Ex-Purgatory (Ex-Heroes Series #4)

Ex-Purgatory (Ex-Heroes Series #4)

4.2 14
by Peter Clines
     
 

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The fourth novel in Peter Clines' bestselling Ex series.

When he’s awake, George Bailey is just an ordinary man. Five days a week he coaxes his old Hyundai to life, curses the Los Angeles traffic, and clocks in at his job as a handyman at the local college. 

But when he sleeps, George dreams of something more.

George dreams

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Overview

The fourth novel in Peter Clines' bestselling Ex series.

When he’s awake, George Bailey is just an ordinary man. Five days a week he coaxes his old Hyundai to life, curses the Los Angeles traffic, and clocks in at his job as a handyman at the local college. 

But when he sleeps, George dreams of something more.

George dreams of flying. He dreams of fighting monsters. He dreams of a man made of pure lightning, an armored robot, a giant in an army uniform, a beautiful woman who moves like a ninja.   

Then one day as he’s walking from one fix-it job to the next, a pale girl in a wheelchair tells George of another world, one in which civilization fell to a plague that animates the dead…and in which George is no longer a glorified janitor, but one of humanity’s last heroes.  

Her tale sounds like madness, of course. But as George’s dreams and his waking life begin bleeding together, he starts to wonder—which is the real world, and which is just fantasy?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/11/2013
The fourth episode in Clines’s genre-blending Ex series (after Ex-Communication) puts an unusual twist on the superheroes/zombie apocalypse mash-up. George, Madelyn, and a handful of other people living normal lives share dreams of a parallel dimension where they’re heroes fighting the undead. Soon inconsistencies creep into the waking world and reality blurs. As they fight to claim their heroic identities and figure out what’s actually real, they begin to raise questions about the implausibility of their situation. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode “Normal Again” is an obvious touchstone, and other genre shows and films are clearly referenced throughout. Clines has always written with a pop culture sensibility, but he’s got a new air of confidence in his characters and worldbuilding that allows the series to go off at a 90-degree angle and still stay faithful to its roots. Fans of the previous installments will enjoy the growth, but while there’s plenty of exposition, new readers will be best served by starting the series at the beginning. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
“Bound to appeal to fans of zombies and superheroes alike… If ever a book had the potential for a Hollywood blockbuster, this is it.” —SF Signal on Ex-Heroes

“I was completely floored by this book’s ingenuity and charm...exemplifies the real meaning of a page-turner.” —Fantasy Book Critic on Ex-Heroes

“A fabulously geeky adventure about getting the superpowered band back together...Ex-Puragtory not only drops a host of Easter eggs for longtime fans, but it also makes for a satisfying entry point for new readers.” Kirkus

“The fourth episode in Cines’ genre-blending Ex series puts an unusual twist on the superheroes/zombie apocalypse mashup… Clines has always written with a pop culture sensibility, but he’s got a new air of confidence in his characters and world-building that allows the series to go off at a 90-degree angle and still stay faithful to its roots.” Publishers Weekly
Library Journal
01/01/2014
While previous volumes of this series focused on a team of comic book-style superheroes fighting zombie hordes, this fourth entry (after Ex-Communication) takes an interesting new turn. George, known in previous books as the Mighty Dragon, is just plain old George Bailey at the beginning of this book. He gets up every morning, fights L.A. traffic, and goes to work as a janitor. But amid his daily grind, George gets flashes of a chaotic world filled with death, decay, and zombies—a world where he has superpowers. Maybe he's losing his mind, but with the help of the other heroes, George might just fight his way back to the apocalyptic world that needs him. VERDICT This is not an easy place for those new to the series to jump in, but this twist on the comic book origin story in which our heroes have to try and remember their powers and responsibilities is an original and effective way to keep these characters fresh and engaging while still including some of the stellar action scenes that made the previous books such fun.
Kirkus Reviews
2013-11-14
The superheroes of the future have been restored to their dull, pedestrian lives, and they have no idea who or where they are. Clines (Ex-Communication, 2013, etc.) set a lot of geek hearts aflutter with this imaginative series that finds his version of the Justice League caught between a zombie apocalypse and a host of supervillains set loose with a lot of dangerous toys in a world fallen to chaos. In his fourth outing, the author pulls off a very comic-book–inspired trick, lifting a concept from an old episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation but also liberally borrowing the kinds of high-concept, world-shifting events that run rampant in Marvel Comics "events" as well as bits and pieces from noodle-benders like The Matrix and Inception. Interestingly, it not only drops a host of Easter eggs for longtime fans, but it also makes for a satisfying entry point for new readers. We open on George Bailey, a handyman at a local college who finds himself plagued by dark, apocalyptic dreams. One ordinary day, he is approached by a pale girl in a wheelchair who introduces herself as Madelyn Sorensen. "The Corpse Girl," she says. "And you're George Bailey. St. George? Formerly the Mighty Dragon?" Eventually, George accepts the fact that he is future zombie world's analog of Superman and needs to find his mind-wiped comrades. The problem is that our heroes can't figure out whether they're being manipulated via telepathy, are trapped in some kind of comprehensive illusion, interacting in a virtual simulation like the matrix, or are simply comatose in a hospital somewhere, dreaming the whole thing up. It can all sound a little juvenile on paper--Clines freely admits that he invented these characters in grade school--but he brings such a youthful enthusiasm to the whole deranged enterprise that it's easy to overlook a few flaws in the name of good, clean fun. A fabulously geeky adventure about getting the superpowered band back together.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780804136617
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/14/2014
Series:
Ex-Heroes Series, #4
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
188,349
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

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