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White Tiger (Kylie Chan, Dark Heavens #1)

3.5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
White Tiger is a middling quality kung fu themed urban fantasy with lots of tragic romantic elements.  The fact that it is book one in quite a large series is quite obvious, and probably the greatest issue I had with the book.  The story threads it introduces aren’t especially interesting, and most of them are left unresolved for use in a later book in the series.  This book felt a bit too much like an introduction to the series rather than an actual, self-contained book, and this is especially reflected in the ending, which just sort of arrives out of nowhere concealed by a very lengthy glossary and introduction to the mythology introduced in the book.  Despite these issues, White Tiger is an imaginative interpretation of Chinese mythology, the world is well developed, and there is an undertone of cheerfulness and fun that is very refreshing in the often maudlin urban fantasy genre.  Overall, I would recommend White Tiger because it has all the ingredients I want in a fantasy book: the story isn’t much more than an introduction, but it is definitely present, the setting is imaginative and engaging, and the story is fun.
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Right Hand Magic (Nancy Collins, Golgotham #1)

2 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
Right Hand Magic is a mediocre urban fantasy/romance.  It is the first of a series, so maybe the following books are better, but this one didn’t show enough promise for me to be interested in reading another.  The setting shows promise, but isn’t developed enough to hold any lasting interest.  The characters are flat and unlikeable, and the romance seems more like a consequence of the protagonist and her love interest being the only members of their respective sexes who aren’t underage, horrible people, or anatomically incompatible animals.  I wanted to like this book, but its glaring flaws made it somewhat of a chore to read, and I can’t recommend it.
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