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Ex-Heroes (Ex-Heroes #1)

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3.86  ·  Rating details ·  13,228 Ratings  ·  1,328 Reviews
The first in a spectacularly genre-mashing adventure series that pits a small group of courageous, flawed, terrified superheroes against hordes of undead.

Stealth. Gorgon. Regenerator. Cerberus. Zzzap. The Mighty Dragon. They were heroes, using their superhuman abilities to make Los Angeles a better place.

Then the plague of living death spread around the globe. Now, a year
...more
Paperback, 310 pages
Published February 26th 2013 by Crown Publishing Group (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

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mark monday
superheroes + zombies should equal neverending delight for undiscriminating nerds such as myself. admittedly there was a little bit of delight. the action sequences were pretty well-done. the author can write action, check. and one hero in particular - a fellow by the name of Gorgon - was pretty nifty. he wears cool goggles that when dilated open allows his gorgony eyes to drain energy from anyone who looks at him, increasing his strength and martial ability to higher levels, depending on how ma ...more
Carol.
Nov 12, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the rare reader with an interest in zombies and superheroes
Recommended to Carol. by: i'm not telling, on the grounds it may incriminate them


Ex-Heroes, or a novel about a graphic novel about a comic soon to be a movie coming to a theater near you!

I have only two problems with Ex-Heroes.

Characterization and theme.

I understand that this is a book about superheroes, which lend themselves to stereotypes. Except in a genre full of them, Cline seems determined to use them all. There is the 'Boy Scout,' who is working for the greater good; the 'Anti-hero,' who is the bad boy that flaunts authority; the 'Radioactive,' who developed powers a
...more
Robin (Bridge Four)
3.5 Stars (It seems to be my default rating)
It doesn’t matter. I don’t care what you believe in. The Loch Ness monster, Bigfoot, faked moon landings, the 2000 election results—you can believe in whatever fairy tale you want.

Before you read this book you have to ask yourself:

1. Do I like Books that read like summer blockbuster movies?
2. Do I like Flawed Superheroes that aren’t completely altruistic?
3. Do I like Zombie Books?
4. Do I like dark humor that also includes pop culture references?
5.
...more
Eric
How kickass is this book? I am currently sitting on toilet but not going to the bathroom at work just to try and get my thoughts out. I figure that if anyone does read this, enjoys the hell out of this book, and comes to thank me because of my review - they won't mind. Deal with it :p

Seriously I love the imagery of the entire thing. You would think that it's all just blood, guts, and load of undead and in one way it totally is but there is so much more. Epic. This book is totally epic. The way C
...more
Shauna
Mar 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
I'm rating this high based on how much I enjoyed the plot. HOWEVER, PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS AUTHOR IS CLEARLY STILL A PREPUBESCENT BOY. Every woman in this book is either a hypersexualized wet fantasy or is characterized as a "bitch." Even the zombies are constantly hypersexualized -- there are plenty of descriptions of emaciated zombie women in skimpy or torn clothes, at one point the author even goes on to describe the way blood ran between a zombies breasts. It probably won't surprise anyone to ...more
Lindsey Rey
May 27, 2014 rated it liked it
The concept for this is really cool. I certainly have never read anything with superheroes AND zombies before and thia book definitely surprised me. However, I find it kind of confusing to keep track of the characters and order of events and so I never really got into the story. I am not going to continue the series but if you want a superhero and zombie book, I would give this a shot!
Mike (the Paladin)
I hate this! I gave 14 a 4...now I'm giving this a 4, but 14 is better. It's just that I think this is better than a 3. Curse you 5 star rating system!

We'll have to call this one 3.5 as, like I said 14 is better, but this one is good.

I think this is first Zombie Apocalypse book I've ever made it all the way through (though I could be wrong). Anyway as ubiquitous as these books...and movies and video games and short stories and so on...are you might be temped to think, "ayah another zombie book
...more
Char
3.5 star rating

I borrowed this book from another Kindler because someone chose it as our horror group read on Shelfari and to be honest, I didn't want to buy it. It's not the type of book that I would normally read. I like superheroes and whatnot but a couple of hundred pages worth? Yeah...I was wary.
I have to admit that I was surprised at how much I ended up enjoying this book.

There were several superheroes, all original creations. At least I think they were because I have never heard of them.
...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
This zombie apocalypse/superhero mashup isn't bad, but it just isn't grabbing me. I could power through and finish it but I don't really see the point. Maybe if I were more into zombie tales ...

DNF at 22%.
Mihir
Oct 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Review originally at Fantasy Book Critic

Overall rating = 4 & 1/2 Stars

FORMAT/INFO: Ex-Heroes is 261 pages long divided over a prologue, twenty-six numbered/titled chapters, and an epilogue. All chapters are either divided into “Then” or “Now” sections. Narration is in the first-person for all “Then” chapters and in third person for all the “Now” sections. The POV's both first person and third person are via Stealth, Gorgon, Cairax, Regenerator, Cerberus, Zzzap, The Mighty Dragon, Lady Be
...more
Roy
Apr 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Very easy book to read. Flows very well. Just not the most amazing take on superheroes and zombies combined. The plotting is ok with some decent twists. My biggest issue is the characterisation. It just seemed a little flat, and to be honest, I didnt gel with anyone. I also kept comparing it to Sandersons series, which I think does a much better job of characterisation and story telling. If you want a very easy read, wont take you long to finish, about superheroes fighting zombies then give it s ...more
Lauren Stoolfire
Aug 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Not quite as good as either The Walking Dead or The Avengers (that's a very tall order, anyway), but still a good combination of zombies and superheroes. My main issue was keeping track of who's who and who can do what - it's easy to get the characters mixed up, especially right off the bat. I'm not sure if I will be continuing the series, but I do think that Ex-Heroes could be awesome on the big screen.


Ash Wednesday
3.5 STARS
"You can't be Banzai!" cried Mom. "Banzai is a boy. It was in the paper."
"Yeah, I know. It helps hide my identity."
"That name," shouted Dad. "How could you pick a Japanese name for yourself? You're Korean!"

I shouldn't lulz over that exchange, but I did.

I could easily hype this book up with big, all caps, and bold proclamations of each heroes' abilities on this one (okay I may have to indulge The Mighty Dragon because holy hell, A FIRE BREATHING HOOMAN!) but I should probably start wit
...more
Gergana
Apr 19, 2015 marked it as zzz-books-not-for-me  ·  review of another edition
Read from May 28 to 29, 2015

Ex-heroes was not meant for me, but I still recommend checking it out!

You don't have to love stories about zombies in order to enjoy this book, but you have to be tolerant towards them. The sole reason I lost interest in EX-heroes was the annoying sense of deja-vu that I some times get when I watch a movie, a tv show or play a video game featuring a virus turning everyone into brainless man-eating monsters. And yes, I know it's a genre on its own, so I don't really h
...more
Shamus McCarty
May 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked super heroes as a kid, but as I got older I started liking my fiction a little darker. So I got more into Stephen King and zombie stuff, then “The Watchmen” came out. I liked Watchmen because the heroes had a dark side to them. They were not all good, they were flawed, I liked that.

So when I met Peter at a con and got his book I was curious to read it.

Super Heroes AAAAND Zombies! Sign me up!

My favorite parts were the origin stories, the heroes and zombies are both relatively new
...more
Athena Shardbearer
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
Fantastic!!!!!
Becky
I loved Cline’s “14”. 14 was a great, easy, fast-paced, and fun read. It hit all the right notes for reading pleasure. Ex-Heroes had a fun premise- people with super powers that are turned into zombies still retain their powers as they now hunt for human flesh. Sounds interesting right? The execution of weaving multiple stories was good, showing each currently serving hero before and after the zombie apocalypse, and how the world came to be the way it is. So what went wrong? For me it was defini ...more
David Church
May 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Man this book was a fanboys dream. It took my two favorite genres horror & super-heroes and smooshed (or is it smushed? Or should I say smashed?) them together to make this novel that reads like a blockbuster movie coming out. Peter Cline does a great job on fleshing out the characters with flashbacks ala Lost with then & now segments of the book. Some characters like Stealth you associate with a Batman knockoff or the Mighty Dragon – Superman (sorta…maybe not so much) but Clines comes ...more
Dawn
Jul 14, 2015 rated it did not like it
I really liked both 14 and The Fold, so I thought I'd give this series a try as well. Unfortunately, I was pretty disappointed with the first book. It was ok, but just ok, and I was hoping for awesome. I don't even know what else to say about it. It wasn't anything in particular that bothered me, the story just wasn't that good. Disappointing for sure, but since I like Clines I'll go ahead and try book two at some point. Hopefully it gets better!
Mogsy (MMOGC)
A rather quick "fluff" read, with a very simple story. It doesn't take itself too seriously, so I wouldn't either; just sit back, don't think too much, and enjoy the ride. Be prepared for loads of pop culture references and humorous dialogue, and just an all all-around fun time especially if you're into superheroes...fighting zombies.
Felicia A
This could have been SO HOKEY. But it wasn’t – it was absolutely fabulous. For the record, I do not like comic books, superheroes, or comic book superheroes. When this book first showed up and was tagged as “zombies”, of course I looked into it. I LOVE zombies. But I read the description and I thought, nah, that’s not my thing and doesn’t sound interesting to me - the summary of the plot read like every young boy comic book lover’s wet dream, and didn’t spark any desire for me to purchase it, be ...more
Erin Dunn
Nov 08, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
No thanks. I can't finish this one. The characters are very stereotypical superheroes and it reads as if it's for a prepubescent boy, which I'm not. I don't think this is a horrible book, it's just not for me at all.
David
Dec 07, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ex-Humans, Ex-Heroes, Ex-Comic book fans
Superheroes and zombie novels appeal to the fourteen-year-old boy in me, and when I read one, I am usually disappointed because I am no longer a fourteen-year-old boy. Ex-Heroes is the ultimate superheroes+zombies mashup, with the Earth's surviving superheroes (okay, Los Angeles's surviving superheroes) protecting what remains of the living human population from the undead hordes after the zombie apocalypse.

This very "high concept" premise makes for a fun story that would make a pretty entertain
...more
Neil
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You don't have to like zombies or superheroes to like this book its just a very good read with a lot of interesting characters.
Badseedgirl
I have had a 30 plus year love affair with zombies. My sister and I almost came to blows over if Night of The Comet was an actually zombie movie, by the way it is, so take that little sister. But like any love, after so many years it can get stale. I have tried to restore my love by readings from series I love, but when that does not work, sometimes one has to get creative. And that is why I am so happy to have found Ex-Heroes. It was the "naughty nurse" outfit my zombie love affair needed. That ...more
David Katzman
Mar 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
Zombies are easy. I mean, they were old in 1999 as a metaphor. Romero is the original and no one since has really done anything too new with it. I'll admit, I liked the Walking Dead comics...to a point. The torture issue finished it for me, and I never went back. But I did appreciate the theme running through WD that no matter how brutal the zombies were, it was the cruelty of the living humans that was always the greatest. But zombies were old in 1999 when I mocked the gimmick in my first novel ...more
Zedsdead
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Zedsdead by: io9
Ex-Heroes is a superheroes-vs-zombies genre mash-up. Los Angeles has been overrun by the living dead. A few heroes have teamed up with a couple thousand civilians to turn Paramount Studios into a walled compound. A large, heavily armed street gang with a grudge against one of the heroes begins making trouble for the good guys.

The group's leader is a Batman analog named Stealth. She has no true powers, just a mind like a computer, a strategic and tactical brilliance, and a knack for violence. Sec
...more
Lizzy Lessard
Jul 21, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, reviewed
When EX-HEROES mixed super-heroes and zombies, I didn't realize how dumb un-scary zombies would be if there is no threat of dying. Besides the fact that three of the main characters are immune to zombie bites, zombies are incredibly slow and dumb, they’re developing a vaccine to cure everyone of zombie bites so eventually everyone will be immune. Yay. . Zombies are only cool when there's a high likeliness of the entire world's population ending up as zombies. Zombies are not cool when some guy i ...more
Jim
Dec 08, 2014 added it
This is basically a post-apocalyptic zombie book with superheroes, which is an interesting premise. As powerful as the heroes are, they’re not invulnerable, and they’re vastly outnumbered. They’ve established a stronghold called The Mount, in the ruins of Hollywood, where they scavenge for supplies and do their best to protect their citizens from the exes (ex-humans), as well as a street gang that’s discovered some powers of their own.

Clines hits a lot of the expected beats for a zombie story, i
...more
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2,598 followers
Peter Clines is the author of the genre-blending -14- and the Ex-Heroes series.

He grew up in the Stephen King fallout zone of Maine and--inspired by comic books, Star Wars, and Saturday morning cartoons--started writing at the age of eight with his first epic novel, Lizard Men From The Center of The Earth(unreleased).

He made his first writing sale at age seventeen to a local newspaper, and a
...more
More about Peter Clines

Other books in the series

Ex-Heroes (5 books)
  • Ex-Patriots (Ex-Heroes, #2)
  • Ex-Communication (Ex-Heroes, #3)
  • Ex-Purgatory (Ex-Heroes, #4)
  • Ex-Isle (Ex-Heroes, #5)

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“I took in a deep breath, and smoke twisted around my head as I let it slip through my teeth. “Do you know what my favorite show was when I was a little kid?”

The look again. “I would have no idea.”

“Doctor Who. British sci-fi show.”

“I am familiar with it. Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, and Matt—“

“No,” I said. “The new show’s great, but I grew up on the old one. The low-budget, rubber monster show with Tom Baker and Peter Davison. I watched it on PBS all the time as a kid.”

I looked out at the dark ruins of Hollywood, at the stumbling shadows dotting the streets as far as you could see. The only other living person within half a mile was standing behind me, her eyes boring into my head.

“The Doctor didn’t have super-powers or weapons or anything like that. He was just a really smart guy who always tried to do the right thing. To help people, no matter what. That struck me when I was a kid. The idea that no matter how cold and callous and heartless the world seemed, there was somebody out there who just wanted to make life better. Not better for worlds or countries in some vague way. Just better for people trying to live their lives, even if they didn’t know about him.”

I turned back to her and tapped my chest. “That’s what this suit’s always been about. Not scaring people like you or Gorgon do. Not some sort of pseudo-sexual roleplay or repressed emotions. I wear this thing, all these bright colors, because I want people to know someone’s trying to make their lives better. I want to give them hope.”
57 likes
“Zombies are like credit card payments. If you keep getting rid of the minimum amount, you'll never win.” 56 likes
More quotes…