A TERRIBLE DISEASE IS STRIKING EVERYONE OVER THE AGE OF FOURTEEN. DEATH WALKS THE STREETS. NOWHERE IS SAFE.
Maxie, Blue and the rest of the Holloway crew aren’t the only kids trying to escape the ferocious adults who prey on them.
Jack and Ed are best friends, but their battle to stay alive tests their friendship to the limit as they go on the run with a mismatched group of other kids – nerds, fighters, misfits. And one adult. Greg, a butcher, who claims he’s immune to the disease.
They must work together if they want to make it in this terrifying new world. But as a fresh disaster threatens to overwhelm London, they realize they won’t all survive. Read an extract here…
‘Higson has got the balance of blood and gore just right.’ Daily Mirror
‘Clever . . . fast-paced . . . inventive.’ Guardian
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Charlie Higson says: My boys love horror, and my youngest, Sidney, 10, is obsessed by zombies. They fascinate and terrify him at the same time. So I thought, ‘Why not a zombie book for kids?’ I chose a traditional storyline and set-up — a mystery illness has wiped out nearly everyone, those adults who survive are shambling flesh-eaters. They are not technically the living dead. They are more like the infected of 28 Days Later.
But Alex Garland nicked the idea off I Am Legend, the 1954 novel by Richard Matheson, although his infected were more vampires than zombies (there are many similarities between the two). The book had already spawned two movies, (The Last Man on Earth and The Omega Man), before Danny Boyle’s film and the recent rather pathetic Will Smith effort (CGI zombies? I don’t think so).
They’ll chase you. When the sickness came, every parent, policeman, politician – every adult – fell ill. The lucky ones died.
The others are crazed, confused and hungry. They’ll rip you open. They’ll feed on you . . .Only children under fourteen remain, and they’re fighting to survive.
Now there are rumours of a safe place to hide. And so a gang of children begin their quest across London, where all through the city – down alleyways, in deserted houses, underground – the grown-ups lie in wait.
But can they make it there – alive?
About the Author: Charles Murray Higson (born 3 July 1958), more commonly known as Charlie Higson, is an English actor, comedian, author and former singer. He has also written and produced for television.
Charlie Higson was educated at Sevenoaks School and at the University of East Anglia (where his brother has taught since 1986 and is now a professor of film studies) where he met Paul Whitehouse, David Cummings and Terry Edwards. Higson, Cummings and Edwards formed the band The Higsons of which Higson was the lead singer from 1980 to 1986. They released two singles on the Specials’ 2-Tone label. Higson then became a plasterer – including plastering the student house of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie – before he turned to writing for Harry Enfield with Paul Whitehouse and performing comedy. He came to public attention as one of the main writers and performers of the BBC Two sketch show The Fast Show (1994–2000).
He worked with Whitehouse on the radio comedy Down the Line and is to work with him again on a television project, designed to be a spoof of celebrity travel programmes
He worked as producer, writer, director and occasional guest star on Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) from 2000 to 2001. Subsequent television work has included writing and starring in BBC Three’s Fast Show spin-off sitcom Swiss Toni. He has starred in Tittybangbang on BBC Three and appeared as a panellist on QI. He recently co-directed and starred in Bellamy’s People.
He published four novels through the early to mid 1990s which take a slightly dystopian look at everyday life and have a considerably more adult tone than his other work, with characters on the margins of society finding themselves spiraling out of control, leading him to be described by Time Out as ‘The missing link between Dick Emery and Brett Easton Ellis’
In 2004, it was announced that Higson would pen a series of James Bond novels, aimed at younger readers and concentrating on the character’s school-days at Eton. Higson was himself educated at Sevenoaks School where he was a contemporary of Jonathan Evans, current Director General of MI5. The first novel, SilverFin, was released on 3 March 2005 in the UK and on 27 April 2005 in the U.S. A second novel, Blood Fever, was released on 5 January 2006 in the UK and 1 June in the U.S. The third novel, Double or Die, was published on 4 January 2007 having had its title announced the day before. The next, Hurricane Gold, came out in hardcover in the UK in September 2007. In this year he also made a début performance on the panel show QI. His final Young Bond novel, By Royal Command, was released in hardcover in the UK on the 3 September 2008.
Charlie is currently writing a new series of zombie books for children. The first book, The Enemy, was released in the UK by Puffin Books in 2009 and in the U.S. by Disney-Hyperion in 2010. Book 2, The Dead, was released in August 2010.
About the Contributor
John Purcell (aka Natasha Walker) is the author of The Secret Lives of Emma trilogy published by Random House Australia. The Secret Lives of Emma: Beginnings reached the top ten on the Australian fiction charts and Natasha/John was the tenth highest selling Australian novelist and third highest selling Australian debut author in 2012. The trilogy has since sold over 50,000 copies in print and ebook and has been translated into French and Polish. John has worked in the book industry for the last twenty years. While still in his twenties he opened John’s Bookshop, a second-hand bookshop in Mosman in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Now he is the Head of Product and Chief Buyer at booktopia.com.au.