Where There’s Fire (Panopolis #2)

Author: Cari Z

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Rating: 3.5 stars

Buy Links: Riptide and Amazon

Type: Short Story in a Series

Received from  Publisher


Blurb:  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 he accidentally freed along with me. And my new psychic powers are not only impossible to control, but they’re also giving me migraines.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. My skills are improving every day, and Raul—aka the Mad Bombardier—and I have never been happier. That is, until my first solo job is interrupted by a mysterious woman who tells me that Raul has been kidnapped by a ruthless new Villain. The only way to free him is to do a job for Maggot, a man with scary ideas and an even scarier superpower.

I can’t go to the cops or a Hero for help. Odds are they wouldn’t listen to me anyway. If I fail, Raul will be killed. If I succeed, we’ll both be bound to a man who’ll stop at nothing to put Panopolis on the path to civil war.

It looks like the only way to win is to take out the competition.


Review:  Book 2 in the Panapolis series picks up not long after the end of book 1. It’s an action filled quick read with some likable characters. You will need to read these in order so if you haven’t read the first one I’d stop reading this review now. Spoiler warning!

Edward is adjusting to his new power. Although he doesn’t fully understand it and it’s giving him vicious headaches, he knows he has to embrace his new life labeled as a villain. After the prison break his name is plastered all over news. There’s no going back to his old life. Which means he needs to do a job to show the other villains he’s one of them. So he decides to rob his old bank. Raul creates some fun toys for him in case he runs into trouble. Which of course he does. Sadly Raul can’t swoop in to save him because Raul has been kidnapped by minions of another nasty villain escapee named Maggot. And he is NOT a nice villain.

I have to say I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first one. There’s plenty of action and cameos from Frieght Train and some insight into the drug company who helps create these heroes and villains. I think Edward had a certain naive charm in the first one that is long gone now. This was both bad and good for me. Characters need to grow. I like that he’s braver and more capable. The baddie Maggot was more calculated and frankly more disturbing than the brutes from book one. He shared a common cause with Raul and Edward but the way he went about it was wicked. I enjoyed hating him. I think what I missed was Raul page time. He was barely in this book. This book also tarnished the fantasy that Mad Bombardier was this amazing and untouchable super villain. Being with Edward makes him somewhat vulnerable as having someone you care about as leverage always will. However this book has Edward as the hero and Raul the one who needs saved. I guess Edward needing his moment to shine.

The guys make some new villain friends along the way and earn the respect of the villains. There’s an uprising coming. The time has come for the villains to stand up for themselves against who is perceived to the public as the good guys. I think that’s always been my favorite twist to this world. Things aren’t quite black and white in Panapolis like those in power want the masses to believe. The good guys can be bad guys and the bad guys good. Makes for some interesting reading for sure. Even though I didn’t love this one, I’ll still probably finish out the series. Hopefully with a hero questioning the current regime things will pick up and they’ll finally put faces to the ones who rule the city. AND make them pay! I’m looking forward to that.


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