- Charlie Higson
A terrible disease is striking everyone over the age of fourteen. Death walks the streets.Nowhere is safe. Maxie, Blue and the rest of the Holloway crew aren't the only kids trying to escape the ferocious adults who prey on them.Jack and Ed are best friends, but their battle to stay alive tests their friendship to the limit as they go on the run with a mismatched group of other kids, nerds, fighters, misfits. And one adult. Greg, a butcher, who claims he's immune to the disease. They must work together if they want to make it in this terrifying new world. But as a fresh disaster threatens to overwhelm London, they realize they won't all survive...
Once again I am emotional drained and exhausted after living with Jack, Ed, Bam and the others over the last three days. After being chased by sickos wanting to eat us, scrounging for food and fleeing across London, I’m not sure I can physically write this review. But I will, as I have to tell you how brilliant this series is. Every character feels real – there are lots of insights into even the smallest of characters which allows you see how they think and what they worry about. You care about all of them – especially when you keep realising they are only 13 years old or younger. Which makes it even more heart-breaking, when not all of these characters are guaranteed to make it to the end. Kids die. They die horribly, in pain and for no reason. It makes you edge forward on your seat as events get out of control and knowing there is no reset button, no do-overs and no one to save them but themselves. The action scenes are exciting and thrilling, while the decisions these characters are faced with are heart-wrenching and far too big. Charlie Higson has a great insight into the mind of pre-teens and how different they can be – both from each other and adults.
Although, this is a sequel to The Enemy, this is actually set about a year before hand and tells the story of a different set of children – although some of them featured in The Enemy in a small way. The setting of a deserted London still feels creepy, especially when famous landmarks like the Oval and Imperial War Museum play an important role. Charlie Higson obviously love London and has done his homework as I could practically picture every step of the journey. The sickos or mothers and fathers as they were called in The Enemy are as frightening as ever – desperate to munch on young flesh and the idea that they are not actually dead is truly scary. There is a little more information on what is happening as the ‘Brain Trust’ talk about what is happening.
Two years ago I would have told you I didn’t read zombie books as they were too repetitive and low-brow. Now I fully embrace the genre as they have been some of the most involving books I have ever read – and certainly the YA zombie books I’ve read so far are great reads whatever your age.
Recommended for fans of Jonathan Maberry and Michael Grant. 9 out of 10