320 pages | Brilliance Audio | Sci-Fi | 3/12/2013
Everything I know about comic book culture I’ve picked up from Wikipedia, Twitter and listening to Glen Wheldon on Pop Culture Happy Hour where–during a discussion of Justice League–he talked about how altruism is at the core of iconic and popular superheroes. I think that promise internal altruism is what makes Peter Cline’s motley crew of post-apocalyptic LA superheros ring true.
We dive right into a decimated Los Angeles, nearly two years after a devastating virus that causes the dead to rise has taken over the world. That’s right we’re talking zombies vs. superheroes.
Barricaded in an defunct studio lot, a corner of civilization is trying to prosper with the help of a few surviving superheros, who began showing up just before the outbreak. The compound is run by the illusive Stealth and lead by Superman expy, St. George , and slew of other heroes and humans
Clines make the choice to not tell you everything you need to know in the first few pages, he just slowly rolls it out in a way that 100 percent works. Clines no doubt has what it takes to write comic books with the way he builds arcs and backstories for all his creative characters . He has the difficult job of telling a compelling survival story, while also providing origin stories for his heroes.
This is where the dual audiobook narrator model really shines. Jay Snyder and Khristine Hvam tag team this one with Snyder narrating and Hvam voicing the female characters. The pair are tightly edited in the main storyline, then they get a chance to perform individually whenever we switch over to an origin story. Hvam fully dedicates herself to the reprise of Cerberus’, a government scientist turn mech operator’s origin story.
Clines post apocalyptic LA is inclusive (Though the ‘villians’ are a Latino street gang, so yeah) and features dynamic female characters. Though it is noticeable that the two main female heroes Stealth and Cerberus are extremely intelligent women, while St. George the iconic uberman … was just a maintenance man. Yes, at times it was difficult to keep track of who was who with everyone having code names and real names (some even change their hero names) but you get used to it.
There are a few Torchwood and Dr. Who mentions and St. George gives this huge monologue about how Dr. Who inspired him to be the hero he is. This kind of surprised me because I didn’t quite see the comparison.
This book was written in the early 2010s and boy can you feel it with all the Heroes and House references. The book itself was obscure to me but here are a couple of books in the series and I’m curious to see where Clines goes with this.
I picked this audiobook up because there was a 4.95 BOGO sale at Audible and because Hvam is a favorite of mine –also I thought Peter Clines was Ernest Clines– anywho, it was a random pick that paid off. Entertaining, a little gory but with a great mythology and surprising twist and turns.
Marvel is missing out on Peter Clines
I was clicking through some different versions of this book on Goodreads and it looks like this book was orginally published by indie Sci-Fi publisher, Permuted Press then it picked up by Random House for book 3. I read about his happening all the time in YA and Romance,so it’s interesting getting a look at how it works across other genres
Narrator Jay Snyder is AKA Dan Green is the dubbed voice of Yugi from Yu-Gi-Oh!A show I remember watching as a tween but not really understanding (probably because of the translation).