You killed your parents, or at least watched them die. Everyone has lost parents and the “grownups’ that are left aren’t much for giving advice and taking care of you, unless taking care of you means tearing you up into nice little juicy steaks. Party time, freedom, and fun have run their course and now it’s survival time. Everyone over the age of sixteen has come down with a mysterious illness that leaves them rotting alive and hungry. Main course: kids (and maybe an occasional dog.) The kids aren’t going down like that though and are determined to survive and fight back. After finding themselves drawn to a supermarket called Waitrose, a diverse group of survivors dig deep to become the family that they all lost. But, the losses aren’t over. Resources dwindle and they have to look for options outside their area forcing them to take an offer for refuge at Buckingham Palace. The journey is not easy and opens them up to threats and questions beyond what the grownups have thrown their way.
The Enemy was described to me as “disgustingly awesome,” and I would have to second that. I really liked this book. Kids aren’t stupid and this book draws on that point again and again. This is ultimately a story about people pulling together in the face of extreme adversity and making it work. It’s also a story about people, so with that you get lots of conflict, you get mistrust, you get deception, manipulation, kindness, caring, and love. Oh, and you get the people attacking other people to eat them, not metaphorical. This book keeps rolling right on to the final page. I was left satisfied but still thinking about where it would go next. Charlie Higson has done a tremendous job reminding us of the resiliency of kids to carry on even when there seems to be no hope. He’s also done a tremendous job creeping me out. This book is a recommend for everyone who enjoys reading and is not squeamish. Hey even if you are a bit of a softy, go ahead and give it a whirl. It’s a bit like going to the haunted house because you know it will mess with your head.