Author: Cari Z
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 290 Pages
At a Glance: Panopolis is back and it serves up a feast for the reader—with a bang!
Reviewed By: Angel
Blurb: Being a Hero in Panopolis means living the high life: parties, money, influence, even reality television. And I’m one of the most powerful Heroes in the city. I have plenty of fans, a manager who looks out for me (after himself), and a job that pays the bills. I should be enjoying myself.
Unfortunately, the downside of my superpower means I can’t touch anyone, which tends to puts a damper on things. I probably don’t deserve all those perks anyway, since I’m working in secret with two of Panopolis’s biggest villains to undermine GenCorp—my main sponsor and the company that controls what gets through my force field.
I obviously don’t trust my corporate overseers, but they’ve hired a new scientist who actually seems interested in helping me. Dr. Mansourian might have the answers to all my questions—not to mention a starring role in most of my dreams—but he’s hiding something big. If I let him have what he wants, I might not live to regret it.
Then again, the way things are going in Panopolis these days, I might not live either way.
Review: Cari Z is a repeat author for me, and like the other stories I have read by her, I couldn’t put down the next novel in the Panopolis series. Where There’s a Will takes a turn from the previous installments, as the other stories were told by the Villains. That doesn’t detract from Cari Z’s abilities and, in fact, enhances my respect and admiration for such dedication to the trade. As a villain girl through and through, this says something to me, and that something is Cari Z has talent. She knows her characters, and her world, and doesn’t skimp on sharing those details with her readers. But she does it at her own pace, and that makes this world, and story, all the more fantastic.
This is Freight Train’s story, and he is a Hero. That means something in Panopolis, and not always for the good. There’s a fine line between Heroes and Villains in Panopolis, and the more this series advances, the more that line blurs until it is completely blown out of the water by Freight Train and the residents of Panopolis.
I wanted Freight Train’s story and yet, I dreaded it a bit. He was arrogant, and took no responsibility for his actions in our first introduction. The second go-round wasn’t much better, but I began to see the cracks in the city of Panopolis and our protagonist. And I so wanted more of this fantastically detailed world—even if I didn’t want to like this Hero. I knew this author would have the chutzpah to make me consider changing my mind, and she did without sacrificing one iota of the wonderful descriptions of the story.
In this third tale, Cari Z breaks her own mold and turns the superhero genre on its ear once more. Freight Train’s tale is one of growth and maturity and redemption. It is a slow-burn romance, and had all the excellent world building and story advancement I have come to expect from Cari Z, and then some. And with appearances from previous characters that enrich the story in such vivid detail, it was so hard to stop when I had to… like stop reading to fix dinner for my kid, but never fear, she got fed and I got back to the story.
I had to fight my previous instincts to not like this character, because Cari Z is just that good. Freight Train’s story, his reactions to his circumstances and the aftermath just made me love Cari Z’s ability to fully engross the reader into her world all the more. Though I am still not a complete convert, I will say Cari Z made a compelling argument for me to reconsider my stance on Heroes.
Thank you, Cari Z, for sharing a glimpse into the fantastical world you created. I hope to visit Panopolis once again, if the mood takes you.
You can buy Where There’s a Will here: