Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland

The Phoenix Chronicles book 1Title:  Any Given Doomsday

Author:  Lori Handeland

Paperback:  343 pages (ARC)

Published:  2008

ISBN:  9780312949198

Acquired:  Won in the August 2008 batch of the LibraryThing Early Readers Program

Challenges:  The ARC Reading Challenge 2010, New Author Challenge 2010

“You’re telling me the fallen angels are still on earth in the form of demons?”

“In a way.  Ever heard of the Grigori and the Nephilim?”  I shook my head.  “The Grigori were known as the watchers.  They were sent to earth to keep an eye on the humans.  They lusted after them instead and were banished by God to Tartarus, the fiery pit where all divine enemies are thrown.”  He shrugged.  “Basically the lowest, locked level of hell.”

Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland, page 47 (ARC)

Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland was massively given out to LibraryThing’s ER program in August of 2008, and I’ve had it on my ARC-alanche pile since then.  It was out of laziness and distraction, but after reading it, I wonder if it was something more.  Maybe I was tapped into the Collective Conciousness and subconsciously knew it was a craptastic book.  Either way, I’m done with it.  Yay!

Oh my god… where do I begin.  Let’s start with the good things about it.  The plot is an interesting concept.  The Nephilim were the biblically mention sons and daughters of the forbidden union between the angels who were suppose to keep an eye on people and those whom they were suppose to watch.  The creation of this new race gave them a variety of supernatural powers and it is they who are the vampires, werewolves, gods, etc of our mythologies.  Opposing them is a federation of good who seek out and destroy the evil Nephilim.  Another thing I liked about the book was the action (not the action, btw) of demon hunting and solving the mystery of who killed Ruthie, everyone’s favorite mentor.

So where does it go wrong? 

There is vulgar and graphic sex scenes that go on for pages.  I’m not a prude, I can enjoy well-written love-making when it’s appropriate to the story, as in Bedlam, Bath and Beyond.  Even more barbaric and twisted sex like in Bentley Little’s The Store is okay, because it was a necessary part of the story.  But what soils the pages of this book is just gaggy.  The first event occurred within the first 50 pages in which the female narrator describes how she wants to give the guy a blow job.  Later she’s date-raped by the guy who’s suppose to be teaching her how to use her powers, then forcibly raped for a few chapters toward the end.  The sex is bestial and perverse, and isn’t gentle “love” until it’s too late.  No, you don’t have your heroine being raped all over the book, then try to slip in some sweet-lovin’ to make the reader forgive the rape.

And it’s not just the whole rape thing, but it’s the way in which it’s shown.  I swear these are straight out of some guy’s rape-fantasy magazine, because as she’s being raped, she reaches orgasm over and over, as if she has to be taken to have pleasure.  And if all that wasn’t enough, you get to the big boss bad guy’s lair and it’s Gor all the way.  Women waiting around wearing nothing but a chain around their waist, desperately hoping to be used next.  It just started turning my stomach after awhile.

Besides the rape and lack of any moral fiber of anyone, good or bad, except Ruthie who dies in the first chapter, there is the way the book is put together.  At times, the writing is less-than-descriptive (which never happens during the porn), events and sections of the story seem thrown together and not woven in well, and it seems like Handeland wanted to make sure to use ever supernatural being anyone has ever heard of, whether it worked or not.  Case in point:  The half-Nephilim (called breeds) who is a werehyena who fights the cougar (in rural WISCONSIN in April) that’s possessed by a chindi (what the hell is that?), but is defeated when it touches the turquoise necklace our heroine just happens to be wearing that was given to her by her “teacher” who is a skinwalker and hates her dhampir ex-boyfirend who turns out to be a dream-walker.  Oh, and the reason he’s an ex is because she had a psychic vision of him screwing a chick who turns out to be a fairy.

Stretch the limits of credulity much?

Yeah, so it’s an easy guess.  Since I did enjoy some parts of this book it’s not a complete hated-it! but I can’t really give it much higher than a 2 out of 5 stars.

Oh yeah, and I got a very strong feeling the two lovers here will turn out to be brother and sister.

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Bedlam, Bath and Beyond by J. D. Warren

TITLE: Bedlam, Bath and Beyond
AUTHOR: J. D. Warren
PUBLISH DATE: January 2008
PUBLISHER:Love Spell (div of Dorchester Publishing Co., Inc.)
ISBN: 9780505526984

“You know none of this is real, don’t you?” murmured the uniformed fellow at our front door, his voice so urgent that I blinked at him, startle. “I don’t know who you are or where you came from, but this is not your life.”

The words left me feeling like an unsuspecting gnat meeting the windshield of a speeding vehicle. All I could do was gape at him.

“You’ve got to wake up,” he added, handling me my half-percent milk. His whispering became more intense. “You’ve got to remember who you are,” he concluded, before walking away with a nod and a tip of his cap.

Trust me. Four out of five doctors would not recommend it as a way to start off your week.

Bedlam, Bath and Beyond by J. D. Warren, page 1

First off, I must say Bedlam, Bath and Beyond is one of the most enjoyable, fun and sexy books I’ve read in a long time (ignoring the fact I’ve not read a lot of books in the past couple months 😉 ). Reminiscent of Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels, with a fantasy aspect, Bedlam had me laughing out loud at times, and feeling… erm, rather warm at other times.

The story begins with Corydonais, the tall, attractive milkman, commanding Samantha to wake up and remember who she is, and telling her the world she inhabits is NOT reality. As soon as she does this and finds the exit, she returns to the real world to find what had felt like the last two or three weeks actually lasted almost three years, that fairies are real and co-inhabit our world (and that they find the term “fairy” offensive, Peri is preferred), and that she’s being chased by blood-thirsty, vicious boars through the streets of Las Vegas.

With the help of Cor and the Storm Ravens, Samantha discovers why she had been taken, and that a young girl’s life is in danger of Hell (yes, also real and once recipient of Peri offerings) as the tiend, or gift, from an outlawed sect, The Order of the Crows, who would love to see humanity wiped off the Earth.

Along the way, Samantha learns that real love can be found and that not every man will abandon her like her father did. She’s also disgusted by the girlish flirtation of her mother with Cor’s bodyguard, Landemann. Throw into the mix Nikki, Cor’s a 200+ year-old teenage sister, with a Krispy-Kreme fetish, Doreen, Samantha’s mother’s friend, who continually word-vomits about her bunions, plantar warts, and various other nauseating illnesses and medical procedures whether people want to hear or not (most often, NOT), and an ending that frames the book perfectly (Samantha must do the same for Cor that he did for her, remind him of who he is and help him find the exit). What you end up with is brilliant, pleasurable escape from your own “real world”.

I give Bedlam, Bath and Beyond 5 out of 5 stars, and recommend anyone over eighteen (it does have some sexual content) who is looking for a bit of fun and light reading to take a romp with the fairies 😀 .

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