Tag Archives: zombies

Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines

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I shall start by stating that I am not a zombie fan. I don’t watch The Walking Dead and I generally turn the channel when any movie with “zombie” or “living dead” in the title is on.

Ex-Heroes is about zombies – and I liked… nay… loved it.

First I want to give Peter Clines full credit for coming up with an origin for a zombie virus that I can buy. I wasn’t entirely sure it was possible but he did it. Then in a stroke of pure genius he threw in some real life super heroes. And gave a theory for their origin that was slightly less plausible, but I could still buy it. And to make that mix even better set it in Hollywood and have a points system for celebrities you’ve taken out after they became zombies.

The book is written in an unusual format. It jumps between the past and present at different points. While this seemed a bit disconcerting on the surface it actually worked well for the overall plot development and more importantly the character development in this book.

It is hard to pin down a single main character or even two or three. This is a very well written ensemble book. That happens to be chalk full of pop culture references that seem natural.

The only weak aspect of this book was some of the seemingly forced sexual dialogue. I’m not sure if it was because Clines was actively trying to make the book not YA or what, but the only weak scenes involved awkward discussions of sex or descriptions of sex. Without these the book wouldn’t lose any of its edge or bite. They really serve no functional purpose and they aren’t well done enough to add to the ambience or depth.

But back to the seriously awesome stuff. The super heroes have pretty cool powers but are also very real. They are regular people just like us, who happen to have some amazing abilities. They have flaws as well and wicked senses of humor to boot.

I can’t believe I am about to say this… I am looking forward to a zombie book. As long as it is the next in this series.

Review: Latter-Day of the Dead by @kevinkrohn

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If I had to describe this book in two words I would probably use creepy and page-turner.

I have to say I wondered towards the beginning if Kevin Krohn was a Mormon.  Not only a Mormon, but of the Fundamentalist variety.  When he contacted me to do the review, he gave me the basic premise of the book, and I can’t say that I had any idea the depth and breadth of knowledge this author would have for a condemned lifestyle so far out on the fringe.

The feeling of desperation I had for the characters living within this compound before the zombies even become an issue blindsided me.  Kevin has wonderful style of storytelling that didn’t even need to “bring me in” to where his characters were living, he actually wove the story around me.  Can I make that make sense to onlooker (onreader?)? Not likely, so when you read the book, take note – you’ll look around and wonder how you got pulled in so fast.

Our protagonist, Brother Elias, is a very young man, albeit the compound’s doctor, whose whims and wishes match that of a kid his age, while his wisdom and faith go decades past.  He is a shining star in comparison to the feeble (but mostly sweet) minds of so many of the compound’s inhabitants.  We’re there with him when his heart is full, nearly immediately broken, and then watch as he tries to do the right thing even though the “captain of the ship” town prophet isn’t man enough to do it himself.

The zombie gore is delicious (too soon?) and being a huge fan of The Walking Dead, I’m not lying when I say I hope this goes the direction of film – a hope that is encouraged by the book having its own video trailer.  I found myself wincing in a many spots, and downright covering my eyes in others.  Having no visuals to elicit that reaction in me is a testament to the skill of this author.

At the end of the book I kept looking down at the progress bar and feeling very apprehensive and even a little anxious that the content was running out while the action and intensity was heating up.  At the end I literally said out loud, “You did not end it there.”

Kevin, kudos to you.  More, please.

Rating (5/5):