Book Review -- The Enemy

Ttile: The Enemy
Author: Charlie Higson
Genre: YA suspense
Pages: Hardback, 440
Published: 2009
Opening Lines: "Small Sam was playing in the parking lot behind the Waitrose supermarket when the grown-ups took him. He'd been with some of the little kids, having a battle with an odd assortment of actions figures, when it happened."

"A devastating disease has struck everyone over the age of sixteen. Those who didn't die from it have turned into decomposing, brainless creatures that survive by feeding on anything that's still alive -- including children. Young survivors have barricaded themselves in supermarkets and other buildings, fighting off attacks from the grown-ups, who travel in packs like hungry dogs.

"The group of kids from a store called Waitrose includes fearless fighters, clever engineers, and wise leaders. They are tight-knit and determined to survive, but they are running out of food, and their scavenger hunts are growing more and more dangerous. Marauding grown-ups are picking them off one by one.

"Before long, the Waitrose kids are offered a safe haven in Buckingham Palace. They make their way to it, crossing London on a perilous journey that will test them in harrowing ways. But their fight to stay alive is far from over -- the threat from within the palace is as real as the one outside it."
~ Jacket copy

Thoughts: I'm not sure what I expected from this book. After seeing the sequel on another blog, I was drawn to this one. A zombie YA book sounded like a good addition to the TBR pile, and the library actually had it one its shelves!!

This is perhaps one of the goriest and dystopic YA novel I have ever read! The whole book is a bloodfest and filled with festering, weeping sores; zombie attacks; strong language; and so on. This book even deals with cannibalism.
At several points, I found my stomach start to turn. Even though it is gory and violent, it is a fast paced book and doesn't disappoint.

The thing that I found interesting about this book is the way Higson deals with the characters: there is no one main character. At the beginning of the book, it follows the group of kids from Waitrose more closely and, later, the Morrisons as well. He doesn't shy away from killing characters that the audience becomes sympathetic with. No one is safe, and the audience is left wondering who will be next.

I have to wonder, at some level, if this is Higson's Lord of the Flies for the modern YA. It is interesting to note that the children often find themselves longing for structure and the comfort of their family. Many of them often common that it is unfair that they were forced to grow up. Walking down the abandoned streets of London, many of the children wish for the carefree days of their lost youth.

If you're looking for a zombie, gore-packed YA novel, this is a good choice. However, that being said, it is extremely gory and should only be read with that in mind. The story is good, the characters are well developed, the plot is fast paced, and it tackles big issues without watering them down.


Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Currently: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Pages: 7797
ZOMBIES! Reading Challenge: 1/10
Current Progress:
23/50 books


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    "If you’re a freak like me, Wave your flag! If you’re a freak like me, Get off your ass! It’s our time now, To let it all hang out!" I am a recovering English major, closet bibliophile, breve addicted, zombie lover with a rockabilly and heavy metal fetish.