Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Enemy (Enemy Series #1)

The Enemy (Enemy Series #1)

4.2 330
by Charlie Higson

See All Formats & Editions

A sickness has afflicted everyone over the age of 16; anyone who is a "grown-up" has become a decomposing, brainless creature that survives by feeding on children. The children and teens have barricaded themselves in fortified buildings, fighting off attacks from the grown-ups who travel in packs, like hungry dogs. Before long, the young survivors are promised a safe


A sickness has afflicted everyone over the age of 16; anyone who is a "grown-up" has become a decomposing, brainless creature that survives by feeding on children. The children and teens have barricaded themselves in fortified buildings, fighting off attacks from the grown-ups who travel in packs, like hungry dogs. Before long, the young survivors are promised a safe haven in Buckingham Palace and make their way to it, crossing London on a perilous journey that will test them in harrowing ways. But their fight to stay alive is far from over—the threat from within is as real as the one on the outside.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Lord of the Flies meets 28 Days Later in this disturbing postapocalyptic adventure. Higson (the Young Bond series) presents a kids-only world with shades of Michael Grant's Gone books, though in this case, a disease has turned everyone over the age of 16 into mindless, flesh-eating nightmares, terrorizing and devouring those unaffected. Packs of resourceful kids have holed up in supermarkets, constructing defenses, foraging for supplies, and fighting off feral “grown-ups.” For the group sheltering in a Waitrose store, it's a ceaseless battle for survival, where even the simplest expedition can prove fatal. When the possibility of a haven arrives, the Waitrose kids band with new allies as they make a hazardous trek across London to the promised land: Buckingham Palace. Alternately bleak and defiant, this splatterfest doesn't pull any punches (“The skin blackened, shriveled and split, the overripe flesh inside squeezing out.... This was what happened if any grown-up lived long enough to let the disease run its full course”) nor is any character safe. It's up to a sequel to sort out some plot threads, but this is a solid start. Ages 12-up. (May)
From the Publisher

The Enemy grabs you by the throat . . . and bites off your ear. It's kids versus zombies and no one is playing nice. The action—and boy, is there action—takes us through a London transformed by the unexplained illness that has turned every adult into a shuffling, drooling, kid-crunching machine. Bonus: zombie royals. Sheer fun."—Michael Grant, author of the Gone series


The third book in Higson's terrifying zombie series will continue to enthrall horror fans."—VOYA


. . . Higson delivers an action-packed summer read."—Kirkus


...the action is of the first order-Higson writes with a firestorm velocity that inspires to the sweeping reach of Stephen King's The Stand."ALA Booklist

School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—In this dystopian thriller set in London, everyone over 16 is dead or diseased, and youngsters are in constant danger of being eaten by boil-infested grown-ups who roam the streets like zombies looking for children to kill. Led by teens Arran and Maxie and armed with makeshift weapons, a group of kids sets out from the uncertain safety of an abandoned supermarket to travel to Buckingham Palace, where a young messenger promises that food, medicine, and a haven are available. Along the way, Arran is killed. One youngster selfishly decides to stay behind with a secret stash of food and is there to tell Small Sam, who had been abducted and feared dead, where the others (including his sister) have headed. Sam's quest to find Ella parallels the story of the large group with similar run-ins with marauding adults and mistrustful children who scavenge about the city. The bleak setting is filled with decay, danger, and puss-oozing parents who have turned into butchers. On arriving at Buckingham Palace, Maxie decides that David, the teen leader there, is too tyrannical, and she must regain control of her brood and convince them to leave for a new location. The last chapter squelches any real hope for the future and will leave readers somewhat haunted and chilled about the doomsday scenario. Descriptive and suspenseful, this title is similar to but less imaginative than Patrick Ness's "Chaos Walking" series (Candlewick).—Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Nearly two years ago, the world changed; everyone over 16 became horrifically ill and began to crave fresh meat. As supplies are exhausted and the vicious grown-ups grow braver, Arrum and Maxie, along with their band of refugees, must embark on a perilous journey across London to reach the safest spot in the city: Buckingham Palace. Multiple narrators both propel the action and provide an abundance of danger-wrought scenarios. Such division weakens character development somewhat, however, leaving the lead teens rather thin in personality-but this story's all about plot, anyway. Higson does an admirable job developing the survivalist theme; the addition of the crazed adults to the subgenre raises this above similar works, such as Michael Grant's Gone series. Avoiding many English colloquialisms, the text will be easily understood by an American audience, and readers unfamiliar with London's geography will appreciate the endpaper maps. Intrigue, betrayal and the basic heroic-teens-against-marauding-adults conflict give this work a high place on any beach-reading list. (Suspense. YA)

Product Details

Disney Press
Publication date:
Higson's The Enemy Series , #1
Sold by:
Sales rank:
File size:
4 MB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Charlie Higson is an acclaimed comedy writer, producer, actor, and genuine James Bond aficionado. He is the author of the adult thrillers Full Whack and King of the Ants; the internationally best-selling Young Bond series: SilverFin, Blood Fever, Double or Die, Hurricane Gold, and By Royal Command; and four books in the Enemy series. Charlie is a fan of zombie movies and believes that we shouldn't try to prevent young people from experiencing fear, because it helps prepare them for later life. When writingThe Enemy, he kept rachetting up the action and description in an attempt to frighten the pants off his ten-year-old son. He lives in London. Follow him on Twitter at: twitter.com/monstroso.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

The Enemy (Enemy Series #1) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 330 reviews.
K_malinczak More than 1 year ago
There are exactly 665 ratings of this book on Goodreads. Only 665. It's a travesty. Why? This has to change. I'm going to do my part to help it along. There's an influx of dystopian and zombie novels as of late. It's the latest craze apparently. So why is the best one I have read yet not more popular? I don't get it! I'm not saying the others aren't good, but The Enemy is like a non-stop roller coaster ride. And there isn't a single lull in the action. It's full of gore, heart-stopping moments, and places where I forgot to breathe I was so scared. And the best part? There's a second book! Look I'll admit that the idea of "grown-up" zombies feeding on children is a slightly amateurish idea. But I promise you that the minute you start reading, you will completely forget this. Some of my reviews get technical where I talk about story elements, pacing, characterizations, and the like, but I don't really want to do that with this review. It's not necessary. Charlie can write a killer action story and that's all you need to know. He's not afraid to do what he needs to do to keep the story moving along, even if things have to get really scary. I guess I would call this a young adult novel. But it's very violent. You know how the Hunger Games is violent? I think this is even worse than that. I found myself cringing in a lot of places. But it didn't really bother me. I really, really loved this book. Zombies are like my favorite thing to read about lately. I don't really see that changing anytime soon. They scare the bejeezus out of me. So do me a favor. If you love dystopians, if you love reading about zombies, you need to add this one to your TBR list. Then you need to click on that list and move this book to the top. After you read it, come back here and let me know what you thought. I can't think of a single person that I wouldn't recommend this book to.
AnaMardoll More than 1 year ago
The Enemy / 978-1-423-14504-2 I'm a big fan of zombie lit, and have read quite a lot of what's out there, but I can honestly say that "The Enemy" scared me far more than most anything else I've read. "The Enemy" starts hard and fast by plopping us in the middle of the zombie apocalypse, as a rag-tag band of kids struggle to survive against the infected grown-ups. We rapidly learn that some time ago, everyone over about sixteen became incredibly sick and eventually started shambling around killing and eating the uninfected children. The children that have survived thus far have banded together into small, tightly-knit tribal groups, struggling to eke out some semblance of survival. Without any adults to guide them, the children hover between disaster-induced maturity and touching youthful naivete, as the older of the children try to look out for the smallest and youngest in the groups. Part of what makes "The Enemy" so frightening is that the reader is frequently and harrowingly terrified for the young protagonists. Author Higson does a wonderful job of characterizing the many children that fill the pages of this excellent novel - the point of view switches frequently between the children, and each child is fleshed out thoroughly and realistically. The children are attuned enough to the realities of the situation to allow the reader to identify with and care for them, but they still make enough foolish mistakes to retain their childlike status in the eyes of the reader. And once the reader becomes intimately familiar with all the characters, and grows to like them, the dangers of Anyone Can Die really hit home - this is not a book where battles feel bland and anti-climactic because you *know* none of your favorite characters will get offed. I really cannot rave enough about the wonderful writing here - everything from the world-building to the characterization to the point-of-view switches is done remarkably well. The switches between the characters always flow naturally and never feel forced or clunky or cheap. The children are often delightfully Genre Savvy, as you would naturally expect urban children familiar with zombie lore to be, but always remain ultimately vulnerable, particularly as things get worse and the younger children are forced to confront the horrors of this new world. And the world building is done so well that I started to become deeply concerned about the fate of the older children - is the danger of infection over for them or are they inexorably doomed like their parents? If you like zombie books even a little bit, then you will love "The Enemy". I'm not 100% certain about the age target audience - personally, I found this book to be terrifying, and I'm an *adult*, but probably older kids can handle it as a solid horror/adventure story written from their perspective. While there is no sexual content, there is quite a bit of horror and violence, obviously, so do keep that in mind when shopping. ~ Ana Mardoll
sockerstr77 More than 1 year ago
I found this book by accident and I'm very glad i did! Unlike a lot of stories, it doesn't just follow one main plot with one main character. Instead there are several thrilling, action packed story lines with the reader getting to see through many different characters perspectives. I was hooked by the end of the first page and ended up finishing the book in one day. After the cliff hanging ending, I am now eagerly awaiting the sequel!
baseballlife29 More than 1 year ago
This book by Charlie Higson is action packed and will keep you on the edge of your seat. I would recommend this to any zombie-lover or action-lover!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WOW. JUST WOW. I read alot, and have written many reviews lately, but this book truly blew me away. Gripping, fast paced, extremely well written. Keeps you guessing. I was wary to read a zombie thriller, but im so glad i chose this book. It has quickly climbed into my top five, possibly top three, and I have read close to 100 fantasy fiction style books in a little over a years time. I am 27, and absolutely LOVED this book. Immediately bought the second, and have devoured 8 chapters of it already. 303 pages in the book. I easily read 100 or more pages at a time; tried to pace myself but just couldnt, i had to know what happened to the characters. I promise you will love this book, so many twists and turns. Off the charts. Happy reading everyone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. Thrilling an it will keep you guessing what will happen next. It has a suspenseful ending that keeps me yearning for the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first book ive ever read where the author does the truly unexpected. As I read this book, I was captivated, griped, and amazed at this authors ability to turn a book into such an amazing possibility for entertainment. I reccomend this book to everyone who is willing to be thrilled, engaged, and has time on their hands to read this gripping novel. Thumbs up to the author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is by far the best book i ever read!!!!! Its full of action and fast paced. Which is why i love it so much. I read the first 2 books and now im waiting for the 3rd book. It beat the "Hunger Games Series" and the "Maximum Ride Series" on my list!!! Its great. I totally recomend it! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a free Friday offering, so of course I had to give it a try. It is also the first book in a series. It is about a virus which attacks adulta and turns them into zombie like cannibals which eat the children. The children try to fight them off and survive by scavanging. There is a lot of cannibalism in this book. There is all kind of blood, guts, gore, extreme violence, death, sickness, fighting and just plain depravity. I literaly got sick to my stomach. One review was by a fourteen year old. There is no way I would a fourteen year old read this book. Even though it is about kids, it is not for kids. It is well edited, which is the only good thing I can say about it. This book is very disturbing. For adults only, but I cannot recommend it. AD
grannyreader More than 1 year ago
This book (1st in the series) falls into the "young adult" or older teen category in my opinion. That isn't to say that younger teens or adults wouldn't like it. However, there is a reason that this is generally not recommended to younger teens and children. It is very gory and probably really scary to most of them. That said, I am a grandmother of a young boy who, because of his advanced reading levels, is in young adult level reading. I recently ran out of stuff to read on my nook and noticed that he had bought this book to read. I asked him if it was a good book and he said yes. I began reading it and in 6 days time I had purchased the other 3 and read them all. Now I am frustrated because number 5 is not coming out in the US until Spring 2014 and the last 2 in the series will be out a year each apart from #5. Very compelling series and hard for me to put down. But really gory and for some, I would think, very scary. You need a strong stomach and not be given to nightmares. A really interesting concept where most of the adults, everyone 16 yrs old & older, in the world have died, leaving the children to fend for themselves. The twist is that the surviving adults are monsters killing and eating the surviving children. Medieval, times have almost returned. I couldn't put them down. Survival becomes the only thing and the children of this world become very resourceful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I haven't read a lot of books, mainly because none of them were interesting. I recently went to a book fair and saw this book. It looked very good. I purchased the book and started reading. Boy, Am I glad I did. I finished the book a few minutes ago. The action, The description, Everything, I Loved. I would recommend this book to people who are older than 12, only because there are a few curse words in it. Other than that, everyone would enjoy this book. THIS IS A MUST READ NOVEL.
Kay Bell Hollie Irsik More than 1 year ago
The Enemy is a great book it has a ton of greatness to it. If you liked the hunger games you will deffently love this book it has 75% fighting 20% of them running away from the zombies and 5% romance i highly recamond this book
Cougar_H More than 1 year ago
i found The Enemy while browsing the teen section at Borders. It is not all that easy to find books like this. The book starts off with a great opening story, that leaves you with some questions that you have to read a little farther to find out. As the book goes on, it has something for everyone. It has action, drama, horror, romance, and zombies. If you like any of these types of writing, then you should find this book, make sure your in a nice comfy spot, and turn the first page. This book also is good at keeping you glued to its pages. each tiny little story is almost over when you finish a chapter, and you feel like you have to keep reading to find out what happens next. One of the major themes in this story is about how well strangers can work together. With all these kids under 16 running around with lead pipes and baseball bats, you would think that this would all go to hell. But it does the exact oppisite. The gropup of kids this book focuses on, is well organized and well defended. Overall, this is a very very good book and i would recomend it to every teen out there. Why? Becuase this book holds your attention and doesnt let go. It has a little something for everyone in the world.
caycebean More than 1 year ago
This book was a mix of 28 days later and lord of the flies. kids are left to fend for themselves and survive without adults. the characters are great, and the story keeps you interested until the very end. cant wait for the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am 14 years old and i have read the whole series. I think someone my age would like the book better because its writte from a kids point of veiw. This book is easily one of my favorite books of all time even though i dont normally like scifi books and especially zombie books. Althogh it is gory at some ponts. I read the whole series in a month. I could not put these books down. I recomend you read this whole series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. It puts an interesting spin on a classic senario. Full of action and suspence. I hardly ever got bored reading this book. Charlie Higson minipulates the story perfectly each twist and turn adds a key ingredent in the ever more changing literary burrito. Note: Does get gory at some times 12+ is the age limit i suggest
missminmay More than 1 year ago
I recently reread this book and I have to say I love this series. It's one that gets better with each book and leaves you on the edge of your seat. As an adult I greatly enjoy it. I picked up the first one when Borders was going under and had to get the next one immediately. The books grab you within the first paragraph. Anyone who likes apocalyptic fiction or zombie stories will enjoy this action packed series.
Sue_G More than 1 year ago
Oh my gosh! What a fantastic new teen novel! The children's lead in my store recommended this, saying he had a hard time putting it down the first time he picked it up in our store to shelve. That's a ringing endorsement for me. I dived right into the novel, which is about bands of kids living in London after a horrific biological terror has either killed everyone over 16, or turned them into the "grownups"; zombies who wander the streets, snatching kids for meals. These people are gross--boils, pus, shuffling feet, fetid breath, and a raging hunger for food. The characters in this novel quickly pull you into their fight for survival, and the story of Small Sam and his tenacity to survive when taken by the grownups is amazing. Maxie, Blue, Deke, Arran, and all of the other kids in their groupt realize there are other kids out in London, and they decide to leave Holloway--a section of London they have been living in, and attempt to cross the city to Buckingham Palace, where another group of kids awaits their arrival. There is non-stop action in this story, and strong male and female characters who will appeal to any audience. I highly recommend this one--it ends with the promise of a sequel--I can't wait!
Anonymous 6 days ago
After reading book one I went back to the Barnes and Noble web store and bought the entire series. Author takes the time to build each character. But don't get to close to any character in the book because just about that time the author will kill them off. Each book builds your interest until the final page. This is a series I will read again on a few years.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This first book has gotten me hooked on the entire series. Love each one i have read after. Am only on the 4th book and it's been getting better. Can't wait to get trough the entire series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was readable but not great. It did seem to improve about half way and it had some good moments. I really enjoyed Small Sam's story. The series has some potential .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I ry