If you like urban fantasy, this book has potential. The premise is interesting, the main character likeable enough. Handeland's writing is choppy, but no worse than many others working in the genre. Unfortunately the book is also loaded with stereotypes, many of them racial. Where to begin? "I raped you because it was your deepest desire?" Check. "Black male character is a basketball player." Check. "White main character must be taught to control her psychic powers by inscrutable but lusty Native American?" Check. "White character cared for by strict but loving older black character who sacrifices herself to give white character the ability to save the world?" Check. "Bad guys have accents?" Check. "Bad guys have harems?" Check. "New York City taxi drivers aren't from NYC and have unpronounceable names?" Check. I could go on and on. I know it's a paranormal, but that is no excuse for the Magical Negro stereotype, people. Enough, already.
After I read the book I was unsurprised to see that on the back cover Handeland says she discovered urban fantasy through Laurell K. Hamilton and wanted to write "just like that." You're almost there, Lori!
I could have given the plot a better rating (3.5 or a 4), because really, it's not bad, and is better than plenty of other urban fantasies I've read recently, sloppy, choppy writing and all. It's the rest of the awful baggage the plot is asked to carry that knocked it down to 1.5 stars.
Ive come to enjoy Lori Handelands Nightcreature series. So when I learned she was starting a brand new series, I was one of those who was lined up on wish lists for that moment when the book would hit the shelves. But a miracle occurred. I somehow actually found a copy of Any Given Doomsday at a book store in August 08 instead of its release date of November 08! How the person who had it before me could bear to let this book go was beyond me. And Im not speaking about the fact that its an ARC. I am speaking about how wonderful this book is!
I started reading this book while walking home from the store and WOW..it just took off. Grabbed me right away. This is one of those books that are written so fabulously. Action packed with characters that are a joy to get to know. Its a book that you miss lunch and lose sleep on because you cannot bear to stop reading. The chant of one more chapter" ringing in your head as you read on and on heedlessly to find its almost one in the morning and you had best get some restafter that one last chapter.
Elizabeth Phoenix is my kind of heroine. Up to her elbows in trouble, an unflinching tide of determination, and flying by the seat of her pants. She grew up being psychic and learned how to more or less handle what she had but then ends up with a whole new batch of powers one fateful day. And its the kind of power that comes with a price tag and a huge responsibility. Basically Elizabeth is the last hope to prevent doomsday.
And while Elizabeth was a favorite of mine in this book. I also loved so many other supporting characters. Ruthie for one. I think everyone at sometime in their life has met a person like Ruthie. Kind souls like her are just too hard to forget. And then there is Sawyer, the man of mystery. Im looking forward to finding out more about him in the next book of The Phoenix Chronicles. And theres Jimmy of course. I sympathized with his struggle between the dark and the light but although beautifully written, his character had me on edge. At times I wanted to hug him and banish his self doubts while at others I
wanted to slap some sense into him. Thankfully Elizabeth is a woman right after my own heart and made sure he got what was coming to him.
All in all this book was something else! A most wonderful something else! I love the Phoenix Chronicles and cannot wait until book two comes out. I can highly recommend Any Given Doomsday and feel free in giving the added warning that this series is definitely going to be addictive!
Almost condemning Any Given Doomsday from the beginning, I decided to plod on through and eventually found myself enjoying this somewhat of a paranormal romance meets Buffy the Vampire Killer story. Liz Phoenix, a feisty psychic orphan, is destined to be the savior of the earth. With the help of DKs, or Demon Killers, she must lead the battle between good vs. evil. I found this a rather ambitious goal of the author and, although there are entertaining aspects of the novel, I feel that, for the first book of this series, Handeland falls short. The first 1/3 of the novel was choppy, almost incoherent. The second third was better, but was riddled with flat circular dialogue that seems to just be a filler. The last third was where the meat of the story lay. Handeland has the bare bones started for a great series. Let's hope the next book does a better job at entertaining.
Lots of XXX hardcore sex.
Disclosure: This book was given to the reader by the publisher/author in exchange for an objective review.
Read the ARC: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy - not really a romance. Elizabeth Phoenix is a former policewoman, working as a bartender. Elizabeth has psychic flashes, which she blames for the death of her former partner. Her life changes forever when she succumbs to the sudden urge to visit her former foster mother. She finds the woman attacked, and dying. From that moment, Elizabeth's life is forever changed. The world, reality, people she knows, even herself - nothing is as she thought it was. It turns out Elizabeth's foster mother was the leader of a group of supernaturals who fight an ancient evil - and she's passed the honor onto Elizabeth. This book is an action packed, surprising thrill a minute ride. Love this book, couldn't put it down. I'll be in line for the second one. Definately get on the list. Worth a credit.
I had much higher hopes for this book than what were met. I enjoy the odd paranormal thriller, mystery, etc., but this book simply did not deliver. The premise of this book is that Elizabeth Phoenix discovers upon the death of her foster mother that she is now responsible for leading the worldwide fight against evils of all sorts. Vampires, demons, berserkers, they're all here. Theoretically, these might be the elements of a good story, but those elements are never actually drawn together into a good story. There's very little plot, and almost no character development. We know little about Elizabeth except that she was abused and abandoned in her past, and there's no discussion of how this has shaped her thoughts and her life. All we really hear from Elizabeth is her distaste for the new responsibilities that have suddenly landed on her shoulders. The lack of character development is magnified by the fact that the book is narrated in the first person, but there's absolutely nothing to the character who is the narrator. And then we have the content issues. This book is replete with gratuitous sex scenes that read more like a bodice-ripping romance novel than anything else. The descriptions of the sex scenes go on for pages. I'm just not interested in all that pulsing and throbbing. If I was, I'd read a romance novel. It's not just the fact that the book is full of sex, though. If that was the only problem, a reader could easily skim the sex scenes. The problem for me is that the book is full of sexual violence. I'm not really sure what gratuitous sexual violence is meant to accomplish. And the violence really is gratuitous. Sexual violence can have its place in writing if it works to tell a story or contribute to a larger theme. But when its just there, for no reason, it really serves only to be disturbing. Ultimately, I see little value in this heroine. She's described as kick-butt and no-nonsense, but she's presented as a victim who is only capable of giving in to her sexual urges, and can only accomplish her goals if she sleeps with a variety of men she'd rather avoid.