The Fear (Higson novel)
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|Genre||Horror, Young Adult, Thriller|
|Published||15 September 2011 Puffin Books|
|Media type||Print (hardcover)|
|Preceded by||The Dead|
|Followed by||The Sacrifice|
The Fear is a post-apocalyptic young adult horror novel written by Charlie Higson. The book, released by Puffin Books in the UK on 15 September 2011 and by Disney Hyperion in the US on 11 May 2010, is the third book in a planned seven-book series, titled The Enemy. The Fear takes place in London, a year after a worldwide sickness has infected adults, turning them into something akin to voracious, cannibalistic zombies.
Puffin Books released the first novel in the series, titled The Enemy, in the UK on 3 September 2009; Disney Hyperion released it in the US on 11 May 2010. Puffin Books released the second novel in the series, titled The Dead, on 16 September 2010; the third novel, titled The Fear, on 15 September 2011; the fourth novel, The Sacrifice, on 20 September 2012; the fifth novel, The Fallen, on 12 September 2013; the sixth novel, The Hunted, on 4 September 2014; and the final book, The End, on 10 November 2015. Disney Hyperion released Higson's short story companion book in the series, titled Geeks vs. Zombies, on 5 June 2012; it portrays an exclusive scene from The Fear, on World Book Day.
The Fear starts five days before Small Sam arrives at the Tower of London, at the end of The Dead. A prologue introduces a new sicko named "The Collector", who collects toys (kids) and eats them. He finds two children and adds them to his collection.
The real story begins at the Tower, where Dognut and Courtney are setting off to find Brooke, whom they lost contact with during the fire of South London and The Battle of Lambeth Bridge. They are joined by Olivia, who is looking for her brother Paul; Jessica, who came along as she broke up with her boyfriend, Finn, and is looking for friends; Al, who is looking for his sister Maria; and Marco and Felix, who were with Dognut at the Imperial War Museum.
After a quick row upriver, they end up at the Houses of Parliament, where they find Nicola and her group. Nicola tells them none of their friends are here but lets them know about David King at Buckingham Palace. During the journey, the group is attacked by the 'gym bunnies', a group of sickos who, due to their good physical condition, are harder to kill; the gym bunnies corner Dognut's crew. About to go in for the kill, they are interrupted by a brutal group of hunters led by Ryan.
Ryan's group guides Dognut's crew to the palace, where Al is reunited with his sister. Later, the group realises David isn't all that he seems; mainly, he's lying about Brooke, who is staying at the Natural History Museum. They head to the museum at night, without Al, who stays with his sister and Jessica, who is too scared to continue. As it is night, the sickos are out in larger numbers, and the gang gets chased to a house where they think kids are living. Instead, it turns out to be the Collector's lair. The group encounters the large monster and make a run for it, unaware that they've left Olivia behind. She kills herself before the Collector can get her. The group later arrives at the Natural History Museum where they meet Brooke, Robbie (their Head of Security), Justin (the leader), and Paul (Olivia's brother). Paul asks for Olivia, but Courtney explains that Olivia was killed by the Collector.
Meanwhile, a boy named Shadowman spies on the John's settlement in St James's Park.
Back at the museum, Paul is hysterical after learning about Olivia's death, and he is determined to kill the Collector. Dognut's group, Robbie, Jackson (a friend of Robbie's), Ryan's hunters, and several others from the museum join with Paul to kill the Collector. The large group coaxes the Collector out of his lair onto the road, where they savagely vanquish him.
Upon returning, Justin gives Dognut a tour of the place. He shows Dognut the experiments they've been carrying out to investigate the disease and to find a cure - which included taking samples from three sickos they've locked up in the Tesco lorry. Justin tells Dognut about the large number of sickos residing in the museum's basement, where the groups obtains their test subjects. They have found out so far that UV light (sunlight) rapidly increases the speed of the disease, causing a sicko to die if exposed to too much sunlight. However, they've also found that sickos can build up resistance to sunlight, through exposure to a fixed amount of sunlight each day until they are fully able to roam about in the daytime. Afterwards, Paul loses his mind and starts to threaten and blame everyone for Olivia's death. Brooke calms him down. Dognut decides to head back to the Tower first thing the following morning but is persuaded by Justin to stay longer, to write his and his group's story into a book in which Chris is writing in the library.
At the Palace, David and Nicola meet secretly. David proposes that the two groups form an alliance - a step toward implementing his plan to take over London. Nicola is reluctant but ends up creating a deal that involves removing the 'squatters' at St James's Park, as they pose a threat to her group at the House of Parliament. Until then, she won't officially agree to the alliance. David accepts and immediately asks Jester to go and recruit children who can fight.
Shadowman visits Jester in Buckingham Palace and convinces him to join on an expedition to recruit more children to join them at the Palace. The small group of Jester, Shadowman, Tom, Kate, and Alfie begins walking north until they encounter a group of sickos. The children flee the sickos and end up at Kings Cross Station. The group fights off some sickos before Jester accidentally hits Shadowman, leaving Shadowman with a slight concussion. Jester, Alfie, Tom, and Kate abandon Shadowman, and are then split into two groups: Jester and Alfie, and Tom and Kate. Shadowman passes out when a group of sickos are upon him.
Jester and Alfie find refuge in a building, until a group of sickos finds them. In creating a plan of escape, Jester tricks Alfie and abandons him, escaping by himself. Alfie is killed by the sickos. Jester runs and discovers the Morrison's supermarket but is denied entry. He then finds the Waitrose supermarket, where he is rescued by Arran's group (described in The Enemy).
Shadowman awakens and finds himself at the Emirates Stadium. He learns that the sicko, St. George, is much smarter than the rest of the sickos as he is creating an army in the stadium. Shadowman escapes the army of sickos when a fire lights up in the stands (most likely as part of Small Sam's escape, as told in The Enemy). Shadowman takes refuge in a nearby apartment building where he discovers boxes of weapons and food. He sees this as a sign to follow St. George's army, to learn about them before returning to London city. While watching their movement, he sees Tom, Kate, and Callum (a boy from The Enemy) get killed by St. George's army. Dozing off to sleep, Shadowman is suddenly awakened by sickos that found his hiding spot - including one of St. George's right-hand men (One-Armed Bandit). Shadowman manages to kill them all and plans to kill every single one of St. George's right-hand men, St. George himself, and Jester (for betraying him).
All the while, Dognut, Courtney, Marco, and Felix are at the museum, preparing to head back to the Tower. Finn decides to stay there, while Brooke joins the group. Robbie and Jackson join the group, but are only escorting them part of the way. They set off toward the Tower until they are ambushed by the 'gym bunnies'. Everyone is killed except Jackson and Robbie, who manage to escape the battle, and Brooke, who is saved by the Holloway crew (as described in The Enemy). She is taken to Buckingham Palace with the Holloway crew, and is revealed that she is the quiet and heavily bandaged girl in the sick bay. As in The Enemy, Brooke tells Maxie and Blue about the museum and that David is a liar.
Meanwhile, Paul, who is still crazed, secretly leaves the museum for Buckingham Palace. He meets with David and Jester, who take advantage of his mental state, and tell him a fake story that everyone was plotting against him. This causes Paul to take revenge on everyone. David convinces him to return to the museum and release all the sickos who are in the basement. Paul agrees and returns to the museum. He kills a boy named Jamie, who was on duty at the lower levels of the museum. Just before his death, Paul reveals to Jamie that he was bitten by one of the sickos in the lorry.
The Tower of London
- Al - Part of the Tower crew. He was separated from his sister Maria at the battle of Lambeth Bridge and stays with her when they find her at Buckingham Palace. He has a fat nose and large front teeth. Dognut refers to him, Marco, and Felix as "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"; Al is the Ugly.
- Courtney - Part of the Tower crew. She has a love interest in Dognut and is killed in the final battle with 'gym bunnies'. She goes on the expedition to get some time alone with Dognut and to find Brooke. She is insecure about her weight.
- Dognut - The leader of the Tower of London group which sets out to find Brooke. He is leaving because he wants to be a hero, as he feels he doesn't get enough respect at the Tower, and to find Brooke, whom he has a crush on. He is killed in the final battle with the 'gym bunnies'.
- Ed Carter - Captain of the Tower Guard at the Tower of London. He is described by Dognut as Jordan Hordern's second-in-command. St George badly scarred Ed's face was in the previous book. He appears in Dognut's nightmare-memory and at the beginning to see off the expedition, but is mentioned many times throughout the book.
- Felix - Part of the Tower crew, and one of the boys who originally came from the Imperial War Museum. He is best friends with Marco, though they often argue. He is stated to always put people down by speaking his mind. He, like Marco, goes on the expedition to support Dognut. He is killed in the final battle with 'gym bunnies'. Dognut refers to him, Marco, and Al as "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" by DogNut; Felix is the Bad.
- Finn - Part of the Tower crew. He is the only member of the expedition to not end up at the Tower via the boat at the end of The Dead. He is from Forest Hill school and ended up at the Tower after being separated from friends who traveled west. He is going on the expedition to find his friends. He is large and good at fighting, but prior to the events of the book, he cut his arm and the wound became infected, putting it out of action and rendering him unable to fight. He stays at the Natural History Museum when the group goes on, as he wants to wait for his arm to heal. He has yet to find his friends.
- Jessica - Part of the Tower crew. She goes on the expedition allegedly to find friends she was separated from at the end of The Dead, but really wants to get away from her ex-boyfriend Brendan, whom she just broke up with. She stayed at Buckingham Palace, as she was already away from him, safe, and scared to go further.
- Jordan Hordern - Leader of the group at the Tower of London. He appears at the beginning to see Dognut's crew off and tells Dognut his position is open.
- Kyle - Ed's right-hand man at the Tower, he appears in Dognut's nightmare-memory at the beginning, helping Ed save Dognut from sickos but fails to save Leo.
- Leo - A determined but clumsy boy who died prior to the events of the book, but whom Dognut dreams about every night, as Dognut blames himself for Leo's death. Shortly after arriving at the Tower, Ed, Kyle, Dognut, and Leo had gone on a scavenging mission into a bank, where Leo and Dognut fell through the cracked floor into a pile of sickos, which tried to eat them. Leo tried to climb out but fell off Dognut's shoulders and further into the mob, where his thrashing caused them to pull him deeper in. Ed and Kyle grabbed Dognut's arm, and Dognut Leo's shirt, but they couldn't pull both up, and Dognut had let Leo go to save himself.
- Marco - Part of the Tower crew, and one of the boys who originally came from the Imperial War Museum. He often wears a WWII German's helmet and is best friends with Felix, though they often argue. He is nice to everybody. He goes on the expedition to support Dognut. He is killed in the final battle with 'gym bunnies'. Dognut refers to him, Felix, and Al as "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"; Marco is the Good.
- Olivia Channing - Part of the Tower crew. She was separated from her older brother Paul during the battle on Lambeth Bridge at the end of The Dead, and is going on the expedition to find him. She is 10 years old and scared. She is killed in the first encounter with the Collector after they leave Buckingham Palace, and later her death is avenged by her friends, some kids from the museum, and Ryan's group. David later lies about the circumstances of her death to manipulate Paul into turning on the other museum kids.
The Natural History Museum
- Brooke - After the events of The Dead, she lives at the Natural History Museum, wears an old fashioned dress, and no longer bleaches her hair blond. She tells DogNut about Courtney's feelings for him, which he cannot see. She later leaves with DogNut's crew for the Tower. Afterward, she survives the final battle with 'gym bunnies', as she is saved by the Holloway crew. She tells Maxie and Blue about the museum.
- Chris Marker - Once unable to stop reading. He has now grown a beard, and lives in the library and records the stories of how the kids at the museum and DogNut's crew survived, calling it "The Chronicles of Survival". He is less obsessed with reading now.
- Einstein - A handsome boy with brown teeth, who works in the labs at the museum on a cure. He doesn't seem to like DogNut too much. His real name is Orlando Epstein.
- Jackson - A strong girl fighter at the museum, with a face like a potato. She is the one who finishes off the Collector. Later, she helps get Robbie back to the museum after he is injured. She is thirteen years old.
- Jamie - A boy who Paul Channing strangles in the basement before letting the sickos in. After incapacitating him, Paul lets the sickos in, who proceed to eat Jamie. As he dies, Paul shows him that he is bitten. He is thirteen, and was friendly to Paul at the beginning.
- Justin - Leader at the Natural History Museum. Formerly in charge of driving the Tesco truck, which is now used to house sickos. He is leading the search for a cure. He realizes that DogNut is on the expedition to gain fame and possibly take over the Natural History Museum. He is fifteen years old.
- Paul Channing - Olivia's brother. At the museum, he is in charge of cleaning after the sickos on the truck. He doesn't take his sister's death very well and loses his mind after they kill the sicko responsible, the Collector. He releases the sickos in the basement of the museum, seeking revenge, after David takes advantage of his mental state to manipulate him to do so. It is revealed that he was bitten by the sicko in the lorry. He is fifteen years old, and very thin, with limbs like a spider. He commonly wears a black turtleneck.
- Robbie - Head of security at the museum. He is saved by Jackson but is seriously injured from the final battle with the 'gym bunnies'.
- Alfie Walker - Part of Jester's crew. He is killed after Jester abandons him. He is thirteen, short, carries a spear and enjoys singing. He seems more determined than Tom and Kate, but is also slower and less of a fighter.
- Andy Thomas - A red-coated guard with fair hair and a big nose. He is bored with his job, but prefers it to the blandness of gardening, and is nice when compared to other guards at the palace. He informs DogNut of the way over the wall when pressured to. He is revealed to be the "Big Nose" who escapes with the Holloway crew when Brooke mentions him as one of the guards guarding the infirmary.
- David King - A power-mad teenager. He is the leader of the Buckingham Palace group and plans to restore law and order in London, with him in charge. He has a love interest in Nicola, who seems to realize this. He is fifteen years old.
- Jester - David King's right-hand man. He is the leader of the small group which finds fighters to deal with the squatters. He is a coward who abandons those who look up to him to save himself, while convincing himself it was the only thing he could do. He wears a patchwork coat to memorialize all those he has lost.
- Jonathan - A young cadet who is training to be a guard at the palace. He informs David and Jester that the royals have escaped.
- Kate - Part of Jester's crew. Tom's girlfriend, who is fourteen or fifteen, carries a sword and constantly complains. She, like her boyfriend, expresses a desire to go back to the palace that same night. After a battle with adults in which Jester concusses Shadowman, she and Tom abandon the rest of their crew and hole up in a house. Saint George and his crew later find them, and attack them. When they are carried out of the house, she is barely alive, and is killed when St. George and his crew eat her. Shadowman witnesses their deaths.
- Maria - A cook at the palace, Al's younger sister, and Pod's girlfriend. She did not know of her brother's whereabouts, and is overjoyed to be reunited with him. She later tells them where Brooke is, after David claims he doesn't know. She knows because Pod tells her certain things he shouldn't in an attempt to impress her. Al stays at the palace to be close to her.
- Pod - Head of security at the palace. He is not very intelligent, and David knows this, and considers him one who will easily follow orders.
- Rose - Head doctor at the palace. She is considered a professional, by kid standards. She is instructed by David to keep the Holloway kids away from Brooke(who he does not recognize).
- Shadowman - A boy who spies on settlements throughout London. He and Jester know each other from before the virus, and have been close friends for a while. He becomes part of Jester's crew but is soon abandoned by Jester after he is accidentally given a concussion(by Jester). He starts to follow St George to learn about his zombie army. His real name is Dylan Peake.
- Tom - Part of Jester's crew. Kate's boyfriend, who is fourteen or fifteen, carries a sword and constantly complains. He, like his girlfriend, expresses a desire to go back to the palace that same night. After a battle with adults in which Jester concusses Shadowman, he and Kate abandon the rest of their crew and hole up in a house. Saint George and his crew later find them, and attack them. When they are carried out of the house to be eaten, he is already dead. Shadowman witnesses their deaths.
Houses of Parliament
- Bozo - A boy on guard duty outside Parliament. He wears a policeman's helmet, and considers himself stupid.
- Nicola - A girl who is the Prime Minister staying at the House of Parliament. She tells David about the squatters' raids against her base and strikes a deal with David that if he removes the squatters, she will form an alliance with him. David has a crush on her, which amuses her.
- Ponytail - A boy from Parliament who is bald, except for a ponytail, has some hair above his lip, and missing his front teeth.
- Carl - A pirate-looking boy who is Just John's second in command. He prefers to take orders from John than have his own authority.
- Just John - The leader of the squatters in St James Park. He seems to be mentally unstable.
- Paddy - A boy in Just John's camp whom Shadowman befriends. He enjoys playing with Halo action figures.
- Blue - A character from The Enemy, he is noticed by Brooke, held captive in the infirmary at Buckingham Palace.
- Maxie - A character from The Enemy, she is noticed by Brooke, held captive in the infirmary at Buckingham Palace.
- Ryan Aherne - The brutal leader of the hunters who cuts off "sickos'" ears and wears them as trophies. He has acne, and wears a mask which is the face of an adult he killed, cut off its head. He looks to be sixteen years old.
- Bluetooth - A father in a business suit with a Bluetooth earpiece in his ear, and one of Saint George's lieutenants. He is more intelligent than most adults, though not on the level of Saint George.
- The Collector - A very large fat man who, without his beard, might be mistaken for a woman. He believes children are toys, and collects them and other things regularly. He is intelligent, even for a sicko, and capable of speech (though can only say one or two words at a time). He spends his days sleeping in an apartment basement, having knocked out the walls separating his apartment from neighboring apartments, and goes out at night, collecting anything. He is encountered by DogNut's crew after they leave Buckingham Palace, and eats Olivia's body after she commits suicide. The group later returns with some kids from the museum, as well as Ryan's hunters, and kills him.
- Man U - A father in a Manchester United T-shirt, and one of Saint George's lieutenants. He is more intelligent than most adults, though not on the level of Saint George.
- Mother with Sunglasses - A mother with sunglasses to resist the sun, and the leader of the 'gym bunnies'. She is first seen wearing jogging pants and she wears her hair in a crude, pulled back ponytail. On her wrist is a Celtic knot tattoo. She is more intelligent than most adults, even able to remember that she at one point had children and is able to wield a knife. She scars Felix and Brooke during the battle, but as she is about to kill Brooke, the only survivor, she is shot in the back of the head with an arrow (presumably by Sophie).
- One-Armed Bandit - A shirtless father with one arm missing, and one of Saint George's lieutenants. He is more intelligent than most adults, though not on the level of Saint George. He uses a rock as a weapon. At the end, he and a group of adults find Shadowman's hiding place and attack him, but Shadowman, despite still being slightly concussed, kills all of them, including the One-Armed Bandit.
- Saint George - The sicko in the St. George shirt who was previously known as Greg Thorne. He is far more intelligent than most infected adults, even to the extent of being able to remember some words and recall some memories, and to plan. Toward the end of the book it is revealed that he is capable of thought and has a plan to hunt down and devour all children.
- Spike - A father, and one of Saint George's lieutenants. He is more intelligent than most adults, though not on the level of Saint George. He is at first called "Mr. Ordinary" because he has no marks by which Shadowman can give him a nickname. Later, Shadowman shoots him in the shoulder with a crossbow bolt while he and the crew are eating Tom and Kate. After this, Shadowman weeps with joy at having found a nickname for him.
- Higson, Charlie (2011). The Fear. Puffin. p. 460. ISBN 9780141384665.
- "Is Young Bond Series 2 still a possibility?". Young Bond Dossier. 24 September 2010.
- "First look at The Enemy". The Young Bond Dossier. Retrieved 6 April 2009.
- Higson, Charlie (4 September 2014). The Hunted (Paperback ed.). ISBN 9780141336107.
- "A Master Class in Dealing With the Undead". Mostly-Books. 15 September 2011.
- Higson, Charlie (5 June 2012). Geeks vs. Zombies. Disney Hyperion. p. 34. ISBN 9780141344249.
- "Book Description: Geeks v. Zombies". Amazon.com. 2012.