cover image Earth to Hell: Journey to Wudang, Book 1

Earth to Hell: Journey to Wudang, Book 1

Kylie Chan. Harper Voyager, $7.99 mass market (624p) ISBN 978-0-06-202143-4

Though billed as a series start, this hefty, rambling tome picks up directly where the Dark Heavens trilogy left off, with little time spent on bringing new readers up to speed. Australian Emma Donahoe's adventures among Chinese gods and demons have led her to Hong Kong, where she serves as guardian to Simone, the daughter of weakened Dark Lord Xuan Wu, and manages the Dark Lord's multi-million dollar business. She's also the Regent of the Northern Heavens, tasked with regularly slapping down misbehaving demons of all shapes and sizes. Emma is overwhelmed by her responsibilities, and as Simone comes into her powers and requires training that her father is unable to provide, the two must look to unexpected quarters for help. Chan valiantly tries to combine Chinese legend with the thrill of a fast-paced martial-arts movie, but too many names and not enough context produce a plodding jumble with a lengthy cast of indifferent characters. (Oct.)