In a world where the voices inside people’s heads lead to mass suicide and murder, the few that are left struggle to survive. A lone traveller comes across a young girl selling lemonade at the edge of the road. That chance meeting joins the pair together in an epic journey facing horror and violence, friendship and family, and the voices in our heads.
I am a big fan of post-apocalyptic fiction, and Defender is up there with the best. It isn’t as dark or emotional as the likes of The Road, but doesn’t sugar-coat the horror aspects either. It actually has quite a YA vibe, with a strong female heroine and playful relationships between characters, but then some very violent aspects which make it difficult to put into the YA genre. (An aspect I particularly enjoyed was the lack of romance. Romance following an apocalypse always seems absurd and unnecessary to me, but for some reason so many authors feel the need to put it in. Not Todd – thank goodness!)
I really liked both Lacey and Pilgrim. And the bad guys were good bad guys (if you get what I mean: they were evil and scary without being caricatures). I felt Alex was a bit superfluous, but I imagine she’ll be built up more in the next book. After all, this is only Book #1.
Defender is well-written, intelligent and completely absorbing. The story is heading in a really interesting direction, with lots of unanswered questions and a really well set up plot for the rest of the series, so I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book. Without giving away too much, I can tell you there are some serious ‘NOOOO!’ moments. I’m still in recovery.