White Tiger

White Tiger

by Kylie Chan

A young woman accepts a position as nanny to the young daughter of a handsome, wealthy, and mysterious Chinese businessman only to discover her new employer is really a god and every foul demon in creation is out to destroy him!

  • Series: Dark Heavens
  • Language: English
  • Category: Fantasy
  • Rating: 3.89
  • Pages: 546
  • Publish Date: July 24th 2006 by Voyager - AU
  • Isbn10: 0732282969
  • Isbn13: 9780732282967

What People Think about "White Tiger"

I loved the idea and the Chinese mythology...but the writing is just sooooo bad. For Emma its the chance of a lifetime, she loves teaching Simone and John is paying her really good money. Simone adds a ton of laughter and fun to the story, she is four years old and an absolute delight to read about. The tension between John and Emma is delightful, and I was really rooting for them to work things out. Hands down it is one of the most awkwardly written books I have ever read. I kept reading this book in hopes that Chan would find her stride at some point. Maybe a great urban fantasy writer like Ilona Andrews, Jennifer Estep, or Kim Harrison can cut a deal with Chan and write this awesome story in a way such that it is actually readable. There are some great characters and ideas here; I wanted to love this book. I did enjoy the tension between John and Emma, the mythology, and the action scenes.

It was a good idea and concept but execute poorly, should have done what was in this book in half the pages while tying off a lot of the loose threads that the author obviously thought leaving loose would inspire the reader to get the next book.

Emma Donahoe is an Australian living in Hong Kong. John is really the Black Turtle, a powerful Chinese god, guardian of the north. I've never read a book that takes place in Hong Kong. The characters go to and talk about real locations with the fluency of locals. The author has a love of this place and its people and it shows. Too often, I read a book about a foreign locale and they stereotype it because, and it's painfully obvious, they've never been there. I also love the author's attention to the mythology. Well, let's face it, I love mythology of all sorts. I've watched enough Chinese movies over the years to absorb that much. I'll admit that most of my Chinese mythology I know from watching Forbidden Kingdom and from reading Japanese manga. First off, the main character, Emma Donahoe. Oh, I'm beginning to like this character. And the weirdest thing, the other characters make a habit of saying "You're so cold-blooded, Emma." whenever she does anything that speaks of common sense. She does the sensible thing and she's "cold-blooded?" She uses her brain and she's not a normal woman? But then, I enjoy comic books and video games and can keep up with my guy friends in some friendly insult tossing. Once she joins the Chen household, she acts like a woman. Down to clothes shopping with glee and doing the weird emotional flip-flops of insanity. Let's not even start on how she orders a god around. I think the girl is a plot point. I mean, she's a major reason for everything in the book but the character herself is so strange. But, like I said, she's a main plot purpose. Ah. We're onto the last main character, Mr. Chen. Not too long ago, I read a book that was told from the point of view of a god. He spends most of the book acting aloof as befits a thousands-years-old god, but he has these utterly random moments that seem to be written by a fangirl. If he'd been the White Tiger or the Monkey King, I could accept him laughing himself out of his chair. I get the honor thing is strong for the Chinese but I also remember Asians, like pirates in movies, are sticklers for wording choice. I picked up this book expecting martial arts goodness. You'd think with a war brewing and demons popping up more often throughout the book that it'd have more tension.

I bought this book believing it would be a gripping, fast paced, action packed story with martial arts, Chinese culture and mythology. However, they cannot write a story and it has ended up reading more like a non fiction book. Basically, Kylie Chan is not a storyteller, but someone who has a profound knowledge of Chinese culture and would do so much better with non fiction writing. I almost want to read the next books just to see where the child's story will go, but I wouldn't waste my money.

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. People are complaining that the characters are too unrealistic and things that happen are just too far from reality for them. A lot of people think that God's existed and that's fair enough, but those cultures would be nothing without these 'unrealistic' gods.

Emma is a bossy young women who thinks that the world should revolve around her. 'She has wonderful eyes.' " To this time there has been absolutely no evidence of any of these qualities in anything that Emma has said or done.

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. the main threats of the book (demons) can't *actually* physically hurt the female protagonist or the child she's meant to be protecting - and when three of the other key characters are badly injured (or killed), they just end up healed or brought back to life again fairly easily, so there's just no tension there. It's actually primarily a romance (with a romantic A plot that's, let's be honest, no worse than many paranormal romances I've picked up in the past), with a little martial arts and a LOT of chinese mythology thrown in for good measure.

It needed to be more human, show more faults in Emma's characters, show more intimacy between her and John. ORIGINAL REVIEW: How can I describe the sense of wonder I experienced when I finished this book? It's a beautiful book, which if you are patient enough will give you a glimpse of Chinese culture and mythology which you practically don't see in modern literature. It's beautiful how John teaches Emma martial arts and how to work with her chi, how she becomes so much more than she thought she'd ever be.

Seriously, here's a bit of the cover blurb: "fantasy aficionados and die-hard action lovers alike will no doubt be expecting something exceptional and Australian author Kylie Chan delivers big time!" B. I'm willing to admit this is probably okay PNR for the Twilight pablum eating crowd, but it is not of interest to anyone who would call themselves either an aficionado of fantasy or a die-hard action fan.

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. The friends she has in Hong Kong are just as compelling as Emma, really. For some reason she cares about a little girl she's been babysitting for a couple months and apparently wants to protect with her life (because she's fun to take care of? Chen is often making annoying comments about how remarkable Emma is and how special she is even though she does nothing out of the ordinary and doesn't demonstrate any noble characteristics. This was one of the most annoying aspects of this book. Don't get me started on the whole "I'm not going to teach you martial arts or get involved with you because I need to protect you" BS. Simone, Chen's daughter, is actually the creepiest four year old I've ever read about. Demons are supposed to be hunting a little girl and yet all the attacks are next to nothing of a threat.

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 customs and way of life. She decided to use her knowledge of Chinese mythology, culture, and martial arts to weave a story that would appeal to a wide audience.