Monday, February 2, 2009

Novel Chats Paranormal Style - Part the First

Thanks to everyone for the well wishes going out to Miss Beautiful. We were pretty scared for a while. She has pneumonia, strep poisoning and scarlet fever. Thanks to a shot of Rocephin at the hospital and heavy doses of twice daily antibiotic she's on the mend. And although we had a note saying she could return to school today, the school thought it best that she rest one more day before trying it. I agree. She's still very congested and she tires very easily. And now, on with it!

Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland
From The Author's Website:

Darkness will summon her…

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?

To places she's never been before…

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.…

I received this book quite some time ago, and truth be told, I almost didn’t read it. I had seen that Handeland was a NYT Bestseller and that it was part of a series from the cover, and just assumed (I have to learn to quit that!) that it was a mid-series novel. Plus, I had never read Handeland before and the touting of bestseller always makes me nervous when I haven’t read the author before. Anyway, with a tip from a Yahoo! Group I belong to from a fellow reviewer, I went ahead and read it. They had enjoyed the book, plus I was seeing a lot of reviews – all good – all over the net. That, coupled with the fact that this was the FIRST book in a series had me cracking the spine.

All in all, I enjoyed the book. The concept is exceptional, but the writing I found to merely mediocre. While enjoyed the actual plot, the characters left me somewhat cold. I did, eventually warm up somewhat to the people of this fantastic world, but unfortunately, it didn’t last long. I’ll definitely give the second book a try, but it’s not one I will be rushing to the stores to own. I give this one a C.

Blood Bargain by Maria Lima


Keira Kelly has settled in at Wild Moon Ranch with handsome Adam Walker, her vampire lover, but her life is not so hot. Not only is Keira still struggling with the Change that will bring her an as of yet unknown paranormal power, but Adam’s avoiding intimacy and mysteriously growing weak. At least she has Tucker, her 1200-year-old shapeshiting ex-Viking brother, around to help. When a ranch hand is reported missing and some teens disappear, Keira and Tucker have a heap of unexpected trouble piled on ‘em. There’s a lot of weird doing down around Rio Seco, Texas, and after Keira and Tucker stumbled across some dangerous clues in an abandoned cemetery, things get even stranger…

Bargain is the second book in the Blood Lines series, and I had talked about he first book, Matters of the Blood here. I can’t link to a purchase button right now, as Bargain and Matters were both Juno releases and as you know, they’ve partnered with Pocket Books, According to Lima’s blog though, it looks like they should get re-printed from Pocket later in the year.

When I read Matters it was a dark tale. Terrifying yet witty. Scary yet Romancy. I had expected Bargain to be the same and was eager to delve into this richly written world with its complex characters yet again. I quickly noticed one thing – this wasn’t the world and the character I had left when Matters closed. Keira seemed more fluff in this book. She had apparently gotten used to the good life with Adam, and lost all of her edge. Even when the mystery starts, the lack of characteristics that made Keira so complex and fantastic in the first book left a huge gaping hole in this fictional world. The tone was far lighter even when the plot would have left much room for some dark, kick ass Keira moments. All in all, the tone was entirely too different from the first book and left this reader feeling betrayed. The third book will be released in November and I’ll eagerly crack the spine in anticipation that the dark and twisted world, balanced perfectly with wit and humor has been restored, and the light, trying too hard to be comical Keira is gone. If this were the first book in a series, I would grade it much higher, but since the feel of the book and overall character assassination was too much for me to handle, I have to give this one a D. Lima can do better, she’s already proved that.

Don’t forget to enter the contest! You have two more days.

Take Care


Brandy said...

I read Any Given Doomsday and the characters, I thought, didn't show much humanity. They did seem cold. Of course this was the darkest book I have read in a long time, so that may have something to do with it. I'll give the rest of the series a pass.
Glad to hear Miss Beautiful is feeling better!

ChariDee said...

Hey Brandy! I agree, but I wonder if they didn't seem very human because they weren't supposed to or if, as I expect, it's because she just didn't build them well. They seemed so lack luster and I don't know - fictional LOL Perhaps a bad word! Anyway, I loved the concept and story line, but the execution really threw me!

Thanks for the well wishes for MB!

donnas said...

I really like the storyline of Any Given Doomsday. It was the first book I have read by Lori Handeland. I enjoyed it, and while I am not as attached to these characters and in other books I am reserving final judgement on the series until after the second comes out. There was a lot that happened and it was a busy book so after the next I may grow more attached.

ChariDee said...

Hi donnas! I agree, there was a lot going on in the book. Almost too much too fast. I just couldn't connect to the characters. But like you, I'm waiting for book 2 before I make any real judgment!