Ex-Purgatory A novel

Peter Clines, 1969-

Book - 2014

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New York : Broadway Books [2014]
First Edition
Physical Description
348 pages ; 21 cm
Main Author
Peter Clines, 1969- (-)
Review by Library Journal Reviews

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. [Page 82]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

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.) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

George Bailey, a handyman at the local college, must decide which is the real world and which is fantasy when his dreams of being one of humanity's last heroes in a civilization that has fallen to a plague bleed into his waking life.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

George Bailey, a handyman at the local college, must decide which is the real world and which is just fantasy when his dreams of being one of humanity's last heroes in a civilization that has fallen to a plague that animates the dead bleed into his waking life. Original.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

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?