September 10, 2014

Book Review: Enemy by Charles Higson

Title: The Enemy (Enemy #1)
Author: Charles Higson

In the wake of a devastating disease, everyone sixteen and older is either dead or a decomposing, brainless creature with a ravenous appetite for flesh. Teens have barricaded themselves in buildings throughout London and venture outside only when they need to scavenge for food. The group of kids living a Waitrose supermarket is beginning to run out of options. When a mysterious traveler arrives and offers them safe haven at Buckingham Palace, they begin a harrowing journey across London. But their fight is far from over-the threat from within the palace is as real as the one outside it.

Hmmmmmm this is a tough one.  I really struggled reading this one, and I'm not sure why.  I love zombie-type books and this is definately one, but something about it didn't grab me.  I think the biggest reason had NOTHING to do with the book and the story and the writing.  I know it's the first book in a series, and I think part of me didn't want to like it because that meant I had another series to read! And if you don't know, this isn't a short book and neither are the rest of the books in the series. So really I think that affected my ability to really enjoy this book! Silly reason I know.

Ok what did I like: The characters were great.  Super strong and smart girl characters, so that's always a plus.  And the boy characters supported the roles of the girls.  They gave them respect and took their role as leaders seriously.  That makes this book awesome for that reason alone. For example - the kids from Waitrose have to decide what to do - should they follow this new guy that just showed up and believe him about Buckingham Palace?  Their leader - a guy - took the viewpoint of Maxie - a girl - seriously and under a lot of consideration.  AND when battles broke out, she was right there fighting too.  

I also like the multiple story lines.  There was the story of the Waitrose kids, but also the story of Small Sam as he tries to get back to his sister.  Both stories were strong, and they provided a much deeper understanding of what was happening throughout London.  I don't know if any of you are Walking Dead fans, but sometimes it's so frustrating because all you know is what is happening in their little group.  Because of The Enemy's multiple story lines, you know way more about what is happening! I really thought this made the story stronger.

About the "zombies".  First I don't think you can call them that because I don't believe they have died.  They have just been infected and look like death - although they serve the same purpose as zombies.  I think the best part of the sick adults is the hint that something about them is changing and that was creepy because it raised the stakes of survival much much higher.  The sick adults kept the tension high without over dominating the story and it only being about fighting them.  

What frustrated me - the ending because it is clearly made to pull you directly into the next book.  This is just what I feared.  Now I have another series hanging out there that I should finished.  The thing is, as much as I enjoyed this - it wasn't enough to make me jump right into the next book.  I know it would be good and filled with action and tension and battles etc, but it's not one I'm running to continue.  Which is why I only gave it a three owl rating. We'll see what happens.  I do know that several of my boy students LOVE this series and tear through them all!

Final thought:  Good but not my #1 "zombie" pick.  


  1. I didn't finish this one, or even get too far into it. Something about it being kids vs their zombie parents. However, this whole series is REALLY popular in my library--can't keep them in!

  2. I don't read Zombie books, so I won't need to get this one. Thanks for the review.

  3. I think that is totally understandable! I always feel compelled to finish a series once I start it, and I wish more authors would embrace the value of stand-alone titles. I am so overwhelmed by all the series on my TBR list that I'm likely to avoid a first book in series, particularly a fat one.