Oct 8, 2008

Any Given Doomsday

LibraryThing Early Reviewers

I received Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland from Library Thing and St. Martin's Press. The book is slated for publication in early November.

Quite a number of today's urban fantasy books toy with the vampire myths and werewolf stories to modernize them and make them more relevant. When I started reading this novel, I knew I had to suspend disbelief. Elizabeth Phoenix is the heroine who grew up in foster care and grew into a tough young woman and cop. According to the short story, "In the Beginning," Elizabeth is well known in her department as partially psychic; she has the ability to touch items and see what happened to the owners of those items. It is her power that ultimately leads to the death of her partner. This is all back story, which I presume the author wrote for herself so she could understand her character better. It's not necessary to read it before you read Any Given Doomsday.

Elizabeth's only friends have been her police partner, her childhood friend Jimmy Sanducci, and Ruthie, her foster mother. They all understood her and her gift. It's this gift that they want her to develop to save the world. She learns a lot about herself and her powers as the book progresses, but her character does not evolve much for a heroine. She's as hard-headed, sarcastic, and closed off as she is at the beginning of the book.

The characters in the book, particularly near the middle to the end, are obsessed with sex. Sex as a weapon, sex as a way to humiliate another human being, sex as a way to break free from the confines of themselves, and sex as therapy.

Elizabeth's attitude throughout the book makes it difficult to like her, let alone empathize with her plight. Her intimate relationships with the men in her life are mind-boggling because they treat her like a paper plate--using her and tossing her to the side. The reader is expected to see her as the key to winning the battle, but it's hard to view her that way when she constantly doubts herself and the men in her life, who are there to support her and help her grow, constantly toss her aside, become evasive in her presence, and disappear.

While I enjoyed the fast-paced nature of this book, I would only recommend it to readers of urban fantasy.

Anyone interested in reading this book for themselves, please feel free to email me. I will mail the book to the first person who contacts me, along with the short story.

Also Reviewed By:
Bookworm
The Sleepy Reader
Diary of an Eccentric
Amber Stults
Bitten by Books

***Don't forget to enter my contest for A Grave in the Air

15 comments:

bermudaonion said...

Doesn't sound like it's for me.

Shana @ Literarily said...

Serena, I've never read any urban fantasy. I saw a ton of buzz about this on the LT Early Reviewers discussions.

Lenore said...

I didn't think this was my kind of book, which is why I didn't request it from LT ER. And nothing in your review makes me think I made the wrong decision.

Serena said...

Bermudaonion: I don't blame you. I've read urban fantasy before, but this one had really poor character development and the plot was all over the place.

Shana: If you'd like to give the book a try, I can mail it to you, just send me an address.

Lenore: I thought it would be something new in the genre for me, but it was way over the top for me.

Amy(The Sleepy Reader) said...

Great review1 I agree with you about the sexual relationships. Disturbing to say the least.

I love urban fantasy but I didn't love this.

J. Kaye Oldner said...

I don't know if I'll enjoy the urban fantasy, but I do want to read a book by this author. :) Great review.

Serena said...

J. Kaye: Thanks for checking out the review. This is the only book I've read by this author, but I'd be willing to give her another shot.

Dar said...

Great review Serena but this one doesn't sound like it's for me either. I haven't seen any other reviews on it yet though.

Anna said...

I'll be posting my review some time this week. Still trying to beat this darn cold or whatever it is and catch up with things.

I didn't really enjoy the book either. It was my first urban fantasy book and probably my last. LOL

--Anna
http://diaryofaneccentric.blogspot.com

Serena said...

Yeah I was disappointed, but I heard rumors that the sequel will have more of sawyer and his mother in it. I think I might pick it up for that reason, since he was the most interesting character in the Any given doomsday book.

naida said...

I didnt like the sex scenes in this book, and I didnt like Sawyer or Sanducci. They just seemed like jerks to me.

thanks for linking to my reivew, I linked yours too :)

http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

Serena said...

Naida: I didn't like Sawyer per se, but I think there is more depth to that character than Lori Handeland let on in this first book. I'd like to see more of him and his background, which could explain his demeanor. However, Sanducci seemed like filler and like he was there just to get Elizabeth from point A to point B. He was the bait plain and simple.

Anna said...

Hey there! I posted my review and linked yours. You can find it here:

http://diaryofaneccentric.blogspot.com/2008/10/any-given-doomsday-by-lori-handeland.html

--Anna
http://diaryofaneccentric.blogspot.com

Monnibo said...

I just received my first Library Thing Early Reviewers book, and although it wasn't one that I reeeeally wanted, I'm still excited to participate!

Serena said...

Monnibo: I completely understand. I wanted Any Given Doomsday, and I was disappointed. And the second one I got, Conscience Point, isn't one I really wanted, but maybe it will surprise me.