1) This is not another zombie series. The adults in the world of The Enemy have contracted a disease that rots away their brains and bodies and makes them act like classic cannibal zombies, but really they’re not. They’re not animated corpses – they’re sickos.
2) The children in The Enemy books first find out about the sickness from the “Scared Kid” Youtube video, which features a crying, trembling boy talking about crazed mothers and fathers killing people . . . The video becomes the most watched YouTube clip ever before it’s taken down.
3) The number one grown up you want to look out for is called St. George, so-called because he wears a grubby white vest with the St. George cross on it. Retaining a much higher level of intelligence than your average sicko, St. George was a butcher before he was infected, and is now on a mission to lead an army to wipe all kids off the face of the earth.
4) The books don’t just follow one after the other – the events of the second book actually happen before the first, and several of the others run in parallel, so you end up with a really full and clear idea of what’s going on at any one time.
5) Charlie Higson was inspired to write The Enemy series based on a childhood fantasy in which all adults disappear from the world and kids are left to run the place. They can go anywhere and do whatever they want, but quickly discover that a world without adults isn’t all it’s cracked up to be . . .
6) The books are set in modern London, so feature lots of places you might recognise, from Buckingham Palace, to Legoland, to the Waitrose on Holloway road . . . (Okay, maybe you won’t recognise all of them.)
7) Charlie Higson knew the series was on the right track when, after reading his youngest son a ‘bedtime story’ from The Enemy, he burst into Charlie’s bedroom in the middle of the night completely terrified. Yep that’s right, they’re pretty gory.
8) The End is the 7th book in the series. Initially Charlie only set out to write three books, but the world of The Enemy expanded way beyond that. The End contains a lot of what the third book in the trilogy was always going to be, but a huge amount happened to grow the world in a kind of concertina fashion between the first and last books.
9) The Enemy books follow several different groups of kids, who all have different bases, names for the grown-ups, and theories about the sickness. Ultimately though, they know they’ll have to work together to face the sicko army, and that’s really the core of the final book.
10) Finally, a warning – don’t get too attached to your favourite characters when reading the books. Charlie Higson is never afraid to kill off a character and, more often than not, it will be one you really, really like.