Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Ex-Isle by Peter Clines - Book Review
From the publisher: “It is an easy thing to rule by fear.”
It’s been years since the tidal wave of ex-humans washed over the world. Since then, thanks to St George and his fellow heroes, the community known as the Mount has been the last known outpost of safety, sanity, and freedom left to humanity.
But even for the Mount, survival still balances on a razor’s edge—and after a disaster decimates the town’s food supply, the heroes must make a risky gamble to keep its citizens from starving.
And then the news arrives of a strange, man-made island in the middle of the Pacific. An island populated not just by survivors, but by people who seem to be farming, raising children, living—people who, like the heroes, have somehow managed to keep the spark of civilization alive.
Paying this place a visit should be a simple goodwill mission, but as the island reveals itself to be a sinister mirror-image of what the heroes have built at the Mount, the cost of their good intentions becomes dangerously high.
With Ex-Isle, the fifth book in the Ex- series, Peter Clines has told a new story that follows on the heels of what has come before. As with the previous books, Clines takes his heroes and the residents of the Mount and puts them in the crosshairs of the exes (zombies) and what has been the even more dangerous opponent: other surviving humans, some powered and some not.
Ex-Isle splits its story into two different parts, running simultaneously. In one, St. George, Corpse Girl, and Zzzap make a visit to an island of ships that Zzzap discovered while circling the globe looking for other survivors of the ex-virus. As the heroes make contact, they begin to discover that all is not as it seems, and come up against an opponent they aren't ready for. The other storyline follows Danielle (Cerberus), Cesar (the Driver), and some of the soldiers known as the Unbreakables as they try to establish a second safe haven near Los Angeles. This new settlement is known as Eden, and it is a large community garden that becomes vital to provide food to the residents of the Mount. This group runs into trouble that is reminiscent of the early struggles the group dealt with in the aftermath of the ex-virus.
Both stories are entertaining, and do much to develop the characters. Of particular note is the development of Corpse Girl, Danielle, and Cesar. I'm impressed by Clines's ability to come up with fresh conflicts for the heroes, so that these books don't seem like they are the same old, same old. Additionally, Clines continues to expand the world of his ex-universe, as he branches the characters out of the Mount, home to most of the previous books.
I recommend Ex-Isle by Peter Clines to fans of his previous books, and anyone looking for a fresh take on superheroes and/or zombies.
I received a review copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.