Title: The Dead | Series: The Enemy #2 | Author: Charlie Higson | Publisher: Disney Hyperion | Pub. Date: 05/20/2014 | Pages: 512 | ISBN13: 9781484721452 | Genre: YA Survival Horror | Language: English | Triggers: Child Death, Torture, Implied Cannabalism | Rating: 5 out of 5 | Source: School Library
The Dead is the second book in Charlie Higson’s jaw-dropping zombie horror series for teens.
Everyone over the age of fourteen has succumbed to a deadly zombie virus and now the kids must keep themselves alive. A terrible disease is striking everyone over the age of fourteen. Death walks the streets. Nowhere is safe.
Maxie, Blue and the rest of the Holloway crew aren’t the only kids trying to escape the ferocious adults who prey on them. Jack and Ed are best friends, but their battle to stay alive tests their friendship to the limit as they go on the run with a mismatched group of other kids – nerds, fighters, misfits. And one adult, Greg, a butcher, who claims he’s immune to the disease. They must work together if they want to make it in this terrifying new world.
But when fresh disaster threatens to overwhelm London, they realize they won’t all survive…
The Dead Review
The Dead takes place a year before The Enemy so it is more of a prequel than a straight up sequel. If you have read my previous review then you know how much I love this book series. It still has that kick of suspense: What action is going to happen next? Who is going to psychologically break? If you loved the first book then this next book will leave you with a sense of “What did they just do to my character?!” They didn’t mess with the characters, it’s just that I really was very attached to them and I was emotionally involved in what they were going through.
One of the things that I liked were the way the zombies were portrayed in The Dead. They are very obviously more powerful than the ones we see in The Enemy and the ignorance of the children is a nice touch. Like the disease Another is that there are multiple small details that grab you and make you say “Holy crap!” Whether its a last minute rescue or the death of a character or a major discovery. All of the characters in The Dead have a huge impact on the overall story arc of The Enemy series. Even though they may not actually appear in The Enemy you will still recognize them and their effects on later events.
Action is again a huge part and it is described very well. The pacing moves along quickly with no slow spots but not so quickly that you feel lost or left behind. It’s to the author’s credit that he can better describe how a normal kid would move in a fight or flight scenario than most adults can in ‘adult’ horror. The dialogue in The Dead flows just as naturally as it does in The Enemy, if not better. Finally, the friendship between the two main characters Jake and Ed is one that is obviously already firmly established and it reminds me of my friend a lot. It’s very realistic. Insta-friendship can sometimes be just as annoying as insta-love so I liked seeing a friendship that was solid and had been for a long time.
Since one of the few things I didn’t ‘like’ was the way the book hurts you in the feels so many more times than in The Enemy. I didn’t feel that it was done just to get that reaction but they just felt so very real to me. To care so much about the characters that it felt as though the “Feels” were being pummeled is a compliment and not necessarily a negative.
One of the things that I did hate was how this book fails to show Mr. Pretty Boy’s perspective during this book (even though it’s pretty obvious who Mr. Pretty Boy will become) until the climatic end. For people who read The Enemy the return of Saint George here is equally terrifying and interesting, He’s a character that I think will be important throughout the series so it was interesting to see his origin story. Another character that I was happy to see more of was Scarface.
I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book (but also a bit scared!) and the rest of the series. Who will win? What is the root cause of the adults’ behavior? These are questions that will hopefully be answered in future books.
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