Review: The Defectors (Defectors Trilogy #1) by Tarah Benner

From First came the virus. Then came the Collapse. The only way to contain the epidemic is mandatory migration across the northern border of the United States. Each vaccinated citizen is identified by a tiny microchip — the most intelligent piece of technology ever to be implanted in a human being that tracks and analyzes your every move.

Twenty-year-old Haven Allis is in the system: her Citizen ID tracks her location, conversations, Internet activity, bank account — everything. Any suspicious activity is warrant for arrest.

But for those who are undocumented, life is much worse. Illegals are taken to the prisons in Sector X and made to disappear.

When her best friend Greyson is captured and arrested for his undocumented status, Haven must go off the grid to save him. Life outside the city has its own dangers: carriers of the virus lurk everywhere, and the Private Military Company is rounding up illegals. On her mission to rescue Greyson, Haven will discover a revolution in motion and be forced to question everything she believes.


 My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This is one of those books that is slow to get started (and can be somewhat confusing), but combines interesting characters with a (somewhat) new take on an old theme. It sort of reminds me of The Walking Dead meets (parts of) Divergent

The "zombies" in this book are never referred to as such, rather they are referred to as "Carriers". In fact, it is mentioned several times that they don't "eat" the living. They do however bite them and kill them in viscous manners. 

However, they are not the only threat. The Private Military Company (or PMC), is also a threat, rounding up anyone deemed an "illegal", a "rebel" or a "defector". Basically they are all kind of the same thing, only an illegal has never registered for the mandatory implant, a defector is someone who has, but who has either removed their implant or been erased by the government, and rebels can be any combination of the above. If you are arrested by the PMC, you are hauled off to jail, where there is a good chance you will be tortured for information. 

The characters are all unique, each of them harboring their own secrets and motives, and while some of them you can pretty much guess their reasoning, others "former lives" come as a complete shock. When combined with the other elements, it makes for an interesting mix of characters, desires and consequences.

Overall, there is some sparse action throughout the book, but the majority of it does not take place until the last few chapters. There was enough build up in the novel that kept my interest, but this wasn't one of those books that I felt I "couldn't put down". 

 The Defectors (Defectors Trilogy #1) is available from

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