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~READ E-PUB ☪ Asche ♫ Die letzten Tage der Menschheit sind angebrochen und nur eine Frau kann die M chte der Finsternis besiegen Faszinierend, erotisch und packend erz hlt Einst nutzte Elizabeth Phoenix ihre bersinnlichen Kr fte, um der Polizei von Milwaukee zu helfen Doch eines Tages wird ihre Pflegemutter Ruthie auf bestialische Weise ermordet und Liz selbst bewusstlos am Tatort aufgefunden Danach plagen sie merkw rdige Tr ume von r tselhaften Ungeheuern und finsteren D monen Doch was bedeuten diese grauenhaften Bilder Und was haben sie mit ihrem ehemaligen Geliebten, dem Fotografen Jimmy Sanducchi, zu tun, der berraschend wieder aufgetaucht ist Ohne es zu ahnen, ger t Liz zwischen die Fronten eines Krieges bernat rlicher M chte, in dem das berleben der ganzen Menschheit auf dem Spiel steht This book disappointed me terribly Not because it was lousy, but because it started out strong, then hit one of my triggers and couldn t seem to redeem itself after that The story is very fast paced, and the heroine is appealing, with a sassy yet self deprecating manner Elizabeth Phoenix has always been psychic, but when her foster mother dies, she becomes somethinga seer able to detect the true forms and human faces of the monsters that plague our world With her in this fight again This book disappointed me terribly Not because it was lousy, but because it started out strong, then hit one of my triggers and couldn t seem to redeem itself after that The story is very fast paced, and the heroine is appealing, with a sassy yet self deprecating manner Elizabeth Phoenix has always been psychic, but when her foster mother dies, she becomes somethinga seer able to detect the true forms and human faces of the monsters that plague our world With her in this fight against evil are two men from her past, her fellow orphan Jimmy, a demon killing dhampir, and the skinwalker Sawyer The latter is the character I find most problematic I have never been crazy about alpha male characters, and I particularly don t like it when their alpha nature is used to bring a strong woman down Sawyer is both a mentor figure and an object of lust for Elizabeth, a combination ripe for abuse, and abuse it he does, robbing her of agency in the most unsettling way There s a lot of graphic sex here, which is not my cup of tea, but it s easier to gloss over the sex scenes than the troubling sexual dynamics So while I enjoyed the book at first, it eventually made me squirmy and squeamish, and disinclined to give the sequel a try Any Given Doomsday starts out great Psychic Elizabeth Phoenix is working her bartender job when her instincts tell her to get out And something pulls her home To find the woman who raised her had been murdered.This is where the book loses me Elizabeth discovers that people aren t what they seem Including Ruthie, and two men from her past Jimmy Sawyer She is informed that the classic battle of good vs evil is being waged right in front of her she never knew it But with Ruthie s death, Any Given Doomsday starts out great Psychic Elizabeth Phoenix is working her bartender job when her instincts tell her to get out And something pulls her home To find the woman who raised her had been murdered.This is where the book loses me Elizabeth discovers that people aren t what they seem Including Ruthie, and two men from her past Jimmy Sawyer She is informed that the classic battle of good vs evil is being waged right in front of her she never knew it But with Ruthie s death, she must step up to the plate lead the warriors to victory.Good vs Evil Sounds pretty basic, right The numerous mythical creatures lost me And I didn t really care enough about the plot to go back through the pages to remind who was who or what was what Shapeshifter, Skinwalkers, DK s, Fairies, Damphir s, Werewolves, Bears, they all start to blur together.I really wanted to like this book For the first half of the book, I really liked Elizabeth I won t give away which section of the book changed that for me, but I suspect you can figure it out for yourself if you read the book.Oh well Not every book is going to be liked by every reader I am sure that there are some out there who will love it, but I won t be reading the rest of the series Any Given Doomsday is about Elizabeth Phoenix and her introduction to the war between good an evil Elizabeth has been psychic as long as she can remember If she touches something she gets visions or glimpses about whatever it is she s touching She tried joining the police force to put her abilities to good use However, in the end her gift caused her to leave the force after the death of her partner One day changes her life forever when she visits Ruthie, the woman who took her off the stree Any Given Doomsday is about Elizabeth Phoenix and her introduction to the war between good an evil Elizabeth has been psychic as long as she can remember If she touches something she gets visions or glimpses about whatever it is she s touching She tried joining the police force to put her abilities to good use However, in the end her gift caused her to leave the force after the death of her partner One day changes her life forever when she visits Ruthie, the woman who took her off the streets as a child and raised her She finds Ruthie near death all alone in her house, but she tells Elizabeth that she wants to give her something before she dies What Elizabeth receives, is Ruthie s gifts as a seer As a seer, Elizabeth can now see the children of Nephilim The Nephilim are the children of angels and humans, twisted and corrupted with varying appearances and abilities Also, as a seer she has a DK or demon killer Unfortunately for Elizabeth her DK also happens to be her former lover, Jimmy Sanducci On top of that, recently other seers are turning up dead all over the country Elizabeth has to learn her seer abilities fast before doomsday is upon them and the war is already lost.Any given Doomsday was a lot of fun You re kind of unsure who you re rooting for in the romance department, if anyone That wasn t a big problem for me, but someone looking for something with a strong romance should look for something else The demon and angel mythology can sometimes get old, but thankfully with this book it didn t feel boring or too bogged down in information The characters were interesting and there was lot s of action and suspense to keep me happy I m definitely interested in what happens next I had limited expectations for this book after reading Handeland s Nightcreature series While I enjoyed the werewolf books, they were simple romances at their core, late night snacks rather than five course meals I picked up Any Given Doomsday largely on a whim I didn t even intend to read the book that night, but then I couldn t stop The book just moves that fast.In Doomsday Handeland stretches her wings to craft a fuller tale, consisting of two chief elements the romance and the thriller I had limited expectations for this book after reading Handeland s Nightcreature series While I enjoyed the werewolf books, they were simple romances at their core, late night snacks rather than five course meals I picked up Any Given Doomsday largely on a whim I didn t even intend to read the book that night, but then I couldn t stop The book just moves that fast.In Doomsday Handeland stretches her wings to craft a fuller tale, consisting of two chief elements the romance and the thriller I would say she satisfies on both counts First, in the character Elizabeth Phoenix, Handeland creates an everywoman Naturally, Elizabeth has plenty to say about life and a funny, sarcastic way to say it, but she has one trait that s woefully missing from many paranormal and romance heroines She s endearingly self deprecating, down to earth and just plain sympathetic, right down to her resignation when she learns she s gotta save the world The reader doesn t have to grind teeth to tolerate her Elizabeth s reactions to her insane world are genuine, and we learn about the baddies as she does The device Handeland uses here is mostly dialogue, but there are no page long monologues that begin with, Magic is We read the explanations of the world s folkloric monsters come to life whoa, awesome idea in between her conversations with the two leading men in this book, who are fleshed out as flawed men rather than fantasies put to writing not that they couldn t be fantasies, The way they are developed speaks to Handeland s skill Elizabeth s differing relationships with these men is multi layered, and we learn about them both through Elizabeth s memories and inner dialogue and eveninterestingly, the character s opinions of each other What s the term here, a dog fight P Learning about these guys is interesting, one a powerful Navajo witch and the other a monster hunter and her ex One s slightly ruthless gamma, the other a lost soul type Naturally, we want to redeem both leer In fact, for the first half or so of the book, I thought I was reading something along the lines of Rachel Caine s Ill Wind or perhaps a Buffy for Adults, complete with a deceased spirit guide who can only tell the heroine so much because rules are rules, a device as much a staple of storytelling as the haunted castle or once upon a time We learn about her world and her past relationships, the news in 30 seconds, right from the beginning of the novel where the action starts and from there we re mostly interested in Doomsday and what Elizabeth s gonna do about it Then the romance begins I won t give anything away, but I will say this Handeland s not afraid to make her character sacrifice Elizabeth goes through a lot to shape her character into a hero we can be confident will save our unworthy arses There are some darker moments I did say flawed men, didn t I but the reader gets the impression Handeland wants us to read the next book to learn the method to her madness I just hope that Elizabeth s fun new sex as a weapon habit doesn t become Anita Blake, if you catch my meaning It was well written and logical in the flow of events here, but, alone, that plot device may lend itself to abuse No way to tell until we read the next book though This is the first book, the first battle in the war, as Elizabeth says, and I will definitely be looking out for the second I love paranormal fiction, but the genre is littered with poorly executed stories Any Given Doomsday is one of them I don t like giving bad reviews, but because this was a free advance reading copy I feel like I have to write something about it The basic premise is great powerful evil bad guys of various forms trying to take over the world and a federation of good guys with unusual abilities led by seers trying to save humanity The author took this premise and added a strong heroine, a li I love paranormal fiction, but the genre is littered with poorly executed stories Any Given Doomsday is one of them I don t like giving bad reviews, but because this was a free advance reading copy I feel like I have to write something about it The basic premise is great powerful evil bad guys of various forms trying to take over the world and a federation of good guys with unusual abilities led by seers trying to save humanity The author took this premise and added a strong heroine, a little romance, and an interesting Old Testament back story for the bad guys So far, so good However, the romance was anything but romantic, as the otherwise strong heroine stumbles after not one, but two jerks that make it clear they don t want a relationship with her just lots of sex Most of all, the authors writing style really put me off There were many snappy little lines that were so cheesy that I didn t even want to go on reading If you can overlook the flaws, you may be able to enjoy this book But I ve had better As long as there s better out there, I won t be bothering with the rest of this series or anything else from this author Quite a number of today s urban fantasy books toy with the vampire myths and werewolf stories to modernize them and make themrelevant When I started reading this novel, I new 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 Quite a number of today s urban fantasy books toy with the vampire myths and werewolf stories to modernize them and make themrelevant When I started reading this novel, I new 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 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 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 readlike 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 I was really hoping to enjoy this book Considering the books I normally read, this seemed a perfect fit to me Unfortunately, it falls a little short of my expectations for a good urban fantasy read I don t expect great literature, but I do want believable characters, fast paced action, and scary monsters.I couldn t relate to the protagonist, Elizabeth Phoenix, a psychic ex cop turned bartender I also didn t care about the relationship between her and her childhood love, Jimmy Sarducci I wi I was really hoping to enjoy this book Considering the books I normally read, this seemed a perfect fit to me Unfortunately, it falls a little short of my expectations for a good urban fantasy read I don t expect great literature, but I do want believable characters, fast paced action, and scary monsters.I couldn t relate to the protagonist, Elizabeth Phoenix, a psychic ex cop turned bartender I also didn t care about the relationship between her and her childhood love, Jimmy Sarducci I will not be going into my problems with the names I know he is supposed to be the bad boy type, but really, he s just not like able and I couldn t understand or believe the attraction.The mystery starts off right at the beginning when Elizabeth s friend and former guardian is found murdered She discovers that Ruthie was a seer that helped demon killers find their prey and somehow passed her gifts on to Liz The middle was a little slow while Elizabeth comes to grips with her newfound knowledge and gifts The action picks back up towards the end, but in a very different way than I was expecting The book went from urban fantasy to racy romance book and not in a good way The amount of sex going on for what seems like the entire last 1 4 of the book is not romantic, just disturbing and doesn t help in making me like or respect Phoenix as a female character.The monsters were somewhat interesting and different from the usual batch of supernaturals that fill the fantasy books I love Some are very obscure, however, so I felt the need to research a bit Not something I really want to do while reading this type of book.I think if the romance plot line was left out or if Elizabeth was given a better way to absorb others powers this would have made for a much better read It was good enough to keep me reading to the end but there are definitely much better urban fantasy books with much strongerlikable women protagonists This was an Early Reviewer book from LibraryThing.I suspected I might be in trouble when I read the author s note on the back of the book, citing Laurel K Hamilton as her biggest influence I don t mind some romance thrown in with my paranormal action adventure, but Hamilton has never really struck me as the world s greatest wordsmith Still, since I was asked to review the book, I thought I d give it a go I m sorry to say I didn t like it much.The characters are very one dimensional they are This was an Early Reviewer book from LibraryThing.I suspected I might be in trouble when I read the author s note on the back of the book, citing Laurel K Hamilton as her biggest influence I don t mind some romance thrown in with my paranormal action adventure, but Hamilton has never really struck me as the world s greatest wordsmith Still, since I was asked to review the book, I thought I d give it a go I m sorry to say I didn t like it much.The characters are very one dimensional they arelike cardboard cut out ideas than actual believable people For example, Elizabeth Phoenix, the protagonist, has a complicated history, but it is all introduced very clumsily and flatly Instead of giving the reader the impression that we have joined a character s life midstream, it just feels like what it is backstory Handeland s efforts toward creating a unique mythology for her world are well intentioned, but jumbled, and like the backstory it feels like an excuse for how things are, rather than a believable reason.There s a lot of explicit sex here, which is unsurprising, and which is fine if that s your thing, but I was bothered by the amount of nonconsensual sex, as well as by the role that sex plays in Liz coming into her powers I don t want to sayfor fear of spoilers, but let s just say I was rolling my eyes heavily.Finally, and this is really nit picky, but for all the inclusion of 21st century technology everyone has a cell phone, etc parts of this book struck me as distinctly early 90s, which was jarring The main character wears a fanny pack, and people actually say Not Seriously, when was the last time you saw a woman in her mid twenties sporting a fanny pack when she wasn t jogging Overall, I won t be seeking out the sequels, but if you enjoy sexy paranormal fluff, you can probably get a couple good hours out of this