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3.61  ·  Rating details ·  1,659 ratings  ·  205 reviews
A new epic of alien invasion and human resistance by Hugo Award-winning author Will McIntosh.

The invaders came to claim earth as their own, overwhelming us with superior weapons and the ability to read our minds like open books.

Our only chance for survival was to engineer a new race of perfect soldiers to combat them. Seventeen feet tall, knowing and loving nothing but wa
Paperback, 485 pages
Published May 13th 2014 by Orbit (first published January 1st 2014)
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SeanO If it is like the Italian or French surname, it would sound similar to Louie-ten...with emphasis on the ie part of Louie. Are the aliens French or Ita…moreIf it is like the Italian or French surname, it would sound similar to Louie-ten...with emphasis on the ie part of Louie. Are the aliens French or Italian?(less)

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Average rating 3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,659 ratings  ·  205 reviews

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Jul 01, 2014 rated it did not like it
In Defenders, aliens come to the Earth that humanity can't defeat because for an 8 mile radius they can read our minds.


My problem with this, beyond the writing that made me feel like I was being punished for something I didn't do, is even Fry from Futurama found out from a Hobo that when an alien is trying to read your mind you have to wear a tinfoil hat.

I mean come on, even Weird Al Yankovic knows to go with the tinfoil hat.

I want to see battles and the unstoppable alien forces instead I go
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Last year, I read an incredibly moving book called Love Minus Eighty. As I closed the cover on the last page and settled back with a roiling mind and warmed heart, I knew right there and then that any future novels written by Will McIntosh will be going straight onto my to-read list. Someone who can write such a magnificent story (not to mention give me all these feels) certainly belongs on my list of favorite authors. And
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-shelf, sci-fi
Really fascinating and really ambitious. I'm giving this a 4.5 stars for a few weird moments but the rest was like War of the Worlds. Times three.

I mean, it starts out pretty awesome as a beleaguered humanity is dying from a starfish invasion. They have excellent telepathy and they use it against us perfectly. The action and multiple viewpoints work very well. It's not an easy situation. They are herding us into the cities and several billion have died by the time we MAKE our defenders. Giant, g
A.G. Riddle
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fresh take on Alien invasion. I loved it.
Timothy Ward
Reviewed at Adventures in SciFi Publishing
Podcast + giveaway with Will, discussing writing, Defenders and Love Minus Eighty.

Will McIntosh’s Defenders is unlike any alien invasion book I’ve read. It starts off with introductions to characters you immediately care for, revealing the strangeness and borderline horror of the world they live in. The Luyten are an alien species that has already almost won the war, combining their ability to read human minds with heat ray guns to decimate humanity into
Aug 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: telepathic starfish, three-legged giants, Tom Cruise
This is one of those books where even though it may not be the deepest book you've ever read and sometimes your suspension of disbelief wobbles, you just keep reading because you have to know what happens next, and the shift between multiple POVs actually works to increase the tension and invest you in the story. I believe this is what we refer to as a "page-turner."

In the beginning, Defenders is your basic alien invasion story. A race of telepathic giant starfish-like aliens called the Luyten l
Dec 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. That was a powerful novel.

Last year, Will McIntosh’s social science novel Love Minus Eighty took many genre readers by surprise in its exploration of human feelings. McIntosh changed things up this time around with Defenders, a novel about an alien invasion of Earth.

An alien race known as the Luyten have invaded Earth, wreaking havoc throughout the planet with their heat guns, melting people, cars, and buildings alike. The Luyten have a distin
May 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: alien, sci-fi

Humans sure have it ruff in science fiction and they really take a beating in this one. But never underestimate our survival instinct! That's the mistake the Luyten (i.e. alien invaders) make as they arrive and systematically take control of our plant. While the aliens are physically and technologically advanced, their real strength lies in their ability to read our minds.

At this stage in human technology we have come a long way in genetics. We develop a genetic species which is not really huma
Courtney Nicole
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Bought this as a "Blind Date With A Book"
All I know about it is four bullet points:
•Science Fiction
•Telepathic Aliens
•A Cure Worse Than The Disease
Excited to read this some time this year!

Thoughts after reading it:
Completely loved it and definitely worth the purchase!
Jun 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
A few of my reviewing friends had very good things to say about Love Minus Eighty by Will McIntosh. So when Orbit dropped the price of McIntosh’s newest release, ‘Defenders’, to $1.99 (ebook only, courtesy of the Orbital Drop newsletter), I figured it was a good time to take the author for a test drive. It was an exhilarating ride.

Defenders is a near-future, near-apocalypse science fiction novel. The aliens have landed and they look like big, killer starfish. They call themselves Luyten. Employi
May 16, 2014 rated it liked it
I accidentally recommended this book before I finished it. I should know better than that.

The first 1/3 of the book was phenomenal. The action was intense. The overall premise was new and exciting. Hard to predict. Definite page turner. Then twist #1 hit, and it all fell apart for me. I feel like with stronger character development and much stronger dialog, this could have been incredible. Unfortunately I found myself uncomfortable reading the cheesy, clunky, unbelievable dialog, even given the
Mar 13, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm completely baffled by the high ratings and reviews I've seen for this book ( called it "a strong, excellent book"). While there is a kernel of a good idea, overall, this book was sloppily executed and filled with amateur, banal dialogue and a completely predictable story arc. The clumsy, erratic transitions between plot points lacked any kind of sophistication and for an author who has several books under his belt and has been getting more attention lately. I doubt I'll ever read anyt ...more
More like a 4.5 than a straight 5, but still a very good book and it comes highly recommended. Review coming soon - the backend of the Founding Fields is currently down meaning that I can't post reviews, but they'll go up when the problem is resolved. ...more
May 08, 2014 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Fantastic. This book just catapulted to the top of my recommend-to-others list.

The two non-human races in this book--one alien, the other created by humans to fight the aliens--are perfectly drawn, with clear racial traits and yet with strengths and flaws as individuals. They aren't heroes or villains, just people, driven by fear or love or ambition to fight against those who threaten them.

My personal favorites were the Luyten, a race of starfish-shaped creatures the size of elephants. McIntosh
The premise was certainly interesting and I quite enjoyed the long-term implications of the novel, but found the characterizations so minimal as to be nonexistent. I didn't particularly care if anyone lived or died, with the exception of one or two characters. Every time a character started becoming real to me, the action took over. So I didn't get any of their motivations beyond the most obvious.

So, obvs, an alien invasion would totally suck, and then creating a weapon to repel the alien invas
M Tat
Dec 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
There's a big idea here, yet it's crammed into too few pages. Peter K. Hamilton's Night Trilogy represents what McIntosh _should_ have done: expand this into three, well fleshed-out novels that provide a greater sense of 'war is hell' and that there are shifting sides. It would allow the characters to be more relatable, as well.

At the same time, given that I was looking for a rapid, brief read, this worked. I chewed through the book in less than 4 hours.

The imagery associated with the battles
It’s 2029, and things aren’t looking good for the human race. Ever since the alien race known as the Luyten invaded Earth a few years ago, humanity has been fighting a losing war. Billions of people have died. The scattered survivors try to fight back, but their efforts are doomed from the start because the Luyten are telepathic: they always know when, where and how the next attack will happen. They use their electrocution and heating weapons with ruthless, impassive efficiency. The giant, starf ...more

4 stars

When you think about alien invasion plot, you don't really expect to open a book and be thrown right into action so far progressed. Usually we read how aliens came and first contact. Well, McIntosh doesn't do that with Defenders. Opening scene shows us Earth well under Lythen siege and humans losing the war against them with great casualties. Borders are forgotten as countries are joining forces and resources and when we open the book, they are already in desperate stage. Another thing th
Peter Tillman
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-copy, fantasy
A good SF novel by a good writer. The review to read here is Tom Hicks', "Flawed but interesting," he says, which pretty much nails it. 3.5 stars.

Based on an earlier short story,
-- which is a good preview for the novel.
Stephanie  G
May 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

When earth is invaded by telepathic aliens, the Luyten, humanity is left with few options. It isn’t easy fighting an enemy who can read a soldier’s mind before he pulls the trigger. Our only option comes in the form of what we can create. One of the Luyten, the captured Five, haphazardly gives mankind the clues of how the create a super soldier, the Defenders: three legged sexless giants who hate the Luyten. But what will the Defenders do once the war is over? Like most things, it’s onl
K.Z. Freeman
Sep 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
There are books which I have reviewed so far for which I "argue" that nothing happens. I wish to explain again as I did in those reviews, that things do in fact happen, but are not even remotely close to what I would like to happen in a book that is over 400 pages long. I don't want to read about someone going to a university and doing exams at said university. (I still ended up reading about it, but shut up, okay?)

In this book, things happen. And then some other things happen which are not expe
I really enjoyed this one. This is the third book by Will McIntosh that I've read and he's quickly becoming a favorite author of mine. I'm the one who always wondered what the hell the Republic was going to do with all those clones should they win. The humans in Battlestar Galactica got far more than they bargained for when they created the Cylons. Jurassic Park was less exciting and fun for humans once the exhibits sought to dine on the visitors. The scientists in the show Manhattan are racing ...more
May 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: big-idea, sci-fi
I really wanted to like this book and the premise was great. The rock-paper-scissors balance between humans, defenders, and Luyten was well conceived and really made the story work. However, I was hoping for a clever, elegant solution given the hole the humans had dug themselves into and was disappointed in the end. I also kept expecting Lila to figure out a way to work with the defenders and their built-in limitations, but that little plot breadcrumb never led anywhere either. It became just a ...more
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
Kind of silly

I expected war in this book. I got that, but not in the way I was expecting. There was a lot of downtime, and I think if it had been filled with more mindless fighting I would have enjoyed it more. Instead I had to struggle with races of people making increasingly bewildering and disastrous decisions, culminating in the most predictable ending I've read in a while. The characters were ok, but normally I don't read military sci fi for characters. The battles were abstract; there were
Tudor Ciocarlie
May 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This the most powerful alien invasion story I've ever read. A story about what makes us human and a story about the other. A story about what we all have in common and a story about what makes us different from one another. A story about the alien in the humans and the human in the aliens. A story about the beautiful things that we share and a story about the marvelous things that make us alien. ...more
Beth Pratt
May 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I found this book totally engrossing. The aliens were strange and believable. The characters felt real. The action was intense and scary. I'm going to have to read some more of Will McIntosh's books. ...more
May 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The end of chapter 39 had me in tears. Like the best of Stephen Baxter, Elizabeth Moon and Octavia Butler, this book gets under your skin and exposes the brutality of the universe with just a glimmer of hope.
review will post closer to publication date. Wow. what an important, absolutely thought provoking book.
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Dec 17, 2013
Wow that was dark. And relentless. And as I expected from Will McIntosh, worth reading. This is the fourth good book in a row - though the first one I didn't five star. And I guess that's because it made Soft Apocalypse look uplifting. The aliens were creepifying, the created soldiers were were. The people who were our pov were pretty much broken, though to be fair everyone was pretty much broken. By the end of the book all you had were bad guys, less bad guys and perhaps slightly less bad guys. ...more
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Fast moving alien invasion novel with an innovative hook, situated between Social SF and Military SF. Very enjoyable. This is the kind of SF anyone can read, without fear of info dumps.
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Will McIntosh is a Hugo Award-winning science fiction author, as well as a finalist for eleven other awards. His alien invasion novel Defenders was optioned by Warner Brothers for a feature film, while Love Minus Eighty, was named the best SF novel of 2013 by the American Library Association. Coming in 2016 are his first young adult novel, Burning Midnight (Penguin Random House), about a pair of t ...more

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