Review: The Enemy (Book 1)

by Charlie Higson

Out Now

With everyone over the age of 14 either dead or zombie-like, a group of children desperately fight to survive…

The Enemy is considerably more the sum of its parts, impressive as those may be. Moving firmly into horror territory Higson mixes together fairy tales (Hansel and Gretel in particular), Lord of the Flies, 28 Days Later (notably the Christopher Eccleston sequence), Survivors, the Star Trek episode “Miri” and those Channel 4 series where groups of kids are left to fend for themselves with no adult supervision, and comes up with a gripping tale that, certainly around the halfway mark, makes uncomfortable reading for any parent but will grab, and gross out to just the right extent, his target audience.

Young Bond author Higson gets inside the heads of his young protagonists (similar scenes narrated inside the adults’ minds oddly aren’t so successful), and we’re very rarely left too long before being reminded that none of them have even got near their GCSEs. There are some harrowing scenes, and nobody comes out unscathed from the ordeals.

Higson drops a few clues as to the cause of the devastation, but a lot more remains to be revealed in the sequels.

Verdict: A very solid start to the series.  7/10

Paul Simpson

Click here for our review of the sequel, The Dead.

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