Series: Ex-Heroes #1
Published by Broadway Books on February 25, 2010
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction
The first novel in Peter Clines' bestselling Ex series.
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. Billions died, civilization fell, and the city of angels was left a desolate zombie wasteland.
Now, a year later, the Mighty Dragon and his companions protect a last few thousand survivors in their film-studio-turned-fortress, the Mount. Scarred and traumatized by the horrors they’ve endured, the heroes fight the armies of ravenous ex-humans at their citadel’s gates, lead teams out to scavenge for supplies—and struggle to be the symbols of strength and hope the survivors so desperately need.
But the hungry ex-humans aren’t the only threats the heroes face. Former allies, their powers and psyches hideously twisted, lurk in the city’s ruins. And just a few miles away, another group is slowly amassing power . . . led by an enemy with the most terrifying ability of all.
First off, this book combines two things I like, Superheroes and Zombies. In a world where a few people are granted superhuman abilities, what would happen when the zombie apocalypse breaks out? As it turns out, there’s only so much the heroes can do.
The book takes place roughly one year after the zombie plague has erupted. And the superheroes are struggling to survive just like everyone else. This group of survivors has holed up in Paramount Studios, or as they call it now, The Mount. Some of the heroes who keep the peace and guard the civilians are just highly trained individuals with guns and gadgets, others are truly out of this world with powers that can’t be easily explained.
Peter Clines does a great job of not only telling about their struggle for survival during the end of the world, but is able to slip in the tales of how they handled the collapse of civilization. He even manages to slip in simple explanations throughout the book about how some of these rare individuals gained their unique powers.
I really enjoy how even the heroes have to struggle for survival after the collapse of civilization. There is no one man who is able to lick the entire horde of zombies, and restore civilization with one arm tied behind his back like many would think in the more typical superhuman stories. Even the strongest of the heroes have their limits and weaknesses. It makes these superhuman characters seem more human. I found myself rooting for the heroes and holding my breath when there were complications that put the characters at risk.
And now, it turns out there is a threat none of them could have ever expected, a super villain who wants to take out the heroes and their small encampment of survivors. I won’t give anything away, but if you enjoy both Superheroes and Zombies then this is the book for you. I give Ex-Heroes a solid 4 star rating and recommend it to all my friends.