lallis_folly: (alyson_book)
[personal profile] lallis_folly
When I was a teenager, I snatched up Pocket's Star Trek tie-in novels the instant they appeared in the local bookstore and read them voraciously. I had approximately two hundred of the things until one day I looked around my library and realized that the books all blended together and I couldn't differentiate one from another. Only a few had outstanding plots that I remembered for more than an hour after reading them. Those few, I kept. The rest were given to a friend.

The current crop of urban fantasies/paranormal romances are much like those long-gone Star Trek novels. There really aren't that many differeces between them, and Lori Handeland's Any Given Doomsday is a typical example of the breed. The snarky, first-person narrator is a kick-ass heroine with a slightly murky past (orphaned, gymnast, ex-cop at the tender age of twenty-five), who has had her heart broken. She's also -- like so many of her fellow heroines -- something of a Mary Sue*. She's special (witness her name: Elizabeth Phoenix) and she only gets more special as the novel progresses. And because she's special, it's her job to save the world. Plus, she gets spectacularly laid several times.

In keeping with the genre, there isn't just one man who reappears from her past, but two. And they -- naturally -- both want her. But neither of them is what he appears to be.

All of that aside, I still read the novel in two days, and it might have been one had it not been for that pesky day job. The novel's pace is right smart quick -- almost rushed in places, but that only makes it the more readable; the faster the pace, the harder it is to put down.

Our Heroine, Liz, is saved from being a complete Mary Sue in that she doesn't want the special powers that keep coming her way. She doesn't want to have to save the world. But she's stuck with it, so she makes the best of it.

Probably the highest praise that I can give a book is to say that I'll read the sequel. I will read the sequel to Any Given Doomsday.

*If you're not familiar with the term, go look it up. I think Wikipedia probably has an article on Mary Sues. Go on. I'll wait.

Cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] webofbooks
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