Ex-Patriots by Peter ClinesPosted on: September 27, 2011
I read and reviewed Ex-Heroes back in March of last year. As I said back then, it was one of my favorite reads of the year. Ex-Patriots is the newly released sequel and it certainly lives up to its predecessor!
It has now been two years since a zombie virus has swept the globe. The zombies, called “exes,” dominate the landscape. The group of survivors living in The Mount, a former movie studio, has swelled considerably. They are protected and led by a quartet of superheroes — St. George, Zzzap, Stealth, and Cerberus. Over the last couple years, they have all managed to put together some semblance of a community. But due to the increasing population of The Mount, resources are wearing thin. Scavenging parties are having to range further and further and coming back with less.
As things are looking more and more dire, contact is made with a group of soldiers operating out of an Army base in Arizona. These aren’t ordinary soldiers either. Beginning just prior to the zombie outbreak, and as illustrated through a few flashbacks, these soldiers have been greatly enhanced through Project Krypton with tremendous strength and speed. They want to bring The Mount back into the fold of the United States. And they won’t take no for an answer.
The heroes agree to meet with the leaders of the base to determine how best to proceed. As might be predicted, they learn that all is not what it seems with the base and Project Krypton.
As with the first book in this series, Ex-Patriots is solidly written and well plotted. The actions of the various characters make sense and are true to the mythology Clines has set up. The real villain in this story makes an appearance early, though the reader won’t recognize him as such. And indeed, this character gives the story a great twist, one that the reader doesn’t see coming.
I also enjoyed the introduction of a few new heroes, such as The Driver. While at first his powers seem sort of second-rate, Clines is able to show how important even a supposedly lesser hero can be.
Quite often, when an author has a stellar debut novel, the second book feels rushed and just isn’t quite as good as the first. There is no “sophomore slump” evident here though. I think Ex-Patriots is as good, if not better, than Ex-Heroes. And while it isn’t absolutely necessary to read the first book to enjoy the second, I’d recommend it. The first book outlines the backgrounds of many of the characters, allowing you to understand their motivations and such. You’ll get a lot more out of the second book if you’ve read the first.
All in all, Ex-Patriots is highly recommended.