Reviews of the Living Dead: Apocalypse Happens

Apocalypse Happens (Lori Handeland)

  • Pub. Date: November 2009
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback, 343pp
  • ISBN-13: 9780312366025
  • ISBN: 0312366027

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Elizabeth Phoenix is one of a select few with the power to battle those who have escaped from the darkest level of hell—demons bent on destroying humanity and reclaiming earth once and for all. Liz is determined to stop yet another Doomsday. But this time, it’s going to be more difficult than ever because someone she thought was dead isn’t dead anymore…and is bound and determined to destroy Liz and everyone she loves in the upcoming Apocalypse.


Liz has arrived in Los Angeles to ferret out a nest of varcolacs: half human, half dragon creatures who crave the destruction of the sun and moon. But before she can prevent the kind of eclipse that would bring the world to an end, Liz must mine the depths of her own heart. She and her former lover Jimmy Sanducci have some personal demons to battle—and there’s always her mentor, the Navajo shaman Sawyer. Is he on their side or isn’t he? In the end, the three of them must find a way to fight together…or perish alone.


The third in this pre-apocalyptic (well definitely not post-apocalyptic) series, we continue to follow Liz Pheonix in her adventures as the leader of light to stop the coming apocalypse. And when I say stop, I really mean slow down. Through the course of the three books you get a real sense for the inevitablitiy of the doomsday that was put in motion with the murder of Liz’s foster mother Ruthie in the first book.

Additionally Liz is dealing with her decision to take on the darkness by becoming as dark as the things she is attempting to battle. Through the use of her sexual empathy ability she sleeps with Jimmy, her former dhamphir boyfriend turned vampire and becomes a vampire herself. So she not only has to deal with the dark feelings in making decisions that are difficult ones to make, sending people to their deaths, but also dealing with the darkness of evil and the whispers of that evil in her mind.

As you can guess if you have read the first couple of books in this series, the climax to the story comes from Liz and the Federation attempting to twart the latest attempt by evil to bring about the end of days by having one of the forces of darkness becoming the Antichrist. The question is really who is attempting to take on that mantle and drop the world into hell. And who makes it out at the end.

The one thing to consider with this book is that it seemed to be far more sexual in nature than the first two. It was really not nearly as off-putting as the descent of the Anita Blake series into a group sex cuddle-fest. When Chaos Bites comes out this month I am hoping to find that the sexual nature of her powers don’t become the most dominant part of her personality. My feel for it says it will not, but that remains to be seen.

Overall for the story, the evolution of the characters and the strong plot I would rate this book at 4 out of 5 stars. Well worth the money. Also worth looking into Chaos Bites when that hits the stands in the next week or two.


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