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review 2019-04-13 16:07
REVIEW BY MERISSA - Venus Trap (Hidden Portals Trilogy #1) by Maya Daniels
Venus Trap (Hidden Portals Trilogy #1) - Maya Daniels

Venus Trap is the first book in the Hidden Portals series, and we start off with a storm, a death, and a mad king. Sounds good, right? Wrong! This is brilliant.

Artemis is a Fae, Raphael is a vampire. We also meet with other Fae, Humans, Witches, Vampires, and Demons are mentioned. So right there, we have different species, all with their own history and thoughts, and pitted against each other. Who is telling the truth? Who will fight with who?

We find out more about Artemis' history as the story progresses, and the reasons she has for feeling the way she does. Raphael has distanced himself from the rest of his race, partly due to his friend, Claude, otherwise known as the mad king.

With intrigue, steam, action, wit, and a strong, sassy female paired with a strong, opinionated male, this book has something for everyone. There were no editing or grammatical errors I noticed, and I thoroughly enjoyed every word.

With an epic finishing line, this will definitely leave you wanting more. Absolutely recommended by me.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2019/04/12/Venus-Trap-Hidden-Portals-Trilogy-1-by-Maya-Daniels
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review 2019-04-09 03:35
Jason's Woes Follow (and Grow) in his new Small Town
Dispatches from a Tourist Trap - James Bailey

 Sometimes lately I feel like life is a chess match, and no matter how hard I look at the board I can’t see the next move. Or maybe I think I see it, but really I don’t. Like my pawn is sitting there, all ready to put the other king in check, and somehow my queen gets swiped and two moves later I’ve lost the game and my pawn is still waiting there, impotent and useless.


So Jason mother's Janice continues her bad decisions when it comes to men -- she leaves her husband for a new guy, who happens to be the dentist she's started working for. We met him in The First World Problems of Jason Van Otterloo, and they clearly didn't waste time resuming whatever it was they had back in high school. Janice has moved herself and Jason to her parents' house, enrolled Jason in a school filled with very friendly people, and tried to move on with her life.


Jason realizes full-well that his choices are a life with his grandparents and a much smaller school, hours away from his friends and girlfriend; or life with Rob, near them. As much as he doesn't want to be in Icicle Flats, he knows it's the better choice available. But he complains the whole time about it -- this is good for readers, Jason complaining makes for an entertaining read. This time, he's not just complaining in emails, he's set up a blog, too. I was wondering how the blog was going to work instead of the emails -- it's actually a really good move, allowing Jason to tell longer stories without the emails being too long.


Which is good -- because he has long stories to tell this time. There's a literature club he's involved with at school that's discussing books that ruffle the feathers of many, which leads to all sorts of trouble. There's a flirtation with pirate radio. A camping trip that is fantastic to read about (and probably not a lot of fun to live through). A disastrous experiment with eBay. And basically, a bucket-load of culture shock. Also, after a few short weeks of dating, Jason's first real relationship becomes a long-distance one. High school relationships are bad enough, throwing in a few hour bus-ride into things is just asking for trouble. So yeah, between emails and his blog -- he's got a lot to write about, and his friends have a lot to respond to. Somehow, they make it through the school year more or less intact.


Jason feels incredibly authentic -- immature, self-centered, irresponsible, but he's got his moments. He can put others before himself, do the right thing because it's right -- not to stay out of trouble; But man, he can be frustrating the rest of the time. There were a lot of opportunities along the way here for him to be a better friend, a much better boyfriend, son and grandson; and he missed almost all of them. He comes through when necessary, don't get me wrong and he's not a bad guy -- I just wish he'd grow up a bit faster. Which again, means that Bailey has nailed his characterization, this his how people his age should be.


I'm less than thrilled with Bailey's approach to religious characters in these two books. I'm not questioning that there are people like the characters he depicts running around everywhere and that the situations would've played out a lot like they did here (but some of it pushed believability). I just would like a small indication that there were some sincere people trying to do the right thing in the middle of all this.


Having talked about The First World Problems of Jason Van Otterloo just two weeks ago, it feels hard to talk about this book beyond some of the plot changes -- this feels like the same book, just with new problems. Which is pretty much the point, right? I still like Jason (as frustrating as he can be), his girlfriend is fantastic, I want good things to happen to Drew. Jason's already complicated life is about to get a lot worse, which should prove very entertaining for the rest of us. A strong follow-up in this series.

LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge


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review 2018-12-14 00:11
Maigret Sets a Trap - Georges Simenon

The novel takes the reader to Paris in early August. It is a rather hot and stale summer in the city, where breezes are few, and those that arise tend to be arid and dry. Enough to make anyone wish for rain. 

At the headquarters of the Police Judiciaire at Quai des Orfèvres, Inspector Maigret feels very much like a man under siege. The press, sensing that a big story is about to break, have made themselves like permanent fixtures in the police station. Over the past 6 months, there have been a number of murders of young women in the Montmartre section of the city. Maigret has been hard pressed to determine who the murderer could be, as well as a possible rationale behind the killings. Most of the novel is taken up with the steps taken by Maigret to set up a trap to snare, once and for all, the murderer and restore tranquility in the neighborhood. 

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review 2018-11-20 20:43
Rockets' Dead Glare
Rockets' Dead Glare (A Tourist Trap Mystery) - Lynn Cahoon

It is the week before the 4th of July and the business owners have gathered to prepare for the festival and Barry, the fire chief, has come to tell everyone about what the fire department is doing and then states that he is going to check everyone's place and they will be shut down if they don't fix everything on his list. The first place he checks is Jill's store and coffee shop. He then suggests that she could make it worth his while to work on the items. She is furious and her aunt brings in a friend who is an electrician. They agree they have to bring things up to code, but that there are several things on the list that aren't even real and so they call the mayor's office, as do all the other business owners. Then Barry is found dead in a practice fire. While trying to find out what really happened, she learns information and shares it with the police chief, her boyfriend, Greg. 


The story was short and interesting. It was also something to listen to while I worked on getting my father-in-law's Christmas cards ready for the mail. 

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review 2018-11-17 13:11
A Deadly Brew
A Deadly Brew (A Tourist Trap Mystery) - Lynn Cahoon

Nell and Greg and their friends all go on an overnight double date (or could it be considered a triple date) to a local house that is considered haunted. The woman who had owned the house disappeared and they want to find out through ghost hunting and ouji boards and other things what may have happened to the woman, before the house is torn down and everything is lost. After the first night, Nell wakes up very cold from a dream she had and Esmerelda thinks she might be sensitive and the search for clues starts in earnest. 


I really enjoyed this story. It only had a few people and looked at an old mystery and had some ghostly happenings. It was also quick and easy to listen to and only needed about 2 hours of my day. 

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