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REVIEW

"Interesting new spin on the Apocalypse"

Elizabeth Phoenix had been a child of the Milwaukee foster care system, angry and without direction until Ruthie Kane had taken her in. Ruthie was an anomaly, a lone black woman in their affluent Polish neighborhood in addition to keeping a houseful of troubled orphans. Among them had been Elizabeth's first love Jimmy Sanducci, but their affair had ended when Elizabeth's psychic gift had shown him to be unfaithful. This gift or curse as she saw it had also cost her the only job she had ever loved as well. She'd been a cop, an occupation where her ability had been useful until that fatal day when it had cost her partner's life. Now she was a bartender in his widow's establishment, a cop bar. Oh the irony. And it is there that she is tending bar when an urgent premonition sends her flying to Ruthie's house. Too late it appears, as her foster mother's life blood is leaching away through the floorboards. Before she passes to the next plane of existence, Ruthie gives Liz a cryptic apology. "It has begun," she says, as ready or not she passes her power and responsibilities on to her former charge.

"It" is the Apocalypse, the ultimate fight between good and evil. The world as Liz had known it has changed forever as she learns that very little of it is as it appears. Ruthie, who had been the chief seer for the power of good, is even more powerful in death than in life but she had added her earthy abilities to the one's Liz already possessed. And once she learned to use them Liz would be responsible for leading the powers of good in the final battle. Jimmy, who had been on the scene of Ruthie's murder, is the chief suspect but neither have time to worry about that. Liz's own pychic gift had relied on touch and now was enhanced by Ruthie's whispers to identify the paranormal creatures she encounters. Jimmy is the first. "Dhampir" Ruthie whispers, the son of a Vampire and a human woman. Jimmy explains that all of the paranormal creatures of myth truly existed, descendants of the Nephilim, spawn of the fallen angels and their human mates. Some who fought on the side of good such as himself were DKs (demon killers) who reported to the seers. One of these had betrayed Ruthie and they needed to find out whom ASAP.

In order to do so she must open herself to her new powers and Jimmy knows that only one man could help her to do so. Liz is not eager to renew her acquaintance with Sawyer, the Native American magic man to whom Ruthie had sent her for one summer in her teens. Though he had never laid a hand on her, the man had terrified her. With her new knowledge, Liz imagines correctly that Sawyer is more than an ordinary man and fears the reunion even more. Jimmy won't take for an answer, but they have targets on their backs and the forces of Hell will stop at nothing to keep them from their goal.

Romance readers should be aware that this is Urban Fantasy with romantic aspects. There is sex and romance but it is not monogamous by any stretch of the imagination. Although it's clear that her heart still belongs to the treacherous Jimmy, Liz learns she can only gain power through sexual intercourse with beings who already hold the powers she seeks. This she learns from the enigmatic Sawyer. There is a strong attraction between these two as well though he is not particular about consent since the fate of the world is at stake. ANY GIVEN DOOMSDAY is written in the first person as are many sf and fantasy offerings, and readers should also be aware that this first story provides quite a bit of background material which will no doubt become useful if one can be patient for future installments. The story will continue with DOOMSDAY CAN WAIT, which is scheduled for release in late April of 2009.

Though not a new premise, I found the world building intriguing and will definitely read on to see where Ms. Handeland is taking the story next.

* Note: I strongly suggest acquiring the free short story "In the Beginning" to get a better feel for Elizabeth Phoenix and the event that brought her to where she is in ANY GIVEN DOOMSDAY.

Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted December 3, 2008

SUMMARY

The countdown begins now...

**2008 PEARL NOMINEE - BEST SCIENCE FICTION OR FANTASY**

**A PNR Staff & Reviewer Top Pick**

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.

Genre: Urban Fantasy

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Any Given Doomsday
(The Phoenix Chronicles: Book 1)
by Lori Handeland

St. Martin's Press
November 1, 2008
Available: November 4, 2008
ISBN #0312949197
EAN #9780312949198
352 pages
Paperback
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Other Books by
Lori Handeland

Crave The Moon
Moon Cursed
Marked By The Moon
Shakespear Undead
Chaos Bites
Apocalypse Happens
Doomsday Can Wait
Thunder Moon
No Rest for the Witches
Moon Fever
Hidden Moon
Rising Moon
My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding
Midnight Moon
Dates From Hell
Crescent Moon
Dark Moon
Hunter's Moon
Stroke of Midnight
Blue Moon
The Brother Quest
The Daddy Quest
The Farmer's Wife


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