Dan Simmons won a Hugo award for his book Hyeprion, which is the first of four in a series of the same name. Simmons creates an amazing technological future where humanity's impact on the universe has significant ramifications that put our survival at risk. This first book kicks off the series in fine style as an eclectic cast of characters sets out on a pilgrimage to visit the planet Hyperion. Only one of them will accomplish their goal on Hyperion and the future of humanity will be determined by which of them is successful. As the long journey to Hyperion take place each character tells their personal story to the others and the pieces of a very interesting puzzle start to come together.
This work originally started as an online journal where each entry was uploaded piece by piece and appeared as if it was hand written by the protagonist as he tried to survive a zombie apocalypse. It was published in this unconventional way because J. L Bourne wanted it to feel real and raw and was quoted as saying "there are no publishers or editors in the apocalypse." Eventually this unique work was compiled and morphed into book form but the journal entry format remained in tact which is a good thing since it happens to keep the story moving forward rapidly. Couple that with the credibility that Bourne's 22 years of military and intelligence service brings to his main character, who is also military, and you have a unique work worth experiencing within a very crowded genre.
Book 5 of the Ex-Heroes series sees Peter Clines return the series to something a bit more traditional than the last book. In fact, if this was a TV series this book would be considered a filler episode with only some minor character development going on. The larger story arc doesn't move forward all that much but since all your favorite characters from the series return it is still quite enjoyable. Book 4 was weird enough that fans of the series like me will find that a nice solid "back to reality" story really hits the spot.
When I first noticed this series I saw that the subject matter was a combination of a zombie apocalypse and super heroes and I knew this was not something that I would get into. Therefore I chose to ignore the series despite seeing many positive reviews for it. These books are also shorter than what I normally prefer so I had multiple reasons to pass this series up as the positive reviews continued to roll in. However, eventually I found myself looking for a change of pace so I decided to give it a try ore »and I am very glad I did. Peter Clines masterfully combines the two genres into an interesting, face-paced storyline with some surprising detail behind it. I listened to this series on audiobook and it felt like I was listening to a comic book filled with fun characters. I enjoyed every minute of it and eagerly await more.