Review: “Ex-Patriots,” Peter Clines

Pros: Plenty of fun surprises in store!
Cons:
Rating: 5 out of 5

Ex-Patriots: A Novel (Ex-Heroes) is the sequel to Peter Clines’s Ex-Heroes. I’ve been having such fun reading his books lately that I decided I had to take on his rather unique zombie apocalypse series. You see, in this universe superheroes exist. Some can fly. Some can heal. Others can turn into pure energy or be invulnerable to harm. When the zombie apocalypse happened, some of them joined together in Hollywood to corral and protect what few survivors were left. With the heroes’ help, the survivors lead a comparatively good life. The survival element of zombie fiction remains, but the adaptability and strength of the heroes changes the dynamic.

In Ex-Patriots, our heroes meet up with another logical extension of this universe: the group of super-soldiers, being led by Captain Freedom. They’re fast and they’re incredibly strong. It’s going to take a little poking around for St. George and his fellow heroes to figure out whether these guys are really there to help, or to dismantle and take the best of what they’ve pulled together–including the Cerberus exo-suit, which, to be fair, was a military project.

A Mr. Smith is the mild-mannered aw-shucks civilian advisor working with the super-soldiers. Soon a handful of heroes go with him to see what state his army base is in, and whether the two communities could help each other out. Unfortunately, everyone has nasty surprises coming their way. Who’s a good guy? Who’s a bad guy? And what to do about the sudden army of exes building up outside the army base? Things get lethal quickly.

 

I absolutely love this installment. I’m planning on reading it again soon, which I rarely do, because now that I know what’s coming I want to go back and catch the details that I never put together on the first reading. There are some events that definitely caught me by surprise.

I really enjoy the characters, especially St. George, Danielle/Cerberus, Stealth (although I still want to understand more of her), Barry/Zzzap, and so on. Even the Driver, a new (and seemingly useless) addition to the family, has personality and a role to play.

I’m very much looking forward to reading the rest of the series. Most of the time I read review books that I’ve gotten from authors and publishers, but since receiving Clines’s The Fold in that manner, I’ve been on a steady walk through the rest of his books, which I find well worth spending the money on.

The storytelling, pacing, and curve-balls are a lot of fun in Ex-Patriots. I love the way Clines has stirred up the zombie genre and given it more juice by adding in superheroes and more.

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