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The Enemy (An Enemy Novel) [Kindle Edition]

Charlie Higson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A sickness has afflicted everyone over the age of 16; anyone who is a "grown-up" has become a decomposing, brainless creature that survives by feeding on children. The children and teens have barricaded themselves in fortified buildings, fighting off attacks from the grown-ups who travel in packs, like hungry dogs. Before long, the young survivors are promised a safe haven in Buckingham Palace and 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 is as real as the one on the outside.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up In this dystopian thriller set in London, everyone over 16 is dead or diseased, and youngsters are in constant danger of being eaten by boil-infested grown-ups who roam the streets like zombies looking for children to kill. Led by teens Arran and Maxie and armed with makeshift weapons, a group of kids sets out from the uncertain safety of an abandoned supermarket to travel to Buckingham Palace, where a young messenger promises that food, medicine, and a haven are available. Along the way, Arran is killed. One youngster selfishly decides to stay behind with a secret stash of food and is there to tell Small Sam, who had been abducted and feared dead, where the others (including his sister) have headed. Sam's quest to find Ella parallels the story of the large group with similar run-ins with marauding adults and mistrustful children who scavenge about the city. The bleak setting is filled with decay, danger, and puss-oozing parents who have turned into butchers. On arriving at Buckingham Palace, Maxie decides that David, the teen leader there, is too tyrannical, and she must regain control of her brood and convince them to leave for a new location. The last chapter squelches any real hope for the future and will leave readers somewhat haunted and chilled about the doomsday scenario. Descriptive and suspenseful, this title is similar to but less imaginative than Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking series (Candlewick). Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The imagined zombie apocalypse has been the inspiration behind dozens of movies, books, and comics over the past decade, and though Higson adds few innovations, his gusto is something to behold. Eighteen months have passed since everyone over 16 succumbed to a virus that turned them into rotting, ravenous monsters, and there are enclaves of kids all over London eking out survival. Barricaded inside of a store, about 50 refugees have constructed their own society—which is shaken when a boy arrives spinning tales of a wonderful settlement housed within Buckingham Palace. The action from that point alternates between the group's harrowing journey across the city and the grueling plight of Sam, a nine-year-old whose separation from the pack leads to an encounter with cannibals. Some of the characters feel like placeholders, but the action is of the first order—Higson writes with a firestorm velocity that inspires to the sweeping reach of Stephen King's The Stand (1978). A muscular start to what looks to be a series. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus

Product Details

  • File Size: 3480 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Disney Hyperion (June 16, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003SHDQD0
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,487 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Zombie Story December 8, 2011
By muppet
Everyone over the age of 16 has been infected with a disease giving them zombie-like characteristics. The novel takes place approximately a year after the illness first begins to infect adults. A motley crew of pre-teen/early teen girls and boys are fighting for survival in an abandoned grocery store in London that they have converted into a fortress. When a stranger arrives, they must choose to remain in the relative safety of their "home" or strike out on a journey across London toward the unknown in Buckingham Palace, which has become a refuge for another group of young people.

There is also another, for me anyway, even more intriguing subplot of a nine-year-old boy who has been kidnapped by the "grown-ups" and must escape. He goes on a harrowing journey through the subway system and finds a "healthy" adult couple with sick intents. (This subplot is reminiscent of The Dark and Hollow Places, the third installment of Carrie Ryan's Forest of Hands and Teeth trilogy. An absolute must-read in the zombie genre.)

There is a very understated, yet convincing, romance element. Most characters are well-developed, and the interaction between them is believable. The time frame of the novel is very condensed, happening over a few short weeks, which makes it a very harrowing and exciting read. I truly couldn't put it down!

I'm a high school English teacher. I recommend the title fully to fans of young adult horror and adult readers as well.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great gruesome read June 18, 2010
The Enemy is a good read. The pacing and plot are superb. This novel zips along at the speed of light! What stands out for me about this book is not only it's non stop action, but the fact that the author was able to work in some great character development along the way. This is a truly unique cast that we are treated to in this somewhat common story of a disease that kills off or infects the entire adult population of London. I've read quite a few books in this "end of the world" genre and while there's not much new with the storyline, these characters add a freshness to the tale that brings this one up to a new level. I really fell in love with some of these kids!

My only complaint with this one is that the dialogue is somewhat stilted in spots. The pacing of the story is so intense, the dialogue blips sometimes served as a roadblock to a very fast car chase. The author is expert at writing all the action, and I see this one having big appeal to high schoolers and adults. Be forewarned: there is a lot of violence in this story, and a lot of kids die. There are gruesome killings, hints at cannabalism, and disease crazed monkeys. All of this is made more compelling and grotesque because some of the kids involved are quite young. This is not a story for the squeamish.

I hope this continues as a series, as the author has set things up for a great next installment that I look forward to reading. I would give this 4.5 stars, and will recommend this to any fan of apocalyptic/dystopian fiction age 15 and up.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Zombie Type Read February 15, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The world has been hit with an unknown disease that turns everyone over 16 into zombie like creatures that seek to kill the children they left behind. The book is set in London and follows the saga of a ragtag group of kids as they try to stay alive in a world turned upside down.

The kids have found refuge in the local supermarket. They have been there a year, but things are getting desperate as the older kids have to travel farther from their store base to find food to keep them alive. The older kids know it is only a matter of time until they cannot hold out any longer and are looking for a way out. They find it when an older boy arrives telling them to come to Buckingham Palace, where there they have set up a safe zone, with food and comfort within the palace walls. Knowing their plight is grim, the older kids decide they should leave the shelter of the store and make a dash to the palace. The story follows them as they make their way across London. Who will survive the trip, and when they get there what will they find?

Little Sam is a nine year old with an imagination who is stolen from the supermarket grounds by the grownups in the opening pages of the book. He keeps his wits and is able to escape only to find himself alone in the big city of London. The book follows his adventures as he strives to stay alive and make his way back to the little sister he left behind in the supermarket. He is a wonderful character who just wants to be a kid again, but is forced to grow up too fast in a world where everyone must take care of themselves.

The book is fast paced with plenty of zombie type violence. The world as Higson creates is a dangerous one and many characters do not survive their odyssey.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just do what I say September 17, 2013
Buy this book don't listen to any bad comments just buy it and if you did not like it come back to this and cuss me out but I dont this that will happen
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Imagine a disease afflicting everyone over the age of 16. Those it doesn't kill become flesh-eating monsters preying on the children who have been left behind. Where would you live? What would you do? How would you defend yourself from the monsters that see you as food? Author Charlie Higson has imagined just such a scenario in THE ENEMY, an adventure set in post-apocalyptic London where kids have learned to fend for themselves.

THE ENEMY focuses on the Waitrose kids, who have set up their fortress in a supermarket where they have ready access to supplies and can easily defend the windowless building. Arran is the leader, holding everyone together. Achilleus is the warrior, helping kids to hunt and fight. There is Freak and Deke, two adventurous scouts who leave their tag wherever they go. And there is Maxine, the peacemaker who organizes the kids and makes sure no one gets left behind. The children have set up a fairly stable life, but know they can't last in their supermarket fortress forever. They are running out of supplies, and attacks from the flesh-eating adults are becoming more violent and frequent. In the first chapter, they've lost one of the kids to a raid.

When a stranger arrives telling them that there is plenty of food and safety in central London where children have set up a government in Buckingham Palace, they have a tough decision to make. Do they stay at Waitrose and wait out the siege? Or do they join forces with kids at neighboring markets and venture into the unknown in the hopes of finding a place better than what they've left behind?

The strength of THE ENEMY isn't just in Higson's action-packed writing, but in nuanced characters and the conundrums they face as they fight for their survival.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting slant on survival.
The story had a slow and a little confusing start. Soon, however, the story line made sense and was real fun. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gordon Carlson
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for all!!!
Best book I've read so far never wanting to stop reading once I've started. Would definitely recommend getting this book plus finishing the series!!!!!!!
Published 1 month ago by Martin Luis Silvas
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!
My 11yr old read this book in two days! I kept telling him to put it down and he kept begging me to let him finish it!
Published 1 month ago by mstarrx
5.0 out of 5 stars h
It made me write a review oklkkksnns Habsburg. Bihari j. Shans. Janna JD shave ahh shush hhshysb haut jaguar kkdgf
Published 1 month ago by h
5.0 out of 5 stars Freaking awesome
great cool awesome good amazing page Turner romantic best book in the whole freaking world and u better believe me and GET THIS BOOK
Published 2 months ago by Logan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series!
Very enjoyable read, hard to put down! I am now on the fifth book and cannot wait to start reading it.
Published 2 months ago by SCOTT CASE
2.0 out of 5 stars Holes in the story
Love the concept, but there were a lot of holes in the story. They're either diseased humans or zombies, they can't be both. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Laura A. Fisher
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story
Charlie higson really did a good job on this story. I found myself very interested in the characters with their origins (it would have been cool if the author did that). Read more
Published 4 months ago by Colin Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Love Able Book
I read this book in 2 days I was so interested in the dead (if u want t get this series read The Dead first) and the enemy just took me by the throat and I was in the book. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Angela Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars love!! OMG
this book is amazing! Great zombie story. I advise you read this if you love zombie and futuristic setting :)
Published 5 months ago by sydney moore
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More About the Author

Charlie Higson is an acclaimed comedy writer, producer, actor, and genuine James Bond aficionado. He is the author of the adult thrillers, Full Whack and King of the Ants; the internationally best-selling Young Bond series: SilverFin, Blood Fever, Double or Die, Hurricane Gold, and By Royal Command; and the YA apocalyptic thriller: The Enemy, which he wrote to frighten his ten-year-old son. He lives in London. Follow him on Twitter at:

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