The Enemy Within by Scott Burn


The Enemy Within
By Scott Burn
ISBN: 9780997842913
Pages: 216
Genre: Science Fiction/ YA


Seventeen-year-old Max has always felt like an outsider. When the agonizing apocalyptic visions begin, he decides suicide is his only escape. He soon finds himself in an institution under the guidance of a therapist who sees something exceptional in him. Just as he begins to leave the hallucinations behind, Max discovers the visions weren’t just in his head.

There are three others who have shared those same thoughts and they’ve been searching for Max. Like him, they are something more than human. Each of them possesses certain abilities, which they’re going to need when a covert military group begins hunting them down.

As the danger escalates, Max doesn’t know which side to trust. But in the end, his choice will decide the fate of both species.


Yes, I know.. I have all but sworn off YA. However, after reading a favorable review by Stephanie (AKA Teach) that can be found here and being contacted by the author, I decided to give The Enemy Within an honest read. I had explained to Scott that I was very hesitant to review another YA title at this time, but he was confident enough to “roll the dice” as he put it.  Having drifted away from sci-fi, this seemed like a potentially nice starting point for a light reintroduction.

The Enemy Within introduces us to Max, a 17 yr old foster child who has been cast aside and left to face his hardships on his own. He has been suffering from visions of destruction and post apocalyptic devastation that have left him tormented and exhausted with life.

After a failed suicide attempt, Max finds himself institutionalized in Hanover. Just when he believes he is about to recover from what could only be a form of hallucinations, he learns the harrowing truth. The very thing he has been running from is in fact reality.

He is broken out of the institute by 3 unknown individuals who soon teach him that they are all something part of something else. Something more than human. Something greater. Soon Max will find himself in a race against time with the enemy. But who is the true enemy? What happens when everything you have ever known has been stripped from you and replaced with complete uncertainty? Max is about to find out.

The Enemy Within is a fast paced read that delivers the many facets one might expect when encountering YA science fiction. We have a teenage protagonist, the possibility of alien life and even a handful of scientists. There were an equal balance of elements that worked and did not work for me however.

I found connecting with the protagonist Max to be more than challenging at times. I attribute some of this to intentional character traits such as his self-preservation through isolation. He was sheltered and hesitant. As a whole, this was very applicable and understandable. It played into his troubled life and history. But I was continually hopeful though that this barrier would eventually be broken, that Max would let us in. It never truly happened for me. In that, I was disappointed.

Supporting characters while obviously crucial to the story often presented as too oversimplified and familiar for my tastes. I feel as though angst ridden teens blessed with superhuman powers are becoming a common scene among sci-fi and unfortunately, it just is not a scenario that works well for me. I also discovered myself in want of more character depth. Each character shared the same back story and while there is a reason for this that I will not reveal, it wasn’t enough to invest fully me. I needed more elaboration, something to make each one feel like a true individual. Therefore, the characters were someone lost on me.

The plot for The Enemy Within still prevailed though. It was engaging, instantly introducing a strong element of mystery and intrigue within the first chapter to snare the reader. A quickened pace was automatically established that  was consistently  maintained throughout the duration of the story, creating an inviting and easy read full of entertaining moments. The writing was fluid and appropriate for the intended audience. Narration and transitions went off without a hitch providing an experience that was easy to appreciate even with a few minor hiccups along the way.

While I found the ending leaning more toward the predictable side, there were definitely a few twists and events I did not foresee. The conclusion was still satisfying. I honestly believe that this is a fantastic YA science fiction. The real trouble here is that I am no longer the appropriate audience. So with that said, I am confident that this will find a very welcomed home among many YA fans and I enjoyed my time spent reading the title.

*I would like to think the author for this copy. The review above is my own, unbiased opinion and experience.

⋆⋆⋆ 1/2

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54 thoughts on “The Enemy Within by Scott Burn

  1. I think this is an EXCELLENT review!! You said it well: it’s a great, fast-paced read for a YA fan or younger reader. Definitely think your review blew me away. I was worried at first, but I totally get what you’re saying.
    I love reading your reviews. Always fair and impartial and you always see from both sides. Glad you tried it. 😊😘

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Stephanie! I was worth reading and enjoyable. I just think to be fair to everyone, I need to move away from YA for now. I feel like I could have appreciated this so much more had I not been struggling with titles that target that audience. But I was nervouse about how you feel about this review haha. You set standards I had to love up to 💕😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awww. What a sweet thing to say! You definitely set the bar high with your reviews, I think! This one was excellent. Very well-done. And I’m thankful that you helped Scott get another review. Every single one helps. Sometimes we move away from a genre bc we just need something new! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I should mention there are a few curse words. They are not overwhelming (at least did not feel like it), but have to mention that to be fair 😊 If you have any concern about the appropriateness, I would talk to Stephanie whose review I linked. She assesses this with her reviews ☺

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Not your genre but my blog brat haha! I just read whatever grabs me and the author managed to pique my interest in communication so I wanted to support him. But yes, you are right.. I am no longer the audience for this. I believe that unless itnis someone I have previously worked with, YA is done for now. I think this was the last in my stack *need to double check*. I do think that this will sit well with the right audience. Stop leaving crabs on my page hahaha 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am glad to hear that things went amicably with the author.
    I had to put up a “review policy” on my wordpress site when I started being active last year because I was getting comments in my “about me” section by random strangers asking me to read their magnum opus. Thankfully, since that time, the “requests” have stopped.

    I am also glad that you enjoyed the book. Nothing worse than being asked to review a book and then hating it…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree that it is a hard thing when you agree to accept a review copy and then fail to connect with it. The author was great honestly. Although most I encounter generally are. They seem to be very understanding as long as you are honest and forthright with them ☺ I really hope this title does well for him!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved this review! I don’t venture much into YA because usually I can’t relate or connect to either the characters or the story, so small doses of YA dystopians are all I can take! I like it when the characters are tortured and they often have that barrier to protect themselves that is supposed to be taken down as the story develops but it can be frustrating if it doesn’t happen!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I felt Max definitely should have broken out of his “shell” more in the end. But he was never given the chance. However, the writing was very solid and the plot was enjoyable. I think younger readers are going to have a lot of fun with this one 🙂


  4. Another strong review, Danielle… Brilliant.. I love that you adressed your issues first (characters would be my main sticky point with any book) and finished with the positives around the plot.
    Glad it was still an enjoyable read and hey, maybe you needed it just to even more firm up that yep, you are indeed done with YA. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You may such a solid point Liz. This definitely helped solidify the fact that I am no longer the appropriate audience for YA. Although, I hope that fact will not prevent others from taking all of the good points away from this. I think he has something very good to offer younger readers. I must just be in denial that I am not “young” anymore haha 😉


  5. I remember reading Stephanie’s review for this and being really intrigued by it, enough to add it to my TBR. It sucks that the characters were a bit disappointing but the plot sounds so interesting that I’ll definitely have to read it myself at one point. The way you’ve been feeling about YA has been my feelings towards YA contemporary lately. It feels like every one I’ve read recently has disappointed me in some way. I’m steering clear for a while and just reading fantasy lol. Great review as always, Danielle!! 💕😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Excellent review, Danielle! I am so impressed that after more-or-less swearing off YA you decided to jump back in. You definitely have a soft spot for authors contacting you. 🙂 That’s a great thing! It’s because of people like you that so many authors get their opportunity at a successful debut! I feel like it’s easy to find adequate-at-best literature at all reading levels. I understand why you are avoiding YA now, but I find that I struggle with the same things for both YA and adult literature. It’s just about finding authors and topics which work for you. This one was close, it seems!

    Personally, character development is key for me, so I probably won’t pick this book up. Even if the pacing is on point, I struggle without quality characters. That said, I am definitely intrigued. Is this a stand alone novel, or part of a series?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am not sure whether this is standalone. I would definitely believe so. Although it could be elaborated on if the author was comfortable diving deeper into science fiction 😉

      It is hard to pass everything up. You never know when that next book will be the one! I also love indie authors, so yes a huge soft spot admittedly 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t work with Indie authors enough. I really need to work on that! The problem is that when authors reach out to me, most of the time they are for books I’m not interested in reading. And unlike you, I don’t take a chance. Perhaps that’s a good goal for the future: Take more chances with Indie authors if their book premises aren’t really up my alley.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Nice review, Danielle! I like the sound of this book. Although it sounds a bit predictable, the twists seem interesting. I’m getting a bit burnt out on YA myself, but I will definitely keep this one in mind in the future. Thanks so much for the honest review!

    Liked by 1 person

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