Ex-Purgatory


Ex-Purgatory

By: Peter Clines

Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book to review. As is my policy with books that I receive for review, if I don’t like it, I don’t review it.

Ex-Purgatory is the fourth novel in the Ex series by Peter Clines.  The first three are Ex-Heroes, Ex-Patriots, and Ex-Communication.

Clines does an interesting thing with this entry into the series.  He takes the characters we’re familiar with from the first three novels and throws them into a world completely different.  A world where the plague never took place, where they’re all just regular old folks without any super powers.  Or, at least, that’s what they believe.  The truth, it seems, is a bit different.

The whole story line is very clever, and Clines pulls it off very well.  I found it fun to read along and find the heroes we know from the series as their “normal” counterparts.  I was even a bit disappointed when I missed a few. 🙁  There’s plenty of references to pop culture too.

As I mentioned in my reviews of the first two novels in the series, the writing isn’t going to win any awards for literary excellence.  It’s not meant to though.  It’s meant to be fun, light, and easy to cruise through.  And it is.  I tore through the pages, as I was dragged into the story, and the characters again.  I love the world that Clines has created, with it’s mix of Zombies and Superheroes.

It was also fun to see the superheroes struggle with what they perceived as the real world as it was invaded by memories and visions of the world they belonged in.  It didn’t get taken too far, and the resolution was believable.  The only part of the book I was even slightly disappointed with was the ending.  Mostly, that was because it felt like the overall resolution was a bit quick.  But, I also got the feeling that there’s another book in the works and so maybe some of that will carry over into the next.

If you’re a fan of Zombies, or Superheroes, I don’t think you can go wrong by reading this series.  Obviously, start with Ex-Heroes, but if you’re already into the series, certainly continue on with Ex-Purgatory.

Fiend

Fiend

By: Peter Stenson

Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book to review. As is my policy with books that I receive for review, if I don’t like it, I don’t review it.

What if the Zombie apocalypse came and the only survivors were addicts?  It’s not a premise that you hear often when discussing the zombie genre.  That’s the premise of Fiend, the breakout novel of Peter Stenson.  Written from the perspective of Chase Daniels, a meth addict, who comes out of a bender to find the world he knew forever changed, Fiend is a blazing fast read.

I found this book to be a somewhat borderline book for me.  The style is something that I just didn’t mesh with.  Dialogue is strewn into the prose with no clear identification, leaving the reader to figure out what was said and what was thought.  Maybe that was the purpose, but I struggled with it.  The three main characters were moderately well developed, but needed more.  And most of the secondary characters barely got a name and a few physical characteristics.  And, while it’s dubbed as a zombie novel, if you’re planning on buying it strictly for the zombie genre it falls into, you might want to pass on it.

It is a zombie novel, but the zombies felt like little more than scenery that chased the characters into the different situations they found themselves in.  Instead, the novel is far more a deeply moving story about addiction and how it plays in peoples lives.  From the start, the characters are embroiled in the paranoia, withdrawals, and overall addiction and the real story is in how they deal with the end of their world and adapt to the new world they’re thrust into.

Without giving too much away, it’s a sad story, as most stories about addiction tend to be.  Throughout, I found myself empathizing with the characters, as they struggled with the life and death scenarios they fell into, and how they slipped in and out of their addictive fogs.

Fiend is a dark tale about addiction that happens to feature some zombies.  The characters, while not fully developed, drew me into their lives and the story of their attempts at survival.  Don’t buy the book just because it has zombies in it.  Buy the book because you want to read a story that is, ultimately, almost uncomfortably human.

Ex-Patriots

Ex-Patriots

By: Peter Clines

Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book to review. As is my policy with books that I receive for review, if I don’t like it, I don’t review it.

It wasn’t that awful long ago that I was reviewing the first novel in this series, Ex-Heroes.  In my review of the first one, I told you that it was a terribly fun read.  So, I jumped at the chance to read Ex-Patriots in hopes that it too would be a whole lot of fun to read.

Ex-Patriots picks up shortly after Ex-Heroes leaves off, rejoining the heroes and their group of survivors in the city of L.A., and their fortress they’ve dubbed “The Mount.”  Once again, Clines uses the alternating chapters structure, where we have one chapter in the now, and one in the past.  Because of the recency of my having read Ex-Heroes, it took me no time at all to get right back into the style.  Each of the past chapters lends a little bit into the story, and sets up the events that happen in the now chapters.

Ex-Patriots is just as well written as Ex-Heroes was, and just as fun to read.  He managed to find a way to bring the story along, develop the characters, and not make it seem like more of the same old situation.  After all, in a world where the super majority of the population have turned into zombies, how many major plots can be gained?  The ending clearly sets up another novel in the series, but does it in a way that also clearly ends the novel and the plot lines that carried us through the novel.

Once again, the book is full of fun superhero and zombie action, with plenty of other fun stuff thrown in to keep it lively.  I’ll be looking forward to reading the next one soon.