The Dead (An Enemy Novel) Review

The Dead (An Enemy Novel)
Average Reviews:

(More customer reviews)
by Evan
I picked up The Dead, the prequel to The Enemy, without having actually read the book it precedes, with high hopes that Charles Higson, the author behind the exciting Young Bond series, could inject some life into the hackneyed zombie genre. He succeeds, in large part due a new twist that mixes zombie scares with Lord of the Flies: the disease only affects those sixteen and older.
As a result there is a largely teenage cast, which is easy to identify with. Higson doesn't treat the motley band of 14 and 15 year olds as young children, either. They make intelligent decisions, and sometimes not-so-intelligent decisions, but they don't descend into chaos like the children in Lord of the Flies. In addition, because his characters are so capable, Higson rarely resorts to the type of dues ex machina so often found in zombie fiction, like the serendipitous cache of guns and food, or a convenient salvation from another group as the zombies close in. Consider a situation when the party finds a museum full of guns, but no ammo. In their typical resourceful style, the kids attach bayonets or use the guns as clubs, rather than throwing them away as if they are useless. Of course, there are instances of luck, but forgivable. Without any luck, it's doubtful that anyone would survive for very long. That in itself is a scary thought. No matter how prepared, without a little luck you're toast, especially in a zombie apocalypse.
Jack and Ed, best friends, are the main focus of the book, as two radically different leaders. Jack, formerly shy and self-conscious, is now a headstrong fighter, eager to kill the `sickos' when they attack. Ed, previously popular and confident, is traumatized by the violence and unable to fight. He learns to lead in other ways, but can't help feeling like he is losing Jack's respect. The relationship starts a little flat, and I felt as if Ed was a vastly more dynamic character, ending somewhere different from where he started, while Jack stays mostly the same.
The real treat however, is vast host of secondary characters. From Greg, a sarcastic bus driver, to Bam, a gung-ho jock, Higson gives them each a distinct personality and purpose. Sometimes I wished I wasn't reading about Jack and Ed's conflict and wanted to spend more time with the other guys.
Keeping with zombie tradition, the ruthless undead don't discriminate between your favorite character and the one you hate the most. The death count is high, the violence intense, and the suspense tight enough to keep you up at night. As a veteran of Bond books, Higson understands proper plotting and makes sure that the book never sags. While the epilogue occurs a whole year later, most of the book takes place in a few frenetic days. The characters are always in motion physically and, more importantly, emotionally.
Bottom line: This is the zombie book I've been waiting for, viscerally thrilling, occasionally funny, and always smart. It doesn't stoop to quick fixes or cheap scares, has well drawn characters, and even serves as a study of leadership under pressure.

Click Here to see more reviews about: The Dead (An Enemy Novel)

THE DEAD begins one year before the action in THE ENEMY, just after the Disaster. A terrible disease has struck everyone over the age of sixteen, leaving them either dead or a decomposing, flesh-eating creature. The action starts in a boarding school just outside London where all the teachers have turned into zombies. A few kids survive and travel by bus into the city. The bus driver, an adult named Greg, seems to be unaffected by the disease. Then he begins to show the dreaded signs: outer blisters and inner madness. The kids escape Greg and end up at the Imperial War Museum. A huge fire in South London drives them all to the river, and eventually over the river to the Tower of London. It is there they will meet up with the kids in THE ENEMY in Book 3.

Buy NowGet 32% OFF

Click here for more information about The Dead (An Enemy Novel)


Post a Comment