Book Review: Ex-Patriots by Peter Clines

I quite enjoyed Peter Clines’ first installment in his superheroes vs zombies series, and the sequels have been sitting on my Amazon wishlist ever since. I finally got around to reading part 2 and it was an utter belter.

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A few months after the events of the first book, the LA based heroes continue to protect their fellow survivors. Tensions are high as they try and integrate the former gang members they’ve taken in after a turf war and anti-super feeling.
When an unmanned drone is spotted they realise that other survivors are out there? But who are they? And can they be trusted?
It turns out to be the US Army, and it’s supersoldier programme. Some are sceptical, while others hope for a return to normality.
But as they visit the base more doubts are raised. Have they really worked out how to control the dead? What are their intentions? And who is really calling the shots at the base?
I really dug this book and it feels like Clines has upped his game since part one, with this book expanding on the world he created. It’s an interesting world he’s made, with the survivors having developed their own slang and their reactions to the supers and the zombies feel real and grounded, despite the unreal events.
His characterisation is solid as well, and his narrative device which sees focus shift from the present to the past creates dramatic irony and allows the truth to slowly be revealed. St George, the protagonist, is a solid, old school hero and immensely likable and the other characters, new and old, are well rounded.
It’s a gripping, entertaining read with Clines tying all the threads together wonderfully, and it unfolds at a good pace.
Also the “celebrity zombies” theme from the first continues, and there’s a nice nod to Nathan Fillion who’s endorsement of the first book is what brought it to my attention.
Verdict: A cracking read filled with action and humour, Clines has developed as a writer, with this feeling more confident and accomplished. I won’t be waiting so long before I get into number 3. 8/10.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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