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Red Phoenix: Dark Heavens Book Two (Dark Heavens #2)

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  2,324 Ratings  ·  113 Reviews
The second book in Australian author Kylie Chan’s ingenious urban fantasy saga—a tale of ancient gods and foul demons doing battle in the modern world—Red Phoenix combines Chinese mythology with martial arts, paranormal romance, and magic in a story that takes off like a rocket and never slows down. The action moves from Hong Kong to Europe as heroine Emma Donahoe finds a ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 563 pages
Published October 2011 by Harper Voyager (first published February 1st 2007)
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May 26, 2009 Belinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009, fantasy
One thing I usually hate about sequels, is that the author always feels the need to recap the last book and rehash physical descriptions of the characters before they can get on with the story. For someone who is reading the books in quick succession, this can be quite tedious. Not so with Kylie Chan's books. Without a backwards glance, she dives right into the adventures of Emma Donahoe as she battles demons, protects the ones she loves and tries to figure out one important question: what the b ...more
Jenny Delandro
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 10, 2011 Roslyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been struggling to decide how many stars to give this one. I gave the first in the series 5 stars because of its sheer readability, despite its many flaws, but I'm giving this one 4 because I do think the flaws count for something despite its readability. I found the main character annoying at times -something about her prevented me from really connecting with her. I find the characters of Simone and Leo somehow more compelling and endearing than that of Emma. We are told repeatedly how ext ...more
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 de
Mar 14, 2011 Lana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Found this book tedious to read, the writing almost got worse from the first book in the series. I think I will give up on the series at this point.
Aug 04, 2011 Philia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another intersting read. Entertaining and quite imaginative! I am very curious to find out what Emma really is. Like the first book - White Tiger, I found the story a bit stretched and at the point of climax, the story ended unfinished. I was so hooked onto the story and chasing its development, that the sudden ending left me puzzled and definitely hungry for more. It was afterward when I got onto KC's website that I realised the Dark Heaven is a trilogy. Now, I can't wait to start Book 3 - the ...more
Feb 12, 2016 Kara-karina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
UPD: it's still a great read on a re-read five years later! Actually structurally better than The White Tiger. Enjoyed it! 12/02/2016

Absolutely loved it! It took me 5 hours straight to read this book. 560 pages. That's how good it was.

Again, non-stop action, fantastic battles, lots of intense situations, and Emma! Oh. My. God. I would never have thought in a million years she can be that. I was blown away.

Emma and John have some really sweet moments, and there is a lot going on. Obviously now, t
Mary Gramlich
Sep 18, 2011 Mary Gramlich rated it it was amazing
Red Phoenix by Kylie Chan
Dark Heavens Book Two
09/11 - HarperCollins Publishers - Mass Market Paperback, 592 pages

Will our love survive should we are parted for an eternity?

Emma Donahoe saw herself as ordinary until an extraordinary man came into her life and changed everything. She was hired on to be the nanny for John Chen’s daughter not the wife of John, Xuan Wu, Dark Lord of the North, God of Martial Arts, and mightiest demon killer of all time. But she is engaged to the Lord and now everyone
Dec 01, 2013 Dianne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I decided that after my rather harsh review of White Tiger I would give the second book in this series a chance just to see if the author decided that over-writing a novel to make it a very long novel, is not the way to keep readers happy. Some readers enjoy a sparer sort of prose. Well Ms Chan still uses pages and pages to describe something that could have/ should have taken just paragraphs. I almost get the feeling that the author thinks her readers are not the sharpest knives in the drawer a ...more
May 09, 2012 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wish I could write more but can't right now. Basic gist is as follows: Emma continues her journey with the Chan family with some nail-biting moments throughout. It kept me interested and I do want to find out how this all ends so we'll see how the story continues to develop over the next few books and then some.

I, for one, appreciate the casual writing style of Kylie Chan, it's refreshing. Yet she can still write a reasonable action scene. It's early days in the series (this only being book 2) s
Jun 01, 2013 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like: Chinese Mythology or Mythology in general, Urban Fantasy, Martial Arts, Paranormal
This review is pasted for all of the following:
White Tiger (Dark Heavens, #1) by Kylie ChanRed Phoenix (Dark Heavens, #2) by Kylie ChanBlue Dragon (Dark Heavens, #3) by Kylie ChanEarth to Hell (Journey to Wudang, #1) by Kylie ChanHell to Heaven (Journey to Wudang #2) by Kylie ChanHeaven to Wudang (Journey to Wudang #3) by Kylie Chan

4 1/2 STARS

Reasons I bloody LOVE! Kylie Chan's "Dark Heavens" & "Journey to Wudang" (& soon to be "Celestial Battle") trilogies. . .

#1. You do not need to read the "Dark Heavens" trilogy before reading the "Journey to Wudang" trilogy. It wouldn't hurt, because you'll want to know what happened, but essentially, you can just jump right in at book 4 of the complete series or book 1 of "Journey to Wudang".

#2. These books are written with a lo
Kylie Chan's second entry in the Dark Heavens trilogy is a middle book in pretty much every sense of the word. It starts in the middle of the story and, while it deepens and broadens the world around the heroes, it doesn't really conclude anything. At least White Tiger had a certain resolution in terms of getting people back to start.

This book in more ambitious and deserves credit for it. I did enjoy reading this book, but it's really more build-up to the, hopefully, rousing conclusion in Blue
Debbie Bennett
Same old, same old. This doesn't really go anywhere from book 1 apart from lots more random encounters with the same gnashing of teeth before and afterwards, the same stating of the obvious and nothing really being learned. By the end of book 1 I realised that there really were no stakes - emotional or otherwise - since most of the characters are Gods and can do anything at all, then there is nothing really that can stand up to them. Every time anybody gets hurt, they get healed and around we go ...more
Mar 29, 2012 Ambre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I said about book 1, genre confusion. People waiting for the steamy consummation of the romance are going to be disappointed- the author's discomfort with sex scenes is clear. I think she could learn to write more intense love scenes without going explicit- it is really what people expect after a long build up.

But overall, I like this series very much. In this book I see more of what *I* read PNR and contemporary fantasy for, which is authors delving into the motivations of creatures who are
Red phoenix is definitely an improvement over White tiger. It is still rather slow and somewhat repetitive (I was getting particularly sick of Emma mentioning how she doesn't need words in her relationship with Mr. Chen). However, it was not actively boring, things keep happening and the story is finally moving forward beyond 'Emma learns to fight better'. She still does of course, and she's really good at everything and everybody loves her and admires her (it gets a bit cloying), but the fighti ...more
Apr 16, 2013 Emma rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fifantasy, action
2.5 stars - same problems as the first book with writing style, plus a bit repetitive. Will finish the series, but not sure about the next trilogy.
Barbara ★
The only complaint I had about this book was remarkable Emma. Everything she did or said was deemed remarkable. It got irritating real fast. At times I found Emma annoying and domineering, heck bitchy even. Don't get me wrong, I like Emma and I like this series but the author really needs to cool it with the whole remarkable thing. Oh yeah and the sex scenes between Emma and John were ridiculous. They finally get an opportunity to touch and he just falls on her. Seriously? And she's okay with th ...more
Sep 24, 2016 Madison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
1st reread- 24/9/16
Sal Becket
May 09, 2014 Sal Becket rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would have given this book a five star rating because it was fun and a fast read, it kept me entertained throughout the entire 500+ pages, but for one thing...

The Mary-Sue factor of Emma made me extremely angry and had me rolling my eyes constantly. Every little thing she did she was highly praised and called 'remarkable'. I swear, this girl could be peeing and everyone would applaud her and tell her how 'remarkable' it was she got it in the bowl. She was good as gold, she had no flaws, everyo
Kimberly Read
The otherworldly relationship of Emma and John continues in this story and it moves in odd directions. John's health continues to decline and Emma's powers continue to grow. I was curious to see how Emma would transform and while her spiritual self (I use this term for lack of a better one) is pretty cool, I am finding Emma, the perfectly normal human woman to be domineering and shrewish. I detest the character of Emma's father. He is demeaning and emotionally abusive in my opinion. And worse, t ...more
Toni Yan
Whilst the word 'said' didn't crop up as much, most of the dialogue was still basic. I guess it'll take some time before I can readily accept that the Dark Lord/ North Wind Xuan Wu would really use 'yep' in conversation.

And yes, Emma is totally a normal human being. We understand. Though it was amusing that there seemed to be some self-awareness for the way it repeats certain points, particularly with how 'remarkable' Emma can be.

Overall, it was enjoyable and has improved upon the original 'Whi
Dec 17, 2013 Ashley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Everything that bothered me about the first book is still around.
The conversations between characters are still choppy. They don't sound like real conversations adults would be having.
When Charlie storms out angry that Emma has taken over it takes one quick conversation to turn her into thinking Emma is the most amazing person in the world. This happens again with Emma's sister who is a HUGE bitch. Emma has one conversation with her explaining how hard her life is and all of a sudden they are t
Dark Matter
Jan 12, 2014 Dark Matter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This and more reviews, interviews etc are on Dark Matter Zine, an online magazine. This review was written by Nalini Haynes for Dark Matter Zine.

Dark Heavens book 2

I’m going to assume you’ve read my review of White Tiger, the first in this trilogy, before launching into this review of Red Phoenix, Dark Heavens book 2. If you haven’t read book one, BE WARNED: when reviewing book 2 I think NOTHING of spoiling book 1.

Emma continues her martial arts studies, occasiona
Red Phoenix is the second book in the Dark Heavens trilogy, which is the first trilogy of the three trilogies standing alongside each other in the full series. Which is pretty confusing, as is the storyline.
It took so long to finish this book because I've been occupied with other things and that may have lowered my enjoyment of this book, but as a whole it was an interesting book that was both hard to put down and hard to pick up.
The story line was so frustrating because it was so intense and
Apr 07, 2014 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this second book in the series with great expectations. A debut author, plenty of improvement, a great story with some magic and martial arts... It was worth it: this book is just as enjoyable as the first one.
There is a definite improvement to the author's style, as the characters become more solid, and the plot opens up in many directions.
Unfortunately, these characters sometimes tend to behave in ways that are not quite realistic and human-like, but at the same time I had mo
Ok, so Kylie seems like she's getting into the swing of things on this one. The plot thickens, she adds interesting characters and continues to integrate her knowledge of Chinese/Hong Kong culture into her books, which again is one of the aspects I most enjoy of this book.

Unfortunately, there's no character development. Each of the characters continues to be flat and frequently unbelievable, and the dialogue continues to be stilted.

Once again, despite my frequent cringing at the dialogue (both
Jun 01, 2014 Panda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
while interesting i am still finding the pacing of this to be a little all over the place and while that may be just because i am used to reading the faster paced YA genre it does lead to this book taking me a strangely long time to read. really loving where this series is going but knowing i still have 6 books to read, plus however many are still to be released i am realizing just how massive a task this series is going to be... but one i am looking forward to. i am however finding that the mor ...more
Crystal Oros
Sep 29, 2015 Crystal Oros rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-fantasy-books
Absolutely amazing! Riveting and intriguing all the way through. Can't wait to read the rest of the series and find out what happens next
This is a rambly, repetitive book featuring a Mary Sue protagonist, dull characters and recycled plot devices and character introduction and development. There is little to no progression in the plot other throwing new characters into Mr Chen's world which requires them to go through the same shock and disbelief process of accepting the fantastical. The prose is lifeless and too simplistic and reused... phrases and sentences are echoed over and over. Borrow this book, but definitely do not buy l ...more
I honestly could not even finish this book. The first book was definitely flawed, the conversations were painful to say the least but the second book? Oh goodness! The conversations between characters were just awful, and it became SO tiring seeing Emma through the authors eyes. She is much, much darker in the book, to the point of being cold, but everyone thinks she is just wonderful. I could not even finish reading, just did not hold my attention and was too annoying.
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Kylie doesn't participate in the Goodreads network. You can find her fanpage on Facebook or visit her website at

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
More about Kylie Chan...

Other Books in the Series

Dark Heavens (3 books)
  • White Tiger (Dark Heavens, #1)
  • Blue Dragon (Dark Heavens #3)

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“The Serpent stirred. Then it slept again. It whimpered in it's slumber. There was a call. A deep echoing call that made the thick black water shimmer. The Serpent cried. There was no answer.” 0 likes
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