Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Review: The Enemy

Charlie Higson, Penguin Books, 2009

When the sickness came, everyone over the age of fourteen - every adult in the world - fell ill. The lucky ones died. The survivors are crazed. Confused. Hungry. Encouraged by rumours of a safe place to hide, a community of children begin their quest across London, where all through the city, down alleyways, in deserted house, underground, the Grown Ups lie in wait...

Those famillar with the highly-successful Young Bond series will already be aware that Higson rarely avoids depicting realistic brutality and violence in deference to his Young Adult readership - although more extreme events do tend to be understated, or even occur 'off screen' - and The Enemy certainly continues that tradition. In what is essentially an 'infected' zombie-apocalypse tale for younger readers, scenes of gore and violence, as well as themes of a fairly dark and often 'deep' nature, abound (although Higson avoids gratuitous nastiness). That said, it's adults who may find this novel especially disturbing for the fact that the horrors therein are visited almost exclusively upon children.

A genuinely chilling page-turner, The Enemy is a brilliant thriller that will disturb readers of all ages. The Enemy is currently available in Australia through Penguin Books, and is the first in an ongoing series.

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