Book Review: Black Jade by Kylie Chan

Wednesday, May 18, 2016
I love reading. Books are amazing. They are a form of escapism, yes, but they are also inspiration, joy, and... well. Goodness. I think in some ways I have used my appetite for reading to define parts of my personality, so it made sense for me to review some of what I read! Here we go...

Title: Black Jade
Author: Kylie Chan
Series: Celestial Battle #3
Publication Date: 26th April 2016 from Harper Voyager

Synopsis: "The Heavens and Earth are at stake and everything could fall...

Kylie Chan has captivated Australian readers with her stunning mix of Chinese mythology, martial arts, intrigue and romance with her Dark Heavens series which has brought her to the forefront as Australia's best-selling fantasy author for the past five years.

In this epic conclusion to the saga, the Heavens and Earth are at stake and everything could fall. John and Emma fight a last-ditch battle to save their homes, their families and their kingdom against a powerful demonic horde which is threatening the future for both gods and humanity."

My thoughts: 
Please note - this is the final book in a trilogy, as well as a final book in a saga lasting nine books. I will try not to spoil anything, but there may be some spoiler-y things.

The saga ends! I fell in love with the previous trilogies and particularly with the blend of martial arts and mythology, along with an Australian female lead character who led the story well.

I had a bit of trouble with the book immediately preceding this one, Demon Child, and was surprised to find that I didn't connect with it as much as the previous books in the series, or rather the previous trilogies. That feeling kind of stretched to this book, too. I just started to feel like there was only so much you could put your characters through and, by extension, your readers through. If I didn't see glimmers of hope every now and then, I may have abandoned the book entirely, as I felt kind of overwrought by all the descriptions of death (as well as the other unsavoury things). I understand that Chan needed to illustrate that things were hopeless so we would feel with the characters, but I guess I am quite sensitive and couldn't really handle all of it.

I also felt like we were kind of thrown back into the book after quite a large break since the last one, and a little bit of a 'what happened previously' page would have really helped - the index of characters at the back was helpful to an extent, but I still couldn't remember some of them, even to the end, or how they fit into the story.

Now that I have gotten the bad stuff out of the way, I have to say that I loved the way Chan finished it all. Excessive violence and such aside, seeing this ending was fantastic, and a long time coming. It was nice seeing different characters grow into themselves, and Chan writes in a pretty engaging way that means even if you are wincing away from the content you can't help but keep reading.

Overall, I still remembered these characters fondly, and it was nice to be back in their world again.

(I received a review copy of this book from HarperCollins. Thank you!)

A favourite line from the book: "The demon charged out of the ground five metres away and thundered between John and Michael to attack me. John slithered to it and grabbed it in his mouth, and Michael raised the laser weapon at it. John yinned it at the same time as Michael activated the weapon, and the laser went straight through where the demon had been and hit me in the throat."

You would like this book if: you have enjoyed the previous ones!

Tea to drink while reading this book: Any green tea featuring 'snake' or 'dragon' in the title.

Rating:  7/10

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