Queue My Review

July 12, 2008

Review: Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handelhand

Filed under: Review — Tags: , , , , — jjmachshev @ 12:53 pm
Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland

I’m a sucker for the paranormal. The first adult-book I read was “The Exorcist” by Blatty when I was eleven and I was hooked. So the recent upswing in paranormal and urban fantasy romance titles has been my own little heaven and I jumped at the chance to read “Any Given Doomsday” by Lori Handeland. I’m already a reader of her ‘Moon’ series about werewolves and werewolf hunters, so I expected to enjoy this book. I was right. I absolutely devoured “Any Given Doomsday” in one sitting and am now pouting because book two, “Doomsday Can Wait,” won’t be out until May 2009! Bummer!

Reading as much as I do and with the glut of paranormal and urban fantasies on the market today, I’m delighted when I find an author that can provide a new take on the same old subjects. “Any Given Doomsday” is about, of course, the end of the world (like…duh…I guess you could’ve guessed that from the title)! And, again of course, we have our hero/heroine—Elizabeth (Liz) Phoenix in this case. She’s not exactly your normal gal. She’s an orphan, never knew her parents, spent a lot of time on the street. She’s a little psychic in that she sometimes gets flashes of thought or scenes of the recent past when she touches something. And now, she has to save the world from the dark side. Oh, and did I mention that she finds out all this after finding her foster mother dead in a pool of blood and her old boyfriend is suspect # 1? She’s definitely had better days.

So this is where the tale begins and what a finely detailed tale it is. Handeland has drawn from everything and everywhere—from the Bible to Native American shamanism—to create her world and it’s creatures. We meet skinwalkers, werewolves, shapeshifters, vampires, nephilim (Biblical creatures sometimes translated as giants), dhampirs (vamp + human = dhampir), witches, shamen, strigas (Italian high witch types), angels, demons, etc., all with differing talents and requiring different methods to kill them. It’s enough to make you really pity Liz, especially once she learns that the death of her foster mom was the opening move in the Doomsday war unless she (and, of course, ONLY she) can learn about and harness whatever powers she can get and use them to stop it. Liz really just wants to be normal. Unfortunately for her, she isn’t. She has to grow up and learn that nothing worth having is easy and anything worth having is worth fighting for. It’s a tough lesson that many in our society today seem to never learn!

I loved the storyline. I loved the relationships Liz had to struggle with (and will apparently have to continue to struggle with in the next book) and accept. There was no easy path for her. No, BAM! and she knows just what to do. Oh no, she has struggles and feels like she’s in the dark for most of the book. Is this a romance? Well…there is sex. Pretty hot sex in fact. There are relationships and changes in said relationships and feelings and all the other stuff that characterize a romance, but the romance isn’t what drives the plot. So I would shelve this book in the ‘hot urban fantasy’ section (and why doesn’t my bookstore have that section?) with Laurell K. Hamilton, Marjorie M. Liu, Angela Knight, J.R.Ward, Keri Arthur, Sherrilyn Kenyon, etc. If any of those authors sound good to you, you should definitely check out “Any Given Doomsday” by Lori Handeland when it hits the shelves in November 2008. And be sure to let your bookstore know about that missing ‘hot urban fantasy’ section, OK?


Reviewed by Julie


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