Ex-Patriots by Peter Clines
I really enjoyed Peter Clines first zombies vs. superheroes book, Ex-Heroes, but he really takes it up a notch in the second book, Ex-Patriots.
The action in this book moves from Hollywood to a secret army base near Yuma, Arizona, where a group of super soldiers has survived and is protecting the small base. Cline takes some of the common zombie tropes (like never trust the army in a zombie film/book) and turns them, not quite upside down, but on their side. He does this in a self-referential way so that the reader is in on it with him.
Cline maintains the same style of shifting first-person accounts, as well as alternating between “then” and “now” to fill you in on the backstory and reveal some of the motives and the plot twists along the way. The best part about Ex-Patriots is that being the second book in the series, there is not as much exposition needed and that leaves more room for action. A lot of action.
The first part of the book does a good job of setting up the story, creating suspicions and doubts as to who the good guys really are. That leads to the second half of the book as disaster strikes and a nice, long, well-written battle takes place. Some parts are forecast a little bit, but Cline does a good job of meting out the twists and surprises that make the whole story come together. Sometimes things get a little over the top and testosterone-filled, but we’re talking about superheroes and super soldiers and zombies. A little over the top is to be expected.
The characters here are worth rooting for which is what really makes the book work. Along with the new characters, you get to know some of the core characters from the first book even better. This is a great, summer, escapist read. Both this book and the series thus far. I can’t wait to see what the third book has in store. Highly recommended.
I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of this book.