usagi ☆ミ's Reviews > The Dead

The Dead by Charlie Higson
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Mar 10, 2011

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bookshelves: arc-galley, first-reads-early-reviewers, zombies, 2011, ebook, teenage-shennanigans, reviewed
Read from March 20 to 28, 2011

“The Dead” is a solid continuation of “The Enemy”, except that it also includes the situation right after the Disaster hits. This is a very good and solid second book in the series, very consistent. I’m definitely going to be reading the third book and am hoping Higson gives us some answers/more backstory on what really happened concerning the Disaster as well as the story of the kids’ last stand at the Tower.

One interesting difference here is that this takes place at a boys-only prep school, so the lack of female characters in comparison to the first novel is a bit startling. The first novel’s batch of characters (in terms of gender) was more or less mixed evenly as you had kids from all over coming to the supermarket for shelter, whereas here you have only boys from one school banding together to find safety. An interesting juxtaposition, as it shows the almost animal reaction of the boys as they try to survive an hour at a time, and if anything else, is a great study in group psychology in disaster events.

My main complaint with this series so far is the lack of explanation as to how the Disaster happened and why it strikes those 16 years old and up. What we do have, though, as the audience, is the emotional experience and confusion through these characters’ eyes as to the virus’ sudden chokehold on their elders, and in this book, the agony of having to murder those they once respected lest they die themselves. Higson’s first pages in this book capture this feeling of intense confusion and conflict of having to murder or die in order to survive, and really packs a punch right away. I feel like these first pages alone are perhaps the most important of the novel with that emotional impact of the idea of “kill or be killed” being put into action; and you really feel it, far more so than in the first book.

Not anything new and amazing, but still a great read and wonderful thriller. Looking forward to the last in the series (if the third book is the last)!

(crossposted to librarything, shelfari, and

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03/26/2011 page 22
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