The sequel to The Enemy is set a year before it, making it a prequel. Sort of.
Only a few weeks before the book begins, adults began falling prey to a strange new disease. Most of them died outright. The ones who are left are desperate for human flesh, and the only source left is children. Anyone over fourteen is dead or changed.
When the book begins the kids have been on their own for only a couple of weeks. Their new reality hasn't really sunk in yet. Most haven't realised how drastically the world has altered. It's not until a group holed up in a school dorm are attacked by the people who used to be their teachers that it really begins to sink in.
Abandoning the school, the group head for the countryside but are rapidly cut off and forced to retreat towards London. They're rescued by by a man driving a coach, the only uninfected adult they've seen in a long time. the roads of London are clogged with zombies, though, and it takes a long time before they find somewhere they can call home.
This book, if anything, is even more gory than the last. There are several loving descriptions of the zombies, including Greg and the one they nickname Pez. There's also a horrific sequence set in the Oval Cricket Ground. The protaganists aren't any safer in this one than they were in The Enemy, either, and it's an entirely new group this time around. There are fewer characters to keep track of this time, and most of the action comes from two specific characters, making it easier to keep track of who's doing what where for what reason.
The ending does provide two very clever links with The Enemy, though; one I saw coming and one I didn't, though I should have. From the way this one ends, I'm guessing the third will bring all our characters together.
The Dead is just as fast paced as The Enemy, events rolling together with few breaks. It's a hard book to put down, as just as one problem is almost solved another rears its' head. The final chase through London was almost unbearable. Once I'd reached the end and figured out who some of the people were, it was fascinating to see them now, weeks into the apocalypse. I also really loved the quiet nod to another recent series of all-the-adults-are-dead books, one that I'm guessing few people will notice.
One of the better books I've read this year.