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inverarity
Book three in the zombie apocalypse-superhero mashup.


Ex-Communication

Broadway Books, 2013, 352 pages



"All of us try to cheat death. I was just better prepared to do it than most folks." In the years since the wave of living death swept the globe, St George and his fellow heroes haven't just kept Los Angeles' last humans alive - they've created a real community, a bustling town that's spreading beyond its original walls and swelling with new refugees. But now one of the heroes, perhaps the most powerful among them, seems to be losing his mind. The implacable enemy known as Legion has found terrifying new ways of using zombies as pawns in his attacks. And outside the Mount, something ancient and monstrous is hell-bent on revenge. As Peter Clines weaves these elements together in yet another masterful, shocking climax, St. George, Stealth, Captain Freedom, and the rest of the heroes find that even in a city overrun by millions of ex-humans... there's more than one way to come back from the dead.


And now... wizards and demon lords.Collapse )

Verdict: Zombie/Superhero novel should tell you all you need to know. If you like those things, then start with the first book in the series; Ex-Communication is a decent third installment.

Also by Peter Clines: My reviews of Ex-Heroes, Ex-Patriots, and 14.




My complete list of book reviews.

Book Review: 14, by Peter Clines

inverarity
It's your basic Call of Cthulhu adventure in modern Los Angeles.


14

Permuted Press, 2012, 350 pages



Padlocked doors. Strange light fixtures. Mutant cockroaches.

There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s. Because every room in this old Los Angeles brownstone has a mystery or two. Mysteries that stretch back over a hundred years. Some of them are in plain sight. Some are behind locked doors. And all together these mysteries could mean the end of Nate and his friends. Or the end of everything....


It's the apartment building to hell. But NO ZOMBIES.Collapse )

Verdict: 14 is not Hugo-worthy, but it's a nice little Call of Cthulhu adventure in a Los Angeles apartment building. There is a little romance, a little death, a little SAN loss. The big reveals make sense, given the necessary suspension of disbelief, and Peter Clines has created a consistent world in need of saving.

Also by Peter Clines: My reviews of Ex-Heroes and Ex-Patriots.




My complete list of book reviews.

Book Review: Ex-Patriots, by Peter Clines

inverarity
The zombies + superheroes mashup adds super-soldiers, mad scientists, and a Transformer, and it actually improves the whole.


Ex-Patriots

Permuted Press , 2011, 310 pages



It’s been two years since the world ended. Two years since the dead rose and the plague of ex-humanity decimated mankind. For most of that time, the superhero called St. George, formerly known to the world as the Mighty Dragon, has protected the people of Los Angeles at their film-studio-turned-fortress, The Mount. Together with his fellow heroes - Cerberus, Zzzap, and Stealth - he’s tried to give the survivors hope and something like a real life. But the swollen population of The Mount is becoming harder and harder to sustain, and the heroes are feeling the pressure.

Hope arrives in the form of a United States Army battalion, based in a complex a few hundred miles away in Arizona. This is not just any base, however. The men and women of Project Krypton are super-soldiers, designed and created before the outbreak to be better, stronger, and faster than normal humans. They want the heroes and all the people of The Mount to rejoin America and have normal lives again.

But can the military be trusted? And is there even a country left to rejoin? There is a secret at the heart of Project Krypton, and those behind it have an awesome power that will help them keep that secret hidden. The power of Freedom.


It's still cheesy as hell, but it's getting better.Collapse )

Verdict: Superheroes plus zombies. If that concept alone is enough to interest you, then read these books, they're fun, light fare. They aren't the best superhero novels I've ever read, but they're not the worst, and the author does show enough signs of improvement to make me hope that in book three I might actually start caring about the characters instead of just wanting to read dumbfun superhero/zombie action.

Also by Peter Clines: My review of Ex-Heroes.




My complete list of book reviews.

Book Review: Ex-Heroes, by Peter Clines

inverarity
Superheroes + Zombies = Author hoping for a Hollywood deal.


Ex-Heroes

Permuted Press, 2010, 274 pages



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

Then the plague of living death spread around the globe. Despite the best efforts of the superheroes, the police, and the military, the hungry corpses rose up and overwhelmed the country. The population was decimated, heroes fell, and the city of angels was left a desolate zombie wasteland like so many others.

Now, a year later, the Mighty Dragon and his companions must overcome their differences and recover from their own scars to protect the thousands of survivors sheltered in their film studio-turned-fortress, the Mount. The heroes lead teams out to scavenge supplies, keep the peace within the walls of their home, and try to be the symbols the survivors so desperately need.

For while the ex-humans walk the streets night and day, they are not the only threat left in the world, and the people of the Mount are not the only survivors left in Los Angeles. Across the city, another group has grown and gained power.

And they are not heroes.


Cheesy enough to serve with macaroni, and very blatantly a superhero RPG campaign, but not without entertainment value.Collapse )

Verdict: Ex-Heroes is no more and no less than what it promises on the cover: zombies versus superheroes. If that idea sounds cool to you, then go ahead and read it. It's not brilliant or stunningly original or particularly well-written, but it's not bad either. It is perfectly passable fun, mindless entertainment. If you're a huge superhero nerd, you'll probably want to start "statting" the characters after you read it. I'm not going to hold this book up as a gem of the genre, but I enjoyed it enough that I'll probably read the sequel, Ex-Patriots.

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