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(The Voices #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  704 ratings  ·  177 reviews

Defender by G X Todd is an imaginative thriller that draws on influences from Stephen King, Clive Barker and Neil Gaiman to create a new world - where the biggest threat mankind faces is from the voices inside your own head. If you loved The Stand, you'll love Defender, the first in a four part series.

In a world where long drinks are in short supply, a stranger listens

Kindle Edition, 464 pages
Published January 12th 2017 by Headline
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G.X. Todd Book 3, Survivors, is due to be published in October 2019, and the final book of the Voices series in 2020.…moreBook 3, Survivors, is due to be published in October 2019, and the final book of the Voices series in 2020. (less)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
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This is a real thrill ride of a novel that kept me reading through the night determined to finish it. It is an intelligent, story with strong elements of horror. It is tugging at your worst nightmares as it moves through a post apocalyptic future. It is never clear what exactly occurred. We are aware of what society thinks if you were to start hearing voices in your head, it is a case of bring out the strait jacket. This is exactly what Pilgrim experiences, he has that voice in his head and so ...more
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Thank you to Netgalley & Headline Publishing for my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review*

'The Road Trip From Hell' is the best way to describe what takes place within the pages of Defender.

The novel is set in a post- apocalyptic world, where 'normal' is a thing of the past. Something has taken over most of the population's minds and many of them experience auditory hallucinations, along with suicidal tendencies, with many taking those tendencies that step further. The 'voices' also
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Not sure where I got it from but I had in my mind that this was a YA novel. VERY quickly disabused by the novel's dark and violent themes. Which are what make this book a winner. Apocalyptic fiction deserves to have an adult rating, it's the best way to get inside the human mind when all the rules are gone. In this story, the 'mind' of the characters is even more in play- what happens when a different voice turns up in there? Do you listen?

It's excellently written, the silence and emptiness of
Dannii Elle
I received this in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. Thank you to the author, G.X. Todd, and the publisher, Headline, for this opportunity.

Sold as a thriller with an imaginative plot to rival any Stephen King or Clive Barker book, I went into this skeptical that it could fill the big boots it claimed it could. Almost immediately I found that these weren't just false claims.

Set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland of our world we meet the individuals that have managed to survive through
Liz Barnsley
2017 is shaping up nicely for reading fanatics and if you are a post apocalyptic Stephen King loving reader with a rebellious streak and a penchant for a DARN good story then Defender is the book for you. Even if you are just the last of those things this will hit the spot.

I blew through this one and by about 30 pages in I was loving it with the fervour of a true fanatic, my conversion to the world of Pilgrim and the girl he meets by the side of the road (aka Lacey) was complete. I didn’t then

Actual rating 2.5

The premise of Defender is a fascinating one, there’s no denying that.

It sounds like it might have some of the same elements as Bird Box, with, of course, a decent helping of The Stand, and supposedly a little Clive Barker and Neil Gaiman. The blurb talks a mean game.

And sadly the book doesn’t live up to it.

What the blurb doesn’t tell you is that the story takes place seven years after the voices started making people kill themselves en masse, so the world we enter
Gillian McAllister
How do I start to review Defender?

I've read quite a lot of dystopia, but none quite as smart and as erudite as this: the apocalypse has come not from external forces (disease, climate change, etc) but internal. Have you ever heard such a fantastic hook? The human race, mostly decimated because people have started to hear voices (of varying degrees - from benign to sinister) in their minds.

This is a pacey, enthralling and assured read; I felt in safe hands for the entire novel, never once
Defender is a post-apocalyptic novel with an unique premise and likeable characters, making the first half of the book thoroughly enjoyable. Unfortunately, the latter half ended up being a bit repetitive (view spoiler) As the first installment of a 4 book series there is not much in the way of resolution of the mysteries presented. I was happy to find an excerpt of Hunted ...more
The Tattooed Book Geek (Drew).
4.5 stars.

As always this review can also be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek: https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress...

I received a free copy of the book courtesy of the publisher through bookbridgr in exchange for an honest review.

Defender tells the story of Lacey, a young girl and Pilgrim, a drifter and is set in the aftermath of the world going to hell in the wake of people starting to hear voices several years before. It’s a post-apocalyptic book that’s a part Road movie and adds a
Joni Dee
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have just finished reading Defender, by G X Todd, given the opportunity by NetGalley.

A few words about the plot:
the novel takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, in which self-aware voices have manifested inside most of the population's heads, causing the vast majority of humans to go insane and to commit suicide. This world is one of anarchy and chaos: no government, no electricity, no facilities and no gas, just relics of old cities in ruins and the occasional vehicle or food scavenged.
Stephen Clynes
Pilgrim meets Lacey in this post apocalyptic thriller where some people can hear a voice in their head.

This novel is a little odd as we all kind of talk to ourselves in our heads. So here we have two central characters, Pilgrim and Lacey plus a “contributor” called Voice. So the format of this novel can be rather frustrating.

I found Defender to be a SLOW novel with nothing much happening. It took ages to discover what had happened 7 years ago. Then Pilgrim and Lacey go on a journey with little
G.X. Todd
May 08, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to G.X. by: Voice
If anyone has two minutes to spare, could you paste your Goodreads reviews of DEFENDER, HUNTED and SURVIVORS over to Amazon UK, please? Not only will it make me eternally grateful, but it will also help Amazon algorithms place the books in more visible places so that new readers can find them!

Big thanks to those who've already done this
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book.
Seriously. It is rare now, in my jaded adulthood, that I pick something up and am totally blown away and utterly engrossed.
This book did that.
I managed to get a proof copy because the lovely author came in to do an event at the bookshop I work in.
I don't know what I expected but it was not this.
On the surface this could just be a run of the mill, end of the world survival story. But it is so much more than that. It is an incredible and really very creepy angle on that. And it is so
Ginger Nuts
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The post-apocalyptic novel has always been a firm staple of the genre, and with the way things are going in the world today, it seems as though they may soon be transitioning from fiction to "How To" status.

However, as a genre, it is a hard one to get right, let alone rise above swathes of Mad Maxes, and Randal Flagg clones all jostling to get centre stage. It is a genre that probably suffers more from the long shadows of its past than any other. Yes the vampire genre has the likes of Dracula
Beautifully dark and menacing.

Rob Twinem
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The authors comments at the end of Defender add some interesting footnotes to what was a very enjoyable post-apocalyptic story. She explains that "bicameral" man is essentially a human who has two chambers. To you and me that simply means an inner voice within your head and in the context of this novel it is this inner voice that has caused the societal disruption by imploring you to kill. Although to add to the intrigue an "inner voice" can also work for the good as Pilgrim aka scout boy, ...more
Lucy Hay
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Strong on themes of duty, sacrifice and destiny, DEFENDER is quite possibly the perfect apocalypse narrative. The concept is genius - there has been no dirty bomb, nuclear war or whatever ... Instead, voices have appeared in the minds of most of the general population. Cue a breakdown of society as mass suicides and killings occur, with humans unable to cope. This is a brilliantly simple and effective idea, with a fantastic commentary on mental health.

I can see why Clive Barker's work and
Michelle Moore
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to receive an early copy of this quite a while ago, but I've struggled with how to review it. Not because it's not good.. I actually bought myself a signed special edition hardback because I liked it so much.. but because it's a difficult one to put into words.

The author puts you straight into the middle of her world.. a world where the majority have died, due to the voices in their head.. voices which have caused suicide or murder. This is information is fed to the reader
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“What if the voice in your head didn’t belong to you?
‘On the cusp of sleep, have we not all heard a voice call out our name?’”

Defender is an action-packed, adventure novel; Pilgrim and Lacey travel through the wastelands, everyone they meet is a potential threat – who hears a voice that isn’t their own and who can be trusted?

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and was caught up in the adventure of it all. This novel had shades of Bird Box, in the sense that the majority of civilisation had been
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
G X Todd’s debut novel Defender, the first in a four-part series called The Voices, was an unexpected surprised when it arrived in the mail. The accompanying information was intriguing, but didn’t reveal much, so going in to the book I didn’t really know what to expect. I certainly hadn’t expected to find a gripping, post-apocalyptic adventure that wasn’t just engrossing in its own right, but also made me think a lot about how we regard mental illness, specifically conditions that include ...more
Mar 05, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
It is quite rare these days for me to abandon a book but I'm afraid Defender defeated me. I am a fan of post-apocalyptic stories & Stephen King's 'The Stand' still remains in my all time top ten reads even after thirty odd years. It was the thought of capturing some of that magic that led me to choose Defender. However I just could not seem to engage with the story and eventually decided that life was too short & there are too many other books to read.

Thanks to Netgalley & the
Kirsty ❤️
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bethany Fulks
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopian
I'm a big fan of dystopians, so this instantly ticked the box for me. It's dark, violent and intriguing. In such a saturated genre it can be hard to stand apart, but I think this book did pretty well at doing so.
Aitch Diamond
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this book. Pilgrim has echoes of King's gunslinger, great sci-fi horror cross over. Gritty and believeable.
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
You can find a copy of this review at:

I was drawn to the novel by the synopsis, it promised to be not an average read, especially having in mind the comparisons with names like King, Barker and Gaiman. I was even being ready to disregard the mediocre cover that gave me the "Meh" vibe just because I was sure Todd had something to bring to the table.

I felt that the whole concept of hearing voices in your head could be developed very interesting almost
Victoria Goldman
I enjoyed both Defender and Hunted, though they did provide a slightly different reading experience each time. The writing in both books is stunning, with descriptions that made me startle, grimace, laugh and cry. Author GX Todd left me feeling, tasting, hearing and seeing everything she described, vividly in my own head as if I had a voice in there too. The books are graphic, violent and bloody - so they are not always an easy read - but also compelling, gripping and heartbreaking. They are ...more
Lynn Williams
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought that Defender was an engrossing read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Set in a post apocalyptic world the story here was sufficiently different and well written to keep me totally absorbed.

You may notice from the book synopsis that this is a book of voices – voices inside peoples’ heads that incite them to ‘do’ things. As the story unfolds we learn that a number of years ago these voices caused some sort of mass induced suicide, people taking their
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I was instantly into the world of Lacy and Pilgrim and the terrors they encounter.

There were one part though, that i found a bit too easy (view spoiler)

That aside,
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Detailed Rating: 9.5/10
Reading Time: 10h 40mins
Conclusion: Thrilling, fast-paced and incredibly well-written. This book needs to be adapted into a movie or a TV series as soon as possible.

The writing style was absolute perfection, perhaps just as good as Neil Gaiman's or G. R.R. Martin's. All the attention to the details, the characters' thoughts and feelings was incredibly immersive and every description was beautifully written. Interesting, compelling characters and the dynamics between them.
Susan Angela Wallace
Defender By G X Todd.
This was a really good read with good characters. Pilgrim listens to a voice in his head. On his travels scavenging for provisions the voice in his head tells him to stop and buy lemonade from the girl sitting on a dusty road. Pilgrim and Lacey there is a reason they cross paths they just don't know it yet? Full of suspense I couldn’t put it down til I got to the last page. 4*. Netgalley and headline.
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Other books in the series

The Voices (3 books)
  • Hunted (The Voices #2)
  • Survivors (The Voices #3)
“Her high hopes had set her up for a long fall. And it was never the fall that killed you in the end. It was hitting the bottom that did all the damage.” 2 likes
“On the cusp of sleep, have we not all heard a voice call out our name?” 2 likes
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