Dark Heavens is a trilogy of novels (White Tiger, Red Phoenix, and Blue Dragon) by Kylie Chan. It has a sequel, the Journey to Wudang trilogy of Earth to Hell, Hell to Heaven and Heaven to Wudang. Dark Serpent, the first book in the third trilogy, Celestial Battle was released in April 2013, with Demon Child and Black Jade to follow. Set in the same universe is Small Shen a book in hybrid prose/comic format, illustrated by Queenie Chan (best known for The Dreaming), which explores Jade and Gold's backstory.When 28-year-old Emma Donahoe becomes a nanny to John Chen’s daughter, Simone, she does not expect to be drawn into a world of martial arts, magic, and extreme danger, where both gods and demons can exist in the mortal world.Emma gradually realises that John Chen is no ordinary businessman and that nearly all the demons in hell would like to see him dead. John and his American bodyguard, Leo, begin to teach Emma their particular brand of martial arts and special defensive techniques … they also begin to realise that there is something that is different about Emma but exactly what it is, nobody can say.
This book series provides examples of:
Action Girl: Emma Donahoe, after she starts learning martial arts. Also, Lady Win Chun, though she never actually makes an appearance, is implied to be this. During Heaven to Wudang, Xuan Wu is unable to assume male form for a time. During this period she is definitely an Action Girl.
Always Chaotic Evil: Demons, though if they repent, they can swear loyalty to an Immortal... in the eventual hope of attaining perfection in a few hundred years and becoming human.
Awesome, but Impractical: Emma is able to generate an ultra-rare black chi, which can instantly annihilate demons, or turn them human... sometimes. Other times, it does nothing at all. Eventually, Emma decides it's too unreliable and stops using it... for now.
Author Avatar: Emma Donahoe's nationality and appearance bear remarkable similarities to the author's.
Beyond the Impossible: When Xuan Wu is asked to make a sphere of water as cold as he can, he has to severely limit himself to avoid destroying the world by lowering the temperature to Absolute Zero. "Absolute Zero" is a theoretical temperature that is supposedly impossible to reach and yet he has to hold himself back from it.
Really 700 Years Old: a large part of the cast are Taoist Immortals, with John Chen himself being over four thousand (Emma comments once that The Golden Boy, a mere 500-something stone, is 'far too young for her')
Love Triangle: Subverted and averted. Emma believes Jade's dislike of her to be jealousy over Mr. Chen. Actually, Jade just thinks she's a gold-digging bitch. Also, The Tiger really, really wants Emma to be Wife #102.
Leo has long been in love with John, but was good friends with John's first wife Michelle, and now Emma. He then starts a relationship with John's son Martin, while still in love with John.
The Masquerade: Subverted. Pretty much everyone has heard of Pak Tai, God of the Water... they just don't expect him to own a high-rise in Happy Valley.
Mighty Whitey: A young, white Australian nanny with no previous training goes to Hong Kong, develops superhuman martial-arts skills and magic qi powers in just a couple of years (certainly by the end of the first book in the first trilogy), beats up demons and generally proves herself the equal of Chinese gods, never mind mere mortals.
One post on the forums also wondered about Rhonda and Michelle, both white women who attracted the attention of male Shen, and asked the question, what is so special about these three seemingly normal white women?
The first time Emma transforms into a snake, she's Snakes on a Plane on a plane. Leo, of course, is there to point out that she's a motherfucking snake. John later complains of a similar joke regarding his serpent half.
Taking You with Me: A variation occurs in Earth to Hell, the Big Bad of the book attacks Emma when she is alone at the end of the book, she is unable to defeat him because if she gets any demon essence on her she will fully transform into a extremely powerful demon, luckily Leo returns just in time to take the demon down.