Our first sentence into the world of “The Enemy” seems bent on convincing us that this book means business. In the first two words we are introduced to our first character, Small Sam. Let’s read on. “Small Sam was playing“. That’s adorable! “Small Sam was playing in the parking lot“. Cool. “Small Sam was playing in the parking lot behind the Waitrose Supermarket“. This book is great. “Small Sam was playing in the parking lot behind the Waitrose Supermarket when the grown-ups took him.” . . .
So basically the book spends about a page explaining that while Small Sam was playing with action figures (with a group of little kids mind you) these adult zombies climbed a wall and separated the smallest weakest child (the wording suggests that this is normal). They cornered poor S.S, stuffed him in a sack, and bailed.
Now we are introduced into our first big kid, Maxie. We are led to believe that Maxie is this groups leader, and we’re told that the group is armed with spears (right), clubs (cool), rocks (sure), and spoons (que??!). To be fair though, for kids this is quite a formidable force. Let’s read on. “…they moved cautiously, not knowing exactly what to expect.” . . .
We are then introduced to two (in my first-impression-opinion) polar opposites. First we have Callum, who, in true pessimist fashion, promptly states that they were too late and lost Small Sam. Josh, our next character, took quite another route and mentioned that S.S was a funny kid. A pair like this are unlikely to be separated, and I can’t help but predict conflict in the future.
Maxie speculates that the zombies may be getting braver, an idea Josh denies and counters by saying he’ll mash their ugly faces. Callum’s bring-down-theory is that the zombies are getting hungry so that he can mention everyone is hungry. What a party pooper.
Maxie then either displayed good leadership or teenage angst by taking blame for the loss of dearest S.S. This (possibly noble) act is followed by a typical Callum unrelated piss-response as he states “We should all stay inside”. John disagrees, reasonably saying that they can’t stay inside all day or they would go crazy. This leads to an argument about whether to stay inside or go outside, which leads to hiding from the zombies or fighting the zombies, and is then ended when John suggest that Small Sam’s death is his own fault because he didn’t know how to combat the zombies. Maxie steps in here and tells John to shut up.
It is then revealed, MUCH to my surprise, that Maxie is a girl. Seriously though, there is a complete lack of pronouns used with Maxie up until this point, and I can’t help but suspect that it wasn’t done purposely. Still, did you think I was talking about a girl??!
Maxie, as a reminder to her age, has a breakdown and admits their situation seems hopeless and goes as far as to predict they’ll all be dead soon. She (in her own thoughts) tells us of our last character this chapter, Arran. Currently, Arran is out with the “scavs” (I’m assuming scavengers), and, personally, that sounds gangster. Maxie explains that very early on he became their leader, and she herself is second in command. According to her, Arran is cool-headed, clever, and just generally likable. She goes on to describe herself by saying she’s good at getting other people to work. Women.
To complete her breakdown, Maxie cries, and leaves Callum and Josh feeling very awkward. Once again, they have different approaches to this issue, whereas Josh tries to comfort Maxie through conversation, Callum suggests they stay busy by checking out the invaded wall. The chapter ends with the group going to investigate the wall.
The (tragic?) loss of little kid Small Sam at the hands of adult zombies is explained to us. Arriving too late are the little kids protectors: Maxie, Callum, and Josh. Maxie is their leader in the absence of Arran (who is currently with a scavenge group). Callum is very passive, while Josh is very aggressive, making the two opposites and leaving plenty of room for disagreement between them.
Blaming herself for the loss of Small Sam, Maxie breaks down and cries, leaving the boys in an awkward position where their differences are further explored. At Callums suggestion the groups leaves to investigate their protective wall for the weak point the zombies entered through.