Hunted (The Voices #2) by G.X. Todd

Posted On 30 July 2018

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huntedHunted is the second instalment in the Voices series by GX Todd and is a gripping and tense follow up to Defender.  Be aware that being a review for the second in series this may contain spoilers – I would also suggest that the Voices is not a series where you can pick the second book up at random – these need to be read in order imo so if you haven’t read Defender then you might want to stop reading this review about now – before you leave though, just know that this is a worthy second book and definitely a series that I will continue to read.

In terms of a brief recap.  In Defender we were introduced to a character named Lacey.  The world in which Lacey lived had gone to hell in a handcart to be honest.  The short version is that many of the population found their headspace invaded by another voice – a voice that urged them to commit acts of violence and as a consequence murder, suicide and mass suicide resulted in a huge proportion of the world’s populating being killed off in fairly short order. The survivors fall into two groups – those with voices and those without.  As you may imagine the people without voices are feeling none to friendly, and not a a little bit suspicious, of those with them.  Consequently people try to hide their head guests if possible.  Now, as if contending with ‘voices’ wasn’t enough civilisation has taken something of a nose dive with marauding gangs running amok in the cities.  Places have become overgrown and services are none existent as you would expect from a post apocalyptic world.  And, finally, it seems that the people with voices are being rounded up or gathered and there is talk of a ‘Flitting Man’ – tales of terror mostly involving disappearing bodies, and strange symbols – that have leant the character an urban myth type feel.

This isn’t going to be an easy book to review because the potential for spoilers is very real but what I can immediately say is that Todd doesn’t follow an easy path with this instalment.  Instead of taking that easy route she veers away from the characters introduced in the first book and instead, initially follows a new bunch.  At first, I admit, I found this a little jarring and wanted to return to Lacey and her companions, but, having finished the read I can really appreciate the way this story pans out.  For starters the characters are given a lot more depth which in turn really helps to pump up the tension.  There’s nothing like attachment to characters to give you that awful heart in your throat sensation when reading and Todd does make you care quite strongly about some of her cast.  She also gives you a horrible look at the antagonist of the piece – not the Flitting Man – but another character called Posy, who now carries his own voice (known as Not Posy).  Not Posy is a horrible piece of work, he’s just awful and it’s a testament to the writing here just how scary Todd manages to make him.  Devoid of any compassion, he’s the sort of coldly calculating character who absolutely will not stop.  In this instance he’s seeking a girl called Red or Ruby and unfortunately he believes her to be in the company of Lacey – so you can see how the story is going to develop.

Basically, there are three storylines, following slightly different timelines at first until eventually converging.  We have Not Posy and his ever growing gang of wild and vicious characters.  We once again meet up with Lacey and her two companions – who know tht they’re being followed and are making a good go of avoiding being caught and, finally, a character named Albus.  Albus and his companions live in an almost surreal and happy go lucky bubble, in an otherwise savage world.  It’s almost like they’ve escaped the events that are going on around them and found a little bit of bliss, living in an idyllic sounding Inn on the coastline.  Things are about to change however.  Albus also is guided to help people by his own internal hearings.  He’s an unusual character who doesn’t talk and instead sees colours in some people.  I won’t say more other than he is guided to search out these people and help them – which is where his companions at the Inn have all come from.  He’s going to receive a strong message to help one particular girl and although this will involve putting some of his companions, and himself, at great risk he must follow his instincts.

That’s about all I can say really without ruining the read for others.

The writing here is really good.  As I mentioned this is a tense story with very little let up in terms of room to breathe out and on top of that it’s unpredictable.  I mentioned above that Todd doesn’t take the easy route and in that respect her characters are given a very hard time too.  There is violence here and it might not be to everyone’s tastes, particularly the torture elements and the final chapters – so be aware.

Overall a very strong second in series, perhaps a little slower than the first in terms of pacing and also a little surprising in that it takes you away from the main character from the first book (at least initially), but, regardless, I think that the character building and wider scope that occurred as a result was worth the change in tack. A book that seems to move the story on and provide revelations whilst at the same time, on reflection, actually giving very little away in the process and therefore serving to push you yet further onto the hook of ‘desperately needing to know’.

I look forward to seeing how all these storylines will come together and more than that reading about whether or not the people in this world can survive – you never know, Ms Todd certainly isn’t shy of killing off a few people in order to keep things realistic, you were warned.

I received a copy through Netgalley courtesy of the publisher for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

 

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11 Responses to “Hunted (The Voices #2) by G.X. Todd”

  1. sjhigbee

    An excellent review, Lynn. It sounds as this apocalyptic read is a bit too rich for my taste – but I’m glad it is a tense, exciting read that you found enjoyable:)

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, I don’t think some of the violent aspects in this would be for everyone but I like this style of story – it does get a bit bleak in points though to be honest.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Tammy

    This sounds like a cool series, I love the idea of people having voices in their heads. Scary!

    • @lynnsbooks

      It is a bit scary to be honest and so far very intriguing too.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I remember your review of the first book, glad to hear the sequel lived up to your expectations even if it’s slower. I don’t think I’ve seen a lot of info on this book, but I do like the part about the author not taking it easy on her characters! That might sound kind of wrong, but I do enjoy it when characters are put through the wringer.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yep, Ms Todd certainly likes to give her characters some tough breaks. But, I suppose in a world such as this ‘shit happens’.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek

    Great review, really like this wries. 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      It’s a really good second in series – I can’t wait to see how she brings all the threads together.
      Lynn 😀

  5. July : My Month in Review | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] Hunted by GX Todd – review to follow […]

  6. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    I followed your advice and did not read the full review, but I saw enough of the premise for this story to be quite intrigued: it’s a very different take on the “end of the world as we know it” theme, one that does not involve pandemics or the zombie apocalypse, and yet seems to manage all the same the end of civilization with all its consequences.
    Thanks for sharing this! 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      It is a relief to not have the zombie hoard in a post apocalyptic style book – don’t get me wrong, sometimes I love me some zombies – but this is quite refreshing.
      Lynn 😀

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