- Survivors (The Voices #3).
- G X Todd.
- 512 pages.
- Post-apocalyptic / fiction.
- My Rating: Hell Yeah Book Review.
There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who hear voices, and those who want to silence them.
Pilgrim is a man with a past he can’t remember. When he wakes alone in a shallow grave, there is a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. It explains who he is and what he’s done. It tells him he has one purpose: to find a girl named Lacey.
As Pilgrim is drawn north to Missouri in search of Lacey, he must also travel back to where it all began – to those he left behind. War is coming, and Pilgrim is going to need all the allies he can get.
Survivors is the highly anticipated third instalment in the acclaimed Voices series, following the spectacular novels Defender and Hunted. Good and Evil are closer than ever before in a world where the voices in your head can save or slaughter you.
I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Survivors is the third book (following on from Defender and Hunted) of four in The Voices series by Todd. The previous book, Hunted left us on the brink, on the precipice of what is sure to be an epic and heart-pounding final volume and culmination of the series as we anticipate, as we await with bated breath to find out the fate of the characters and the world. Yes, you read that right, Hunted, the previous book and not Survivors, this, the latest book. You see, Todd throws us a curveball and changes direction, or, if you will she gives the reader a ‘fuck you, you’re gonna have to wait to see how it all ends‘ book and instead of moving forward with the story, she goes back. Back in time, back to the past, Pilgrim’s past, back before the cornfield, back before the lemonade stand at the side of the dusty road, back before Lacey and back even further with Todd offering a glimpse back to when the world was on the edge, on the tipping point, when the voices started to take hold, to manifest in more and more people and when the tides hadn’t yet turned, when it hadn’t yet all gone to hell, all turned to shit.
Honestly, it is masterfully done, it works well, really fucking well and as a reader and lover of The Voices series, I couldn’t be happier. From the start, I’ve always been intrigued by the mysterious drifter, the closed book, the wanderer that is Pilgrim. Going back, learning about him, about his past life, what he has been running from, what has happened to him and ultimately, finding out who he is is superb. It is like brush strokes upon the canvas, adding colour inside the lines, helping to fill in the whole picture and serves to add an ocean of depth to the character, to the voices and to the world.
Pilgrim wakes in a shallow grave, crusted in dirt, in mud, a gaping hole where his memory should be. Like locked boxes, locked doors that are waiting to be unlocked, unpicked. Like a hand grasping, reaching out but what it is reaching for is too far away and the fingers slide over unable to gain a purchase and rather than grabbing hold they fall away. Something in him is broken, he can’t, or, he won’t remember. He needs to unlock those memories and to move forward he needs to look to the past.
Along with the parts set in the past Survivors also runs concurrently alongside Hunted allowing us to see the end events of that book through different eyes. Survivors is about Pilgrim, about his origin, about his journey of self-discovery and about his harrowing journey back to Lacey across desolate roads, into the bowels of buildings, wherein the darkness, the shadows, monsters dwell and through the wreckage of a world crumbling to ruin.
On his journey Pilgrim sees visions of Lacey, guiding him, talking to him, a figment of his imagination that carries him forward. They have a bond that won’t break, a chain that won’t sever. The Friendship between them, more than friends and like a father and his daughter. Pilgrim had closed his heart to people, to the world and kept himself to himself preferring to make his own way, to walk alone. Then, he met Lacey and Lacey made him care, made him feel and brought him back to the land of the living.
There are new characters (Abernathy is awesome) and some old ones return in Survivors too. The new ones all play their part and with the older ones, we continue to learn more about them. Whether old or new the array of characters on display are complex, real and you care about them, about their struggles, their lives and their fates.
In Survivors, there is the best of humanity on display and the worst too. The world that Todd has created is a dark place, cruel, dangerous and savage. It is a world like barbed wire, it’ll cut you, hurt you and leave you ragged, tattered and torn. The action, though not the main focus of the story has a heft to it, a weight to the blows, like you are in a fight for your life, for your survival.
With the different perspective in Survivors, we see events, moments that have already taken place in a different light, with more clarity, like the cloud has lifted and you are seeing a clear and bright sky. There is a bit in Hunted near the end that is a real fist-pumping moment, the emotion is tangible like you can reach out and touch it on the page, a living and breathing entity. Seen through different eyes and even though you know that it is coming, in Survivors that emotion, that impact is still there, just as potent if not more so and it really does tug at your heart.
Todd’s writing is descriptive, meaningful, immersive and vivid with a cinematic feel to certain locations. There’s humour, snark courtesy of Voice and plenty of emotion. There are big revelations, stellar set-pieces and moments where your heart is in your mouth.
The foundations were built with Defender, solidified with Hunted and Survivors finds Todd at the top of her game, at the top of the genre. I love everything about this series, the characters, the voices, the rusted and ruined landscape, the story and Survivors, itself, which is a brutally gripping roller-coaster has everything that I want from a post-apocalyptic book.
Simply, Survivors is fucking brilliant, The Voices series is fucking brilliant and if you are a fan of the post-apocalyptic genre then you need to read The Voices series.
Pre-order Survivors (The Voices #3) released October 31st, 2019.
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