April 15, 2014 Book Reviews 0 ★★★★½

Ex-Purgatory four-half-stars
Author(s): Peter Clines
Series: Ex-Heroes #4
Published by Broadway Books on 10/14/2014
ISBN: 0804136610
Genres: Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

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George Bailey is an ordinary guy, working the nine to five as a handyman and trying to make the best of the little he's got. But when he sleeps, he dreams of fire and flying, of zombies and superheroes.

When the two realities start to merge, George begins to question if e's gone mad. That, or something has gone terribly wrong...

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Ex-Purgatory starts you in the middle of a story already in progress with characters you should already know but who don’t seem to know themselves.  If you have read the previous volumes in this series then this book has an interesting opening that should keep you riveted.  If, like me, this is your entrance into the series then you will spend the first 30% of the book trying to figure out what the heck is going on.

To be fair this clearly was not intended to be a place for new readers to pick up the series and the book makes no qualms about it.  There are really two ways you can go with a series, the stand alone approach where each book resents for new readers and each installment works unto itself or the episodic approach where each title builds on what came before it.  Clines clearly went for the second approach and looking in hindsight, having figured out what is happening and gotten past my confusion, it really works for him.  I can see how someone who is familiar with the series would be really into the early story.

And, once everything is explained enough so even a new reader like me is on board, the later parts of this book are really gripping.  It took me what seemed like an eternity to get through the first section while I was acclimating but the rest of the book flew by.

The mixture of super-heroes and zombies is not one I would have ever combined but much like peanut butter and chocolate it really works.  Their struggle to get back to being themselves all the while dealing, or sometimes not dealing, with a world overrun by zombies was really interesting.  Clines managed to take these characters for which zombies were clearly not a significant threat and make it work.  There was a definite feeling of danger that I wouldn’t have expected from a super-hero/zombie mash up.

What this book did, besides giving some really good plot twists at the end and leaving me with an enjoyable experience, was make me go pick up the earlier titles in the book.  I would not recommend reading this series out of order, but I totally recommend just reading this series.  You will have a really good story to read when you hit this book.

Rating Report
Overall: 4.2

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