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Where There's Smoke

(Panopolis #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  462 ratings  ·  127 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 76 pages
Published April 25th 2015 by Riptide Publishing
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3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  462 ratings  ·  127 reviews

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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

*3.5 stars*

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, an
This is the author's dedication at the beginning of the book:
"For everybody who always preferred the villain. I feel you, people."

I've always liked the villains more. In fact, the only superhero I've ever liked is Captain America, and that probably has more to do with Chris Evans hot bod' than it does with Captain America as a character. So this book was right up my alley, and it totally delivered.

Panopolis is a city of heroes and villains. The politicians are dirty, and in the pockets of vari
Rosa, really
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm-gay-fiction
[Raul] told me that [spoiler] had begged...and he hadn't listened to him. "All I could see was you," he said, and that was all sorts of fucked up and horrifying and amazing. I held him closer and kissed him harder.

Loved the world-building, the different superheroes & villains and the story frame of SuperTruther's blog. My only minor complaint is that I would've enjoyed more details about the beginning of Eddie and Raul's fucked up love (my favorite kind!).

Can't wait for the sequel!

May 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, mm
I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this story. The romance was nice, and I appreciate that it was instant attraction not instant love. The characters were well developed, and I liked that both Edward and Raul were well developed, and interesting. The highlight for me was the world building though. I love the author's exploration of super heroes and villains, and how corporations and the government fit into the mix. It was nicely nua
Jenni Lea
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it

That was great! Very entertaining. I connected with the characters well, especially Edward.

Can't wait for the next one!
Jul 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Why would he want that?

He gets the guy!

"You're a Villain," I said. "But that doesn't make you a bad person."

I loved this novella! I loved the world building. Panopolis is a city of Heroes and Villains but not everything is black and white. Heroes may not be so honorable and Villains aren't completely evil. I also loved the insights we get from SuperTruther's blog posts.

I would've liked more of a relationship build up between Edward and Raul instead of skipping months ahead but I still adored the
Jul 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: showed-promise

Buddy-read - 05/07/15 - Let the Villainy begin :D

Thanks to my buddies - I enjoyed reading with you, though sadly I couldn't share your enthusiasm.

-- --
Rounding up, unimpressed but saw lots of potential.

An interesting world but characters that failed to ignite.
I felt I was reading a really great story outline that never got filled out. There are no character descriptions, late into the story I had a stronger impression of a minor character from the bank than I did the main character or his villai
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt

☆ ☆ 4.5 STARS ☆ ☆

 photo Where theres smoke.jpg

Where There’s Smoke is a refreshingly original and very clever, if a little dark and distorted, view, of the world of comic book heroes and villains. Cari Zee has expertly penned and brilliantly executed a story that has me all kinds of excited to get my hands on the next book, which for me, has been set up perfectly.

I have to admit, I’m not a comic book or superhero fan and I have never read a book by Cari Z, but that blurb… I couldn’t resist… and just had to #oneclick and I a
May 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m
That was fun!

I have always had a thing for superhero stories and this take on the genre was just so clever. It definitely opened my eyes to the other side.

It made me feel a little naughty to be rooting for the villain but believe me, I totally was and still am.

This has great world building and the blog posts at the beginning of each chapter kept my mind wide open.

I can’t wait for the next book!

Thanks for the Buddy Read gang!

Buddy Read!
***3.5 stars***

Great intro into a new superhero world. One where the villain may not be evil and the superhero may be more petty than heroic.

Edward Dingus has always wanted to be a hero, but fate has other plans in store for him.
Raul is not an evil villain, but he's not a white knight either.
Can Eddie and Raul find a common future where they can both be happy?

We will have to read the series to find out. ;-)
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
I picked this up on a lark after reading Cari's LOR story, Ten Simple Tips for Surviving the Apocalypse.

I am not disappointed in my purchase.

Where There's Smoke is a great start to a series. Ordinarily, I don't like serials but every once in a while one comes along that I can't resist sinking my teeth into.

This was one of those times.

Where There's Smoke takes place in the fictional city of Panopolis which sounds a lot like Gotham with corrupt politicians who have, possibly (probably), sinister
Wart Hill
May 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc2015, archived
Things I Find While Shelving

I received a free ARC via NetGalley

Only complaint is I want more.

The city of Panopolis is populated by Heroes and Villains. Usually created by some weird ass science experiments going horribly wrong, the city has a never ending battle between the two groups. Before Edward moved there, it seemed like Heroes were practically the welcoming committee. Now he lives there, works in a bank, and is starting to figure out that being average in Panopolis isn’t so great.

I suppos
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 rounded up.

LOVED IT. AH. I need the next one like yesterday.

Review Now Available @ Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

Whoops. Realized I forgot to edit with the link to my review. See above!

Just got my review copy -dances happily- YAY.
♣ Irish Smurfétté ♣
Sewper fun full review on Prism Book Alliance®

This is cool as hell. It opens in a way that grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. I simply shrugged and said, ok, let’s go! I was glad I’d already eaten lunch and taken a pee break, nether one was going to happen again until I finished reading this.

Mystery. A fantastically imaginative take on heroes and villains and what exactly defines them. A great narrator in the main character. It’s all here, traveling at a steady clip, with a healthy dose of tongue-i
- The idea of a city that is filled with super-powered guys, both Heroes and Villains
- Villain being the 'good' guy in this case, the love interest.
- Edward chooses to be with the villain; it's not like he's a huge fan of a Villain and wants to be part of their world

- For a love interest, Raul/The Mad Bombardier feels notably absent... there seemed to be more scenes with the creepy stalky Hero.
- The time jump after the first date -- it felt telling arther than showing. I'd love it
Jun 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novella was...a lot better than I thought it would be. Let's face it, the premise of this book is all sorts of awesome. I might have the guilty pleasure of rooting for the villain sometimes (okay, maybe about 45% of the time), so Where There's Smoke is a great way for me to explore this very aspect.

First and foremost, you'll have to suspend your logical beliefs as one would when reading about super heroes in a comic book. There's really no logic for some of the heroes and villains portrayed
5 stars for the Audiobook.

4 Stars for the story , this was ok, though short loved the whole Villains /Heroes theme.
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well that was fun...

Once again I've gotten to enjoy a book that's sat on my TBR list for much longer than it should have thanks to the fun that is audio books.

Panopolis is an unusual city that seems to be filled with superheroes and super villains and a lot of ordinary normal people who tend to get caught in the cross-fire of their battles. Edward Dinges just happens to be one of those ordinary, normal people and his life is about to become rather complicated and extra-ordinary when the bank h
Marte - Thunderella
*** 3 could have been much better ***

An intriguing premise of a story that fell short on delivering.

The character description is lacking. The blossoming romance sucks. There is no relationship development due to a shitty time jump of ONE YEAR!

Me, in every story with (untimely. heh) time jump:

The two main characters basically meet, and then in one page or so, a year had passed and they are a "happy couple".

I hate (see above) time jumps. They take me out of the story and I loose my relation with
Tanja ~ T's Book ~ KT Book Reviews
DNF 45%
Everything is being skimmed over so quickly. It's a good story but it needs more meat for lack of a better term.
Kinda makes me sad.

*Netgalley read
Chris, the Dalek King
Edward works in a bank, which would make you think he has a pretty boring life. But in the city of Panopolis, where Heroes and Villains are more common than the common cold, working in a bank (or walking down the street) pretty much means life is never going to be dull. Especially for Edward, who, amidst a bank robbery by the Mad Bombardier, finds himself drawn to the masked Villain. Which really aught to be a lot more upsetting than it is. But after few flowers, a bit of talking, and some rathe ...more
Arch Bala
Fast, quirky, very KICK-ASS! I loved, loved this story!!!
I loved the fun grit, Alcatraz-like experimentation and the whole dealio about superheroes vs supervillains! Eat that Steelheart!


Raul AKA Mad Bombardier and Edward Dinges ^^ are just super sweet and fun together!

Can't wait to see Edward's power evolving in the next book!!!!
This didn't go the way I thought it would. The build up to the MCs relationship was missing. And it's not even a matter of being told vs shown - it's a matter of BAM strangers to relationship. I grew to like the story more as it went on and I will read the next book but I really hope the plot and on page action gets more detailed.

This was just ok for me. I hope book 2 is better.
4.5 Stars

This was such a good read. Seriously good. Nothing like these Heroes and, really, Villains to get you going - and I don't normally get into them. I picked this book on the strength of Rules to Live By and I am so glad I did. Loved it!

Cari Z has written an interesting, compelling, sexy novella and I cannot wait to move on to the next instalment with Edward and Raul, aka The Mad Bombardier.

Non-spoiler more in-depth review on the blog
 photo Potential-OTDU-Banner-9-Smaller2_zpsf0878d67.png
Lou~Silver Medalist in DNF's
This was an enjoyable read.

It was well written and we were given enough world building to understand what was going on without being overwhelmed by it. I liked the structure with the thematic 'news reports' at the beginning of each chapter.

I'm not sure whether I should call the underlying theme realism or cynicism. ;-)

Ije the Devourer of Books
The first novella in a new series by Cari Z and I loved it. Cari Z always writes stories that are different and when you read them you know that you are getting something unique. Not a trope in sight!

This story takes us to Panopolis a city which is pulled between the forces of good and evil: between the Heroes and the Villains, but what happens when an ordinary joe falls for a Villain?

Edward was born in Panopolis and is pretty much an ordinary joe. He has a job in a bank, an apartment and life i
Vanessa theJeepDiva
A while ago I listened to an an audio book with characters that had super abilities that put themselves above the law and were walking a fine line between good and evil. I enjoyed it. I would have enjoyed it more had it been targeted towards adults.

With Heroes and Villains, a broken justice system, and a corrupt political system, with a small side of romance, Where There’s Smoke was right up my alley. Panopolis is swarming with Heroes and Villains. There is a thin gray line that differentiates t
BWT (Belen)

3.5 Stars

Interesting premise and a good start to the world building, but it needed more time to build.

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.

Mostly though, I can't say I loved the cliffhanger ending. Grr.

What I did love was Nick J. Russo's narration. 5 Stars for the narration! His character voices brought this short story to life
Adrienne -kocham czytać-
I finished this with a strong, "HELL yes!"

Finally, the underdog, the villain, gets his day(s)! Whereas the heroes in this world are screwed up and the system in power is corrupt and seriously flawed, the Mad Bombardier is the real "hero." Yes, he's a Villain, yes, he steals; but he also doesn't hurt people on purpose, is like the only sane Super citizen in the place, is sexy, is a damn sweet and nurturing boyfriend, and just plain rocks.

At first I was annoyed 'cause I would have liked to see the
Karen Wellsbury
Feb 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Want more, oh look there's one Where There's Fire in like Flynn

I loved this, heroes and villains, a created city to contain then, and the hint of a bigger picture via the blog chapter intro's. Honestly it was too short, and that detracted a tiny bit because it lacked depth a bit. But I'm hoping the second book rectifies that.

Great fun, and just emotional / romantic enough as well
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BR-July 5, 2015 92 22 Jul 16, 2015 11:59AM  
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Cari Z. is a Colorado girl who loves snow and sunshine. She has a wonderful relationship with her husband, a complex relationship with the characters in her head and a sadomasochistic relationship with her exercise routine. She feels like Halloween should happen every month, which is why you get this picture of her, and hopes that you enjoy reading what she's put out there as much as she enjoyed w ...more

Other books in the series

Panopolis (3 books)
  • Where There's Fire (Panopolis, #2)
  • Where There's a Will (Panopolis #3)