I was a bit wary about this book at first when I found out that it wasn't a sequel to The Enemy but instead a prequel which took place a year before the events depicted in The Enemy. After a few chapters however I was absolutely hooked to this book and couldn't put it down. I loved the characters in The Enemy but I think I liked the characters here more. Jack and Ed especially. And I loved the setting in the Imperial War museum. Despite what's happening in the world there is an element of excitement I find for these kids making their way across London first in a coach and then a Tesco delivery truck.
I didn't however learn my lesson from the first book and found myself becoming attached to characters and liking them and rooting for them only for Higson to go and kill them! He really doesn't mind killing off the 'big' characters and it's actually quite shocking and in some parts upsetting I'm not sure how I'd've reacted reading this book as a child! The characters all felt very 'real' and there was a fantastic mixture of them. You really feel their pain and confusion at what is going on in the world but at the same time there is still some normality to proceedings with the girls talking unashamedly about Jack's birthmark, the boys acting brave but really feeling scared and a very touching scene between Jack and Ed halfway through the book.
Overall I don't know if this was better or just as good as The Enemy but either way it was a bloody fantastic book which I think all teenage boys should rush to read. I would've loved to read a book like this when I was younger but I think even adults can enjoy this story just as much as the kids!