Series: #3 Panapolis
Genres: M/M Romance, Sci-Fi Romance
Published by Riptide
Released on May 2, 2016
After the way things ended in book two, I was eager to keep going in this fantastic series of Superheroes and Supervillains. I was thrilled to snatch this one up. It was as action-packed, intriguing, and engaging as ever. It felt like the finale, but I would be so excited to see more from this series.
This was the third book in a series that really needs to be read in order as it builds on the installment before it and assumes the reader as read the others.
The story has switched focus from Edward being the main character to Craig Haney known as the Superhero, Freight Train. Craig is somewhat disillusioned with GenCorps. the science lab that he, in essence, works for particularly after Edward and Raul prove that things aren’t what they seem. Edward known as the villain, Mastermind, has promised to help Craig discover the secrets found in the lab notes that were stolen that pertain to Craig’s force field superpower since Edward proved that there has been a cover up.
But disillusioned or not, Craig has a sense of duty to protect and serve the people of Panapolis even while the Supes seem to be going glam with others starring in their own reality shows, doing anything for fame and ratings, and even brokering deals that might endanger the ordinary people while profiting the shadowy figures behind GenCorps. Craig doesn’t buy into it and just does his job while enduring the pressure to conform like the rest. There is even a conspiracy that starts a war and ends in bloodshed and no one knows why.
Craig meets the new scientist in charge of research & development for Gen Corps. and would like to believe he’s on the up and up because for the first time Craig is treated like a person. He is attracted to Dr. Mansourian, but then learns the man has secrets- secrets that could destroy Craig if Craig’s instinct to trust him is wrong.
Things have been building toward this story. I loved Edward and Raul’s story, but the switch to Craig as the hero was terrific and worked well. There are more twists and turns, superhero/villain action scenes, nail-biting scenes, and of course a slow build romance.
Craig aka Freight Train is a recurring character. He had some redemption to earn for his part in the harm that came to Edward in book one so it was neat to see the full turnaround here that started in book two. He is a sympathetic hero because he doesn’t really see himself as special, but as a guy who received a gift that he will use to help others. He used to see things in black and white which is what caused trouble in the previous books, but he has grown and matured. He’s still squeaky clean hero, but he has learned to see a bigger picture and see motives now.
Craig’s superpower is a force field that surrounds his body making him impregnable, but also untouchable. He is lonely and misses simple things like eating and even human touch. He meets someone special who seems to care, but does he care because he’s trying to do what he can to keep one of the company assets happy and make him better or does he care because Craig is a person. I loved the dynamic between the two men even if Mansourian has secrets.
Discovering the hidden person behind GenCorp and that exciting big scene for all the marbles at the end was great. I loved that all the past characters were brought into it and they had to fight hard against a truly evil villain. The ending was a sweet surprise for Craig after all he went through.
All in all, this was an abso-fab ending to a series (but I will not complain if there is more- many more installments). I loved the world of super-heroes and super-villains. I thought it was a nice blend of gritty action and character development. I would definitely recommend these to folks who enjoy light m/m romance set against a sci-fi world.
My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #144 Sci-Fi
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