Review Blog

Oct 31 2011

The Fear by Charlie Higson

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Penguin Books 2011. ISBN 978 014 132505 7.
The Fear is the third book in the series The Enemy. In the series, everyone over 14 has either died or turned into a zombie that is only interested in eating either children or anything else they can get hold of, including each other. There is plenty of action if you like fight scenes, cannibalism and violence. I found the gore disturbing but especially the way the children are dehumanised and used as toys and amusements before being killed and eaten in quite horrific ways.
It is hard to identify with the characters as they are killed off almost with total indifference. The author seems more concerned with gore and violence than in characterisation and telling a story. I found the character, the Collector, particularly unpleasant in a book full of unpleasant characters and situations. The description of his death was horrible. Yes, I know it's a horror story but it was so unremittingly grim that I could not get involved. There are echoes of Lord of the Flies and other post-apocalyptic stories but this one seemed more determined to shock rather than anything else. I would have some serious concerns about putting it in a school library.
David Rayner

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