Friday, September 18, 2009

Book review--Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland

About the book:

Elizabeth Phoenix once used her unique skills as a psychic to help in the Milwaukee Police Department’s fight against injustice. But when Liz’s foster mother is found viciously murdered—and Liz is discovered unconscious at the scene—her only memory of the crime comes in the form of terrifying dreams...of creatures more horrific than anything Liz has seen in real life. What do these visions mean? And what in the world do they have to do with her former lover, Jimmy Sanducci?

While the police question Jimmy in the murder, Jimmy opens Liz’s eyes to a supernatural war that has raged since the dawn of time in which innocent people are hunted by malevolent beings disguised as humans. Only a chosen few have the ability to fight their evil, and Jimmy believes Liz is among them. Now, with her senses heightened, new feelings are rising within Liz—ones that re-ignite her dangerous attraction to Jimmy. But Jimmy has a secret that will rock Liz to her core…and put the survival of the human race in peril.

About the Author:

Lori Handeland is a Waldenbooks, Bookscan, and USA Today bestselling author as well as a two-time recipient of the Romance Writers of America’s RITA award.

Lori lives in Southern Wisconsin with her husband, two teenage sons, and a yellow lab named Elwood. She can be reached through her website at

(synopsis and author info courtesy of Amazon)

My review:

I can always tell when I'm less than enamored of a book when it's only a little over 300 pages, but it takes me three weeks to finish it. Now I'm not saying that this book does not have any redeeming qualities. I mean, what's not to like in a book that has demon killers, vampires, shapeshifters, werewolves and a myriad of other supernatural creatures?

There's an apocalypse coming and when the old seer--the leader of the demon killers, or "federation"--is killed, it's up to the psychic Elizabeth Phoenix to take over. Liz is no stranger to fighting the good fight. A former cop, she used her psychic powers to help solve her cases, but when her partner was killed, she quit the force. Now she inherits far more responsibility then being a cop ever entailed...she holds the fate of the world in her hands. There is a lot of action and bloodshed and you find yourself hoping that in this book good will triumph over evil.

There are two problems I had with this book that kept me far from enthralled. One, there is far too much explicit sex for my taste. I don't have a problem with an occasional love scene, but the level of sexual activity in this book borders on the pornographic. If you like that sort of thing, then you're golden. If not, this is not the book for you.

The second problem was Liz's constant quips and sarcastic asides. Far from coming across as witty, she mostly just sounds corny. The only exception is when she is amongst a vampire's harem of mindless concubines, she says to herself, "Stepford harem. How redundant." I managed a slight chuckle over that one.

Any Given Doomsday is the first book in Handeland's new series The Phoenix Chronicles. The second book, Doomsday Can Wait, was released in May 2009 and the third, Apocalypse Happens, will be released in November 2009. If this book sounds like your cup of tea, then you will probably want to read the rest of the series. Me? I'll be reading a book with a little less hokey sarcasm and an R or lower rating.



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  1. 3 weeks? Wow! I wouldve given up on it! Definitely doesn't sound like my kind of thing. Still a great review :)

  2. Great review of a book I'm not sure I would read. I'm starting to get away from urban fantasy.

  3. Thanks guys! This one was a little difficult. I read some of the other reviews over at Library Thing and on Amazon and there were a lot of people that did not like the pornographic aspect. Whew, I didn't want to sound prudish. I'm just not up for explicit content!

  4. Great review Michelle! Although the sex scenes sound horrible!(prude #2)I may read it out of curiousity. I read the Anita Blake series (Laurell K. Hamilton), and the sex scenes are extreme, but the story line is addicting. I will add this to the lengthy TBR list!

  5. Hummm...One I think I'll wait on for sometime, but great review!

  6. This is really a great review. I love your honesty. I am not one for lots of sex sense, so I think I will as well pass on this book, for now. It does sound like a lot of potential but I think I will just pass. Thanks!

    By the way I love you background, for Halloween!

  7. Thanks Mel! I want to be as honest as possible, but without totally bashing a book. You know?

    Thanks about the background. I usually like to change periodically and especially for my fav holidays, Christmas and Halloween! I may throw in a Thanksgiving one...hmmmm =o)

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