The Enemy - Charlie Higson

Genre: Young Adult/Post-Apocalyptic
Synopsis: Everyone over the age of fourteen has succumbed to a deadly zombie virus and now the kids must keep themselves alive. When the sickness came, every parent, police officer, politician - every adult fell ill. The lucky ones died. The others are crazed, confused and hungry. Only children under fourteen remain, and they're fighting to survive. Now there are rumours of a safe place to hide. And so a gang of children begin their quest across London, where all through the city - down alleyways, in deserted houses, underground - the grown-ups lie in wait. But can they make it there - alive?


Review: I'm not entirely sure what drew me to this book, or what made it stand out over every other post-apocalyptic/zombie story out there. I do tend to like these kinds of novels, but for some reason I really wanted to read this one, and I wanted it to be awesome. It turned out to be a weird mix of very cool and unexpected on some levels, while bordering on cringe-worthy on others.

I think what that came down to, for me, was some really good ideas which suffered from mediocre writing. Some of the challenges faced by the kids and the braveness (or sadism) of the author in killing off characters were great. I don't really want to spoil the plot by giving examples, so I can't really talk up the aspects I liked very much unfortunately, but I definitely think this is a very creative novel. It's just let down by the writing and in some cases pretty poor characterization, so I can see why some people would be put off.

I'm not sure whether or not I'll read the next book in the series. While I did enjoy reading this, it worked well enough as a stand-alone novel that I'm not sure I want to risk seeing the things I liked about this book potentially degenerate to the level of the writing in later books. It's a really long series though, so maybe it gets even more creative.

Bit of an odd one, while I can say I thoroughly enjoyed it, I couldn't honestly recommend it to others.

Rating: 3/5

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