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The Enemy (The Enemy #1)

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  14,763 Ratings  ·  1,691 Reviews
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 myste ...more
Paperback, 406 pages
Published September 3rd 2009 by Penguin UK (first published September 1st 2009)
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Michael E. It was a power move to show his complete dominance over John by humiliating him in front of his clan, as well as to establish his position within…moreIt was a power move to show his complete dominance over John by humiliating him in front of his clan, as well as to establish his position within those living in the palace. It was a direct response to John who was certainly homophobic (based on a "projection" that homoerotic statements would rile Achilleus) and a display of Achilleus' apparent comfort with his sexuality (whether straight or not).(less)
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Oct 20, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zombie

”We can’t lose all we believe in. Our sense of right and wrong, said Maxie. Just to survive.
Just to survive? There’s no just about it. Survival is everything.”

Have you ever noticed that big budget everyone-is-pretty-as-all-hell-even-covered-in-blood Hollywood horror movies hardly ever kill kids? The kids escape, live to tell the tale, and walk off into the sunset with their “happily-ever-after” tucked under their arms. Well….let me say here and now—the same can NOT be said for a Charlie Higson w
Aaron Vincent
Aug 09, 2010 Aaron Vincent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystocalypse
Perhaps the most brutal and goriest YA dystopia novel I ever read. It's bloodfest almost every chapter. The novel is jam-packed with things that makes peace-loving bitches wince. Zombie attacks, strong language[There is a line from a character that shocked the hell out of me: "I didn't like him. He's getting on my tits!". Fuck Yeah Awesomeness!] cannibalism, and gladiator, everything. It's bloody, dark, violent and best of all, it's pure fun. Definitely not for the faint heart and sensitive stom ...more
Jul 29, 2013 Carol. rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: hard core zombie fans, fans of William Golding



One of my least favorite books from 9th grade English class was Lord of the Flies. I hated its theme, I hated its deliberate cruelty, I hated its vision of an island that was about the exact opposite of Island of the Blue Dolphins, a far more preferable tale. The Enemy is Lord of the Flies amped up, and while adding zombies would seem a natural fit for addressing survival in a world without adults, not even the undead can (re)animate this into a pleasurable tale.

Essentially, The Enemy combines
Rick Riordan
Nov 08, 2013 Rick Riordan rated it liked it
The Enemy, by Charlie Higson. I got to hear Charlie speak at the Disney-Hyperion dinner at BEA in New York. He said he tried to make this book as scary as possible, and would read scenes to his son, ratcheting them up until his son had trouble sleeping at night. I figured this must be worth checking out! The best description I can think of: The Enemy is The Lord of the Flies with zombies. It’s set in London after a mysterious sickness has killed off most everyone over the age of sixteen, but lef ...more
Apr 09, 2011 Priscilla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
SO GROSS. And yet so satisfying. Recommended for those with an iron stomach and are not 'faint of heart'.

Check out my video review!
May 02, 2012 Jo rated it really liked it
Can you enjoy a book where pretty much every one of your favourite characters gets chomped on by a zombie?

I’m going to say yes because this book was brilliant.

This book was genuinely creepy and I like to think I’m made of strong stuff. Unless clowns are involved… and boats….and, like, those huge Australian bugs that Mandee and Reynje take so much pleasure in sending me pictures of when I’m expecting wallabies and koala bears.
OK, actually…. Maybe I am a bit of a wuss.
But one thing that struck me
Nov 04, 2010 Caris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Caris by: Megan
Shelves: 2010, young-adult
I cannot believe that YA zombie novels are bringing back my faith in the written word. It’s ironic that young adult fiction, in recent days, has made me want to swear off reading entirely and is now bringing me back to where I started from. What is even more surprising is that I didn’t even like this book, but, still, it’s done wonders for me. I’m such an ungrateful bastard.

The thing I noticed about this book straightaway was that it has no audience. These are not the sorts of characters that te
Mar 02, 2013 Vanessa rated it really liked it
Shelves: faves, reviewed, fiction
Once upon a time in a land far away, your friendly neighbourhood reviewer Vanessa read a book called Gone by Michael Grant.

It did not end well.

She gleefully picked up three of the Gone books in a box-set for 10 on her first ever visit to CostCo. She read the first one, was not amused, and the rest have been duly shipped off to the local library collection.

Vanessa wrote a review of it (here), but in summation, it was a clever idea that meandered far too much and wound up turning incredibly stran
Feb 19, 2012 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who can handle blood and guts, awesome people, action lovers
Aw yeah. This is more like it.

I usually read books that are more romance-heavy, and reading this has really proven to me that I needed a break. This book was SO GOOD, you guys.

I'm not much into summarizing, so in short: for some unknown reason, all adults and older teens (at the time the illness struck) have either died or turned into a zombie-like creature. They will kill and eat any children they can. The Enemy is about a large cast of young characters trying to stay safe by any means necessar
Jan 19, 2015 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When a mysterious virus turns all of the adults into kid-devouring zombies, the children must do all that they can to survive. Can they while out-running the adult zombies and find a place they can call safe? Read on for yourself and find out.

This was a pretty good Ya zombie book that was a different take on the zombie mythos. Definitely check this out if you are a fan of horror and zombie books. This book is available at hastings and wherever books are sold.
I enjoyed this book so much! Characters are killed left and right, and none of the horrible details are left out. It's gory, brutal, slightly gross at times - just how I like it. The writing, guys, is just fantastic! There's nothing "special" about it: there's no flowery prose or philosophical quotes to hang on my wall, instead it's fast-paced and drew me in so fast! Higson has this way of writing that makes it feel so real. One moment I'm with Maxie and her gang, and in the next paragraph I ca ...more
Jubilation Lee
The best part about this book is also the part that bothered me the most. The Enemy is a total bloodbath of a story, at least as far as early YA guy lit tends to go. (We're not talking, like, Silence of the Lambs here -- no one is making themselves a skin suit or anything -- but it's still pretty crazy.) Characters are getting stabbed. They're getting bitten. They're being drowned in pools, are torn apart by wild dogs and wilder grown-ups and, occasionally, are devoured by their cannibal neighbo ...more
Okay, so the ending really changed everything for me. I love the characters, although there are a few too many to follow but I think Charlie Higson has set up a series nicely. I'm super excited to continue on with the series and find out what happens to the Waitrose and Morrison's Crew.

This series is going under my favorite YA zombie books. Even though I wouldn't really call the 'grownups' zombies, but oh well. It's gory, has plenty of action, has great characters, and I love that it takes place somewhere else besides the U.S. I also love the fact that a lot of characters die. The author isn't afraid to kill of some characters. It's like how GOT my tip is to NOT to get attached to anyone. I made that mistake the first time I read this years ago. Got attached to one spe
Wendy Darling
3.5 stars

I've been meaning to try out this series for a long time, and I'm glad I started! It's an interesting story that keeps you engaged, and features terrific action sequences. I especially liked how the gore was handled--squicky, but not too over the top. The author isn't afraid to kill of characters you've gotten attached to, and they aren't telegraphed too far ahead of time, either.

What prevents this from being rounded up for me is that those deaths, while piquing my interest, never moved
Reading Teen
Apr 19, 2011 Reading Teen rated it it was amazing
This book has been sitting on my bookshelf since last Spring.
I feel like a complete idiot.
I absolutely LOVED this book.
Without a doubt my favorite book of 2011 so far.
Seriously my mind is blown.
This book was crazy.

I have never read a book that has kept me up at because it freaked me out so much.
I usually don't get freaked out easily, but The Enemy was definitely freaky.
Not to mention gross, whatever you do, don't read this book while eating.
I made that mistake and couldn't finish my food.
But I h
Sep 22, 2015 TL marked it as gave-up-on-lost-interest  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to TL by: Melissa
Started off well for me but couldn't get into it anymore... not a bad book but just not for me
Nov 20, 2015 Lazybee rated it really liked it
GOOD LORD! What a book!
Finally a book that is in league of gone series. Read it and you will love it
Oct 16, 2012 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Angela by: Vanessa
I only heard about this book and series last week when I saw a quote on a friend's status on here and I clicked into the book link to gain more information. Within five minutes I had reserved the book through my local library and two days later I was able to collect it (excellent service by the library there!)

Basically, a quote is what made me want to read this book. Says a lot really (and just as well I wasn't disappointed with it).

Well written and rather graphic. There are some very creepy an
Feb 20, 2012 Tina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tina by: Aaron Vincent
Original post at One More Page

It's been a long time since I last read a zombie book, so I knew I was in for a bit of an adjustment when I decided to read my stocked zombie books for my February challenge. The Enemy by Charlie Higson has been languishing on my shelf since 2010, after my friend Aaron lent it to me for my YA-D2 challenge for that year. Obviously I never read it for that, and I don't think I would have unearthed this now if I didn't choose to read it for this month.

Besides, a borr
This book has a pretty great (if not entirely original) premise: A year and a half ago, everyone over 16 contracted a horrible disease that killed almost all the adults and turned the rest into what are essentially zombies. A group of ~50 kids has been making do by turning a Waitrose grocery store into their fortress, but food is becoming scarce, the grown-ups/zombies are becoming bolder, and kids are getting picked off one by one. Then comes word that Buckingham Palace is safe--no grown-ups, a ...more

This was a novel I had heard was a 'quality' YA read. I went into this with the expectation that it might be entertaining, a kind of literary junkfood, a nice detour from the author's Young Bond (Silverfin) series. However what I found was a readable, yet forgettable, mash of prose and plot. While I had hoped for a fun, light-hearted (apart from the blood and gore) YA version of I Am Legend: And Other Stories I got nothing like that. I got a book that was easy to read yes, but not fun. It was si
Stella  ☢FAYZ☢ Chen
Dec 20, 2012 Stella ☢FAYZ☢ Chen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: YOU. Yes, you.
Recommended to Stella by: Ruth and Matt.
Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.

There is no way of hiding it. I've been in a major reading slump considering the last I time I finished a book, the Sun was still visible at 8 PM. With a little push from my friends, like Mama Bird pushing her babies off the tree so they can learn to fly, I picked up this book. Screw Red Bull, this book gives you wings.

I loved how intense this book was. BAM. Zombies from left. BAM. Zombies on your right. There was never a moment to calm your heart rate before something e
Kahleia Corpuz
Feb 03, 2016 Kahleia Corpuz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to say this exceeded my expectations. It was one of the only dystopians/apocalyptic books I've read and I've loved it. The characters were so developed, the plot was thrilling, and the concept of it was horrifying enough to be awesome.
Darren Hagan
Sep 28, 2015 Darren Hagan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*No spoilers*

Grown ups have literally never been so scary!

This book was great. I was expecting to like it but I didn't realise how much I did until like halfway through. The plot is strong, the pacing is frantic, and the body count is so damn high!

It's called The Enemy for a good reason - there are so many enemies! There are the obvious zombie adults who want to eat the kids (we've all been that hungry before, right! No? Awkward...) but there are also some enemies that you don't expect as much.
Peep (Pop! Pop!)
So my track record with zombies hasn’t been so good. Not actual zombies, just zombie books. I’ve read a few and most I’ve given up on. Others I’ve rated very, very low. You know what? I liked this very creepy and disturbing book! I’ve been reading so many creepy books lately that I’ve decided to dedicate an entire bookshelf to them. Just in case, you know, you just NEED to read something that’s creepy and disturbing.

I don’t know why I picked this one up. I guess because I’d been seeing it everyw
Aubrey Padukiewicz
Aug 03, 2011 Aubrey Padukiewicz rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zombies
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 28, 2010 J.Elle rated it did not like it
I almost deliberately did not finish this book. It was not that I hated it, it was only that it was boring and I [rightly] suspect that I would not be impressed with the ending. I think I'm over the whole zombies or adults disappearing leaving children to their own devices as a storyline. Actually, I was never very impressed with it from the beginning. Perhaps, that's because I can't pick out good ones: Gone and The Kindling. If you have a good zombie book that you highly recommend, please let m ...more
Apr 02, 2011 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: age-ya, horror, zombies, 2011
In England, a plague has turned all the adults into festering zombies intent on eating flesh. A band of kids have holed up in a grocery store. When a patchwork-coated boy calling himself Jester arrives with a story about a civilization of children living in Buckingham Palace, safe from zombies and farming enough food for everyone, the group decides to take their chances journeying across the city to find this utopia. Along the way, they learn more about war tactics, and about the strange disease ...more
Oct 27, 2015 Trisha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did like the author's daring to really leave you wondering who all would make it out alive. I like that that part felt real.

But I thought it bogged down too much in little kid squabbles. I know, I know, that's the point! it's about kids, but I found it to be a tad boring (because it's obviously not gauged for my reading age!)

But I can see this having wide appeal, so this is absolutely a personal preference. I think many younger/teen readers would really like this!
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Crazy for Young A...: The Enemy (#1) by Charlie Higson → Start Date: October 21st, 2015 32 22 Nov 05, 2015 04:01PM  
The Enemy 1 11 Oct 06, 2014 12:34PM  
The Enemy Journal #3 1 6 Oct 02, 2014 04:32PM  
Journal #4 Sherif Elashri 1 6 Sep 18, 2014 05:30PM  
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  • Unfed (Undead, #2)
  • Fighting to Survive  (As The World Dies, #2)
  • Zombie Britannica
  • Rage Within (Dark Inside, #2)
  • Allison Hewitt Is Trapped (Zombie, #1)
  • Aftertime (Aftertime, #1)
  • Rise Again (Rise Again #1)
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  • Z
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  • Soulless
  • Lockdown (Escape from Furnace, #1)
  • Zombie Apocalypse! (Zombie Apocalypse, #1)
  • Dust (Dust, #1)
  • Exit Kingdom (Reapers, #2)
  • Eden
Higson was educated at Sevenoaks School and at the University of East Anglia (where his brother has taught since 1986 and is now a professor of film studies) where he met Paul Whitehouse, David Cummings and Terry Edwards. Higson, Cummings and Edwards formed the band The Higsons of which Higson was the lead singer from 1980 to 1986. They released two singles on the Specials' 2-Tone label. Higson th ...more
More about Charlie Higson...

Other Books in the Series

The Enemy (8 books)
  • The Dead (The Enemy, #2)
  • The Fear (The Enemy, #3)
  • The Enemy: Geeks vs Zombies
  • The Sacrifice (The Enemy #4)
  • The Fallen (The Enemy #5)
  • The Hunted (The Enemy #6)
  • The End (The Enemy, #7)

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“If a wolf attacks his sheep, the shepard kills the wolf, but he eats the sheep when he's hungry.” 77 likes
“No such word as can't. No such word as babagoozle neither!” 52 likes
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