Regular readers will know that I adore Charlie Higson’s The Enemy series (in fact as series goes I think it’s actually getting even better than Harry Potter, not that Harry Potter and The Enemy are necessarily for the same demographic). For those that don’t know, The Enemy is a fantastically scary series set in London after an infection has either killed or turned into zombie like creatures, everyone over the age of 15. Apparently originally meant to be three books, The Sacrifice is book number 4 and last time I heard I think there’s going to be 7 books in total, which is absolutely fantastic as it has allowed Charlie Higson to go into even more depth into this scary world he’s created (I’m going to be using the words fantastic and scary a lot), although it’s a little frustrating in that you often have to wait for two books before you learn of the fate of a particular group of kids in the series, but hey, great way of keeping the fans on tenterhooks. In The Sacrifice we’re back with the Tower of London kids (kids have congregated into camps at various landmarks within London) but we also find out what happened to another group of kids that we last saw in book 2 (if I remember correctly) and we slowly learn a little more about the disease and we find worrying suggestions that the grownups/sickos/zombies are becoming intelligent. There are bits that are extremely gross (I’ll say just two words – car keys, honestly my stomach heaved just a little in that scene), there are some epic, epic battles (Higson does so love fights on bridges) and the characterisation of the kids and some of the grownups is just beautiful. I think it must be extremely difficult when handling a plot and cast of characters that huge to make everything feel so believable and true there are some characters I empathised with less but oh my goodness, there were some characters, even just minor characters, where Higson takes a momentary break in the action and lets you beneath their shell and you realise just how hurt they are / just what makes them tick and you’re literally rooting for them even more, your heart in your mouth. I haven’t cared for characters in a book this much in ages.
If you’re new to the series start from book 1 and in a way I envy you because with year gaps and often two book gaps before you see characters again, it can be sometimes a little hard to remember what’s going on, so to start reading a series where you’ve got three books you can catch up on, wow. I do so plan, when the final book comes out, to re-read all seven, I may very well need to be shot with a tranquilliser gun to calm down afterwards though.
PS I am normally fairly relaxed (with some exceptions – Twilight *cough, cough*) about reading ages but this is one series where I will not be letting my kids get their hands on it till they’re teenagers.
- Top tips for writing zombies: Charlie Higson (guardian.co.uk)
- The Enemy the movie: The action packed big-budget trailer for a zombie film that does not exist (standard.co.uk)