Superheroes vs. Zombies, Part V

ExIsleWhat will you be doing at the end of the world – specifically, what will you be doing during the “zombocalypse”?

Will you barricade yourself inside a suburban mega mall (Dawn of the Dead style), or wander around aimlessly in the woods (like the hopeless heroes of The Walking Dead)? You might even consider moving to San Francisco. The city boasts the steepest streets in the country. We’re betting that zombies can’t shuffle to the top of Lombard Street or do much damage in Potrero Hill.

Probably the best plan would be to find safe harbor on an island somewhere. The first thing you’d need to do is sweep the area of reanimated corpses. But after that, you’d be safe. Rumor has it that zombies aren’t very good swimmers.

That’s exactly what the citizens of Lemuria did. Sort of. Unable to find a suitable island to call home (Hawaii, unfortunately, was nuked shortly after the zombocalypse), a fleet of cruise ships latched together to form a makeshift island. The zombies were thrown down the hatch, and people adjusted to their new lives as best as they could.

The architect of this love boat fantasy island was a guy named Nautilus. Even though he called himself a superhero, he was more like a cross between Tiger Shark, King Shark, and Hefty Smurf. And that wasn’t good. “He let his Aquaman syndrome drift all the way over into a full-on Napoleon complex,” said Zzzap, one of our favorite Ex-Heroes. In this case, one bad apple was spoiling the whole bunch.

Meanwhile back in Los Angeles, the citizens of the Mount were struggling with a food crisis. The world ended during the summer of 2009 (“Sorry you had to find out like this,” writes the author at the beginning of the book), and the surviving humans have gobbled up all the canned beans and Zingers in the surrounding area. Instead of scavenging the shelves of Kwik-E-Mart, they needed to find a Garden of Eden, and they needed to find it fast.

This is the fifth volume of Peter Clines’ Ex-Heroes series and once again superheroes and zombies are getting freaky in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. For new readers, all you really need to know is that a virus killed 90 percent of the world’s population and replaced it with chattering zombies. But if you’re looking for more background information, you can easily check out our reviews of the first four novels: Ex-Heroes, Ex-Patriots, Ex-Communication, and Ex-Purgatory. Ex-Isle is a welcome addition to the ongoing series, and as far as we’re concerned, Clines can continue writing these books for as long as he wants. We’ll continue to read ‘em all.

Ultimately no Garden of Eden or Paradise Island can save us from the end of the world. There’s no safe place to hide. “Even if you understood why the world was the way it was, exile sucked,” admitted George Bailey in a moment of reflection. Sadly, even a man like Bailey who was blessed with Superman-like abilities couldn’t do much about the zombocalypse.

[Ex-Isle / By Peter Clines / First Printing: February 2016 / ISBN: 9780553418316]

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