Once upon a time, in an alleyway in the slums of the City of Lockes, a young and somewhat lonely boy named Sam Haversford turns a group of teenage douchebags into stone....
Making a name for myself as a Villain in Panopolis is hard work. Six months ago, my boyfriend broke me out of jail. Now he's spending most of his time defending our turf against other Villains....
In a world where magic is real and evil walks amongst humanity, a young sorcerer is beset by enemies, both old and new....
Prince Allen has trained his entire life to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious mother....
Senior Inspector Roku MacCormick of the Chinatown Arcane Crimes Division faces a pile of challenges far beyond his human-faerie heritage....
Talon Valdez knew when he transformed into an enhanced human, his life and his dreams were finished. Reviled, mistrusted, and often locked away....
The last thing half-dragon, half-fairy private investigator Twig Starfig wants to do is retrieve a stolen enchanted horn from a treacherous fae, but there's no denying the dazzlingly gorgeous unicorn....
Mark Hansen thought working as artist’s assistant would be glamorous, especially if that artist was a vampire. Black tie events, witty repartee, gracing the pages of the local style section....
NYPD Detective Alec MacAidan has always been good with weird. After all, his life has been a string of the unexplainable....
Scoundrel by nature and master thief by trade, Mouse is the best there is....
Noah Monroe is a recent college grad looking for a job - any job - to pay off his mounting student debt. Working as Gavin's personal assistant/babysitter seems like easy money....
Four original, unabridged, full-cast productions of Gail Carriger's most beloved fantasy short stories....
The Kingdom of Askara has been torn apart by conflict for centuries, where humans exist as subservient beings to their werewolf masters....
Hagen Wylie has it all figured out. He's going to live in his hometown, be everybody's friend, explore new relationships, and rebuild his life after the horrors of war....
Gabriel Wyatt is a big city Detective living in a small Ohio town. He expects a peaceful existence once he moves from Miami, Florida, but that’s the last thing he finds. Instead, Gabe discovers murder, mayhem, and one smart-mouthed stylist he can’t get out of his head....
Trystan is an unchosen angel - shunned by society, bullied, and without a future....
Only a select few in the human world knew of the existence of the V-Unit, a small group of highly trained Marines - who happened to be vampires....
A powerful Alpha wolf shifter and a strong-willed human overcome traditions and uncover long-buried secrets to fulfill their destiny as true mates....
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.
Any additional comments?
Interesting premise and a good start to the world building, but it needed more time to build.<br/><br/>It also lacked in the relationship building. Edward and Raul had so much of their relationship off page. I would have liked to have seen more time with them as a couple doing couple things around town, etc.<br/><br/>Mostly though, I can't say I loved the cliffhanger ending. Grr.<br/><br/>What I did love was Nick J. Russo's narration. 5 Stars for the narration! His character voices brought this short story to life and definitely kept me enthralled. <br/><br/>I'm looking forward to the next story in the series, and finding out all the wicked truths about Panopolis...but I think I'll wait to catch it on audio.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about Where There's Smoke?
This world called Panopolis that Cari Z has created. It reminds me of Brandon Sanderson and his Reckoners series where you've got these people with super human abilities and either villains or heros and there really is no in between. Or so it seems.
Who was your favorite character and why?
I really liked Raul. The way he's this conundrum of a Villain, more like the Devil's advocate, stuck in the middle. How he starts to find his way and a purpose when he meets Ed.
Which scene was your favorite?
The very end after Raul has Ed back with him. I like this tease leaving us, readers, wanting more from Ed, Raul and the crazy hectic world of Panopolis.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Nothing to cry about really, more an occasional laugh, but mostly intrigued.
Any additional comments?
I'm a huge fan of Dystopian worlds so this book was a must listen for me, and I wasn't disappointed. As short as the story is you still get a feel for the world Ed lives in. And then at the end you get a glimpse of just how twisted the leaders and doctors of this future society are. I'm excited to start book 2 and see where the author takes Ed and Raul. <br/><br/>Narrated by Nick J Russo and I just love this mans voice. So, not only does he give each character their own voice and tone, he has to use several for Raul for a reason I won't spoil for you. I think my favorite vocal tone in this book was the reporter at the beginning of each chapter. He sounds like a pompous ass which I'm quite certain, where he a real person, he totally would be. <br/><br/>
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
What if instead of rooting for the heroes, you cheered for the villains. What if you fell in love with one?
Unlike a lot of readers, I'm not a comic book fan. I have an embarrassingly small knowledge base about superheros and graphic novels, and unless it is common superhero knowledge at a Kindergarten level, I don't know about it.
Honestly, I shouldn't have liked this story... but I did.
No sex, one POV, very little build-up between the two MCs getting together, a very short novella, and a cliffhanger ending. AND I LIKED IT! Color me surprised.
Part of that had to do with another great narration from Nick J Russo, who always does a stellar job. Part of it had to do with the fun, out-of-the-box plotline, which kept me engaged the entire time. And the other part? Just an X-factor, I think (does that sound superhero-y? I'm trying!).
Though the romance wasn't center-stage, I left the book wanting more, which is always a good thing. I can't wait to see where this story leads me.
To infinity and beyond!
Wait... nope, Toy Story. Just goes to show you that you don't have to be a superhero fan to enjoy this one!
*Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
'Average Joe' Edward falls for a Super Villain and his life becomes anything, but ordinary. I love 'Super' stories and comic book plots so this was a load of fun. There is intrigue and an unlikely romance to give it some depth for all that it was a quick read and beginning of a series.
Where There's Smoke begins when Edward is a teller at the bank when a robbery happens. The Mad Bombadier is in the process of robbing the bank. For all his curiosity about the supers that make Panapolis home, this is the first time he's seen one up close. He is fascinated by the polite villain, but then things get a bit tense when superhero, Freight Train arrives. Edward couldn't explain what made him do it, but he provided the means for the Mad Bombadier to halt Freight Train and make his escape.
This leads to him meeting up with Raoul and deciding to date a super villain. Edward knows that Raoul might be The Mad Bombadier, but he is careful with people's lives and doesn't act like the others. But then things get real when a robbery goes wrong. Edward lashes out and then ends up complicating matters when Freight Train is interested in him. The truth comes out and consequences are huge for Edward.
So this went by quickly and I enjoyed an average guy as the central figure of the story. He's in awe of the supers, but then learns the real guy inside the villain costume and comes to love him. I did love Edmund's story, but I confess my favorite part were those blog posts at the beginning of each chapter by a conspiracy reporter that were apropos to what was going on behind the scenes. I love the wry wit and broad hints of intrigue.
I had an audio edition and one of my favorite narrators, Nick J Russo made the world and characters of Panapolis come alive. I enjoyed his range of emotion and grasp of the story tone.
So this is the beginning and after that stunning ending, I can't wait to see what comes next. M/M Sci-fi and Comic Book Superheroes fans will get a kick out of this one I think.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
this is AMAZING.
WHAT A BOOK WHAT A STORY.
I'M IN LOVE .
THE WORLD BUILD UP WAS INCREDIBLE. WOW JUST WOW!
please listen to this audio , I have no words .
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
What an imagination! I have to say, that for a person who doesn’t care too much about graphic novels/comic books – I was suitably impressed with the world building we get here in Cari Z’s series – Panopolis. I imagine that fans of that genre will probably get even more of a kick out of this series.
This is short – only 2 hours listening time – and I gather from looking down the line that our MCs really just begin their journey with this story.
What I liked: the quirky way living in a “super hero” land is portrayed and the fact that the “villain” is the “hero”. I liked that Joe is really, average. I don’t know much about him yet, but I think I like the Mad Bombardier (although I’m not crazy about the moniker). I loved Nick J Russo’s narration – he does a great job giving everyone suitably “comic book” voices where appropriate and yet doesn’t go OTT.
What I didn’t like: the romance. It went from meeting to a coffee date to months later (I had to go back and re-listen to see if my audio was messed up!). I really wanted to see the romance and watch the first kiss and feel them fall for one another. I didn’t love the voice Nick chose for Raul – it was too smarmy and didn’t feel “boyfriend-like”.
All in all, I probably won’t be continuing with this series. I thought it was creative and fun, but the romance is what does it for me and that seems to take a back seat in this story.
3 of 5 stars for the story
4 of 5 stars for the narration
3.5 of 5 stars overall
1 of 1 people found this review helpful