January 15th, 2012


Book Review: Ex-Heroes, by Peter Clines

Superheroes + Zombies = Author hoping for a Hollywood deal.


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.

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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.