Review by: Alexander
TITLE: Where There’s Smoke
SERIES: Panopolis book 1
AUTHOR: Cari Z
NARRATOR: Nick J Russo
PUBLISHER: Riptide Publishing
LENGTH: 2 hours, 8 minutes
RELEASE DATE: February 2, 2017
Panopolis is a rough place to be an average Joe. I came here looking for adventure and excitement, but nobody cares about one more normal guy in a city filled with super-powered heroes. The closest I’ve come to glory is working in a bank that villains often rob.
But then I maybe accidentally-on-purpose helped a villain escape the hero who was trying to save the day. Imagine my shock when, a week later, that villain asked me out for coffee. One date turned into more, and now I’m head over heels in love with Raul.
Falling in love with the guy dubbed the Mad Bombardier isn’t without its downsides, though. I’ve had to deal with near-death encounters with other villains, awkwardly flirtatious heroes who won’t take no for an answer, and a lover I’m not sure I can trust. It’s getting to the point where I know I’ll have to make a choice: side with the heroes, or stand fast by my villain.
Either way, I think my days as a normal guy are over.
When Where There’s Smoke was offered for review, I knew that I had to scoop it up and hoped that the story lived up to the blurb.
I was not disappointed.
I enjoyed the premise, which was stereotypical and fun, and was pleased that our main characters, Edward and the Mad Bombardier (aka Raul) were more than just the two-dimensional characters that one might have expected from this type of story. It didn’t take long for Edward and Raul to grow and reveal their individuality and depth, which considering the length of the story was impressive.
What’s a superhero / villain story without some conflict! I liked these elements of the story because they felt right, and effectively advanced the plot. The ending was satisfying and as the title implies, we can expect a sequel and get to see where Edward and Raul go in the future. One thing that I noticed is that there is almost an unlimited opportunity to delve into the lives of the heroes, villains, and “normal” population of Panopolis, like Freight Train, perhaps?
I always know what I am getting in an audio performance by Russo, and this was no exception. A solid performance with just a few issues with diction / pronunciation, and a lack of emotion where emotion was needed, but those were isolated situations and didn’t really detract from my enjoyment of the story.