Peter Clines, 2010
Premise: It's been long enough since the outbreak that those who were going to make it to shelter have done so, but not long enough to really start to rebuild. But is it good or bad that the group of survivors in Hollywood includes so many superhumans? And what will they do when the gangs that still exist seem to have somehow allied with the infected, and have an eye on their territory...
The book flashes back and forth between the current time, when the surviving heroes lead their band in survival tactics and fortification against both zombies and raids, and the past, both when the various heroes obtained their powers and when the outbreak occurred.
The characters are unique enough to enjoy for their own sake, while I also appreciated some of the ways they play off of established characters. The main two leaders are St. George (super-strength, flight, invulnerability, flame breath) and Stealth (female super-tactician, martial artist). There's also an energy guy, a psychic vampire type, a scientist/tech-hero, and more. There used to be a darkness-manipulator, a body-switching warlock, and others. Some of whom are not completely dead... yet. Puts a whole new spin on super zombies.
The “Now” story is exciting and interesting, but I enjoyed the “Then” snapshots of the past more. In the current time, the characters are mostly reacting to circumstance, not really being proactive. Which, I suppose, is why there's a sequel or two.
It's well written, and well edited, and while it didn't blow me away, I thought Ex-Heroes was a solidly enjoyable little book.
3 Stars – A Good Book
You can check out Ex-Heroes on Amazon.com, although full disclosure: it was cheaper when I bought it. I'm not sure it's worth 5 bucks.