Ex-Heroes Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Stealth. Gorgon. Regenerator. Cerberus. Zzzap. The Mighty Dragon. They were heroes. Vigilantes. Crusaders for justice, using their superhuman abilites to make Los Angeles a better place. Then the plague of living death spread around the globe. Despite the best efforts of the superheroes, the police, and the military, the hungry corpses rose up and overwhelmed the country. The population was decimated, heroes fell, and the city of angels was left a desolate zombie wasteland like so many others.
Now, a year later, the Mighty Dragon and his companions must overcome their differences and recover from their own scars to protect the thousands of survivors sheltered in their film studio-turned-fortress, the Mount. The heroes lead teams out to scavenge supplies, keep the peace within the walls of their home, and try to be the symbols the survivors so desperately need. For while the ex-humans walk the streets night and day, they are not the only threat left in the world, and the people of the Mount are not the only survivors left in Los Angeles. Across the city, another group has grown and gained power. And they are not heroes.
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|Listening Length||8 hours and 33 minutes|
|Narrator||Jay Snyder, Khristine Hvam|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||May 10, 2011|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #19,337 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#47 in Superhero Fantasy
#324 in Action Thriller & Suspense Fiction
#475 in Superhero Science Fiction
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Top reviews from the United States
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I was not disappointed. The story centers around a world that's rapidly changing, people are suddenly so much more than just people, but with the gift of superheroes there is always a price, only this one is more than anyone wanted to pay.
The novel, while in some ways very typical of a zombie genre book, full of gore and violence and all those things, had some twists that were utterly shocking, things that caught me completely off guard. It also took the time to explain the why. As an avid reader and movie-goer, the one thing I have always hated about theme movies and books is that no one ever takes the time to ask the big question, and it's never explored. You have heroes. You have zombies. But unless it's x-men or a radioactive spider or the rare Resident Evil series, no one ever takes the time to explain not only the why but the how. This book does not fail in that regard. It offers insightful history and explanations, and does so in such a mind blowing way.
Ex-Heroes melds two disparate genres, superhero and zombie apocalypse, and makes them work together in an oddly harmonious way. The superheroes are created by a variety of things like toxic spills or magic with abilities like super strength, breathing fire, speedy healing, and/or flight. These characters follow the same archetypes of famous heroes. For instance, St. George is clearly the overpowered boyscout Superman with slightly different abilities (breathing fire instead of laser eyes). Stealth is similar to Batman with her abilities and more cynical worldview. Chapters are labeled Then from before the apocalypse and Now. St. George is the main character, but each hero gets their own chapter Then chapter and, if still alive, a Now chapter. Then, each hero is fighting crime on a fairly small scale and Now, they are maintaining The Mount and merely surviving.
The zombies (or exes) are pretty standard fare. They are the animated unded. The disease is a bit different. It's a virus that mimics white blood cells thus replicating quickly in the body. It's highly infectious through bodily fluids and survives a long time outside of its host, making dead exes and even smears of blood just as dangerous. This disease isn't fatal and only takes hold after death. The reason why people usually die after a bite is that other diseases piggyback on the zombie disease, making it a toxic mix of every other disease every other person in the line of infection had. I'm not honestly sure how sound the science is, but the concept is intriguing. Further, zombified heroes retain their abilities and create havoc when an uber-zombie with the ability to control other exes has a grudge against the heroes.
Ex-Heroes has a fast pace and interesting stories in the past and present to get to know each hero a little bit along the way. The beginning just throws you into the world and you start to tread water a couple chapters in. My only criticism is in some of the heroes' narratives. Stealth is a beautiful woman in a revealing outfit and she's disgustingly objectified by quite a few of the male heroes. Once is showing a perspective and doing it multiple times just seems immature of the author and the characters. Stealth herself seems more like a robot than a person as if she had to be so different than her appearance to be seen as a legitimate hero. Other than that, I enjoyed the twists and turns. I'm planning to continue the series and I hope the problems I have resolve as the characters get more developed.
The basic premise is that an infection broke out in Los Angeles that kills people and then reanimates their bodies. The infection spreads and become global. Superheroes are relatively new to the world, and the few that exist work to at first contain the infection, then to save as many people as they could. The heroes in Los Angeles turn to Paramount Studios with its high walls, clean it out, and make it a home for a few thousand people. Going out on scavaging runs with regular human survivors, they try to find more survivors and supplies. Besides the walking dead, they also get attacked occasionally by survivors of a local gang called the South Seventeens. The drama explodes when the S.S. turn out to be more dangerous than they ever could have imagined.
Told in a combination of flashbacks and present-day action, the story flows from the first page to the very last. Imagery is vivid and characters feel real. While having super-powered people, the story never really feels like a typical comic book. While having zombies, it never feels like a typical horror book. Instead, it's a gripping piece of fiction that grabs on and doesn't let go.
I heartily recommend this book!
Top reviews from other countries
So when I was looking to read a new book having just read "Blackjack Villain" which is a great superhuman style novel, I looked at EX Heroes.
I was skeptical, being so sick of zombies, but was pleasantly surprised by the book and found I couldn't put it down after a while.
The characters are great, obviously taking pages from famous superheroes, but the author knows this and plays it to his strength, making many popular culture references that we as readers know of. So I found myself smiling on these occasions. Perhaps a bit more fleshing out needed in terms of reasoning for their thoughts and feelings...but that will likely come with later novels...
Found the plot gripping and wanted to know more about what drives the characters. So all in all I would say very well written and successful!
Hope to enjoy the rest of the series as much!
I submit that you can now find anything on Amazon.
A friend recommended this for nearly a year as I blithely ignored his pleas to read it.
Eventually I read it out of poiteness , and immediatly bought the rest. This sounds silly. Its Superheroes vs zombies.
The superheoes came first then the zombies. and some zombies are zombie superheroes.
Its all very well brought togehter - theres no haphazard weldign of genres here - its a coherent excellent storyline bringing togther one of the best written zombie and superheroe stories together.
If you could only read one superhero or one zombie story ever again - you better make it this one.
It's not at all heavy and the emphasis is on the heroes but then in a world where they exist why wouldn't it be.
I have read other forays into the zombie survivor scenario - Adrians Undead Diary etc - and enjoyed the 'one man can make a difference' attitude but this gives us the opportunity to see what difference superheroes would make.
Buy it - you'll really enjoy it!!