Profile: Superhero Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Zombie Apocalypse
EX-Heroes falls very clearly in my reading category of ‘book candy.’ It’s light, entertaining, but lacking many qualities of actual literary goodness. Well, actually the concept is executed rather well and Clines manages to tell a pretty compelling story within his somewhat limited framework, so maybe the novel isn’t all that lacking. But at the end of the day, there’s very little here that hasn’t been explored before. Points for novelty notwithstanding.
The book bills itself as “The Avengers meets The Walking Dead,” and that’s pretty much the premise. A sequence of international events prompt the rise of a small number of ‘superheroes,’ who only have a few years to establish themselves before the zombie apocalypse kicks off. The book is told in two parallel arcs, one following a conclave of heroes who have carved out a sanctuary in the ruins of Paramount Studios in the post-zombie world. The other arc jumps between perspectives of various heroes as they tell portions of their origin stories or their first contact with the book’s zombies, called ‘Exes.’