I don’t read much contemporary but IMAIS was on a Dreamspinner weekend sale and the setting – actors – appealed so I tried this and am very glad I did! Despite spending a lot of this book shouting at Joe, I really liked the dynamic between the characters and the way the developing relationship, shared history, and exploration of sexuality was handled. Character development was great, even with (especially with) aforementioned shouting at Joe for being a dope . The writing is witty and confident, and I liked the more mature (in years, not feelings) characters – not everyone has their coming-of-age at adolescence, and it was refreshing to explore this.
I love an origin story, and here Cari Z delivers a supervillain origin story – my favourite flavour. Only, you know, the real villain is never who you think it is. The world of Panopolis is reminiscent of Gotham – everyone is kind of resigned to the terribleness – and the exploration of how this affects non-supes was interesting. Edward’s voice was great, and the pacing made this a very quick read. My only niggle was there wasn’t as much of Raul – the Mad Bombardier – or his an Edward’s relationship as I wanted (in either book). But the adventure elements were definitely enough for me to dive into the second book immediately.
The second book takes place six months after the first, as Edward finds himself a household name. Several villains – definitely the badder of bad guys – turn up, and things et dark. We find out more about the world as well, as things become much more Gotham. I enjoyed Edward’s voice again, and being side-along as he develops from the first to second book and creates his place in the Panopolis supe hierarchy.
I would suggest the two parts (there is a third forthcoming in May) are best read back to back, as for me there wasn’t quite enough in the first, but you do you.