Title: Any Given Doomsday Series: Phoenix Chronicles #1
Release Date: 2008-11-04
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Also by this author: In The Air Tonight, In the Beginning (short story)
Any Given Doomsday is the first book in the Phoenix Chronicles series by Lori Handeland. It was published in 2013. This was my second time reading it. I re-read it mainly because I had read a lot of bad reviews of this book. I wanted to see what I missed that was so terrible. I still don’t see it. I enjoyed this book thoroughly. Yes, Lizzy is kind of a pushover when it comes to men–way too forgiving–but she doesn’t have unrealistic expectations for her relationship with either Jimmy or Sawyer.
With Jimmy, Lizzy has a love-hate relationship. She loves him, but she remembers how he hurt her by cheating on her. Physically, they still have an attraction to one another, but Lizzy hasn’t forgiven him.
With Sawyer, Lizzy has a fear-lust relationship. She is strongly attracted to him, but knows he has a dark side that scares her.
I think the problem is that a lot of readers have gone into this book expecting a paranormal romance like her Nightcreatures series. It isn’t a paranormal romance. It is an urban fantasy. Yes, she has deep feelings for Jimmy, but getting back together with him isn’t the goal of the story. The goal is to stop the baddies from starting an apocalypse by killing all the good guys. So, if you go in expecting romance, you are going to be disappointed. If you go in expecting monster-butt-kicking, you’re on target.
Being Lori Handeland, there has to be sex. I expected that. I didn’t find it distasteful or offensive. I think people would take offense to what appears to be rape in some parts of this book. It’s true I was upset by how Sawyer took advantage of her, but I felt she dealt with adequately. She hit him in the head with a rock. Later, she didn’t forgive him; she just understood why it needed to be done. With Jimmy, I didn’t see it as rape because she did it willingly. He make have taken her by force anyway, but Lizzy thought she could get him to remember who he used to be and how he felt for her, so he didn’t end up having to do it forcefully.
I enjoyed how Handeland pulled from various mythologies and Native American lore, and mixed them with Christian teachings of fallen angels. It is a very complex system she has created, but she keeps it all straight throughout the book.
This book has a lot of action and is fast paced. Lizzy isn’t the most likable character because of her ways of dealing with men, but she does show personal growth in this book. She accepts her role and her powers.
I also liked how Handeland ended the book with a line that included the title of the next book, Doomsday Can Wait.
So, overall, I don’t see any major problems with this book. It’s got more sex than many urban fantasies, but that doesn’t really bother me. At least it didn’t get bogged down with all kinds of lovey-dovey stuff. Also, it requires a bit of an open mind due to the system of Breeds and Nephilim, which is quite different from many other books I have read. You also need a bit of an open mind about how she accepts having been drugged by Sawyer. Still, I really liked it both times I read it. I plan to re-read the next book soon.