Hello hello Void Friends! So, I finished this series last month. As a note, you will probably not be getting any of the books I read this month in terms of reviews. I finished a lot of series, and unless I start releasing a lot more reviews, you will just not get them. They’ll come in September and November, probably. I want to try to catch up with my reviews, but also having a stash of them to just put out as I continue, is nice. I really needed a queue to take my mind off things. Now I have one, that means I can start looking at refining these and making them all that better, and nicer like they used to be.
As opposed to word vomit lol.
ANYWAY. Happy August Voidfriends! Lets go!
Customary warning: This is a reminder that these are my personal opinions. My thoughts and feelings are not your thoughts and feelings. I may not always be the target audience for a book; sometimes I am. If I do not like a book, that doesn’t mean you’ll dislike it. If I love a book or simply like a book, you may hate it. Take everything I say with this knowledge. If it sounds interesting to you despite what I’ve said, then go ahead and read it. You’ll only know you like something if you read it yourself.
That being said… Spoilers ahead.
The Enemy by Charlie Higson
Synopsis From The Book
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.
Full of unexpected twists and quick-thinking heroes, The Enemy is a fast-paced, white-knuckle tale of survival in the face of unimaginable horror.
Horror – Monsters | YA – M | Major Deaths, Cannibalism, Gun Violence | Friendship, Survival, Courage and Fear
Initial Thoughts Before Reading:
Alright! Zombie time!!! I was actually gonna do Zombies and Vampires for October, but I’ve wanted to read this series for forever, and so here we are. Zombies in July! Oh my! Honestly, I only know this is a book series about zombies. I know just about nothing else. My best friend recomended these books to me.
Initial Thoughts After Reading:
Alright then. Not zombies. More like infected that can die. But they aren’t the undead. They are a sort of monster. Still freaky. Still frightening. And oh my lord so much death. Fun book tho. For sure.
The novel begins with Small Sam being captured by the Grown-Ups. Maxie blames herself. Arran and some of the others, Olie, Achilleus, Freak, and Deke, are scavenging for food in the apocalypse torn London. A little more than a year ago, a disease crossed the whole planet. Everyone older than 16 (14 in the OG UK book) died from it, or worse. Those who didn’t die became infected zombie like monsters that each the children who were left behind. Arran is the leader of a group of kids who lived in a shopping plaza.
Freak has the idea to check out the pool on their scavenge after they’ve killed a dog to eat. At the pool, they are attacked. Deke dies and Arran is bitten. They get back to their home, as a new kid shows up. They save this kid with the help of the Morrison kids who were about a block over. Jester, the kid, tells them about a bunch of kids at Buckingham Palace who are growing food and surviving. The two groups decide to go with Jester. They leave one boy behind, who refused to go.
On the way Arran dies after an arrow pierced him. The shooter, from another group, mistook him for a Grown-Up. Arran has been going mad from infection, after he was hurt in the pool attack. He dies in Maxie’s arms. They save another girl on their way to Buckingham Palace and lose many more. At Buckingham Palace they meet a boy named David. David has a plot to use the royals that are in monster form (but are not really dangerous) as figureheads to unite the other kids around the city. Maxie hates this idea.
Blue, the leader of the Morrison kids, doesn’t want to be told what to do. Ollie is listening to everything. Freak says they need to go, and Achilleus can care less. David wants to expand the gardens into the park, and sends Blue, v, Jester, and Maxie out there. Chaos breaks out with Achilleus attacks the leader. Freak shows up to save them but he is killed in the process and Blue is knocked out.
Achilleus fights with the leader kid later, in a true duel, and wins. He wasn’t stronger, but he was smarter, and he keeps the other kid alive. Maxie tries to get Blue to go with her, and that she doesn’t trust David. Ollie try’s to talk her out of it and David finds them. He and Ollie leave and Maxie, Blue, and the one injured girl they save earlier, are locked in. That girl tells them that there are places all over London like Buckingham Palace and David is crazy.
Ollie alerts the others to what happened. Achilleus let’s the royal monsters free and uses the distraction to save Maxie and Blue. The kids end up leaving Buckingham Palace.
On the flip side. Small Sam survives his kidnapping. He escapes the grown-ups and goes back home to only find the boy left behind, Callum. Callum tells him where the others were headed. Sam heads that way and is constantly avoiding Grown-Ups. He ends up in the subway system, and is saved by an un-infected man named Nick. Nick, and his wife Rachel, feed Sam and then promptly lock him up with other kids they found. Sam finds out that Nick and Rachel eat the kids. The Kid, a kid who calls himself that, saves Sam and another girl. They try to escape but the girl dies trying to help them. Sam and The Kid flee Nick who chases them into the sunlight and suddenly he exploded, the infection having kept dormant in the subway. Sam and The Kid, make it to the Tower of London.
Callum, who said behind, sings musicals and enjoys his freedom. Ultimately, however, he is besieged and dies from the Grown-Ups.
What I Liked:
Character Deaths; WOW. This was perhaps the most shocking part of the book for me. So many characters died in the pages of this book. Named characters. POV characters. I am floored by how real that is. For such a chaotic and horrific world, the amount of deaths makes sense. Doesn’t change the fact that in some ways I was not prepared for it.
Maxie; My heart hurts for her. So many people around her are dying or being lost and she blames herself. I truly do sympathize.
Arran; Wow. His death got me. Also the fact that he died in such a way. He was a leader who ended up dying too soon, and it really did change the way things went for the group.
Achilleus, Akkie; I really like this sort of act strong, tough, and fight smart sort of character. He is entertaining and a good figure for others to follow even when he doesn’t want to lead. I can understand why so many people want him on their side.
Blue; You know, he was a jerk, but I’m happy to see that this sort of personality is represented. He was hurt by so many people, and now he is helping so many people. I can’t wait to see how he progresses.
Sam; This poor boy has gone through so much. Can he just be given a warm blanket and made safe? He was kidnapped, then got home. Chased and then escaped. Captured by people he thought safe and almost eaten. Protect him.
Ollie; I really like the fact that we got a smart character who uses his smarts to manipulate situations to the benefit of others. He is a good foil to David, in the sense that Ollie would think of the same things, but he won’t do it. Its nice to see that morality.
Freak; His death made my heart hurt so much. He caused his best friends death and then he died protecting others. I just… He meant something and the ideals he held meant something and I liked that.
David; Wow, what a truth is in this character. David is like the best example of a cult leader and opportunist in one. His idea was crazy, but in some ways it would work. He understands how to manipulate and control people. That’s scary, and I can’t wait to see how that changes things.
Jester; For such a shady character, I am interested. He plays his cards from the shadows and does what is best for himself. However, his jacket of patches is really powerful. He does care about others, and I respect that. I hope he survives.
Other Kids; We had the two geniuses who could make just about anything. I want more of them. Ella, Sam’s sister, I hope we get more of too. Otherwise there weren’t many more named characters that I care to read into much.
Callum; He interesting, and I would have liked more from his perspective but his inability to change really does show something for this series. People who can’t change will be the ones most affected, which is seen in so many others. Deke dies because Freak wants the past. Arran can’t keep going and surviving. This was interesting to see with Callum himself.
What I Would Have Liked or Changed:
At the end, there is the perspective of the boss monster. It feels a bit out of place considering how gruesome the rest of the story is. I really didn’t need it.