Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Enemy (The Enemy, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Enemy (The Enemy, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Enemy (The Enemy #1)

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  16,962 Ratings  ·  1,943 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Enemy, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

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)
.-. Sophie's crew went to Ascot. They then discovered Lewis and Ed's crew looking for Ella (Sam's sister).
World War Z by Max BrooksThe Zombie Survival Guide by Max BrooksThe Walking Dead, Vol. 01 by Robert KirkmanFeed by Mira GrantPride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen
1,427 books — 3,975 voters
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie RyanThe Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie RyanRot & Ruin by Jonathan MaberryThe Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie RyanHollowland by Amanda Hocking
YA Zombie Novels
235 books — 764 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
Lindsey Lynn
Apr 01, 2016 Lindsey Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5/5 Stars

This book takes place in dystopian London and all adults have succumbed to this disease, making them zombie like. There are only the kids left unharmed and now they have to survive daily life. With the threat of the grown-ups around every corner we follow a large group of children who are just trying to make it to the next day.

I'm a very character driven reader, and this book quickly throws people at you. So I found it a bit difficult to connect to anyone.

The wo
Mar 02, 2013 V 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
June 2016

This is the fourth time I've read this and I love it more than the first time. Can't wait to finally finish this series!

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
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.
Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)
I stand by everything I said about this book last time around. Except that this time, I adopted a don't-read-before-bed strategy to avoid the nightmares, which was incredibly successful. HURRAH.

It's such a fast paced and engaging story, and I was on the edge of my seat for the duration of the book. There are characters you'll hate but can still feel for, and characters you just want to hug, and characters you'll be terrified for. It's gory and violent and creepy and gross, but I just co
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
Patricia Crowther
Oct 23, 2016 Patricia Crowther rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe even 4.5*?

Is this MG or YA? I'm not sure. But either way it didn't feel like it. Sometimes when I read books with younger characters it feels like it's been written for a younger audience but not so with this one. I really liked the writing and the characters. Though I've decided not to get too attached to the characters because I can see there's no point. The death toll across the series is probably gonna be high. It all felt pretty realistic too. Though we don't get to know what caused t
Apr 18, 2016 thebookbitch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ukya, young-adult
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.
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
“If a wolf attacks his sheep, the shepard kills the wolf, but he eats the sheep when he's hungry.”

The Enemy is one of those books I really, really liked when 14/15. I read all the series that was out at the time, and then I had ..... THE READING SLUMP . So I lost track of the series and now four or so years on I was like, hmmm, maybe I should check those books out again

Two things strike me about thse books:

2: They're not /as good/ as I remember. But still
Leni  (Dog Eared Book)
Dec 30, 2016 Leni (Dog Eared Book) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016, tbp
Lord of the Flies meets The Walking Dead
It was a good book but another series.... I think it would have been enough to add a few more pages and leave it as a stand alone.
Still a fast read!
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
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
Lauren Stoolfire
The Enemy by Charlie Higson is set during the middle of the zombie apocalypse in London, England and follows teen survivors. The zombie apocalypse came about due to a disease that only affected the adults who slowly deteriorated into mindless flesh-eating zombies. The main group of survivors have holed up in a supermarket, so when another group comes and offers them refuge at Buckingham Palace, they begin the dangerous trek across the city in hopes of finding sanctuary.

I plowed through this 448
Aug 10, 2016 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
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 aka snazzlebooks
*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.
Oct 16, 2012 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Angela by: V
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
Katie Solorzano
Dec 15, 2010 Katie Solorzano rated it did not like it
Imagine, you are with your parents one day. And, suddenly, they get sick. No reason at all; they die. Soon all the other adults die as well. And, you are left to fend for yourself and survive alone. An unexplained world trauma occurs as you notice all the dead adults coming back to life. All lurking in the shadows, waiting to eat you. And, all you have with you is survival instincts, people you teamed up with, and nearby weapons to keep you safe. That’s what it’s like for the kids in The Enemy b ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Mrs. Anderson's E...: The Enemy 1 4 May 10, 2016 06:08PM  
Crazy for Young A...: The Enemy (#1) by Charlie Higson → Start Date: October 21st, 2015 32 23 Nov 05, 2015 04:01PM  
The Enemy 1 11 Oct 06, 2014 12:34PM  
  • Fighting to Survive  (As The World Dies, #2)
  • Undead (Undead, #1)
  • Soulless
  • Dust & Decay (Rot & Ruin, #2)
  • Allison Hewitt Is Trapped (Zombie, #1)
  • Pariah
  • Solitary (Escape from Furnace, #2)
  • Aftertime (Aftertime, #1)
  • Rage Within (Dark Inside, #2)
  • Zombie Britannica
  • The Infects
  • The Reapers are the Angels (Reapers, #1)
  • Contaminated (Contaminated, #1)
  • 20 Years Later
  • Rise Again (Rise Again #1)
  • Ashes (Ashes Trilogy, #1)
  • Contagious (The Contagium #1)
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 (7 books)
  • The Dead (The Enemy, #2)
  • The Fear (The Enemy, #3)
  • The Sacrifice (The Enemy #4)
  • The Fallen (The Enemy #5)
  • The Hunted (The Enemy #6)
  • The End (The Enemy, #7)

Share This Book

“If a wolf attacks his sheep, the shepard kills the wolf, but he eats the sheep when he's hungry.” 91 likes
“No such word as can't. No such word as babagoozle neither!” 55 likes
More quotes…