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The Enemy (The Enemy series 1) by Charlie Higson

The Enemy (The Enemy series 1)

Part of the The Enemy Series
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Shortlisted for the prestigious Teenage Book Prize 2010.

A thrilling story of survival against the odds in a world in which adults have been killed or brain-crazed leaving only children under fourteen and with no one to look after them. How a bunch of children survive as they travel across the dangerous city trying to find a safe place is thrilling; how they survive the terrifying zombies is spine chilling. If you enjoy this one, then take a look at Gone for slightly older readers and the Lovereading4kids book of 2009.

Charlie Higson loves what could be THE debut of 2011, Undead by Kirsty McKay: 'A kick-ass teen-action zombie-fest. Fast, furious, freaky, funny and seriously sick. Oh, and did I mention it kicks ass ?'

A message from the Publisher:

The Enemy is the first title in a chilling series of books which will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. It is set in an eerie, modern-day London after a mystery illness attacks everyone over the age of fourteen. Those afflicted either die or become so crazed by disease they are little more than wild animals. Gangs of kids are left to fend for themselves, dodging the zombie adults who remain. From the author who brought you the bestselling Young Bond series, this sensational new book about an epic fight for survival will keep readers hooked from page one.

You can now read a Q&A with author Charlie Higson on his author page. Click here.

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert review, some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Rose Heathcote, age 15 - 'If you love lots of blood and gore then this book is for you.  A fast action thriller which is both scary and emotional at the same time, you will be on the edge of your seat from the very beginning.' Read full review >
  • Josh Hall, age 14 - 'An exciting and heart pounding page turner! You won't be disappointed.' Read full review >
  • Esmé, age 14 - 'This book is sufficiently gory to satisfy ANY teenagers (or grown-ups) appetite. AWESOME.' Read full review >
  • Ronan McCarthy, age 13 - 'All in all a great book, I look forward to reading the sequels.' Read full review >
  • Jacob Lawrence, age 11 - 'I loved this book and couldn’t put it down.' Read full review >
  • Luke Bauer, age 11 - 'Too freaky for me - it gave me the freaky-deakies!' Read full review >
  • Benjy Randall, age 10 - 'A very entertaining book for boys who like  action and adventure.' Read full review >


The Enemy (The Enemy series 1) by Charlie Higson

When the sickness came, every adult fell ill. The lucky ones died. Only children under fourteen remain, and they're fighting to survive. Now there are rumours of a safe place to hide. And so a gang of children begin their quest across London, where all through the city - down alleyways, in deserted houses, underground - the grown-ups lie in wait.

The Enemy series....

The Enemy
The Dead
The Fear
The Sacrifice
The Fallen
The Haunted

Visit for more information about the series, trailers and competitions. And visit the facebook page for The Enemy series to keep up with the news!


Brutal, blood-soaked, full of's ace * FHM * The Enemy scores with its brutal vision of a post-apocalyptic world * FT * Gruesome entertainment of the highest calibre * Books Quarterly *

About the Author

Charlie Higson

Charlie Higson is a well-known writer of screenplays and novels, including the phenomenally successful Young Bond series. He is also a performer and co-creator of 'The Fast Show' and Radio Four's award-winning 'Down the Line' series - recently made into a popular BBC2 sketch show, 'Bellamy's People'. Charlie is a big fan of horror films and is now hoping to give a great many children sleepless nights with his The Enemy series.

The Young Bond books have, to date, sold over a million copies in the UK and been translated into 24 different languages. The Young Bond titles are included in a recent list of books complied by the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the School Libraries Association to encourage school boys to read (

After studying at the University of East Anglia, Charlie formed a band, The Higsons. He then became a decorator before turning to the world of television and going into partnership with his friend Paul Whitehouse. Their successes included 'Saturday Live', the 'Harry Enfield Television Programme', 'The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer', 'Shooting Stars', 'Randall and Hopkirk, Deceased', the film 'Suite 16', 'Swiss Toni' and 'The Fast Show'.

Most recently Charlie and Paul co-produced, and performed in, the controversial and award-winning spoof radio series Down the Line for BBC Radio 4. This later became the television comedy series Bellamy’s People, on BBC 2, inspired by the Radio series.

Charlie is also a successful adult novelist and has written four thrillers, King of the Ants (1992), Happy Now (1993), Full Whack (1995) and Getting Rid of Mr Kitchen (1996).

Charlie lives in London with his wife and three sons.

Questions for Charlie Higson:

What was your inspiration for The Enemy?

George Romero’s early zombie films – Night of the Living Dead & Dawn of the Dead mostly. But there are bits of Lord of the Rings, fairy tales and the tales of the Greek heroes.

Which character was the most fun to write?

Small Sam and the Kid. They’re a good double act.

Are any of your characters based on real people?

I use my own kids and their friends for inspiration, but there is no one character
that is based on one particular person.

What was the last film that blew you away?

Pan’s Labyrinth was amazing. Special effects and fantasy are used for more than just pretty pictures.

Who would you choose to be if you could be a celebrity for the day?

That idea is just too scary to contemplate. My God, imagine !

Click here to read more Charlie Higson Q&A.

Charlie Higson loves what could be THE debut of 2011, Undead by Kirsty McKay: 'A kick-ass teen-action zombie-fest. Fast, furious, freaky, funny and seriously sick. Oh, and did I mention it kicks ass ?'

Author photo: Andy Paradise

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Book Info

Publication date

3rd June 2010


Charlie Higson

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Puffin Books


432 pages


11+ readers
All Shortlists and Winners
13+ readers

Horror & ghost stories, chillers (Children's / Teenage)



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