Posted: 01/07/2012 in Books

Ex-Patriots by Peter Clines

Ex-Patriots is the eagerly anticipated (by me anyway) follow-up to Peter Clines’ Ex-Heroes. Patriots brings us back into the world of super heroes and zombies on the West Coast. It picks up right where Ex-Heroes left off. The heroes and citizens of the Mount try to restore some sense of normalcy after the attack of Peasy and his gang. They soon discover that some parts of the US Government are still intact. Whether or not this is a good thing is a point of contention amongst the heroes.

THE GOOD: As with ExH, Patriots is a really well-told story. It’s an extension of a great super hero/zombie mash-up, and again, Clines pulls it off really well. Everything good from ExH carries over: great super hero action, great zombie action. We also get to know all of the main characters a little bit better as the sequel continues to explore some of their motivations as well as their flaws.

Patriots also provides the answer to the biggest question I had from ExH regarding the origin of Peasy. I really appreciated that, and on some level it added to my enjoyment of the original.

THE BAD: Patriots follows a similar pattern to ExH as chapters are split between the present and flashbacks that give the reader insight into different characters. Unfortunately, I found the flashbacks to be less effective this time around. In ExH each of the flashbacks give us key information about critical players in the storyline. In Patriots, we get flashbacks about characters who are far less significant. In fact, I found myself quickly forgetting which character was in the Army band vs. the one who’s a chauvinist vs. the one who’s whole family was in the Army, yet I never found myself flipping back to check. It just wasn’t that important.

THE UGLIES: Same zombies as were found in ExH. But as a refresher: the zombies are referred to as ‘exes’, as in ex-humans, and they’re all slow, shamblers. Villainous zombie control also comes into play once again.

THE VERDICT: Ex-Patriots does a nice job of taking what was successful from the original while not becoming a retread of the same story. I really enjoyed the expansion of the ExH universe as we find out that there is life outside of the Mount. I gotta say that if I had to choose between the two that Heroes is still my favorite, but Patriots is a worthy follow-up. Clines also leaves us with a fair amount of questions, so I will be chomping at the bit to read Ex-Communication, Ex-Rays, Ex-Wives, Ex-Actas, Ex-Men, and any other exes that he’s ready to throw our way.


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