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The Dead

(The Enemy #2)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  10,466 ratings  ·  905 reviews
Librarian's Note: this is an alternate cover edition - ISBN 13: 9780141325033

The child in the video was terrified. Within days it had gone viral. The the Internet stopped working - and they realised something was seriously wrong.

The sickness struck everyone over fourteen. First it twisted their minds. Next it ravaged their bodies. Now they roam the streets - crazed
Paperback, 449 pages
Published 2013 by Penguin (first published September 1st 2010)
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Average rating 4.30  · 
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 ·  10,466 ratings  ·  905 reviews

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"Don't talk to the driver when the bus is in motion, or the driver will shoot you. Got that?"


I am experiencing a real problem right about now, because there are SO MANY THINGS I would like to convo about regarding this book, but guess how many of my friends (real-life or on GR) have read this? You guessed it: zero.

I repeat, GAH.

So, anyway. This is the sequel/prequel to The Enemy, but it follows a (mostly) different set of characters. This frustrated me for a good
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read the first book in this series in August 2017 I kind of figured now was the time to pick up book two and start to make my way through the rest of the series.

I really enjoyed book one and I feel the same about this book, even though it's been two years it was so easy to get back into.

This is a YA series set in London, everyone over the age of fourteen has turned into a zombie and the kids are now fending for themselves.

I've read a few zombie series now and I fe
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zombie

Charlie Higson! Where-oh-where have you been all my life?

Mr. Higson amps up the action, shock, suspense, and disgust levels to all new glorious, gory heights! The Dead, a sequel-prequel to The Enemy, plays a bit with the timeline by jumping back to the beginning of “the disaster” that made every grown-up into flesh craving zombie like creatures hunting and killing kids all over London. If you thought The Enemy had it going on, daaamn…this is a non-stop, full tilt, running, panting, f
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just like in the first book, its action packed from the start and keeps up the pace throughout with the book. Some of the incidents would look brilliantly on film! But its the quiet bits where the traumatized children are trying to make sense of their new world that really hit home. Higson knows his zombie lore and like Robert Kirkman (author of The Walking Dead) he has the worrying trait of killing off his heroes, so giving the reader a real sense of dread when the zombies attack.
My favourite
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: am-keeping
Brilliant you need to read this book but read the 1st book first now I am on to the 3rd book in this series I can't wait
Sep 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hometown-ya, 2012, ya
Right, so I’m not entirely sure what to do with this review. Writing reviews for series kind of makes me anxious because on one hand I want to talk about it and entice you and hypnotise you with my words to make you want to read this book. Because you should read it as it’s fantastic.

But on the other hand I am very aware that the majority of the people who will be reading this review won’t have read The Enemy (Right, so I’m not entirely sure what to do with this review. Writing reviews for series kind of makes me anxious because on one hand I want to talk about it and entice you and hypnotise you with my words to make you want to read this book. Because you should read it as it’s fantastic.

But on the other hand I am very aware that the majority of the people who will be reading this review won’t have read The Enemy (
my review), the first book in this series. Now, I’m not saying this is because I am unique and original and like to read against the grain (can even you do that?). But, I have snooped on Goodreads and in blog land and, in comparison to other YA books, there are so few reviews for this series!
Which is sad for two reasons: One, this is a series and an author that deserves your time. I’m talking to you, dear reader, who grumbles that all YA books are getting samey and boring and there all safe and blaaaah. And also two, I WANT TO TALK TO YOU ALL ABOUT IT.

Of course, there are people who have read this book and they will be who I choose to be in my team first in the inevitable YA Readers vs Zombies that will happen… eventually. Especially Erin who got me involved in this series.
So I have to kind of make you want to read this book (but first The Enemy) at the same time as telling you absolutely zilch about it.
This is why I usually write letters or poems about series. I take the easy way out. But not with this book because there’s something about Mr Higson’s books that makes me want to be brave and fearless and… um… other things. And seeing as I’m not going to daub myself in blood and launch myself into a gaggle* of zombies armed only with a cricket bat and a Cornetto, you’re getting a review.

*cracks knuckles*

Let’s do this.
I liked this book and I liked it a lot. I am very aware that in my review of The Enemy I used the other ‘l’ word. I did love The Enemy and I liked this one. The story is just as great; fast-paced, exciting and full of twists and turns that genuinely surprised me.
I guess the main ‘problem’ (and it wasn’t even a problem) was the fact that I just didn’t connect with the characters as much as I did with Maxie, Blue, Arran and the rest of the gang. I’m not sure whether it was because this book was more about the story and the physical journey as opposed to the connections and the relationships between the characters in the first book. I guess in that way, because I felt a little bit removed from the characters, I found this book a lot less creepy. The first book made me shiver at the thought of children running around London (and, presumably the rest of the country) trying to fight adults who want to eat their brains. Braaaains. I felt their hearts pound as they peered through the glum darkness after they heard a soft scuffle, I felt their helplessness when the truth that they were never going to see their parents again finally sunk in and I felt their horror when they saw their friends die in horrible, vile ways.

However, that’s not to say that this book lacked emotion. One scene in particular (Floppy Dog) was so moving, I had to blink a bit fast because…. Floppy Dog. I just think it lacked the heart-wrenching ‘oomph’ the first book had.

And also, another tiny problem, seeing as I learnt pretty early on that Mr Higson likes to SLAUGHTER his character, I was kind of expecting it in this book. So when the characters that I had become attached to got cornered by a snarling pack of Mothers and Fathers or, actually, if they got a bit of a sniffle, it wasn’t difficult to guess that their future wasn’t bright… or long.

ALSO and this is a
proper spoiler for The Enemy and The Dead: (view spoiler)


I actually preferred the story to the The Dead, though. Maybe it’s because I knew that this book was a prequel and I knew how it would end (SAM!) but I found that it had a lot more structure to it and you could actually see why they were going to these places as opposed to just accepting that they were.
A large part of that was because of the setting. You probably know I am a huge geek. I love museums and I love history. So throw in some zombies at the Tower of London and The Imperial War Museum and I am one happy lady. Also… GENIUS. In all these films where the characters fall over themselves to find the nearest shopping centre and supermarket but I want to be in the gang that goes to either a place that was built for keeping the enemy out (or… in duh duh duhhhh) or a building full of weapons. Plus, there is bound to be a Pret a Manger or a Costa Coffee nearby that you could plunder.
There’s one of those bad boys on every corner in London.

Also, a bit randomly, I have mentally cast Christopher Eccleston as Greg. Because I always seem to associate him with turning nasty when zombies are about.

I already have the third book, The Fear, lined up so I can read it before The Sacrifice comes out at the end of this month. And then, of course, the films.

OK, I’m joking, there aren’t any films of this series. And that thought alone is making me as sad as Floppy Dog.

You can read this review and lots of other exciting things on my blog, Wear the Old Coat.
Darren Hagan
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
*No spoilers*

Any book that can make me almost cry deserves no less than 5 stars, as I'm usually made of stone inside. This book was such a step up from the first in my opinion, mainly because most of the issues I had with The Enemy were rectified in The Dead.

This book is set a year before the events in The Enemy with a different set of characters, and I appreciated that because the whole zombie situation hadn't been happening as long. There are even a couple of people who
Kahleia Corpuz
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, wow. I did not expect for this book to hit me so hard in the feels. This book talks about the concept of death as if it were nothing which makes it more heartbreaking. It's so mind-blowing how this whole thing "started." The ending was the part that messed me up the most. The moment where the two books connected was when I was almost to tears. Props to Charlie Higson.
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
His descriptions are so gory and detailed. The bubbling puss-filled sores ARE SO REAL! More please!!
May 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dystopian fiction seems to be the new craze in YA literature, and I couldn't be happier! I've come across some astoundingly good stories in the last few months. This week I'm looking at one of the most brutal: The Dead, by Charlie Higson.

The basic premise of the book is that only children under the age of fourteen survive a disease which turns everyone else into flesh-hungry maniacs who would be best described as Zombies, although they aren't dead.

It is left to the childr
Second read 4.5 stars

This was so much better the second time around! I couldn't put it down!!

The only reason why this isn't getting a full 5 stars from me is because I miss my Holloway kids too much


3.5 stars

This one was just too slow for me.
Things I expected rereading this: everyone dies, extreme amounts of grossness.
Things I did not expect: to tear up over one character's ending.

I feel like this is a series that very much benefits from being read back to back. Yes, this is a prequel. But it's a prequel that makes a hell of a lot more sense if you read it fairly soon after reading the first one so that all the little details connecting the two really stand out.

I was a little bit terrified of re
Alex - coffeeloving_bookoholic
The end was soooooo good! I still have goosebumps! :D It was a bit slow in the middle, but the second half was written so good, I could't put it down. I liked, that there were other kids and in the end we are back to the first book. I am really looking forward to more adventures!
Sarah L
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This is a great series. The book has a great pace and it's creepy enough without being over the top. The ending ties in well with the first book (since this one takes place a year before the first one) and it really makes you curious and want to read the next
✨    jamieson   ✨
“He was a different person now, and not a better one, Oh, he could fight, he could swat sickos like flies; he was a bloody hero, wasn't he? He was Death himself. Riding a bike. But in the end, all he was doing was adding to the score of the dead. Was that all a hero was, then? A killing machine without a heart?”


This series literally has me shook I can't believe I read these when I was little they are so violent ??? like SO violent ?

It's basically the book version of The Wal
Tori Roudebush
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book I read is The Dead by Charlie Higson. In this book it begins one year earlier than the first book. A disease has struck every one of the age of sixteen. The adults are either decomposing or dead zombie like creatures. In the beginning it starts in a boarding school, where all of the teachers have gotten infected. They then decide they need to leave if they’re going to survive any longer. A few kids survive and travel by bus into the city. The bus driver Greg is an adult who has no gotte ...more
Apr 15, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, age-ya, arcs, zombies
I read this ARC via Netgalley.

A year before the events of The Enemy, the grown-ups are just starting to get sick and turn into flesh-eating monsters. The first most people hear of this zombie plague is an online video that some believed at first to be a joke.

A band of students are holed up at their all-boys private school until it becomes clear that they are never going to be able to keep the infected teachers at bay. They plan to leave and find someplace safer, along the way rescuing the
"The Dead" takes place one year prior to the previous book, "The Enemy". It starts with a group of boys in a boarding school trying to survive attacks from their former teachers who are now zombies. The boys hold off the teachers for as long as they can but soon become overwhelmed and decide to search for a safer place. They can't decide which is the safer choice, heading for London or heading for the countryside, and end up splitting into two groups. One group, lead by Ed, heads to the countrys ...more
Thoroughly enjoyable sequel to Higson's The Enemy. This time the story is told from the perspective of a different set of surviving kids (who were also featured in the first book, albeit briefly) and set a year before the events in the first book, so technically this is a prequel.
If I'm honest, I think I preferred this book to the first one. The characters were all great and the world-building was fun to read, and rather terrifying in parts. I abhorred Greg from the instant he appeared and I was
Jul 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charlie Higson does it again.

It is slightly disconcerting to find that you are dealing with a completely new set of people at the start of this book. Suddenly you have to get to know a whole group of characters again and you are reintroduced to the world only from a different perspective.

Luckily Mr Higson is a FANTASTIC writer and it is not too long before you are rooting for an entirely new set of people and reading in fear and wonder at the tale which slowly reveals it
The first book, The Enemy, was amazing. This book I originally was extremely disappointed with, until I got to the last 150 pages or so.

I found the beginning very dull, so dull I stopped reading it for a few months, which is extremely rare for me. It just wasn't as action filled as the first as I had hoped.

But in the end, I was proved wrong. Once The boys had set off to Jack's house, and the stadium collapsed on top of them, I was drawn right back in. From his death, to b
Nov 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In a world where everyone over 16 gets infected with a disease that turns them into zombie like creatures, Jack and Ed are some of the only survivors along with the other kids that are trying to survive. When their school is over run they're forced to try to survive somewhere else. While they're trying to move through a town, a group of adults attack them but are rescued by a man named Greg which gives them hope that not all adults are infected. Eventually, Greg starts to show symptoms and attac ...more
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite
The Dead is only the second book in The Enemy series but it is hands down, one of the greatest books I've ever read! The Dead was intense, gory, heartbreaking and so much more.
All the characters were fantastic! I'm still not over the deaths of some of the characters, ngl. Charlie Higson, why must you create these amazing characters, make us get attached to them and then have them gruesomely killed off??
Seriously though, The Dead was absolutely phenomenal! The ending was perfect; I definitely g
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So good, probably the best I’ve read in a long time. This book has the right mix of action, suspense, sadness and surprise. The characters are relatable and likeable, even though there are many to keep track of.

Moving on to the third on this series now, seeing as the second was better than the first I have high hopes for what is to come.
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loving this series!
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really like this book it's incredible! I've read the whole series it's good but I like the best all I can say is READ THIS
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, after finishing 'The Enemy' this summer I decided to go out and buy the entire series by Charlie Higson, without taking a step back to actually read into the contents of the other parts. Surprised I was when I found out that part two was about different characters entirely, terrified I was when I read a review that said someone had quit reading after finding out that all! the books introduced an entirely new set of them - happy I was when I found out that isn't really the truth. Not wanting ...more
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Avery (ThePagemaster)
Another great installment in the series. Though The Enemy is still better of the two, by a limb(>w>), The Dead was just as entertaining; just as deep and emotional; and just as gripping. It has been a while since I've been this anxious and excited to read--or even thing about reading--the next book in a series, a YA series, more or less.

(For those wondering, this is a prequel to the Enemy. You can, in a sense, read this first, but some easter eggs from The Enemy in here, especi
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: y-a
I am really enjoying this series of books. This one is set a year before the action of the first book, explaining a bit more about how the crisis started, and introducing characters who were more secondary in the previous novel. Still lots of chasing, gore, scary zombies and terrified (but generally rising to the challenge) kids. And sad bits, meaning don't get too attached to anyone!
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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

Other books in the series

The Enemy (7 books)
  • The Enemy (The Enemy, #1)
  • 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)
“My mum gave me a T-shirt with it on last Christmas.’ Ed smiled at the memory. ‘Wish I still had it. All I had to get stressed about before was GCSEs.’ ‘She didn’t give you a T-shirt that said Save Kitchen Scraps to Feed the Pigs, then?” 3 likes
“He was reminded of TV ads for plug-in air fresheners where some woman would stick the little plastic thing in a socket and animated fumes would waft out and everyone would lift their faces, close their eyes, breathe in deeply and go ‘Aaaaaah’. Like they were taking some kind of drug rather than inhaling chemicals.” 3 likes
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