Monday, June 27, 2011

ZOMBIE CRAWL GIVEAWAY 1:The Dead by Charlie Higson

BRAINNNS!!! Once again I find myself with a bunch of Zombie reads so I'm doing a zombie crawl giveaway! Here is the first one: enjoy


I love Charlie Higson! I first discovered his work through the graphic novel Silverfin which is part of the Young James Bond adventures. Then I bought his book The Enemy which is set in the aftermath of a zombiefied London. The Dead is a prequel of sorts to The Enemy series. There is a whole new cast of characters and we learn a lot more about the plague. Here is the breakdown of Higson's zombies:

  • It's a disease that affects everyone over the age of 16
  • Some kids call the enemy Mothers and Fathers since it began with parents attacking and eating their kids!
  • You can also be infected by a bite but for many of the teens its the onset of puberty.
  • They are terrifying!!!
The book begins at a boys school where we are introduced to Jack and Ed the main characters in the story. After fighting for weeks at the school the boys decide they need to leave, the school is going to be over run. As they escape they decide to split directions. Ed decides to go with a group of boys that are heading for the countryside while Jack is adamant to return home to London.

Thru the boys separate Journeys we learn more about the status of this devastated world and the casualties begin to mount.Jack and Ed are reunited through impossible circumstances: Greg an uninfected adult who is driving a school bus loaded with supplies, his son Liam and a few other refugees. The children are shocked, how has this adult been spared from the infection? The all head towards London where grisly answers and more death await them.

Charlie is a master at narration and dialogue exploring  the minds and hearts of the young adult characters her creates. As a zombie fan I really enjoyed the intense action, horror and grisly bits but I also felt a genuine attachment and sadness for these characters.

In this changed world the former cool and socially at ease kids can be hampered by fear and cowardice while the socially awkward come alive, survive and even become leaders in this new world.

Higson also uses this group to really show the various personality quirks and behaviors that each child develops to cope. There is Chris, who buries himself in books and music to escape his reality. Ed who struggles with the desire to runaway vs standing up and fighting with and for his friends.  Matt and his acolytes who have developed a new religion for this decaying world and speaks of the golden child , the Lamb that will save them all and Jack ,who has risen to a place of leadership despite his desire to just leave everyone and return to his home. This book really put me through an emotional wringer it was impossible to not to be connected with the characters which intensified the horror. There are also some recurring characters from the first book The Enemy as well as the revelation of the "Lamb".

I also like that the majority of the characters in this book are male. There are some strong female leads as well, but since the majority of the YA I read has female leads its a nice change to read a tale from  the male perspective. This would be a great book to introduce to a teen boy for a recreational  read. I'm so looking forward to the next book in this series Higson has shown with this entry that there are several directions he can take the stories. A must read for zombie fans!






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