|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).
The first book in the series was The Enemy, which I reviewed here. The second book was The Dead, which I reviewed here. The third book was The Fear, which I reviewed here. The fourth book was The Sacrifice, which I reviewed here. The fifth book was The Fallen, which I reviewed here.
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.
The Hunted is the best book in the series so far! It starts with Ed finally getting small Sam to the National History Museum, only to find that Ella (Sam’s sister) left that morning for the countryside. Ed recruits a group from the Museum who set out to try to find Ella.
But the countryside is worse for disease-ridden adults than London. Ella and her group of children were attacked, but Ella was rescued by a grown up who she names Scarface. Ella is grief stricken after loosing her friend Monkey-Boy. Scarface hunts grown ups, can use weapons and takes Ella to a farm which is his home. The farm has boobytraps, chickens and there he takes care of Ella. She soon discovers that he can talk. He is like no grown up she has met since the disease came. Ella and Scarface become friends, but their routine is interrupted by some kids who are running away from an army of grown ups heading towards London. The army’s path will lead them straight through the farm.
Ella survives thanks to Scarface, but he’s injured and it’s her turn to look after him. He has a hiding place and Ella helps him there. Once there, as Scarface recovers he tells Ella his story. That he is not a grown up, only a kid that looks like one. Scarface is a kid called Malik Hussein, who went to Rowhurust School with Ed. He tells Ella how he became like he is and the mistreatment he’s suffered at the hands of a Dr Chris, a doctor who was looking after kids before he started suffering with the disease. Scarface tells Ella of mistreatment from kids who didn’t believe that he was a kid like them, yet knew wasn’t quite an ordinary grown up either.
Ella and Scarface decide they must move on from his hiding place. They’re running low on supplies and they decide that rather than just the two of them being together, that they need to be with a group of kids. Ella is rescued by The Golden Twins, but because Scarface looks like he does, they take him for The Races.
Meanwhile Ed and his group set off to find Ella. They come into contact with the Army of grown ups and have to abandon their car. Then they follow smoke to an old people’s care home. They discover elderly adults who’ve managed to escape the clutches of the disease. Amelia, one of the elderly explains that they are Scientists and were working on a cure before the collapse of society. She explains that she came to the old people’s care home to be with her sister Dot and ordered all the supplies they would need. Amelia explains that the army are merging on London to release disease spores, like a mushroom. To spread the disease to the next generation.
Amelia tells Ed and his group that without knowing where the disease originated it is difficult to create a cure. Luckily for Amelia, Trinity, one of the twisted kids has come along with Ed and knows the answers to all of Ameila’s questions. Trinity agrees to stay with Amelia and the other old people, while Ed and the rest his group continue on their search for Ella.
Ed and his group meet Josa and her group of kids who try to take their car off them unsuccessfully. Ed and his group then meet Ascot kids who tell Ed about The Races. Ed and his group go to The Races with a plan to win them. At The Races they catch up with Ella, who is worried about what happened to Scarface (Malik).
At The Races, the last event is an event were kids battle diseased sickos. The Golden Twins have kept Malik for this event. Malik uses the sicko grown ups as shields from the kids and kills many of the adults before mounting one of The Golden Twins horses. Ed recognises Malik and they are reunited, which is quite emotional. The book ends with Ed claiming his prize from the leaders of the other groups of kids. Ed wants all of the kids to come to London to fight the army of grown ups. The group leaders have no choice but to agree, as Ed won The Races. So the army of kids set off bound for London.
I’ve probably said it before, but this series has to many groups of kids to keep track of. That said, the main characters are well developed, well thought through and flawed like all good main characters should be. The telling of this story is superb using a good mix of show and tell, as it always is with Higson. Higson writes for children brilliantly, but his books can be enjoyed by both children and adults alike.
Higson got the pacing perfect, I absorbed every word and it left me wanting more. I do think that if one or two of the main characters died it would have improved how I felt in the action scenes. I didn’t feel any genuine fear for the main characters in actions scenes, as every time an action scene happened I just knew that the main characters would come out of it alive.
Higson has announced that the next book in the series will be titled The End and will be the last in the series. On the one hand I’m utterly devastated by this, but on the other hand I appreciate that he will have spent seven years of his life telling this story. I’m already excited for The End, which is likely to be published in September/October 2015.