[Reading] ➻ Benighted ➱ Kit Whitfield – 1sm.info

Benighted 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 NightsTwenty 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 Man, I m so glad I gave Benighted by Kit Whitfield a chance.In Benighted, being wholly human is a recessive gene When the full moon rises, ninety nine percent of the human population humans transform into lunes werewolves , mindless, ferocious animals, wrecking havoc if left to their own devices Those few born unable to change are the minority often viewed with disgust and hostility for their disability.Lola Galley is a veteran of the Department for the Ongoing Regulation of Lycanthropic Ac Man, I m so glad I gave Benighted by Kit Whitfield a chance.In Benighted, being wholly human is a recessive gene When the full moon rises, ninety nine percent of the human population humans transform into lunes werewolves , mindless, ferocious animals, wrecking havoc if left to their own devices Those few born unable to change are the minority often viewed with disgust and hostility for their disability.Lola Galley is a veteran of the Department for the Ongoing Regulation of Lycanthropic Activities, an organization staffed by non lunes that monitors the city during the full moon and is tasked with keeping order and capturing the lunes who break the law to roam free on full moon nights When Lola s friend is attacked by a lune, and then murdered before the attacker can be brought to justice, Lola finds herself on the trail of a deadly conspiracy.There s a lot I loved about this book The murder mystery is different The world concept is unique The writing style is different Butthan that, Benighted doesn t shy away from tackling issues of social and racial prejudice and its effect For that, this book wins both my respect and a place on my all time favorite urban fantasy books list.This is not a light or fun read, nor the average high drama urban fantasy fare It is bleak, sometimes beautiful, and definitely disquieting for the questions it raises In its ambition, it comes closer to literature than genre fiction.Benighted gives us Lola, who is part of a feared minority It affects her entire life her relationships, her job, her role in her family, the way she perceives her worth and her appearance There is no easy answer or revelatory celebration of self love at the end of this book.Equally fascinating, Whitfield s world setup puts non lunes barebacks as they are called both into the role of oppressed minority, and into the role of a special police force, tasked with keeping order on the streets when lunes transform into wolves, and granted gestapo level powers and almost no funding.Lola, as part of the bareback only Department for the Ongoing Regulation of Lycanthropic Activities is both oppressed minority to be viewed with pity and disgust for her disability and the police force, facing a monthly deadly threat of violence on the city streets and facing charges of police brutality Prejudice, fear of life, public scrutiny, and life and death situations intersect in fascinating, bleak ways In Lola s interactions with her world, you see childhood trauma meet PTSD meet the soul devouring effects reality of being different and ostracized There is one scene in particular and out of many that has stayed with me Lola s sister, who has staunchly been Lola s champion and defender, has a baby view spoiler Throughout the pregnancy, the sister is defiant in the face of Lola s fears She says she doesn t care if the baby turns out to be bareback like Lola she ll love the baby anyway Then, the doctor pronounces the child healthy and normal, and the sister breaks down sobbing in relief hide spoiler This book is not simple The murder mystery resolution goes into a direction I hadn t seen before Lola s attempt to face a traumatic incident from her past ends with tragic ambiguity Love doesn t conquer all, though perhaps a ray of light does slip through the cracks of Lola s romantic subplot.Such a good read Let s be honest, the urban paranormal fantasy sub genre is glutted at this point in time Like all genres, UF has varying degrees or classes of writers or books You have books that are quick, fun reads, kinda guilty pleasures or B movies such as the Kitty Norville books You have books whose authors believe they are making some type of message, but really aren t a B movie with pretensions You have books that can rise above the B level with a littlesomething, like Dresden Files Let s be honest, the urban paranormal fantasy sub genre is glutted at this point in time Like all genres, UF has varying degrees or classes of writers or books You have books that are quick, fun reads, kinda guilty pleasures or B movies such as the Kitty Norville books You have books whose authors believe they are making some type of message, but really aren t a B movie with pretensions You have books that can rise above the B level with a littlesomething, like Dresden Files.Then you have Benighted, an entirely different kettle of fish It is either literature or it borders on literature Where it stands, comes down to the reader s liking of Whitfield s style.If you are expecting standard UF or PF fare, Benighted is not the book for you It is nothing like Anita Blake, Women of the Otherworld, or The Hollows It is a difficult and challenging book It s not a light read It is, however, a rewarding and thought provoking read.Several weeks back, I read and reviewed The Summoningand said I was tired of race being used simply in terms of romantic angst, and how females leads weren t really different in terms of looks This is not the case with Benighted Whitfield s set up is quite simple In a world where most of the population goes furry every month, the small minority that doesn t is the agency that patrols the furry population when they hit their monthly Whitfield s main character, Lola, is a bareback yes, I know there is a different meaning to that word which means she is not a lune werewolf Because of this, she and the others like her, experience discrimination every single day This allows Whitfield to actually look at the effects of such discrimination on people Too often in UF we get lip service to the idea of discrimination or racism or sexism If you look at the popular series, however, there is no in depth analysis of it Anita Blake, Elena, and Kitty are all non human and are segregated out of the human society because of what they are, yet in their books we mostly see them functioning in a society where they are not the minority Anita has or had one strict human friend, Elena had one human boyfriend, who she dumped, and Kitty has her family, but the werewolves and vampires getplay The characters who are supposedly outsiders are actually part of the in group of the novel In those novels, in terms of characters, strict humans are the minority, and very rarely do central characters behave as if they have been effected by an ism they might have to hide, but outright discrimination doesn t really seem to occur or should it, like in Kitty Takes a Holiday, it lacks depth Benighted, Lola is part of the minority It effects her whole life It effects her outlook on life It effects her relationships Benighted is in a basic sense a mystery Lola wants to find a murderer The book, however, transcends that It transcends the basic werewolf or vampire plot What the reader gets, and this is what makes the book an uncomfortable read, is the effect of discrimination on the minority and the majority Whitfield asks and answers, what happens in a caste system While the minority in the book is based on a lack of transformation, Lola could be any minority in today s real world On top of the theme of discrimination, Whitford examines the role of law and justice in such a society Lola is not an angel she is particularly unlikable I do not even know how I feel about her Lola is a real character and this means she is heavily flawed What is important, and what makes the book though provoking, is that the reader is never shown which side is right, not really Do Lola and her co workers go too far Do the lunes go too far The book leaves the reader with a feeling of disquiet because of the questions about society, race, and social class that it raises Additionally, Whitfield has really thought about how her lunes would work and what the laws of society would be in terms of applying to them, at least in furry form She is the only writer I have seen who takes a woman s monthly cycle into account and how it would be affected by changing Benighted is not an easy book, and it is true that Whitfield s prose could be tighter in places, but it is a worthy, thought provoking book Lol, I have almost no recollection of this book, I ve discovered it as a teenager and reread it countless times because I loved it It s still on my favourites shelf but the rating makes me want to reread it to see what I d think of this today. This book supposes a world wherethan 99% of the population are lycanthropes, who transform into wild, unthinking beasts for a single night every month The tiny minority of non lycanthropes are drafted into an organization that polices the rest of the population The nons spend that night hunting down those who violate the law by not locking themselves safely away The protagonist is a non , and the book is not so much about werewolves as it is about her life experience as a member of t This book supposes a world wherethan 99% of the population are lycanthropes, who transform into wild, unthinking beasts for a single night every month The tiny minority of non lycanthropes are drafted into an organization that polices the rest of the population The nons spend that night hunting down those who violate the law by not locking themselves safely away The protagonist is a non , and the book is not so much about werewolves as it is about her life experience as a member of this minority group.It s a interesting premise, and I enjoyed the book, but it has some serious flaws The police organization run by the nons seems illogical They serve a critical function in this society, yet they re poorly paid, foolishly restricted in their methods and dangerously untrained But incongruently, they have an amazing amount of power over any lyco who has broken the law, or who they even suspect to have broken the law They re able and willing to imprison them indefinitely without legal advice while torturing them for information It s a strange mix of oppression and power.The writing is awkward in some places and quite good in others At the fifty page mark I was underwhelmed, but the story improved when Paul the social worker was introduced, and it got downright riveting as the book progressed.A little technical detail in the right places can really add to the realism of a book, and I think the author skimped on her research Most of the discourse on what causes someone to be born a non is weak, as is the scene where the protagonist asks a friend to examine a car that she suspects has been sabotaged

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