‘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.
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