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Book Review: The Fallen by Charlie Higson

By Sunday 27 October 2013Amazon, Books & Authors, Reviews
the-fallen-charlie-higson-book-cover The Enemy Series is a series of books by Charlie Higson about all adults becoming diseased sicko’s that like to eat children. The stories are about the kids survival (or not).

This review will be like the ones I’ve done for the other books in the series – it will give an overview of the storyline. So please be aware that this review contains spoilers.

In The Fallen by Charlie Higson The Holloway Kids are finally back! These were the children introduced to us in book one of the series: The Enemy. Since then there’s been three books (The Dead, The Fear & The Sacrifice) with little mention of Maxie, Blue and the others.

The book starts by reintroducing the kids to the reader as they reach The Natural History Museum in London. They’ve travelled a long way to get there, but it’s not exactly the safe haven they imagined. They arrive to a scene of carnage. Grownup’s and lots of them are chasing the kids that have took up residence at The National History Museum.

The grownup’s were released from below the museum by Paul, a kid who got bit on the neck by and adult in one of the previous books and has started to get diseased. Blue, Maxie and Co get to work and help the geeky kids make the museum safe again.

The museum kids welcome the new comers and talk about their work – trying to find a cure for the disease. They explain that they need to get some supplies from a warehouse which used to be run by Promithios (a biomedical company). The problem is that the warehouse is a few miles away near Heathrow Airport. It might as well be hundreds of miles away, giving how dangerous the streets are.

So Blue, some of his crew and some of the museum kids set out on this perilous journey to the warehouse and back. The reader joins them on this journey, which is a throughly entertaining read. The excerpts of Lettis’s diary give the reader an insight to her character and perspective.

Big Mick’s death was a concern. It felt like Higson had been unsure where to take his character, so he killed him off. I recognise Higson’s need to develop Blue’s character to make him feel more vulnerable, more human, but killing off Big Mick didn’t fully achieve this for the reader.

Meanwhile back at the Museum: Maxie and the rest of the kids have got problems of their own – as Paul continues to cause trouble.

Blue is forced to leave some of the group in a Church, taking a smaller group onto the Promithios Warehouse. They reach the Promithios Warehouse to be met by The Twisted Kids. The Twisted Kids explain that they are the children of the Scientists at Promithios. That their parents found a lost tribe of people and were careful not to infect them with any diseases; but didn’t realise that the tribe had infected them with something.

An infection that only became apparent when the Scientists children were born odd and twisted. The Twisted Kids explain that they can’t stay there because the diseased grownup’s keep getting in. They agree to let Blue and Co take what they want, in return for letting them move into the Museum with the other kids. The Twisted Kids send a small group of their kids back with Blue and Co to check out the Museum.

Paul realises he can communicate with the diseased adults, leaves the Museum and heads back to David at Buckingham Palace.

Chapter 90 gives a summary of the over-arching plot. In North London Shadowman is following St. George’s Army; In East London The Kid is trapped in a dark cellar with The Green Man (a diseased adult) trying to stay alive; Southern London is a blackened ruin caused by a fire with Ed & Kyle crossing Lambeth Bridge to St. Paul’s Cathedral looking for Small Sam. Small Sam trapped by Mad Matt and his followers.

The Enemy Series has a very detailed storyline with lots of characters. Add to this a year between new releases and it means the reader (even one that’s an avid fan) looses track. It doesn’t help that the books in the series don’t always follow a straight forward timeline. So Higson should do more of these plot overviews like the one in Chapter 90.

The book ends with Small Sam finally arriving at the Museum to find his sister Ella. Only he’s a day late. Ella left with Maeve, Robbie and Monkey Boy a day ago for the countryside. Small Sam arrives with Ed, Kylie, The Kid, The Green Man and some other kids.

The Fallen is the best book of the series to date. Not as much action as some of the other books in the series, but as brilliantly written as ever. Lots of character and plot development that is starting to bring all of the kids together for the grand finale. It’s going to be an unbearable wait for the next book in the series.

Review soon,

Antony

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11 Comments

  • Sia says:

    Does that mean Maxie and Blue survive or not?

  • Antony says:

    Hi Sia,

    I probably would have mentioned their death, they are two main characters after all. But who knows what will happen in the next book?

    A x

    • Arun Malla says:

      I absolutely can not wait for the next book in the Charlie Higson series! Although, concerning the fact with the other books, The Fallen was definitely the best book ever. I loved the part at the end, when Sam’s sister Ella got left by herself in that hotel. It was so exciting and I can not wait till the next instalment! It is coming out in September the 4th 2014. I hope to get it for my birthday.

  • Antony says:

    Hi Arun,

    The next book is The Hunted see: The Latest Book in The Enemy Series: The Hunted by Charlie Higson. I’ve already pre-ordered mine 🙂

    A x

  • Anne says:

    Hi, I’m French. Hi, I’m French and the book 4 has just been released in France. I think for the book 5, it starts with the children of Holloway and therefore with Ollie. Can you tell me what became in this book, he do? This is my favorite character and I can not wait for the book so five in France to find out what it becomes. Thank you.

    • Antony says:

      Hi Anne,

      I think you mean the latest book out, which is currently The Hunted. You can read my review here, but be warned it contains spoilers.

      Use Google translate, to translate the review into french.

      Hope it answers your question :).

      A x

      • Anne says:

        sorry for my late reply. No, I do not want to know the book 6. What I wanted was to know what happens in the book Olive 5 The Fallen. This is my favorite character and, apart from the book 1, we do not speak of him. That’s why I wanted to know what he was getting exactly. I know the main lines (it goes with other children in a pharmaceutical laboratory equipment take) but I would have liked to have more details (about his career, his friends in the group, if it goes well, … ). In short, to put it simply, I voudais accurate biography ;-). I must tell you that I read excerpts on Google Books, and it left me on my hunger. So if you’ll answer me, it will allow me to wait until September (Book 5 came out in September is too far for me).
        And also, maybe can you tell me more about Lettis (her age, where she comes from, what it looks like). On after what I understood, she is in love with Olive? info ou intox?
        In short, many things written about not much ùmais if you will answer me, I will be in paradise.

      • Anne says:

        Sorry to reply you so late. Thank you for answering but that was not what I wanted.
        I wanted to know the path of Ollie in this book, what he did, what happened to him, his relations with the other children. I know the outline (share Ollie with other children find research materials in a laboratory and falls on other children) but I would like to know more precisely what was happening. Ollie is my favorite character and, apart from the book 1, The Fallen is the only book that really speaks for itself. In France, this book comes out in September (it’s too far for me :-() and I not find it sufficiently accurate summary for me. Your site is one that has taught me the most and that is why I come to you. I know this is asking a lot but it would make me really happy you if you could answer me.
        Anyway, a lot of things written about not much. So I await your response and if you tell me all about Ollie, I will be extremely happy. It will allow me to wait for the book (sometimes I voudrias parfaitemnt be bilingual in order to read the books and do not atte angalis, dre translation).
        By aiileurs may be able you tell me more about Lettis (his age,. I understand that she was in love with Ollie. Info or Hoax?

  • Antony says:

    Hi Anne,

    Thank you for your comment. Apologies, I thought you were after the next book in the series :).

    A biography of characters would be a good idea! The problem is, because there are so many characters in the books – there isn’t much information about each character.

    If the last book in the series wasn’t coming out in September (in the UK), I would have been tempted to re-read the books and complete biographies, based on the information in them, as this is a good idea. But there’s no real point in doing so, when the series ends this year – probably next year for you in France.

    I really like Ollie’s character too. So I did a search and found this website http://theenemy.wikia.com/wiki/Ollie that gives some limited information on Ollie.

    Here’s what I remember reading about Ollie:
    – Good with a sling shot.
    – Gets a bigger role in The Hunted (I think that’s your next book), as groups of kids complete to win a sort of Olympics with one another for the prize – anything they want off the other groups. This sort of Olympics is used as a way to keep the peace between the different group of kids.
    – He saves Lettis from burning in a fire, she is hid in a cupboard. I get the impression that Lettis is in Awe of Ollie, but that she is much younger than him – so I doubt any relationship – other than friendship will develop.

    Hope that information is useful 🙂 sorry it’s so limited, but as I said so many characters.

    A x

  • Derek says:

    Great review this will definitely help me with my book report.

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