The only reason I listened to this book is because I stumbled across '14', one of Clines' more recent works. I absolutely adored that. Then I read the summary here and was... disheartened. I love superheroes. I love zombies. I couldn't imagine the two mixed. So I put this on the way, way, waaaaay back burner until I listened to The Fold, his most recent book, and became an official Clines fan boy. So, I waded into Ex-Heroes with an open mind and heart.
I was not disappointed. Action from start to finish. Brilliant pace. Insanely believable reactions and actions, factoring in the book's setting. Beautifully developed characters that I can't wait to see grow even further in the future books (thank god for three more in my queue).
I'm also not a huge fan of multi-narrator books, but it worked really well in this situation. Great performances by both, though Snyder took the primary and did most of the narration.
For those of you reading these reviews and seeing a bunch of us who, probably like you, were very hesitant to listen because of the implausible plot devices... just trust us. If you want great writing and story, mixed in with just the right amount of adult content and "oh wow, that's cool" factor; this is the book for you. Don't get me wrong, it's entertainment, not literature... but boy is it entertaining. Better than a movie (though I can't believe this hasn't been made yet).
Absolutely worth a credit. Awesome.
As I've stated previously, I LOVE Armageddon and dystopian audiobooks. Let's not forget my predilection for the superhero genre', as well!
Oh, wait, did I mention zombies? AND good writers?
Clines is one of my favorite writers in these genre'. Why? The man can WRITE, people. And write quite WELL, thank you.
Keep in mind that good writing is simple, descriptive, rich, has a destination and moves you toward that destination. No, that's not a dichotomy, It CAN be done, but not by many writers, ESPECIALLY in the zombie genre'. Seems like any and everyone wants to write a good zombie novel or series, but pulling it off? Not so much.
Clines, who's given us his enjoyable and unpredictable "14" and his recent smaller but worthy "Quatrain" audiobook, just keeps giving us good reading and listening, period.
When I first cracked open my wallet, pulled out my Audible credit, and purchased this audiobook, I had my doubts. Well, Clines proved himself worthy of the daunting task. I liked this listen so much, that I listened TWICE. Yes, that correct. I did it. Don't judge me! It was that well written.
Here's what to expect herein:
Great writing (Already said that!), a conceivable storyline, excellent hero origin stories (especially the zombie origin!), wonderfully descriptive plot lines, and a strong interwoven story that punches forward boldly into the following two novels. The zombie aspect of this novel was descriptive, believable, and in the end, enjoyable. In all, a welcome departure from the recent authors that stumble together into a muddled mess of a novel, and therefore a listen . Believe me, I know, because I'll be review a few of those soon, and I won't be gentle, nor will I be forgiving.
But back to Ex-Heroes.
You'll be excited, nervous, thoughtful, sad, mad, and at the end of the listen, satisfied, yet ready for more. I've already purchased and listened to the other two audiobooks in the series, and YES,they are AWESOME listens, if you like these genre'.
Clines, what have you done to me? You've written three great novels in this series, THAT's what you've done.
So, hurry up, and get to writing the next one!
I am a blind lawyer and aspiring writer, trying to read a little bit of everything but partial to sci-fi and military fiction.
Okay, so the zombie genre has gotten a bit bloated as of late, with everyone having a crack at it and employing the poor undead corpse as a vehicle for everything from pointed social commentary to gritty military science fiction. What we have here, I am happy to say, is something more in line with zombie entertainments of yesteryear, something you can and really should just take in as light entertainment. Don't get me wrong, I loved Day by Day Armageddon, and zombie apocalypse as medium for social expression is all well and good, but sometimes you just want a story in which people fight hordes of the undead and live to tell the tale. And there are superheroes? What? This should be good for a laugh or two, right? And it is.
I'm blind, so the primary media for superhero fiction (comic books, summer blockbusters, etc) are a bit beyond my easy reach. So the story of person learns to employ superhuman powers, meets naturally or artificially imposed limitations, circumvents same, repeat, is not as tired for me as it may be for some. And the same goes for the entertainment had when the good guys get to cut loose and finally save the day, inevitable as that turn in fortune might be. There are some rather big gaps in this plot, to which you must just nod and go, "Okay, well I guess that's what they have to deal with," and move on. If you're like me and just want to be entertained, these qualifications shouldn't matter all that much, as you just enjoy the ride to its conclusion.
I was very excited by the use of two narrators at the outset, then a little concerned as the editing of some conversations and mismatch of tone occasionally suggested to me that the presentation would have been cleaner and more coherent with just one. But in the end, when asking myself if having both made the experience better, I'd say the choice was a good one.
I did wonder whether the reduced price I paid for this book during a sale played a part in my opinnion of the experience. I have to conclude that it did, given that on sale it was about half its typical member price. All the same, what I think was a great short listen at the price I paid would more than satisfy in exchange for a credit.
I kept seeing this book under the "We thought you'd like..." section after listening to I Am Legend but couldn't imagine a book like this being even remotely good. I have been a comic book fan since I was 8-years-old, so I have no problem with superheroes. The oversaturation of the marketplace with Zombie literature has made me leery to purchase any books in this genre.
After reading many positive reviews though, I finally gave in and made the purchase and it was well worth the credit. Ex Heroes is one of the more original spins on the zombie tale I have seen/read/listened to. Its the freshest take on zombies I've read since Pontypool Changes Everything. Peter Clines does an excellent job of building a seemingly realistic post-zombie apocalypse world and creating a surprisingly believable cast of characters, though they are superheroes inhabiting an America that is constantly fighting to keep the zombie masses from overrunning the last outposts of civilization.
I recommend this book to anyone. Like I said, I am not a zombie fan but I could not put this book down. Its sequel, Ex Patriots, is equally as good. And the term "Ex Heroes" doesn't mean former heroes. "Ex" is the term they use for the zombies...as in ex-human.
Ok, I am writing to recomend this book to anyone who can lose themselves in a new world.
I loved it.
It has a great mix of superheros, their origins, classic coming of age sections, along with the end of the world. I like the way zombies come to be.
I have read the second book as well and it only gets better.
If you are someone who likes to follow characters over more than one book I can reccomend this one for sure.
Full of realistic dialogue and some great pop culture references, this book says what we all would be thinking if the zombies started taking over.
I can’t recommend it enough
The cast gives a great audio performance and never crosses into the dreaded "Acting" that seems to hurt some audio books.
Great job Mr. Clines.
Love a good sci fi or thriller novel, but also enjoy some non fiction too - biographies, marketing and business books.
not if they're narrating at the same time.
if it were 3am on a Saturday night and my choices were this or Robocop 3. then MAYBE.
At first glance, this seemed like a book that would be right up my alley. Zombies, superheroes, giant mechs, etc. Combine all that stuff together and it should be a definite winner, right?
Well, not really. While this book does have all of the fore-mentioned elements, the one thing its missing is some characters that you can relate to. Turns out character development is pretty important - without that, action scenes are nothing more than meaningless battles.
I would agree with some other reviewers who thought the writing was juvenile; all the characters could have fallen out of a high school comic book. These are rough sketches - very little depth. The way the story was told was kind of cool - the then and now style - but I longed for something that could connect me to anyone...it never happened.
Lastly, the narration....ugh. What were they thinking?! Both the male and female narrators were adequate, but the transition between them jarred me out of the listening experience when they went back and forth. They clearly were not recorded at the same time and the sound difference, while minimal, was definitely noticeable. Would have been much better with a single narrator, well...maybe a little better - much is pushing it.
If you've read and loved graphic novels like 'Ex Machina', 'Y: The Last Man', 'Watchmen', or 'The Walking Dead', then this is a pipe-full of tobacco cured, aged and toasted with your palate in mind, my friend.
If you haven't read any of those, go check them out immediately; they're fantastic!
Seriously though, this is a great novel for enthusiasts of sci-fi, action, adventure and superheroes. It's also got a bit of grit, a bit of depth, but not so much that the story isn't fun.
Finally, I like the author, Peter Cline's style. I dig the way he expresses himself in narrative exposition and dialogue of the protagonists. There's a sense of rapport - like spending time with a brother or a life-long friend. It's the same in Cline's two other novels and it makes me hopeful the guy keeps writing!
So, I am not a big zombie fan, don't usually read this kind of book. Having said that I will also add that I was rather pleasantly surprised! A bit gory and the duel narration was not my favorite, but I really liked the Heroes and I liked how the Zombies came into existence. Like I said I have never read a zombie book before so can't and won't compare it to others. But for me it was worth the buy and I think I would buy another book from this author.
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
Hmmm... sounds silly, doesn't it... Superheroes versus Zombies. Isn't it bad enough that we have to suspend disbelief to acknowledge the existence of one of these groups, let alone both??
Surprisingly, the answer is no. Both the zombies and the superheroes are believably written, and I found myself not even batting an eye when each new superheroes' powers were revealed... a guy who is a living sun, sure, a guy who is a light-sink, sure, a guy who is possessed by an alien demon, why not...
Yes, I'm serious, all these and more were in the story, and they were all believable within their own skill sets, and each was distinctly written (so you could tell which superhero was which when they spoke, not just when flexing their superpowers).
I liked how the source of the zombies was explained - also quite believably - and even the struggle with the "bad guy" makes sense if you think about how valuable superheroes would be in a post-apocalyptic world, particularly when they can be used as a power source, or an invincible supply-scouter.
I already have bought the next in the series. The narration is very good.