Last review for this series. As always it is the series review. Honestly, I’m not sure that I will make this as long winded as I sometimes can get with these. I am actually writing this weeks after I finished the series, so the feelings aren’t as fresh as they were before. Here you go anyway.
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
Series Rating: 4.5/5
What I Liked:
Ed; Hands down my favorite character. I was invested in this story so much because of him. In general I could have gone the entire story following him. I know it would not have been the same if that happened, but I just found his growth and change to hit me the hardest. He was a coward, the pretty boy that everyone liked, and by the end he was a hero who showed up and changed an entire battle. He killed the big boss. He was the one who traveled over the whole of London for other kids, and came back when others did not. He is a living legend, and inspiring. I think that’s why I could have been content with reading his story the whole time.
Sam; I loved this kid. He is a miracle in a different way that Ed is. He just kept surviving because of sheer dumb luck, and that is amazing, isn’t it? He wanted to get back to his sister, and did everything he could to get back to her. He almost did it too. And then he was willing to help the world. His reuniting with his sister was heart warming and the end of the book, because that was how it began. Sam was taken to begin with. Sam and Ella reunite end. The rest of the story might not be over but theirs is.
The Kid; He made me laugh. He left me confused. He was such a great addition. I have so many questions about him, however I love the wonder that he leaves me so I am okay with leaving it as that.
Shadowman; This is the MVP of the series (if I exclude Ed). He mapped the Grown ups. He got Jester to kill Paul. He got the groups all together to talk. He was the one who did so much of the heavy lifting for the end battle. Can you imagine what would have happened if he had not warned everyone? They would have been destroyed. This kid deserves all the sweets and the best bed that the destroyed world can offer. He did his part to save the world, the others have to get to his level.
Jordan; I really liked Jordan. As the General, he was necessary to the winning of the war. Yes, Shadowman was the one who got the information, but Jordan was the one who led the kids in the battle. His tactics and plans were great. His humility was better. He was prepared to win no matter what, because he was the leader of the Champions for humanity and he knew it. If I considered the Champions, Ed, Shadowman, and Achilleus, then yes Jordan was their leader. He knew he was not as great as them, but he was willing to listen, to lead, and craft a path for the whole of London to survive.
Achilleus; I do want to see a fight between him and Ed, however I think it would end with Achielleus winning. Named after one of the greatest legends of all time, Akkie lived up to his name. He was a true warrior. He won where no one else might. He inspired others to fight like Ed. Unlike Ed, I did not get the story from his perspective. I think I would have liked the Maxie and Blue sections more if I got his perspective there, however for what I did get, I am satisfied.
Ryan; As a common link I loved his actions. He was a great character otherwise.
David; As a villain he was wonderfully set up. I never could fully hate him (I tried), and I respect that. He was a scared kid like all of them, and he found a path to survive. It just was a double edged sword.
Grown Ups/ Sickos; A disease that makes everyone older than 14(UK)/16(US) turn into light sensitive monsters? I was expecting Zombies, but in a way their sentience was scarier. At first I didn’t care much for their POV chapters but by the end I understood why they were necessary. It was to add that extra level and layer to them. It adds another level of morality that is distressing, actually.
Other Kids; So the other kids I liked, but I don’t I’ll remember them as much as I did for the others.
The Use of Perspectives; The first perspective we get are not ones that continue for most of the books. This sets it up so that we are prepared for anyone to die. I liked the shifting. I liked seeing it through the different eyes. Having the books 1 and 5 from one set of perspectives, and 2 and 4 from others helped open the world. Having three from most of those who died, really hit home. By having so many, and so many stories, I became invested in how they linked up, how they got together, and their survival. Spoiler alert so many of them did not live.
Deaths; First it was references. Then it was Deke. Then it was Arran. Each hit harder than the next and when Arran died I realized not even POV characters were safe. More people died. Other characters that mattered did, in such horrible ways too. And then we got book two, and the one guy who just wanted to get home, who I thought was the POV for a while, died. A father killed his son too! There was so much death in that book because of the actions of others, and then in book three almost everyone died. Oh man. The deaths were held so much impact and weight. There was no plot armor. They were truly surviving. I needed this in a book about monsters. I needed it to care and I did care.
Religion and Belief; I was stunned how important the religion of the lamb was, and how the book addressed how religion can change people and give them hope. There is a lot to the symbolism for the lamb and the goat. I feel like I could analyze every single thing that Matt said and probably find a moment that it links up in the actual story. It makes me wonder a lot about Matt, but explains why so many people believed. Their religion was an important aspect of the book that was a real world commentary and I liked that.
What I Would Have Liked or Changed:
Why You Should Read
You like monsters? You like character deaths? You like pain? But do you like rooting for the characters so deeply and wanting them to die? This book series is for you. You want a series where the characters actions mean something? Here is a book for you? You want an apocalypse that truly ended the world? Here is one. As a commentary on the actions of children without adults, as well as without standard society, this book dives into many of the fundamental ways that humanity functions. All while giving you heroes to believe in.