Do Zombies Dream of Zombie Sheeps?

Ex-Communication: A Novel - Peter Clines


"We're not safe. This isn't remotely safe anymore. This is like being out in the middle of the ocean, a thousand miles from anything, on a six-dollar pool raft with a great white shark circling you. Except the raft has a hole in it and the shark's armor-plated, on meth, and has a laser cannon mounted on its skull. That's about how 'safe' we are."
3.5 STARS 

But I'm rounding it up to 4 because Peter Clines just makes me giddy with all his pop culture references. I get you Mr. Clines! I get you!

Nearly a year after the end of Project Krypton, Captain Freedom and his team has joined the Supers at The Mount in protecting the living community of Los Angeles against the imminent threat of Legion and his Agent Smith-like powers over the walking dead. Despite this, Legion is getting increasingly smart in his efforts to breach their defenses. Meanwhile, recent developments on the other side of the fence has led the living to cling on the hope that there might be a way to bring their ex-human loved ones back to life and question the Supers harsh strategy in dealing with zombies.

This is a little different from the past two books in the series in that some paranormal aspects were integrated in the story. Which is always a bit of a difficult sell seeing as this speculative zombocalypse was founded on hard science and logic. While the occult and paranormal was featured in the first book's plot, it wasn't as heavily central to the bigger story arc then as it was here. It did throw me off since the fit wasn't as seamless as I'd like it to be. The effort was there but some of the metaphors just got too winded and confusing for me. This also brushed on some existential and religious issues on life, death and the in-between, without being too heavy-handed on the subject matter (more on the mysticism rather than dogma, thankfully). But again, it felt a bit off-key from the usual rhythm Clines usually delivers the story in. 

I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked the new Supers in the fold, especially Captain Freedom. The Green Lantern-Captain America fusion is not lost on me, but something about his backstory just makes him the new favorite along with Barry (Zzzap) who is just a pop-culture vending machine.
I'm sorry but I don't loan out my comics to strangers. Besides, you've probably read them all, anyway. All my favorite titles stopped three years ago. I don't know about you, but I don't think it's a coincidence that civilization collapsed right after Spider-Man made a deal with the devil.

Sadly, I might be over the George-Stealth story line because that ship might have jumped the shark in this installment. While I was very happy about Stealth in this book, George is sort of slowly crumbling from the pedestal of cool in my eyes. The gag reflex is always stronger when its the awesome, kick-ass characters giving the cheese.



She was cold and strong and merciless so no one else had to be. So everyone else could just live. 
It was who she was, and it was part of the reason he loved her. 
He hoped he survived to tell her.
(show spoiler)


Oh, shut up George.


On the other hand, Captain Freedom and Corpse Girl FTW! I think its their vulnerabilities that make them more endearing that the obviously indestructible Mighty Dragon and his crew. The villain here was little bit too obvious and comic booky for my tastes. I think I liked the bad guy from the last book better because he's ever so creepy while this one is all about the SMASH. I guess Legion is now part of the cast and no longer just a 'Recurring Guest Star' anymore which certainly makes for an interesting development.

I'm almost sad to move on to the next book because it's an ARC and I'm going to have to wait a little longer for the next installment. Longer than the rest of its fans and definitely much longer than everyone else who hasn't discovered this wildly entertaining series.