In the last few months have been binge reading Charlie Higson‘s ‘The Enemy’ book series. I first acquired a book from the series for my 18th birthday after getting a signed, hardback copy of ‘The Fallen’.
The series is made up of seven books which revolve around the same timeline in London, where an illness has spread effecting everyone over the age of 14 years old. Those who did not die from the illness turned into zombie like ‘sickos’ who have a thirst for children. Groups of children live in the apocalyptic Capital City in constant fear of being eaten by the zombies.
The series books in order are:
The Enemy, The Dead, The Fear, The Sacrifice, The Fallen, The Hunted and The End.
My favourite aspect of this series has to be the lack of fear to kill off main and important characters without warning. In the first book ‘The Enemy’, Arran is regarded as the main character so you presume he will be the storyteller throughout the books but he is instantly killed halfway through and not in the way it was built up.
The level of gore and the variety of deaths was graphic and powerful. The Author doesn’t shy away from the fact they are children. It has a similar edge to that of Battle Royale, which is a winning element for me.
As the timeline develops characters begin to crossover into each others story arcs. Readers get hit with the excitement of going ‘I know you!’ and having the upper hand to the characters in the story who have just met them. We know their history, personality and motive. I liked this aspect because it linked all the books together neatly, with the final book bringing them together accordingly.
My biggest issue was the ending. It wasn’t a bad ending, but it wasn’t satisfying enough for me. In the short-term the children have been successful, however, a lot is left to the imagination or is implied. While some may like the freedom to come up with their own absolute ending I would prefer to have something more concrete.
*Spoiler* The one character I hated with all my heart was David. If you read the books you’ll know why. It is implied he dies at the end of series. IMPLIED. Out of all the children he was the one who deserved it most, it would have been personally satisfying to know he got his Karma in the most painful and gory way possible (this could just be my sadistic side at this point). But I’m glad he’s dead nonetheless.
I really gripping and enjoyable series which doesn’t shy away from graphic detail. It is true to its genre as a horror and it was a thrilling read from start to finish. Give me more!