Saturday, February 18, 2012

Benighted (aka Bareback) by Kit Whitfield (Review by kiwigirlreads)

Benighted Plot Overview:

In a world where 99% of the population changes into ravaging beasts (lunes) on the full moon - being human (bareback) is a liability. The small human percentage of the population in this world are an ill-treated minority who are perceived as disabled for their inability to transform like ‘normal people’.

Lola Galley is a bareback who works for the Department for the Ongoing Regulation of Lycanthropic Activities (DORLA). DORLA, the only real job avenue for barebacks, is charged with policing the lunes, especially during the full moon when a mandatory curfew is enforced to maintain order.

One night while out ‘Dogcatching’, chasing down prowling lunes who are breaking curfew, a friend and colleague has his hand bitten off and is then subsequently murdered. Lola starts to look for answers but her search will uncover more than she ever bargained for as she faces her own feelings as a member of a subjugated minority and delves into the very secret that divides the world she lives in.

What I thought:

I read this book many years ago (it was published in 2006) but wanted to review it here because I really enjoyed it.

Benighted has a unique take on the traditional werewolf story that is both interesting and thought provoking. This is not just some grisly paranormal story about humans and werewolf fighting it out; it’s a crime story and a mystery story and it also has a strong message about what it means to be different.

It is dark and gritty and the characters are complex and not always likable. The things that Lola has experienced as a bareback are at times horrific but there is also light in her relationship with her nephew. It’s a book that would be hard to classify; although the main premise is about a world of werewolves the story is not just about that and we don’t’ actually see a lot of the werewolves in their animal form.

Final Comments and Overall Rating:

This is Kit Whitfields first book and at times the writing can become a bit over extended and long however in saying that I still really enjoyed the book. There are a few minor plot holes (try not to think about it too much) but in the end it's a unique and interesting story well worth the read

I would recommend this to anyone looking for something a bit different to read, not just to people who are interested in paranormal themed books.

Rating:  ☆☆☆☆

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