Saturday, 4 October 2014

The Enemy by Charlie Higson

Yo guys, Joe here!

Today I’m going to be doing a review on ‘The Enemy’ by Charlie Higson.

Here’s the blurb for you from Goodreads:
They'll chase you. They'll rip you open. They'll feed on you ...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 the age of fourteen remain, and they're fighting to survive. Now there are rumours of a safe place to hide.
I bought this book randomly in Waterstones around the start of September; I spent nearly half an hour looking for a random horror book to buy because I thought as it’s coming close to October I want some spooks in my life J

Honestly, from the blurb it sounds quite strange and new? I haven’t heard of another book, which has this kind of concept. (If I’m wrong, I’m sorry)
I left the shop and started reading it; I must have read about 10 chapters in the space of an hour or maybe an hour and a half?
It wasn’t that it’s a short book, because at 400+ pages it really isn’t, it’s because it was so good and fresh from the other Zombie/Horror books I’ve read.

Basically, some strange and new virus attacks the world and turns practically 95% of the grown-ups (or anyone from the age of 16/17 and upwards) into these zombie styled creatures that crave children and will do anything to eat them, the 5% of adults die just instantly from the virus.

Now bearing in mind these children are under the age of 14  (Some are slightly older who haven’t been affected by the virus, but even then they would be about 15) These children are left alone to defend themselves against the very people who swore to protect them; Be this their parents, police officers, medical officials, older siblings, etc.
But yet, they have adapted to the new world and are able to provide for both themselves and for other children.

That’s one aspect that I loved about this book, it gave the power to rule to children. That is an idea a lot of people have and do talk about in general day-to-day conversations.
By that I mean the whole “Oh, I wonder what life would be like if there was no government or there were no parents or if there was some sort of apocalypse” We would run riot. There would be turmoil, danger, death, destruction around every corner and that is exactly what these children are going through.

The story is based in and around different parts of London, which did make it slightly easier for me to picture and place.
(I live about an hour from London and I frequently go up to London as I have a friend who lives on the outskirts and it is an amazing city, which I will be living in next year! :D)
The plot was spectacular, it was written so well. At points there would be fast-paced action which would then be slowed down for a sense of reality to kick in; This allowed you to have a slight connection with the characters which made reading the book so much more enjoyable.

The fast paced action was perfect. Even though a-lot of things happened, you still understood everything, there was at no point any means of having to re-read chapters or pages as everything was written so bluntly and plainly that it continued flowing.

The characters were fifty-fifty in my opinion.
There were a-lot of awesome characters but then there were also characters that could have been worked upon or just disappeared within the story.

In my honest opinion, I only fully felt for about four of the characters within the whole book, so as I didn’t really have an opinion on the other characters I will only write what I felt for these four.

These four were Freak and Deke, Small Sam, Maxie and The Kid.

Small Sam was my Favourite out of the four; I believe that he was the pure main character of the story. Sam was the character you felt for the most because of his size and age, but he was also the most courage’s out of the whole character roll.
He wasn’t scared to fight, he wasn’t scared to run and he wasn’t scared to admit he was scared.
Every-time that his chapter would end I would find myself speeding through Maxie’s chapters to find out what Small Sam was going to do next.

The Kid… What can I say, those who have read the book will know that ‘The Kid’ is possibly one of the greatest characters ever written into a zombie book!
He is a kid who basically acts and speaks like Sméagol/Gollum; his strange way of speaking makes him hilarious.
‘The Kid’ meets Sam in one of the Underground tunnels in London, they create this awesome friendship which just makes everything awesome during this apocalypse. I liked it >.<
Plus, he calls Small Sam a Hobbit… that is a thing any Lord of the Rings fan will love >.< (Cause there was a Hobbit called Sam or Samwise Gamgee! Oh… You knew that already… well, good J)

Freak and Deke are pretty much the Dynamic Duo of the book.
They finish each-others sentences, laugh at each-others jokes, they fight together, etc.
They also tag everything under the tag ‘Freaky-Deaky’
Even though it was highly expected, I was sad when Deke was killed. It was so ultimately obvious someone was going to die in that sequence but when deke came out of the water with a shard of glass in his side I did generally get quite upset.
Then Freak died which was much worse then Deke because it wasn’t as expected but you could tell it was going to happen, I honestly liked Freaks admiration for the group leader and his well-being nature for the group.

Maxie was your all round leader, she started as a ‘Second in Command’ to the group leader Arran who died.
Maxie is a girl who values the lives of her group over the value of a safe place, she will make sure that her group is safe before she can ultimately plant herself somewhere.
This made her a respectable character, as she didn’t fall for anything anyone said even if it was or was not true.
She also had a really caring side which allowed for their to be several close relationships between herself and different characters which gave it a much more mature style.
(There was a point which did creep me out a little bit, this bit was when Blue and Maxie were talking and Blue says ‘With our parents gone, you’d think we would just drink, smoke, do drugs and shag all day’… guys aren’t you like 14? I mean, cool do what you want, but again, you’re 14 bit too young for any of those things, in my opinion)

Another thing I noticed was that there was a lot of references towards other films and books all the way throughout the book, which wasn’t bad but after you read a sentence, which says something like ‘It looked like the taun-taun’s from Star Wars’  (hypothetical sentence peeps!) you immediately start to think of that thing, which was a bit off putting.

I enjoyed this book, the plot was awesome, the concept was a great idea and mostly all of the characters were written well and thought out well.
Overall it was a good book but I won’t be jumping and running to buy the second one.
But I do think that this series would make a for a great ITV TV show :) 

Thanks for reading my review guys!

If you want to buy the book on Book Depository here’s the link:

Thanks :D – Joe J


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