For a long time Charlie Higson’s - The Enemy book series has been on my TBR pile. Last month was my birthday and I was gifted the full series, all other reads and reviews were put on hold I had to delve head first into this post-apocalyptic world where adults are no longer the protector but instead, kid chomping psychopathic killers.
Early into The Enemy it is apparent that no one is safe and Higson doesn't hold back on the violence and gore. The characterisation is superb and Higson has you siding with the kids sheltering in Waitrose supermarket and hoping for their sake there is light at the end of this monster filled tunnel. Each kid is unique with their own set of personality traits and skills which they are made to utilise in order to survive. It’s easy to become attached to each kid and it really is an unexpected and devastating shock when one dies.
The story firstly introduces you to the kids of Waitrose, some children seem to have grouped at the old supermarkets where their parents shopped. Further down the street are the kids of Morrison’s who are described as rivals as both groups scavenge for the limited supplies in the area. The Waitrose kids are led by Arron, who quickly became my favourite character. He and a few others scavenge the surrounding area for supplies whist Maxie, his second in charge looks after the fort and the younger children. Things turn bad for both parties as Arron’s group are set upon by a murderous pack of “Mothers and Fathers” losing a member of their group whereas Maxie loses one of the younger kids, Sam, who is abducted. It becomes evident that the kids cannot continue surviving this way.
Apparent salvation comes to the group in the form of a stranger calling himself Jester. Stories of Buckingham Palace and a safe haven for children quickly results in both the Waitrose and Morrison’s groups joining and working together, travelling across London to see for themselves.
Throughout the book there is nail biting action filled with gore and unimaginable puss-filled horror. The action is quick, bloody and brutal and makes for an extremely fast pace, enthralling read. I’m a little late reviewing this book due to this characteristic and instead opted to use my spare time reading the rest of the series, it’s just that good. Some potential readers might feel put off because the main protagonists are teenagers but trust me, Higson’s post-apocalyptic zombie novel isn’t no PG15 and you can expect the blood and guts you would find in any good zombie story.
I highly recommend these books, hugely entertaining with horror galore, enthralling and hard to put down but also leaving you dreading what will happen next.