Earth to Hell

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Earth to Hell

Journey to Wudang, #1

“Earth to Hell” is the first of the follow-up series to the addictive, Chinese pantheon-centered ‘Dark Heavens’ series by Kylie Chan. Having read the previous books in the series, I came into this book- which is set about eight years after the last, “Blue Dragon”- with high expectations… and a lot of questions. What I found was that, besides being the largest of her work (600+ pages!), it happily retained that distinctly different ‘voice’ that I have come to expect from the author. The plot is real and the topics that are brought up, even in passing (ex. racism, superiority, ‘true nature’, and sexuality), are very honestly and deftly handled throughout around the over-arching fantastical nature of the tale. I will admit it took me almost four chapters to get into this volume, however, unlike the immediacy of the first three. As I started to feel with “Blue Dragon”, Mrs. Chan may be beginning to rely more on extraneous events happening around Emma, the heroine, from time to time rather than a direct story focus. But besides the call for some few character and extraneous plot edits, I found myself reading along happily and, overall, enjoying the ride!

“E2H” is definitely a humorous, dramatic, sometimes image-heavy, and constantly evolving story. I’d recommend it for very precocious teens or well-read adults with a good interest in (and preferably, some knowledge of) the almost mystical Asian culture. Mrs. Chan immediately slaps you into the middle of the action, provides plenty of thought, conversations, and fight/dramatic scenes, and amongst a host of new characters, keeps the tension strong for our favorites. No, this should NOT be considered a standalone as a newbie'd likely be lost by page five. But if you’ve liked the previous books, ever been to any part of China (or at least were interested in its legends to some degree), and love a book that’s heavy on imagery even if sometimes slow on resolution (hence the ability to continue the series so deliciously), I’d say this would be a great book to try. Expect to be gently hooked… and in the mood to visit Hong Kong ASAP!

Book Blurb for Earth to Hell

The first book in an addictive new urban fantasy series of gods and demons, martial arts and mythology, from the author of White Tiger. It is eight years since Xuan Wu, God of the Northern Heavens, living in Hong Kong as wealthy businessman John Chen, was exiled from the mortal realm. Emma and John's daughter, Simone, are facing a new series of threats. Leo, their best fighter, is sitting in Hell, but when they journey below to persuade him home, nothing is as it appears. On Earth, Simon Wong, the Demon King's son, is no longer around to trouble them, but his associates have taken over Simon's underworld activities. The otherworldly stones are being targeted and are in danger of their kind being completely destroyed. It seems that the Demon King is the only one Emma can turn to for help...

Night Owl Reviews Sep, 2012 4.00