Literature: The Enemy

The Enemy is a series of post-apocalyptic young adult horror novels written by British author Charlie Higson, also the author of the Young Bond series.

The books take place in London after a worldwide sickness has infected adults and turned them into something akin to zombies. The first book, The Enemy, was published in 2009. Following it are The Dead (2010), The Fear (2011), The Sacrifice (2012), The Fallen (2013), and The Hunted (2014). The final book, The End, is scheduled to be released in 2015.

Though The Enemy starts off with as a simple Zombie Apocalypse tale, an ever-expanding cast and sprawling plot make the series more complex. Likewise, with Anyone Can Die in full effect from book one, just getting from point A to point B can be suspenseful.

Tropes associated with this book:

  • Action Girl: Plenty of these in each book, notable examples are Maxie and Courtney.
  • Action Survivor: All of the kids who lasted more than a few weeks after the illness started are this.
  • Arch-Enemy: Ed considers St. George to be this, especially after St. George kills Jack
  • Artistic License Religion: Although not Christianity, Matt's religion is heavily plagiarized from the bible.
  • Anyone Can Die: Applied liberally throughout the series. Although some characters get more plot armour than others the decentralized storyline with multiple protagonists means no-one is safe.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: How most of the kids get their hands on weapons. This causes some difficulty as even when they get their hands on guns, ammo is very limited.
  • Big Bad: St. George, aka, Greg, the butcher from the second book. He's gathering an army of the undead to storm London.
  • The Cavalry: Sophie's group are this in the Enemy. The group from the Imperial War Museum in The Dead. Ryan's group.
  • Character Development: Ed struggles with zombie killing at the start of The Dead, but after Jack and Bam are killed by St. George he starts his slow rise to being a Bad Ass. Brooke also changes after Dognut's demise at the end of The Fear.
  • Children Forced To Kill: Mostly they're killing Zombies, but there's some debate over the killing of other kids, especially those who are seen as disruptive to the society the various leaders are trying to build.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Brooke, though Character Development tones this down.
  • Disaster Scavengers: How the kids get most of their stuff, although they do attempt to grow their own crops.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted - although we never see any very young children, and there are babies.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Many of the more ruthless characters come under this, particularly David. His methods and personal ambitions place him firmly into Jerk Ass territory, but his goal to unite the kids in order to rebuild is a good one.
  • Kill It with Fire: Used to great effect at the Arsenal ground and the Oval. Also the firework bombs at Waitrose.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Book one isn't so bad, but as the chronology becomes more complicated and more factions show up, the cast swells. Some important characters take a back seat for multiple books.
  • The Load: Frequent with the younger kids, but Olivia is a particularly notable example. It would have made far more sense for them to have left her behind and brought news from the expedition back to her.
  • Not with the Safety on, You Won't: David threatens Ed with Ed's gun. When he asks Ed why he wasn't afraid David would shoot him, Ed explains that the gun wasn't loaded.
  • Post-Apocalyptic Dog: Goes both ways, in the first book stray dogs are shown as being a threat to the Waitrose crew's scavenger expeditions, but they are also a sort of food. In later books the hunters are shown to be keeping dogs for tracking and attack purposes.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: Each book focuses on different groups of survivors in London, and many events overlap.
  • Shout-Out: Higson doesn't hesitate to reference other YA authors or works, which is part of what gives the series its sense of authenticity. Examples include Harry Potter, and the works of Robert Muchamore and Cathy Cassidy.
  • Technically Living Zombie: It's pointed out several times that what the kids are fighting are actually victims of a virus, not reanimated corpses, but this doesn't stop them from being referred to as such.
  • Teenage Wasteland: Everybody over 14 has the illness, although those who turn 15 after the outbreak seem to be unaffected, meaning this isn't a permanent state of affairs.
  • Zombie Apocalypse