Through the wonderful folks over at Shelfari, I had the opportunity to read Any Given Doomsday, the first book in Lori Handeland’s new series, The Phoenix Chronicles. It doesn’t come out until November, which means since I read it early, I have even longer (May 2009) for the second book. Grrr…

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.

I’m really enjoying the Angel/Demon streak UF authors are on. In Elizabeth’s world, she must help protect humanity from the children of the Nephilim (part fallen angel/part human). Vampires, shape-shifters, and a slew (apparently my Word of the Week) of creatures I’d never heard of (okay, so, like two) try their damndest to eliminate all that is good—including Liz and her fellow Demon Killers and Seers.

This series—if it lives up to the promise of the first book—should infuse new blood into the UF genre. The heroine is kick-ass without being a Raging Feminist with an Attitude. Her love interest(s) are flawed, of course, but their unapologetic about their flaws. There was no “I’m sorry I can’t keep my dick in my pants.” It was refreshing.

With that said (I know…I know…) there were a few things I took issue with. *These in no one ruined the story or distracted me from the plot. I’m just picky*

  • Jimmy The Male Slut—loved his character, his protectiveness, and his turn around at the end. But there are unanswered questions that I’m really going to hate waiting for—like did he really cheat on her? Did Summer douse him with fairy dust and make him do it? Why did he let Liz see that encounter, but she never saw others? Huh? Huh?
  • Sawyer The Stereotypical Paranormal Guide—again, loved his character, loved his abilities. His story is open to so many different possibilities that I hope Lori delves into them in the coming novels. But seriously—the mysterious Indian guide who’s touches are like fire and who somehow knows everything? A little cheesy.
  • Daddy Dearest, aka the Strega—I’d never heard of a strega before, even googled it! His character was interesting, but his demise was campy and anti-climatic, as was the resulting change in other characters. He was the only real negative in the story

This should really prove to be a fantastic series!! *peers at dwindling TBR list* What to read next…

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