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4.9 out of 5 stars
The Fallen (The Enemy Book 5)
Format: Kindle Edition|Change

on 26 September 2013
Having waited a year for this book I couldn't wait to get my teeth into it. The previous four books in the series are excellent and this instalment is no less brilliant. You really do need to have read the previous books to understand the story and characters though. Don't try reading this if you haven't.

Set just after event from The Enemy and running simultaneously to events in The Sacrifice (The Enemy) the surviving kids that reached the Natural History Museum now have new problems to contend with. Not only do they have to get along with a new group of kids that are initially suspicious of them, but there is also someone sabotaging their safe haven, (read The Enemy to learn about who this is).

The museum kids have a bit of a science division set up and are trying to work out what is causing the illness in adults, possibly even to find a cure. They are, however, not fighters. This is where Blue, Maxie, Big Mick and the rest of the gang come in. They can provide the muscle and security needed on an expedition suggested by the lead `scientist', Einstein. He wants to go to a scientific research facility near Heathrow to get medical supplies and research equipment to use in their labs at the museum.

As with most events throughout this series things are never easy and the trip across London gets a bit messy. The sickos cause problems as normal and the two groups of kids argue about how to do things and who should be in charge. A clash of personalities amongst teenagers... Who would have thought it possible?

Once at the facility there are more new problems and mysteries to work out. Who is at this place? What are they? Are they safe? It's a rather strange turn of events and at first I was unsure whether Mr Higson had maybe taken things a bit too far down the weirdness route. However, things are explained and it is worth reading this book just for these new additions to the already amazing character roster.
The character list is brilliant in that you feel different things towards them all. Love, hate, pity, sadness, respect... you want the good guys to succeed and the bad guys to get their just deserts. None of them ever feel like they don't serve any purpose in the story.

The series is quite a gruesome one and has had more than its fair share of blood and gore splattered scenes. The Sacrifice had slightly less of it though and this book is along the same level. Again, it seems to focus more on the kids working together and creating groups of differing skill sets than on constantly killing sickos. It's this building of the central characters that makes the series so brilliant. Some of them change as events unfold, some of them don't. Some are natural leaders, whilst others just like to think they are. Some put on a brave face whilst being inwardly terrified, and others are just in it for the fight and don't appear to be afraid of anything. Constant battling would just get tedious. The people need to be interesting to keep your attention, and they certainly keep your attention here. All these groups of people mean there are various plots running simultaneously. All of them are great and I can't wait to find out how they pull together. This book makes a start on this in a welcome event that led to an intriguing twist.

As I understand it there are to be seven main books in total, so I'm guessing that the stories are going to really start coming together in the next two books. Unfortunately, that means waiting another year for my fix of kids vs. sickos.

Also, see if you can spot and work out the anagram that Mr Higson has used for the name of something.
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on 13 April 2018
I don't quite know what it is about The Fallen that I didn't enjoy as much as the others; perhaps it is because it got a little weird in terms of what 'the fallen' actually were, or maybe it's because the journey to find the necessary medical supplies in order to find a cure was really drawn out. Nevertheless, I was still intrigued to read on which is what I want a book to make me do.

Although the fallen were a little strange, it was saved by the fact that the origins of the disease were explained which we've never had before in the previous four books. It was also good that the phenomenon of the adults standing still with their arms out was explained with a shocking revelation.

It was good to see the return of some much-missed characters such as Blue and Maxie but I did miss reading about the Kid and shadowman. However, it was clear by the end of the book that all these different stories will interlink and I love it when this happens in a book.

I will continue reading this series to find out how it all ends.
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on 12 May 2017
I'm running out of ways to get across just how good this series is. I'm just blown away by the skill with which the simultaneous stories have been kept alive, even when two entire books can pass before the reader is reunited with a particular character. I love the way the chronology jumps around, posing questions then answering them, slowly revealing more pieces of the puzzle.

The Fallen, the fifth book in a series that will eventually have seven, sees the kids of the Natural History Museum teaming up with some new arrivals from the Holloway supermarket crews on a new and dangerous mission in the name of science. Maxie, Blue and their fighting crew arrive, fresh from their Palace escape just in time to rescue the inhabitants from an onslaught of grown ups. Suspicious of their impeccable timing and convenience, Justin, the leader of the museum asks them to earn his trust and prove their intentions by leading an expedition to find drugs over near the M4.
Together. they set off on an expedition to Heathrow to a business park that used to house a pharmaceutical company on a search for drugs, medicines and scientific equipment to aid their quest for a cure.

This book carries on the themes of scientific advancement and evolution from the last book as the remaining kids continue to learn more about the disease and start to recognise the evolving characteristics and behaviours of the adults. St. George and Shadowman are almost conspicuous by their absence, though we know they're out there somewhere, rampaging and observing respectively.

The narrative is kept to a pretty straightforward two in this book. We follow life in the Museum in the absence of the foraging party and the foragers on their ill-fated journey. Maxie stays behind with her friend Maeve and helps to re secure the museum and look after the younger kids. She becomes good friends with Brooke and demonstrates her skills as a fearless leader, little suspecting that there is a dangerously damaged (not to mention murderous) saboteur lurking on the rooftops of the Museum. Meanwhile, Akkie, Blue, Mick and Ollie from the first book are leading the expedition party along with Einstein the chief scientist, his assistant and Lettis, a small girl dedicated to the recording of events. They're accompanied by an assortment of younger kids along for the ride and the glory, softened though they are by a year off the streets in the safety of the museum's galleries. Meanwhile Ed is out there in London, now with The Kid and Small Sam and a green fuzzed Grown Up in tow, attempting to come good on his promise to find Sam's sister Ella. A girl he has never even laid eyes on. He has to use the burgeoning information network that is beginning to become established across London to find his way. Maybe he'll even find out what happened to DogNut.

This is the first book that really starts to scrutinise the disease itself. If it really even is a disease. There's a whole host of revelations about its source and its effects, its escape from controlled environments so many years ago. Much of what's revealed in this book tallies up with Wormwood's ramblings from previous instalments-It's where Einstein and his scientists really start to learn what it is they're up against. There was a few chapters towards the middle of this book, specifically during the expedition to the Heathrow labs (where the adventurers see some of the disease's first hand effects) where I thought that this series had gotten away from Higson a little bit. It seems for a moment that it has escaped from gripping Survival Horror to full blown science fiction and for a while it seems it's just got too weird. But it quickly gets back on track. There's a time and place for normal and the apocalypse isn't it.

The Fallen starts to fill in some of the gaps that we were left with at the end of The Sacrifice. It starts to demystify much of the apparently delirious babble spouted by the mysteriously powerful Wormwood, the furry green adult that appears to have been domesticated by The Kid. His talk of parasites, jungles and The Green are clarified in a very Tod Browning-esque pop-up-theatre performance of the bizarrest kind. When two anomalies are telling the same story it sounds a lot more convincing- an adult that can speak and think and a bunch of mutant children that seem simply impossible can't both be lying about the same thing. As ever, the prose is pacey and electric- Higson strikes the perfect balance between getting across the bits you need to know without festooning it with unnecessary details. His decision to base the origins of the disease in science rather than the supernatural also wins him points from me. The Fallen raises the game really. The main groups of kids have been established (with a few odd-shaped additions in this case) and now all that's left is to bring their separate narratives together. The reader really gets the sense that things are heating up now. Some of the kids are starting to crack; they're turning on each other, losing their grip. The gaps between reality and the imaginary, between adult and child and human and inhuman are starting to disintegrate. As the kids start to gather information, to gain knowledge, there are more and more things that need explanations.
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on 9 April 2017
I listened to an interview on Radio Scotland between the auther and Fred McCallay, it must have been 4 or 5 years ago, i was very interested as my young great grandson wasnt interested in reading, a huge disappointment to me. Charlie said he started writing this series to get one of his young sons to read. I've read all the books in this series, originally to find out if they were suitable for my young great grandson, at that time he was only 7 years old. he's still a bit young at 11 years old to read them but at 12 or 13 he will love them, i did, all of them, can't wait for the next one.
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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 January 2014
This is the fifth book in Charlie Higson's epic (in every sense) zombie saga - The Enemy. There were only supposed to be three of these books in the series. I believe that there are now going to be seven. I cannot say how delighted I am that he decided to extend this story. It is clever, thoughtful, horrible and brilliant.

In some senses the books remind me rather of The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham. I think it's because Higson focuses on what happens after an apocalyptic event, and how people try to reassert a sense of normality and build a future for themselves, even when surrounded by a perpetual and encroaching threat.

If you are new to the series, this is not the place to start. You need to go back and read the books from the beginning to make any real sense of what is going on here. Characters are well established by now, plot lines are ongoing, and the story is becoming deeper and more complex. You will miss much of the subtlety of the story and the hints of the deeper truths that are starting to emerge about what has happened to the adults. It's well worth making the effort to invest in all the books. You won't regret it.

I'm not going to say anything else about the story other than that it gripped me from first to last. I read it in a single sitting. I'm gutted that I now have to wait until the autumn for the next one. Write, Higson! Write!
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on 6 November 2013
Another instalment of The Fallen series and it doesn't disappoint. More of the usual gruesome descriptions and furthering the storyline. Just brilliant. Tension and stress from the very beginning to the absolute end. The episode just doesn't give you any break from the fear. However, the ending will leave you screaming at Charlie Higson. Ahhhhhhhh. Why have you done this to us? Left it with such a cliff hanger!!! I have to admit, I was fuming. I hope Mr Higson is writing the next book as we speak. Awesome series.
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on 9 January 2014
This book series appeals to me SO much, I absolutely love these books. I'm an 18 year old boy, started reading this series when the first book came out maybe 4 or 5 years ago, and every time I am so pumped for the next stage. This book was an excellent continuation and every book never fails to hit you with a perfect mix of action and death, along with friendships and peace. They also always mix in old characters with new characters, and my favourite part is when different groups of kids that are usually in different areas doing different things meet up, and this book contains plenty of these too. Definitely buy it. Start with the first one though, it gets complicated.
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on 21 September 2013
If you have read the previous books you will know that the series is already full of great books, this is no exception.
I found myself thoroughly engrossed into the story with my heart in my mouth at points, all credit to Charlie higson now probably my favourite author. Every chapter entices you to read more and I have often discovered I have been reading for many hours and way past when I would normally be asleep,
If you were to buy this book, I can't plead enough for you to read the previous novels in the series as it all knits together beautifully and you don't get the full experience but fans of the series; BUY THIS BOOK!
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on 28 September 2013
Will try to avoid spoilers. Well, this certainly won't disappoint anyone who has invested so much in the series. We finally see the long awaited return of Maxie and Blue's Holloway crew as they rock up to the Natural History Museum. The action takes place on a parallel timeline to 'The Sacrifice' and gives a broader picture of the changing behaviour of the sickos.

It's hard to say this is the best in the series but I think that's down to the lack of multi person viewpoint compared to previous novels. Also, due to its place near the middle of the series, it's not really a book that can be read alone, like 'The Dead'. This book will leave you wanting more though. Old characters are developed further, such as Ollie, Big Mick, Ella and some of the Museum crew, like Robbie. There's also some great new characters to add to the mix. The future for The Enemy series looks bright. Well done Charlie Higson!
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on 23 September 2016
I love this book, I love all these books and after the fourth one I wondered how Higson could keep up his great work. There's not a single boring moment in the fallen and I love it. The characters are awesome and the story is intriguing. A must read!
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