens (3 books)
  • Red Phoenix (Dark Heavens, #2)
  • Blue Dragon

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