Survivors is the third instalment in G. X. Todd’s outstanding series and follows on from Defender and Hunted. This is a series that you need to read from the beginning in order to fully understand the world, situation, and characters, and it’s one that I heartily recommend.
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.
Survivors alternates between past and present, allowing the reader to understand more about what happened when the voices arrived, as well as providing Pilgrim’s backstory. Until this point, Pilgrim has been a particularly private individual, sharing very little information about himself or his past with anyone. I had wondered whether this was because he couldn’t remember, or if there was something in his past that he didn’t want to remember. Now I know! It was fascinating to get more insight into his character, and I loved learning more about him and his past. It’s safe to say that he is my favourite character in the series, and while his past isn’t quite what I expected, I loved finding out about his earlier exploits.
The past storyline also looks as where Pilgrim was around 4 years earlier – after the voices, but before he met Lacey. It gives more detail on other characters that we’ve met throughout the series, and, because it’s the penultimate book (as far as I’m aware), Todd starts to reveal the answers to some of the questions raised so far, including a little more information about the voices and the Flitting Man. Not everything, but some of those puzzle pieces are now starting to fall into place, and I came out of this novel knowing a more about the world and the events than I did at the end of Hunted. Survivors ends in such a place as to set up the next novel brilliantly, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
The present-day storyline in Survivors runs concurrently to that of Hunted. We see Pilgrim trying to get back to Lacey, having to take a few necessary detours on the way that involve the usual amount of action, bullets, and blood that you expect when Pilgrim is on a mission. We also get a different perspective on some of the events in Hunted as those two narratives finally overlap. Featuring a mix of old and new faces, Survivors is as action packed as you’d hope from Todd. As ever, her characters are a mix of good and bad, and there are some who’ve made some dubious decisions in the name of survival. It’s easy to judge those characters harshly, but it’s one of the things that I love about post-apocalyptic novels – the question of whether we’d really behave any differently in that same situation.
The writing and plotting are superb, and I can’t recommend the series enough. Fans of the series should be more than satisfied with this third instalment, and while I don’t want the series to end, I can’t wait to see how the story concludes.
Survivors will be published on 31 October by Headline. Many thanks to the publisher for allowing me to read and review this novel ahead of publication via Netgalley.