Sunday, July 26, 2015

Review: Ex-Heroes

Ex-Heroes (Ex-Heroes #1) by Peter Clines
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Genre: Science Fiction/Horror
Pages: 310
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought


The first in a spectacularly genre-mashing adventure series that pits a small group of courageous, flawed, terrified superheroes against hordes of undead.

Stealth. Gorgon. Regenerator. Cerberus. Zzzap. The Mighty Dragon. They were heroes, using their superhuman abilities to make Los Angeles a better place.

Then the plague of living death spread around the globe. Now, a year later, the heroes struggle to overcome their differences and recover from their own scars as they protect the thousands of survivors huddled in their film-studio-turned-fortress, the Mount.

But the hungry ex-humans are not the only threat the survivors face. Across the city, another group has grown and gained power.

My Thoughts

The quote on the cover is "The Avengers meets The Walking Dead". And that is probably the best way to describe it. 

Ex-Heroes starts almost two years after a zombie apocalypse started. And the book and plot very much follows a group of survivors trying to survive. The twist? Some of those survivors have superpowers. The main plot focuses on the heroes trying to protect their home base, The Mount, and everyone in it fro the zombies, or exes as they are called, and a gang called the Seventeens. The POV jumps from one hero to the next, with it landing on St. George the most. It also jumps from the present to the past between chapters. You get to see society crumble in a realistic way. And you get a sense how quickly it could happen. You also see how people react to heroes and their powers, especially when The Mount gets threatened. It really blends the superhero genre with the zombie genre well. It also adds in some pop culture references and a bit of dark humor.

With the POV shifting often, you don't get too in depth with any of the heroes. If you named a superhero stereotype, I could name you a character. The boy scout who wants to save everyone? St. hGeorge. The stoic, mysterious leader? Stealth. And the list goes on. At least, when a different hero had the POV, you could easily tell. The human characters got a little bit lost in the sea of heroes. I had a tough enough time keeping the heroes straight, and they were the stars. 

With superheroes being huge right now, you think it'd be hard to find a new take on them. Well, to get that, Clines mixed it with another huge genre: zombies. And what came out was a beautifully blended tale of surviving the zombie apocalypse with the help from superpowers. The characters get a bit lost, but you could easily tell the difference between them. Overall, Ex-Heroes ends up being a a fun, action packed trip to the end of the world.

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