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Ex-Communication: A Novel by Peter Clines
Review by Drew Bittner
Broadway Books Trade Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780385346825
Date: 09 July 2013 List Price $14.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

Things seem to be settling down a bit for the community inside The Mount. Okay, there are thousands of "exes" (that is, zombies) outside the walls, but the handful of superheroes and super-soldiers (plus a lot of human volunteers) are keeping the people safe.

But when a trusted member of the community starts talking to someone who isn't there...should everyone be worried? And could this represent the biggest danger yet to the survivors?

In Ex-Communication, the third in Peter Clines' series about superheroes in a zombie apocalypse, the struggle to survive takes on a whole new dimension--literally. A new danger arises, one that threatens the human survivors in a whole new way. A lost friend resurfaces in a surprising manner, bringing with him a menace nobody could have suspected.

At the same time, the arrival of a young woman at their gates sets off a firestorm within the walls. She has managed to survive on her own and make her way to The Mount, but once inside, she'll set factions against each other and cause more than one character to question their past choices.

With the exes outside ramping up their attacks and a state of siege forcing the heroes to remain inside The Mount, the situation grows more tense by the hour. It may come down to a very desperate plan, staking the lives of everyone in the community on one girl, a battle-tested superhero and an expert who's now making it up as he goes.

Clines delivers a rousing chapter of this ongoing story, expertly mashing up the superhero and zombie genres to deliver something altogether new. The heroes have seen their share of losses--and like real people, they pause to reflect on them, to mourn their passing--but still fight for a brighter future. St. George pushes himself to his limits this time out, while the enigmatic Stealth comes out of her shell, a tiny bit. Zzzap is irrepressible and comical as ever. The stalwart Capt. John Carter Freedom, commanding officer of the remaining supersoldiers of Project Krypton and newly appointed sheriff of the community, goes up against some of the most terrible foes of his career, even as the "new girl in town" has to surpass her limitations and become a hero herself. All of them are well defined characters, replete with their own unique qualities and quirks, strengths and weaknesses.

The setting--a Los Angeles full of exes--is both familiar and unsettling at once, as human guards compete to kill celebrity exes and go foraging farther and farther from the movie studio that is their home base.

The story has great twists and turns, leading up to a strong climax as a hastily improvised plan comes together.

Recommended.

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