Thursday, October 9, 2008

the godmother by Carrie Adams

Title: the godmother
Author: Carrie Adams
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: September 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages
Age Group: Adult

Tessa King envies her friends - their relationships and their children. She is surrounded by families while she struggles to pull her life together after losing her job. However, when Tessa returns from an extended vacation she begins to see that her friends' lives are not full of happy endings either. Tessa ends up racing from one friend's crisis to the next, all while trying to find some balance in her unsettled life. All four of Tessa's godchildren also need her help during the course of the book.

This book was a good read, although I found it a bit depressing rather than humorous. I'm not sure that I 'get' books that overwhelm the main character with so many issues that it is supposed to be laughable. Tessa and her friends are all incredibly overwhelmed with stuff in this book to the point that you wonder how much more any of them can take. Adams' writing is fast paced and lets the reader really feel the stress of the characters.

the godmother is Carrie Adams first novel and is available in both hardcover and paperback. Her second book, The Stepmother, will be released in hardcover March 3, 2009.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland

Title: Any Given Doomsday
Author: Lori Handeland
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: November 4, 2008
Format: Mass market paperback, 352 pages
Age Group: Adult
Series: The Phoenix Chronicles (Book 1)

I was very excited to receive an Advance Reading Copy of Lori Handeland's Any Given Doomsday from the Library Thing Early Reviewers Program. From the description I thought the book would fit perfectly with my library of urban fantasy, traditional fantasy, and paranormal titles. Unfortunately, I was ultimately disappointed in this book.

Elizabeth Phoenix is a psychic and ex-cop who wakes up after a four day coma. She was found lying next to her foster mother's murdered body. Elizabeth is about to enter a world she didn't even know existed, filled with creatures from myth and legend. Her psychic powers have been greatly enhanced and expanded and now she must learn quickly because the fate of the world may rest in her hands. She is aided in her quest for knowledge by Jimmy, an ex-lover and half vampire, and Sawyer, a skin-walker who Elizabeth hoped was in her past.

The story in this book sounds promising and I might have enjoyed it if it had been executed in a different fashion. I had never read anything by Lori Handeland before and did not realize her background as a romance author. While I have read some romances that I enjoyed, it is definitely not one of my primary genres. Handeland's romantic background came through very strongly in her descriptive passages and the book contained a large amount of sexual scenes. While I do not object to the occasional sex scene in a book, I do not like it when the sex becomes a primary plot device as it did in this book. Handeland compares The Phoenix Chronicles to Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series and I think that is a very accurate comparison when talking about the most current Anita Blake books. I was a fan of the Anita Blake series before it became bogged down with all the sex but the increase in sex and subsequent decrease in an actual plot line has me wondering if I will continue to even read them. Fans of the current Anita Blake books would probably enjoy Any Given Doomsday.

Find out more about The Phoenix Chronicles and Lori Handeland's other books at her official website. There is also a short story about Elizabeth Phoenix on the website which takes place before the book. Any Given Doomsday is scheduled for release on November 4, 2008. Book 2 in the series, Doomsday Can Wait, is scheduled for release on April 28, 2009. If our local library picks up this series, I will probably check out the second book and then make a decision on the series as a whole.