The fourth novel in Peter Clines' best-selling 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?
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If you follow my reviews, it's no secret that I'm a Clines fan. Hands down, this author is the real deal when it comes to his genre, and he manages to take the series to new levels with each writing.
But does he do it again in "Ex-Purgatory?" Is he firing on all cylinders? Has he still got game?
Look, if Clines stumbles in his writing, you'll hear from me first. Just look at my last two reviews on sub-par work from lesser authors. I'm not afraid of readers putting dislikes on my audiobook reviews. It's my review, and good or bad, the truth will out.
But, I'm happy to say, Clines is growing as an author. This time out, he's twisting both the storyline and perspective. It's got a prequel opening for a particular hero that I always felt was lost in in the backdrop at the beginning of the series. Now we have the opportunity to see this , and it spins into a LOST feel. Think flashbacks, twists, and a few reality shifts. Still, he manages to balance his dystopian superhero apocalypse in the listener's favor.
This is a departure from his typical writing. Authors, and especially their publishers, are apprehensive to change style and direction mid-stream in a series, because the old adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." becomes the rule of the day. However, if done right, such a departure can make a series better for the journey. Such a move can be dicey - It's a leap into the abyss without a net, and a halfway attempt can ruin a series just as easily as a strong effort can strengthen it.
Clines jumps into the abyss, and it looks like the net wasn't needed. He still offers solid characterization, good story lines, and an enjoyable journey. Now, is this his best in the series? No, I don't think so, and this is due to the changes. Also, the narrator is okay, but I wanted a bit more. This is a departure from the multiple host of narrators previously used in this series, which I particularly prefer. But should you miss out on this audiobook? Definitely not, dear Audible listener. It's still worth your cherished Audible credit.
Am I going to provide spoilers, or giveaway what happens? If you think so, then you DEFINITELY haven't read my reviews. And I KNOW my reviews gets dislikes because of this. Still, I have to go with my gut in favor of the author. Why spoil it for you?
So, just like Clines, leap out into the Abyss without a net. Acquire this good next audiobook in the series.
Another great listen from Clines. I am a self-confessed massive fan of his work, but I do like to think that I am capable of writing an unbiased review. Fortunately that isn't necessary here.
Some may find it horrifying, but I actually enjoyed this installment more than the previous ones. It shows growth as an author and, quite frankly, a better command of plot. It wasn't nearly as predictable either; in the past that was something that needed to be overcome to fully enjoy the listen.
I know some folks were sad that it was just Snyder narrating, but I felt he did a great job. It just wasn't what we have been used to with the series. Happy to report they return to the multi-narrator method in the next book.
In any case, a great listen once more. Well worth your time and credit.