Frightful Friday is a weekly meme in which I feature a particularly scary or chilling book that I’ve read that week. This week’s featured title is Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines:
- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Broadway; Reprint edition (February 26, 2013)
- ISBN-10: 0804136572
- Source: Publisher (egalley)
A zombie outbreak has devastated the Earth. A year later, in Los Angeles, a band of superheroes attempts to protect survivors sheltered in what remains of Hollywood. As if fighting zombies, known as exes (ex-humans), wasn’t enough, the heroes are also forced to battle a rabid street gang known as the Seventeens over remaining supplies.
Told in alternating chapters of “Then” and “Now,” Clines successfully executes a pretty tremendous feat of combining two very different worlds. The heroes he creates are unique, ranging from a human electric current (Zzap) to a man who cannot die yet can heal others (The Regenerator). Each of these individuals have only recently discovered their powers, in most cases many just woke up with these extremely unique talents. Each of the chapters covers the viewpoint of these heroes, allowing readers to both piece together the events that lead to this devastation as well as get a unique viewpoint with each chapter.
It would be easy for a novel like this to crash and burn, but Clines is such a skilled writer (and obvious fan of comic book heroes) that he pulls it off successfully. Down to the origin, physiology and behavior of the zombies/exes, Clines creates a wholly unique spin on a subject matter (zombies) that seems to be exploding lately.
What makes this such a stand-out novel is the cross-over appeal, both fans of comic/super heroes as well as fans of zombie fiction clambering over one another to get their hands on this truly tremendous title. I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of the next book, Ex-Patriots.
Tags: apocalypse, Crown Publishers, Frightful Friday, super-heroes, zombies