The Dead - Charlie Higson
Publisher: Puffin (Penguin)
Release Date: 16th September 2010
Other Titles in this Series: The Enemy
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 as a fresh disaster threatens to overwhelm London, they realise they won’t all survive…
I loved The Dead just as much as I did The Enemy. Charlie Higson has ne hooked on this series.
Before I talk about the story I have to mention how much I loved it’s presentation. The black-edged pages and x-ray effect skulls on the endpapers are excellent. I really like it when publishers go all out on appearance.
But, anyway, The Dead didn’t follow Maxie, Blue and the others as I expected and instead is set near the beginning of the disaster, about a year before the events of The Enemy with a group of private school boys. I have to admit to being a bit hesitant because I’d grown really find of them, but I soon began to appreciate the newbie’s. Especially when places, events and chaarcters from The Enemy became involved in the story. I thought it was done very cleverly and I loved how The Dead ended in line with the previous books.
As I mentioned earlier, the new characters took a while to grow on me. My first impressions of them weren’t great: Jack was harsh, Matt a nutter, Ed a wimo and Brooke, Aleisha and Courtney brash and irritating, but I soon began to understand the effect of the pressures of leadership on Jack, saw Ed harden and become a brave leader, the girls let their guards down and, well, Matt just got nuttier. They were real and struggling to deal with unimaginable horrors. We also saw the return of David and his soldiers and Small Sam.
In The Dead my curiosity about the disease; its cause and origin, began to take over. I think it’s unlikely to be revealed with certainty as the kids have no idea (although they have their theories), but I became desperate to know why under-14’s were protected and why the sun seemed to accelerate it so dramatically. My inner nerd was having a field day!
I’ve fallen in love with this zombiefied series and I can’t wait for the next instalment.
For my 2010 100+ Reading Challenge