I loved this book. It was just the sort of book I could imagine reading when I was younger in the dead of the night. But even as an adult I enjoyed reading it. I always say that children's TV today is so rubbish, kids born in the 90s easily had the best TV shows growing up but I don't remember any amazing books (of course there must've been plenty) however it seems to be the opposite today. Kid's TV is rubbish but the amount of fantastic books available to them is plentiful. And it seems that a lot of adults seem to enjoy them just as much!
The idea of this book sounded amazing, I read the blurb in the library, checked the book out on an iPad (yes my library has these dotted around the place to use) and practically ran home to start reading it. And once I started I struggled to put it down. I was a bit disappointed that the book started after the disease has spread, I would've liked to have read a bit about the start of the disease and how the kids coped with that, even just a few chapters would have done. However it wasn't a massive problem and the book kicked off at a very fast pace.
The book has a huge cast of characters, all of them very believable. There was quite a lot of bad language in this book, and not just the usual YA fare but words that I could imagine some adults who pretend their kids are perfect would turn their nose up at. However I think kids can take a lot from this book if parents can look beyond the swearing and violence. And anyway, this is 2013, there isn't much a parent can stop their kid from doing these days.
I absolutely love London and this book was a lot more enjoyable for me with it being set in the city. Some of my favourite bits about the book where Small Sam going Underground (I am a HUGE Tube nerd). He is eventually 'helped' by an adult who takes him and others prisoner in a Tube carriage. It was just fantastic to read and my only disappointment is that more time wasn't spent Underground, and that the electricity was out across the city. It was also enjoyable reading about the kids' quest to get to Buckingham Palace, as a kid myself this building fascinated me and I used to imagine what it would be like to live there.
There is also a lot of death in this book. It was hard to single out any one character as the 'main' character. For example in some books there is a character who faces death but who you know is one of the main characters and will eventually come out on top, however in this one characters who are at the forefront of the story end up dying or being killed and this is quite shocking in parts, and disappointing when some of the best characters are killed!
Overall this book was amazing, I cannot reccommend it enough. I read Michael Grant's Gone and Hunger a few months ago but I am still trying to get into the third book. The world created here by Higson was to me just a bit more believable (or as believable as all the adults becoming zombies can be) and for that reason just a bit more enjoyable. The Gone series is fantastic though and I can't wait to get back into it.