Title: Defender

Author: G. X. Todd

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: January 12th 2017

Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopia

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Hachette NZ to review.

Star rating:★★☆☆

Summary: ‘On the cusp of sleep, have we not all heard a voice call out our name?’
In a world where long drinks are in short supply, a stranger listens to the voice in his head telling him to buy a lemonade from the girl sitting on a dusty road.
The moment locks them together.
Here and now it’s dangerous to listen to your inner voice. Those who do, keep it quiet.
These voices have purpose.
And when Pilgrim meets Lacey, there is a reason. He just doesn’t know it yet.
Defender pulls you on a wild ride to a place where the voices in your head will save or slaughter you.


when i received this book, i was extremely confused. i couldn’t even remember requesting it, let alone what it was about. once i started, i quickly realised it was not at all a young adult book (not sure why i thought it was, maybe it’s the cover?). there’s loads of swearing and some truly disturbing content.

in saying that, i realised after i’d finished the book that it was a thriller – which i didn’t think it was. sure, there was some scenes that weren’t great (re, rape, violent death etc), but i must’ve missed the thriller part …

the opening and for most of the plot, it felt like i was reading a generic dystopian zombie type book. i wasn’t at all into it to begin with. it wasn’t till the end where i started liking the characters and the plot picked up significantly. i didn’t like the writing style all too much, but i think that’s because i was expecting a YA and got adult fiction. (ya writing style is so different, i hadn’t even realised till recently.)

i really liked the lack of romance. i mean, i did end up shipping lacey with both pilgrim and alex, but i’m glad the plot focused around the fact that everyone’s trying to kill them rather than silly little romantic subplots. i enjoyed the friendship between lacey and alex as more often than not, the two females end up jealous or something silly.

one thing i’m absolutely torn up about is the voices. i know the author did a lot of research into mental health and auditory hallucinations, and i appreciate that. but it honestly feels like she’s saying that if you hear voices you’ll go insane, kill everyone, then kill yourself. i know that untreated, this can be a real possibility (suicide, rather than murder. a lot of people will these illnesses don’t want to leave their house, let alone kill someone else), but it’s kinda reinforcing the stereotypes where auditory hallucinations means you’re dangerous, which is wrong. i do like how pilgrim has a voice, and doesn’t end up going mad like everyone else.

all in all, it was an entertaining book. i rate it 3.5/5 stars, and would definitely consider reading any sequels in this series. (ps, i will never forgive g x todd for the cat)

thank you hachette nz for sending me a copy to review!

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