Teen Volunteer Review: The Enemy by Charlie Higson

Boston Public Library's teen volunteer program has gone remote! As part of this program, local high schoolers will be sharing their thoughts on books, movies, and more on our blog. Check out Kien Bui's review of The Enemy below! Kien is a new addition to our volunteer review team and is a sophomore at Boston Latin School.

The Enemy is the first book of a series of novels by Charlie Higson. The story takes place in post-apocalyptic London, where an unknown virus has taken control of adults and turned them into hungry zombies keen on eating teenagers and children alike. The Enemy is part of both the horror fiction and young adult fiction genres. When I first read the book, I was immediately captivated by the way Higson described the hopeless and desolate city, as well as by the perspective jumps in each chapter.

Throughout the story there were many twists and turns, including the use of a false protagonist. The book was more interesting because it didn't focus on just one character. Instead, the reader is able experience the emotions and thoughts of everyone in the main group. The Enemy was unpredictable, which made the plot much more interesting, as I didn’t know who would be killed or what would happen next.

The story starts with a group of kids aged 7-15, who are living in an abandoned grocery store during the apocalypse. As more kids are kidnapped and killed, their leaders decide to move. Along the way, they are faced with many obstacles such as ambushes, unexpected betrayal, and skirmishes with both people and the undead. The relationships between each character and how they related to the conflicts added intensity to the story, making me more and more fascinated as it progressed. The only thing I disliked was the stock approach to characters. There were almost no unique personalities in the book. But this didn't make it less exciting to read. 

The Enemy was a great novel that I simply could not put down, and the great thing is that there are five more books after this one! Charlie Higson did an amazing job writing this entire series, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes post-apocalyptic stories!