The Enemy – Charlie Higson

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 fourteen remain and they're fighting to survive.

Now there are rumours of a safe place to hide. And so a gang of children begin their quest across London, where all through the city – down alleyways, in deserted houses, underground – the grown ups lie in wait. 

Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Zombies
Year: 2009
Publisher: Penguin
Rating: 3/5

When the adults got sick, the kids of London were forced to go into hiding. It was that or be eaten. For 12 months a group of kids have hidden in a supermarket, building themselves a fort, only coming out to scavenge for food. Each time they leave, they are faced with fear of fights with the grown ups and death. Their numbers are slowly dwindling.

Then a strange kid named Jester turns up. He comes with stories of a safe haven within the walls of Buckingham palace. A place that is free from grown ups, a place where they grow their own fresh vegetables and live in peace. It sounds too good to be true.

Despite that, the kids hiding in two supermarkets - Waitrose and Morrisons - who until now have seen each other as rivals for food, band together and decide to follow Jester to Buckingham Palace to see for themselves.

The streets of London are a dangerous place, and their journey is long and difficult. When they finally arrive, Buckingham palace at first seems like a wonderful place. But what secrets is David, the older boy who is 'leader', hiding? What are his plans for London? And more importantly, what does he want with the new kids?

The Enemy was a quick, action-packed and edge-of-your-seat kind of read. From page one there were plenty of scenes of zombie-gore and fight-for-your-life moments.

The characters in this novel were a bit hard to relate to at first because we jumped straight into the action without much characterisation. But by the end of the novel, I felt like I knew the characters well enough to hope things turned out for them.

Although not an original idea, it was interesting to see how a bunch of normal kids would survive if something totally unexplained like this happened, and they were left to fend for themselves.

This book is the first in a planned six book series. I picked this book up off a remaindered stock table for $3. They did have the second book too... I may have to go back and get it. I think this story has the potential to be good with some more character development and an explanation of how this disease came about.

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