Top critical review
on 6 November 2016
If you were drawn to Peter Clines' Ex-Heroes series for the canny manipulation of the zombie and superhero genres, and were delighted by the superb origin provided for the universe and the canny way the first two books both built on and subverted your expectations, then you'll be equally excited about this, the third in the series. So prepare to...
...be astounded! As the first quarter of the book basically recaps the first two, adding nothing new!
...thrill! As the four most powerful characters sit down to an awkward dinner party!
...delight! As discussions are had about forthcoming mayoral elections! That never happen!
...marvel! At the use of poorly-explained and motivated magic! Yes! Actual magic!
...cheer! As Stealth becomes a thinly-motivated info-dumping machine! Because stuff's gotta come from somewhere!
...gasp! At the off-handed use of zombies to provide a bit of gore when you start to realise nothing has happened yet!
...gast your flabber! At lots of lunk-headed reflection on death, religion, resurrection, and morals!
...and wonder! As the plot only really gets going with about 50 pages remaining!
It's not great, is what I'm saying. If Ex-Heroes and Ex-Patriots lifted Clines of the upper echelons of the speculative SF genre, Ex-Communication brings him thundering back down again with leaden-footed exposition, alarmingly pointless "Then" chapters that provide really nothing of any interest from the past (which were previously the best parts of these books), and a tin ear for dialogue, character motivation, human interaction, and anything approaching consistency within his own narrative. And the pop culture references are hideously forced now, too.
Shame, really, as the first two books are great.