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Benighted by Kit Whitfield
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Benighted

by Kit Whitfield

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4131725,720 (3.84)23
  1. 50
    Bitten by Kelley Armstrong (AmethystFaerie)
    AmethystFaerie: "Benighted" takes place in a world where humans are the minority, while werewolves are the majority. If you love Kelley Armstrong's Elena, you will love Kit Whitfield's Lola.
  2. 20
    Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, Book 1) by Stacia Kane (TheDivineOomba)
    TheDivineOomba: There is a similar feel between these two books - both books deal with a world with one church and a small group of special people who work for the Church, both very much needed, but scorned by the rest of the population.
  3. 01
    Dreadful Skin by Cherie Priest (GirlMisanthrope)
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» See also 23 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Wow, this book was very, very dark, but interesting. The premise: instead of werewolves being unusual, they are the dominant species, with regular humans, or "barebacks," being the genetic anomaly, viewed as either a lower caste or crippled (or both). Themes of minority politics along with a healthy dose of mystery, this is a dark one. More "literary" than most paranormal or dark fantasy books. I'd put in more in the same realm of The Historian. ( )
  chessakat | Feb 5, 2016 |
Lola lives in a world where she is the minority. As a bareback she was born with a birth defect that results in her not changing into a wolf during a full moon. She and others like her have no choice but to work for DORLA (Department for the Ongoing Regulation of Lycanthropic Activity), a government agency tasks with patrolling the streets during the change to make sure no one is out and about as wolves. One of her colleagues is maimed by a bad Lune and shortly after the man responsible was assigned to be advised by Lola someone kills her friend. Now Lola must find out if her client is responsible for murder.

Benighted is unlike any book I have read before. On the surface it looks like a typical paranormal fantasy, it is about a world where werewolves are the majority. But it reads much more like a police procedural or mystery novel. Whitfield uses the fantasy set up to examine prejudice and what it does to people on both sides. By making "regular people" the minority, she puts the reader in the place of those that are discriminated against. It allows you to see similarities and insights about how other minority groups are treated without having to single out one group. Overall it is how people react when put in tough situations. The main character has plenty of flaws and does a lot of unforgivable things, but I found myself pulling for her and hoping that she finds some internal peace. I recommend this book to anyone that likes books that make you reflect on the world, even they are not necessarily a fan of fantasy and paranormal stories. ( )
  Cora-R | Jan 13, 2016 |
Lola May Galley is human. When the moon rises, she does not go lyco. Instead of growing fur and howling at the moon, she sets out with others from the Department for the Ongoing Regulation of Lycanthropic Activity (DORLA) to catch stray lycos and criminals who haven't locked themselves up properly. She is a human in a world run by werewolves. She is looked down upon for being born non-lyco (considered a disability by most in her world), and like all others with her disability, she spends her days and nights working for the lycos in a lyco run world.

During a full moon, a friend loses a hand when a lune goes bad and then he ends up murdered before the attacker is brought to trial. She finds herself wrapped up in a case that runs much deeper than she thought with societal implications that leave her terrified and almost numb.

I know vampire and werewolf stories are starting to run thin, and even I myself, who happens to like stories with these creatures, am getting a bit tired. Yet, after reading In Great Waters, I found I liked Whitfield's writing and wanted to read more. I found Benighted and became entranced with her world. She takes the normal werewolf story and turns it upside down. It is now the humans living in poor conditions, fighting prejudice at the hands of a world run by werewolves, and living degrading and horrifying lives. Being born a bareback (the negative term given to those children born head first and human) means living a life only to attend to lycos. They are given no other choice and for them it is a sad, scary, dangerous, and mostly short life.

Lola was the only non-lyco born in her family and she lived her entire life wondering what it would be like to turn with the full moon. When she finds herself in a relationship with a lyco, she ends up finding answers to questions that she never thought about. The devastating consequences make for a good, and sad, story. There are some, more like many, disturbing moments in this book. When Lola talks about her childhood I felt like she shared a bit too much and I wished she would take some of it back but it was already on the table at the point. It took me a while to like Lola even though I felt for her from the start. She does things that she hates, and begins to hate herself with good reason. It's unfortunate that she feels, and in many cases is right, that she has no other choice. For someone in her position, it is only a life of servitude and nothing more even if she is made to feel free. It is the life she was born into and nothing will change her. She becomes more hardened against the outside world and that's just to keep herself sane.

Whitfield is a good writer and I enjoyed this one much more than In Great Waters. Even if you're tired of werewolves, I'd say give this one a chance. It's an interesting, if sad and disturbing, world to get drawn into. There are a lot of themes at play, many of which I haven't even touched on here, that leave you wondering more about societal ramifications than actual werewolves. It's a dark world to get drawn into. ( )
  justabookreader | Jul 7, 2010 |
What a refreshing, but dark, take on this new obsession with werewolves! In this world, 99.6 percent of the population are shape-shifters. Lola is one of the few "bare-backs". She charged with keeping order on those moon nights, and while her organization might be small, it has a lot of power. As a result, it is hated by most of the population.

Its an interesting world, more authoritarian than reality. It is slowly revealed through the story, as Lola goes about uncovering a murderer. The people she encounters are also quite interesting - from her sister who doesn't quite know how to handle Lola, to Lola's boyfriend Paul, who becomes involved with the case she is working on.

As always in books such as this, there are themes of them vs us, and might makes right. Lola had to do what she did, but she does not go unscathed.

The book does have a few weaknesses- mainly the world. When 99 percent of the population relies on .4 percent of the population to keep things safe for one night a month, you would think that this group of people would be held in greater esteem or things done differently. The author relies too much on history (the inquisition and such) and creates a world that doesn't work, logically. The other thing that bothers is the ending - the resolution came out of nowhere and it didn't work with the plot that was created early on in the book.

This is a great book to read - very dark, and at times, thought provoking. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | May 9, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345491637, Paperback)

“A fascinating and unique tale in an alternate reality where being human is a hindrance. Kit Whitfield has created an astonishing read.”
–Sherrilyn Kenyon, author of the Dark-Hunter series


“Kit Whitfield has created a unique and powerful twist on the werewolf mythos, an eloquent parable about the profound effects of prejudice and violence on both perpetrator and victim. Benighted will leave you thinking long after you’ve turned the last page.”
–Susan Krinard, author of Touch of the Wolf


It is a world much like our own, with one deadly difference: ninety-nine percent of the population is lycanthropic. When the full moon rises, humans transform into lunes, bloodthirsty beasts who cannot be reasoned with or tamed. Those few born unable to change are disparagingly known as barebacks, and live as victims of prejudice and oppression. All too often, they are targets of savage mauling and death by lunes who break the law to roam free on full-moon nights.

Twenty something bareback Lola Galley is already a veteran of the Department for the Ongoing Regulation of Lycanthropic Activities. When her friend loses a hand to a marauding lune, then is murdered before the attacker is brought to trial, Lola is desperate to see justice prevail. But the truth is seldom simple–and Lola may not like the shocking answers she uncovers.


“An impressive debut, Benighted is a well-written and well-thought-out examination of prejudice as seen through the lens of the werewolf novel.”
–Tananarive Due, author of Joplin’s Ghost

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:21 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"It is a world much like our own, with one deadly difference: Ninety-nine percent of the population is lycanthropic. When the full moon rises, humans transform into lunes, bloodthirsty beasts who cannot be reasoned with or tamed. Those few born unable to change are disparagingly known as barebacks and live as victims of prejudice and oppression. All too often, they are targets of savage mauling and death by lunes who break the law to roam free on full-moon nights." "Twenty-something bareback Lola Galley is already a veteran of the Department for the Ongoing Regulation of Lycanthropic Activity. When her friend loses a hand to a marauding lune, then is murdered before the attacker is brought to trial, Lola is desperate to see justice prevail. But the truth is seldom simple - and Lola may not like the shocking answers she uncovers."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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