The Enemy (Higson novel)
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (June 2010)|
|Genre||Horror, Young Adult, Thriller|
|Publication date||September 2, 2008|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
|Followed by||The Dead|
The Enemy is a post-apocalyptic young adult horror novel written by Charlie Higson. The book takes place in London after a worldwide sickness has infected adults turning them into something akin to zombies. It was published by Puffin Books in the UK on 3 September 2009 and by Disney-Hyperion in the U.S. on 11 May 2010. The Enemy is the first in a planned series of seven. The second novel, titled The Dead, was published on 16 September 2010. The third novel in the series, titled The Fear, was published on 15 September 2011. The fourth novel The Sacrifice was released on the 20 September 2012. The fifth novel The Fallen was released on 12 September 2013.
The story takes place a year after a worldwide sickness has infected all of the adults, turning them into zombie-like creatures. The surviving children have formed a number of groups throughout London in order to better combat the threat posed by the adults and to increase their odds of survival. Several children have made a base within the confines of a Waitrose supermarket. Led by a boy named Arran and his second-in-command, Maxie, the group has grown increasingly frustrated about children being kidnapped and killed by infected adults. The adults are becoming smarter and as a consequence the children are being picked off more frequently.
A scavenger party, composed of Arran, Achilleus, Ollie, Freak and Deke, become trapped by infected adults while exploring a building. During the fight that follows, Deke is killed and Arran is bitten by an adult woman that happens to be his mother. He becomes sick from the bite, and they only just manage to escape.
Later that night a boy in a patchwork coat named Jester arrives at the gates of the building and asks for the group's help. He tells the group he has come from Buckingham Palace, where a group of kids are based in a safe environment. He claims that if they travel there, they will all be safe as well. The majority of the group like the idea and soon set off through Camden to the palace, along with another group of kids from a Morrisons supermarket who share the same feeling. A loner named Callum decides to stay behind on his own, afraid to leave to confines of his base.
Meanwhile, Small Sam awakes in a grown-up base made at Arsenal Stadium. He escapes and heads back to Waitrose to find only Callum, as the other children have left. Callum explains that the other children are headed for Buckingham Palace, and Sam sets off to catch up with them.
Sam is unable to catch up with the other kids and is chased by adults into the London Underground and gets as far as King's Cross when an older, uninfected man named Nick appears and saves him. Nick has been living in the tunnels inside a train with his wife, Rachael. The couple aids Sam, but are revealed to have sinister motives behind it. Later Sam discovers he is chained up with 3 other children whom the couple have found, and it seems the couple are cannibals. With the help of a young boy known only as "The Kid" Sam escapes. However, Nick chases them outside, but then gets infected and dies. Sam and the Kid go on, eventually making it to safety at the Tower of London, where another group of kids have taken shelter.
As the Waitrose and Morrison's group travels to Buckingham Palace they are attacked by a pack of grown-ups, led by one wearing a St. George's Cross shirt. The children win the fight, but Arran has gone out of control because of his bite wound, and gets carried away with killing the adults. As a result he is mistaken for an adult and becomes fatally wounded by an arrow, which was shot by a girl named Sophie from another surviving group of kids. Maxie comes to Arran's aid but he dies in her arms. The group teams up with Sophie's group and after a few more skirmishes they eventually manage to find Buckingham Palace.
The group of kids meet David King, the leader of the kids at Buckingham Palace who seems to have things well worked-out, but turns out to be hiding the truth of his plans. The Waitrose and Morrison's group are pressured into going to a park opposite the palace to peacefully talk with a group of kids, called the "squatters," about joining them at Buckingham Palace. However, after their leader, Just John, refuses, fight breaks out. After a tough fight in which deke dies, they capture John and take him back to the palace.
John and David come to an agreement: Achilleus and Just John fight to the death over the territorial ownership of the park. They fight, and Achilleus wins and spares Just John's life.
Callum becomes overly upset at his loneliness, despite having stashed goods which he hid from other kids, and becomes upset when he remembers having to kill his own mother after the epidemic. He loses hope slowly as adults led by Saint George break into the store and kill him.
Maxie and Ollie find that they don't trust David because of how he acts, and his obsession with taking over London. Maxie expresses her concerns to the rest of the group and they decide to escape. David and Jester attempt to stop them, but they all manage to escape, with a girl named Brooke, who leads them to the Natural History Museum, where there is another group of kids.
Meanwhile, Saint George continues to grow smarter and to lead his army of adults through London, searching out more kids. He craves more power and destruction, and wants to kill and eat every last child he can find...
---U.S. publication--- Hyperion, the American publisher of the series, wanted to target the books at a slightly older audience. As a result, the cutoff age for infection was raised from 14 to 16, and some of the characters were aged up accordingly. In addition, some of the cultural references and terminology unique to the United Kingdom were changed to ones that American readers were more likely to understand.
- Arran - The first leader of the Waitrose group and the novel's main character in its early pages, but he soon dies. He is bitten by a woman whom he believes to be his actual mother and, soon after, is shot by an arrow from Sophie's bow. There are hints that he has feelings for Maxie, but, as he dies, he is unable to follow those feelings.
- Blue - The leader of the Morrisons group and one of the novel's main characters. He explains to Maxie that he was once a bookworm, fat, and not so good with fighting. But after the disease started to affect the adults and the early kids had all been killed off by the grown-ups, Blue had to learn to fight and become a very strong leader. He tells Maxie that he likes her but is worried because of her feelings for Arran.
- Bernie - One of the Waitrose group, an emo who's responsible for lots of the engineering feats of the group, and best friend to Ben (see below).
- Big Mick - Described as being sleepy but still the best fighter from the Morrisons group. An equal of Achilleus.
- Ben - One of the Waitrose group, an emo, and best friend to Bernie. Greatly interested in engineering, the twins set up the defense system around the Waitrose. When they arrive at Buckingham Palace, they try to make plans for heating and such, but David disregards them. At the end of the novel, the twins are among the group who escape David's rule of the Palace.
- Achilleus - 'Akkie', The strongest fighter in the Waitrose group. He can be moody and sarcastic, but he is a valuable member of the group because of his fighting skills. He blames Freak for the incident at the swimming pool that cost Deke and Arran their lives.He too makes it out of David's rule of the Palace.
- Callum - A Waitrose boy who is extremely agoraphobic and refuses to leave with the other children. He survives on his own for a while but eventually succumbs to bitter loneliness and lets the adults kill him after they break into the store.
- Carl - One of the squatters in the park. He is a pirate-looking boy and seems to be Just John's second in command.
- David King - The leader of the Buckingham Palace group. He is a power-hungry teenager who attempts to restore the British monarchy under his personal control.
- Deke - A boy in the Waitrose group. He is Freak's best friend and, before the epidemic, always hung around with him. During the swimming pool episode, Deke dies after suffering a punctured lung from a broken vending machine glass, and grown-ups take him away to eat him.
- Ella - A young girl in the Waitrose group, Small Sam's sister. She constantly misses her brother.
- Freak - A boy in the Waitrose group. He is Deke's best friend and, before the epidemic, always hung around with him. Well liked by most of the kids, he becomes one of Maxie's closest friends, but he struggles to get on with Achilleus, who blames Freak for the deaths of Arran and Deke in the swimming pool episode. Just John fatally stabs Freak as he saves Maxie.
- Jester - David King's right-hand man in the Buckingham Palace group. He is the boy who walks to meet the Waitrose and Morrisons groups and persuades them to undertake the trek to the Palace, where life is, seemingly, better.
- Joel - A little boy who carries around a puppy called Godzilla. He is killed during an attack in Regent's Park.
- Josh - A boy in the Waitrose group. After Achilleus, Josh is the second-best fighter of the group and claims he isn't scared of anything. He is killed by infected monkeys.
- Just John - The leader of the squatters in the park. He is nearly killed by Achilleus, and he and his group are cast out of the park.
- The Kid - A nine-year-old boy who saves Small Sam from Nick and Rachel.
- Lewis - A boy in the Morrisons group and one of its best fighters. Lewis has an Afro and always looks sleepy, but he has surprisingly good reactions. During the journey of the combined Waitrose-Morrisons group to Buckingham Palace, he commands the left flank and becomes a supporting character towards the end of the novel, striking up a friendship with Achilleus.
- Maxie - A girl in the Waitrose group, one of the novel's main characters. After Arran dies, Maxie takes on the leadership of the Waitrose group, but her memory of Arran keeps her from staying mentally strong. She overcomes this and becomes a good leader after Ollie privately tells her that he believes the Waitrose kids need a leader to look up to and to make hard decisions. He tells her that she can be perfect for this role. At the end of the novel, she is among the group who escape David's rule of the Palace.
- Ollie - A boy in the Waitrose group and a central character in the novel. Ollie is red-haired, a skirmisher, sharp, and quick-witted; he is, generally, the brains of the group. He says that he lost his little brother during a riot and wants to stay alive as the last member of his family. At the end of the novel, he is among the group who escape David's rule of the Palace.
- Paddy the Caddy - An Irish boy who is originally part of Just John's group at the park. He admires Achilleus after his fight with Just John and Achilleus makes him his apprentice and makes him carry all of his weapons in a golf club bag.
- Saint George - The zombie in the St. George shirt. He is far more intelligent than most adults, even to the extent of remembering some words and keeping some ability to plan for the future. Toward the end of the novel, Saint George creates a plan to hunt down and devour all children.
- Small Sam - A nine-year-old boy in the Waitrose group, Ella's brother, and a main character in the novel. He becomes separated from the group after being kidnapped by adults.He meets a new group at the tower in the end and he also discovers adults who do not seem to be affected by the disease but they still eat children.
- Sophie - A girl from another group, which merges with the combined Waitrose-Morrisons group on its way to Buckingham Palace. Sophie accidentally shoots the wounded Arran with an arrow, killing him. She leaves the Palace during the fight between Achilleus and Just John.
- Whitney - The second-in-command of the Morrisons group and a central character in the novel. After the Morrisons and Waitrose groups merge, Whitney strikes up a good friendship with Maxie. Whitney, in the end, also escapes David's rule.
- Maeve - A girl with Medical knowledge, she is in the Waitrose group and also escapes David's rule.
- Monkey Boy - A little boy that looks like a monkey
- Pod - Davids head of security at the palace.
- "First look at The Enemy". The Young Bond Dossier. Retrieved April 6, 2009.
- "If Young Bond Series 2 still a roughj 7th paragraph".
- "Interview: May 2010". Teenreads.com. May 2010.