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Book Review: The Fallen by Charlie Higson

By Amazon, Books & Authors, Reviews11 Comments
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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