Ex-Communication: A Novel - Peter Clines Cross-posted to The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.blogspot.com/2013/08/book-review-ex-communication-by-peter.html

Superheroes, zombies, and Hollywood -- you really can't go wrong with this combination. This third book in the Ex-Heroes series is just as fun and entertaining as the first two. A big thank you goes to LibraryThing and their Early Reviewers program, which is where I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Since this is a sequel, be aware that there may be possible spoilers here for the previous books Ex-Heroes and Ex-Patriots if you haven't read them yet. It is definitely best to read this series in order, as our superhero main characters and their community of survivors have come a long way. It has been years since the zombie plague decimated humanity, but St. George formerly the Mighty Dragon and his remaining fellow powered teammates have created a safe haven for the remnants of the population.

Still, many dangers still lurk beyond the walls. The hordes of ex-humans have become a new weapon for an enemy known as Legion, who uses the dead as pawns in his attacks against the superheroes. Things are not all well within the walls either, as dissension spreads amongst the survivors and Zzzap's behavior becomes more erratic. The zombie plague has changed the rules about life and death, but even then the heroes are surprised when a couple of faces they thought long departed also show up at the Mount. Featuring the return of an old hero and the arrival of a new one as well, this third Ex-Heroes book definitely goes all out.

Certainly, if you enjoy reading "superhero fiction", this series would be a great choice. The inclusion of the zombie apocalypse injects a new twist into the subgenre too -- because it's not enough that our heroes already have their hands full keeping order in a modern day world, they have to do it in the middle of a planet overrun with undead as well! I just love how ideas like that continue to make these books interesting and fun to ponder.

And naturally, it's the ensemble cast and their unique powers that define a superhero book. This installment allowed me to catch up with St. George, Stealth, Cerberus, Zzzap and Freedom. As always, I continue to find myself entertained by their individual personalities, quirks and hangups. In some ways, reading about how the heroes' attitudes and morals clash with each other is even more fun than seeing them use their powers to fight.

If anything, I felt the book could have done with less action scenes at the beginning. One might think "superheroes vs. the undead" would be something no one would tire of, like, ever -- but you'd be surprised. After all, there's only so many ways you can describe a superhero crushing a zombie's skull, and even in the opening sequence I was tempted to start skimming. However, the book picks up when it starts filling in the events of the present as well as in the past, the latter achieved through chapters that leave the "NOW" and go back to "THEN". These brief looks into the past give the reader the necessary background information to appreciate the story all the more.

I'm happy to see the series will continue. Peter Clines has provided me so much entertainment over the last couple of years with these books, I'd hate to see them end. Post-apocalyptic survival, fast-paced action, superheroes saving the world from evil and monstrous villains -- you'll find that all here.