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The Enemy by Charlie Higson

The Enemy

by Charlie Higson

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I loved this book. I was looking for something that wasn't too heavy. I wanted to get lost in a book while I was on break between quarters (my college is on the quarter system instead of the semester system). This is the perfect book.

Charlie Higson can really write. Each character has its own specific voice. The best thing about the book is the Higson can create the child characters without making them sound, well, sound the way an adult thinks kids sound like. He writes in the teenager and pre-teen voice very well. The male and female characters are written very well that they were all very distinguished from each other.

This is the zombie equivalent of "The Hunger Games". Written so well. I had such a hard time putting it down that my husband had to take the book away from me periodically so I would turn off the light and go to bed.

The idea that adults and older teenagers turned into flesh eating zombie like creatures leaving all the younger teenagers and children to fend for themselves is a very interesting idea. Very Lord of the Flies except there are adults and they're trying to eat children. There are ideas about safety areas and the disappointment when things don't go as planned.

Higson does a really great job of exploring the psychology of these kids. It's not too deep because it is a YA novel, but it's mature enough that as an adult I wasn't bored but intrigued.

This is a fast paced read. There are tense moments and touching moments. Sections when you'll laugh and other times when you just might tear up. overall this is an excellent read for anyone. ( )
  wendithegray | May 1, 2017 |
4.5 stars ( )
  ACascadeofBooks | Oct 5, 2016 |
(Re-posted from http://theturnedbrain.blogspot.com)

Sometimes I wonder if I expect too much of YA books. Normally after I’ve read a few in a row that just didn’t connect with me I start to think along the lines of ‘these books are intended for a younger audience, after all, you can’t expect it to fully engage an adult mind…’ But then I’ll think of books by YA writers such as John Marsden and John Green and Sarah Rees Brennan and I’ll realise that, no, I don’t expect anything that a YA book is not entirely capable of delivering.

I firmly believe that writing a good YA book is ten times harder than writing a book for adults, but on the flipside a YA book done well hold 100 times the rewards for the reader.

Is The Enemy an example of one such amazing YA book? Nope. It’s not bad, its not great, mostly it just is. Most of the problem I had with is that the plot is annoyingly familiar. I’m not referring to the whole post apocalyptic zombie thing, because I’m a huge (huge!) post-apocalyptic fan and I love to read different takes on what is usually a similar scenario. But you see, I only recently read Gone and The Enemy shares that book’s central premise of ‘all kids, no adults.’ Now, this is not really The Enemy's fault. I don’t even know which one was published first and it’s not like the two authors even approach it in exactly the same way. But still, the similarities struck me. Less easy to forgive is how closely the plot of The Enemy mirrors that of one of my favourite zombie flicks, 28 Days Later. In a broad ways, like being set a London where the majority of the townsfolk have gone rabid, but also in more specific ways, like the danger fraught journey to discover a safe haven that, surprise!, is not so awesome as it first seems.

But I’ll forgive all that. As they say, there are only a finite number of stories in the world and it all comes down to how you tell it. The problem is, Higson doesn’t tell it all that well. The main problems? The characters. In that you just don’t care about them. First problem: Higson is all tell, no show. Straight up, whenever a character is introduced he tells us what kind of person they are, which completely takes the fun out of discovering that for ourselves.

The only character I actually felt some kind of connection with was Small Sam. Where the rest of the characters want some vague safe future, Sam wants to find his sister. Where the rest of the characters stand around and bicker a lot Sam is constantly on the move, making things happen instead of having things happen to him. Unfortunately there are so many characters in this book Small Sam gets little scree time. Higson could easily have cut the book down. For example I never got what the point to the interludes with Callum were. He stays behind when the rest of the kids go and literally just hangs out feels sorry for himself. There was also Sophie and her band of archers, who had the potential to be really cool, but just kind of hover in the background and then leave.

I suspect these two plot threads, and others I haven't mentioned that were just as puzzling, will come into play in the second book. To be honest, if we exclude Small Sam's story, pretty much the entire book felt like an extended set up for the next one with Higson getting all of his characters into position. Which means the next volume, 'The Dead' will probably be a whole lot better than this one, but I probably won't read it because a whole book of set up is damn annoying. ( )
  MeganDawn | Jan 18, 2016 |
The Good: This is a really interesting take on zombies. Kids are immune, only the adults turn into monsters. All the adults, every single person over 16 years old. The situation itself is terrifying. The kids stick together, search for safety. There were more than a few deaths and some were pretty painful to experience. I found both the plot and the writing itself highly engaging and well done. The action is nonstop and level of violence is brutal. I especially loved the series being set in England and the situation at Buckingham Palace was insanely interesting.

The Bad: The book has some romance that feels totally out of place. Of course, teens and stressful situations will always breed romantic entanglements, but here it was forced and inconvenient. Almost as though it was wedged in there as an afterthought. ( )
  TequilaReader | Nov 9, 2015 |
After a disease turns everyone over sixteen into brainless, decomposing, flesh-eating creatures, a group of teenagers leave their shelter and set out of a harrowing journey across London to the safe haven of Buckingham Palace.
  lkmuir | Oct 26, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141384646, Hardcover)

They'll chase you. They'll rip you open. They'll feed on you...When the sickness came, every parent, policeman, 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?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:08 -0400)

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After a disease turns everyone over sixteen into brainless, decomposing, flesh-eating creatures, a group of teenagers leave their shelter and set out of a harrowing journey across London to the safe haven of Buckingham Palace.

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