Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Charlie Higson - The Enemy

Some kind of plague has struck, affecting everyone over fourteen. Some die, others turn into zombie type creatures that want to kill and eat the living children. The story follows a group of kids from the Camden area of London approximately one year after the plague happened. They have set up home in a supermarket and survive by scavenging for food in the surrounding area. When they hear that central London is safer and that another group of kids have set up home in Buckingham Palace where they are able to grow food and keep animals they decide to make the journey across London to try and build a better live for themselves.

I saw this book advertised on T.V. back when it was first released and I really liked the sound of it. Anything post-apocalypse and you immediately have my interest. I didn't realise at first that it is a children's book, so I was disappointed when I found out. It still sounded good though and there is a warning on the back that it contains strong language and violence so that was a good sign!

The story has a large cast of main and supporting characters that are well written and believable. The plot was gripping with lots of tension and atmosphere. One thing I particularly liked is that the author is not afraid to kill off major characters. I like that in a book, it adds tension and mystery because if a character gets into a dangerous situation you don't know if they are going to survive or not.

I have a niggle with the book. This is that the zombies are referred to as "mothers" and "fathers" (as opposed to men and women) which really grated on my nerves. Having read the extract from the sequel at the back of the book I now know the reason for this, but that doesn't make it any less irritating.

Having said that it had very little impact on my enjoyment of the book which overall I thoroughly enjoyed. It was also fairly easy to forget that it is a children's book, I think it's a book that would be enjoyed by anyone that is into zombies and / or post apocalypse regardless of age. There is quite a lot of violence in the book so some parents may want to read it first before letting younger children loose on it. The swearing was minimal, the only swearword I recall seeing was "bastards". Most of the time the actual word is avoided and replaced with something like "Akkie swore loudly" and I would think that most kids know more swearwords than their parents would like to admit anyway!

So overall I really enjoyed this book and recommend it. I am looking forward to reading the sequel when it is released later in the year.

No comments:

Post a Comment