Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines
The field of zombie novels is crowded, but there is always room for fresh ideas and well-told stories. Ex-Heroes has both. Take your zombie apocalypse, add superheroes, and come away with a great story!
Ex-Heroes is the story of a group of superheroes gathering what survivors remain in Los Angeles into a former Hollywood studio lot converted into a fortress. The story is told in shifting first-person perspective as well as jumping from the present to the past, shortly before and during the early stages of the zombie outbreak.
As the first novel in a series, there is a lot of exposition and a lot of development of the characters, particularly the superheroes and their origins. Peter Clines manages this without sacrificing action and steadily moving forward to a very thrilling climax. The fights and battles are intense and exciting. The fact that the superheroes can die and worse yet, become zombies makes the danger feel real and adds to the excitement.
On top of the typical pervasive zombie threat, there is an organized human threat of those who envy what the superheroes have in their fortress, The Mount, and want it for themselves. This adds another layer to the danger and gives the book a focus beyond the typical “kill all the zombies”. The heroes themselves are fascinating and their stories are easily as entertaining as the main plot.
It’s amazing how much action and backstory is packed into a relatively short book. Ex-Heroes is a fun, fast and very exciting read. It creates a world that has room for many more stories in it, and I look forward to the next book. I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of this book. Highly recommended.