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The Liminal People (Liminal #1)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  452 Ratings  ·  99 Reviews

Membership in the razor neck crew is for life. But when Taggert, who can heal and hurt with just a touch, receives a call from the past he is honor bound to try and help the woman he once loved try to find her daughter. Taggert realizes the girl has more power than even he can imagine and has to wrestle with the nature of his own skills, not to mention risking the wrath of
Kindle Edition, 198 pages
Published (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Ayize Jama-Everett
Sep 07, 2011 Ayize Jama-Everett rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
It's the best book ever! One of them at least. Reads quick like a beast and leaves you wanting more. I wish I wrote it... waitaminute!!!
I really hesitated in ordering this book. This was partly because it's a debut novel, and I wasn't sure I had the patience for one of those right now; but it was mostly because I'm getting a little burned out on the noir style, and I didn't know if I could give another noir-influenced SF/F novel a fair shot as a result.

The first half of the book went better than I expected. It was a very typical noir set-up, full of disconnected people carving out an existence on the fringes of society through t
Liviu Szoke
Mar 12, 2015 Liviu Szoke rated it it was amazing
Superior fantasy in Neil Gaiman's old fashioned style (American Gods, not the latter crap we had to deal with recently), delivered through a very original voice of a tough african smart-ass healer, who has to fight with a powerful entity for the love of his life. Can't wait for the sequel, due to appear this year, as well as his next novel, due for august 2015.
Rachel Brown
This novel was apparently self-published, then picked up by the illustrious Small Beer Press. Good pick. It’s not perfect, but it deserves much better than to languish in self-pubbed obscurity. I also applaud Small Beer for accurately representing the black protagonist on the cover.

Taggert has the power to control and transform his own body and the bodies of others: he can heal or kill, distract opponents with sudden physical urges or create the world’s best disguise for himself. Jama-Everett ta
It feels overly facile to call this the action/adventure version of Wild Seed, but . . . it basically is. It's not just the African setting and heavily black cast that calls Butler's classic to mind, but the push-pull dynamic between the healer protagonist and his ominous mentor/master, who wants to control the protagonist as part of a plan to bring together more of "his" people: the psychics and other powers of the world. But while Butler writes about the delicate balance between collaboration ...more
May 11, 2012 Dan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this book. It's one of the best character-driven, emotionally gripping novels I've ever read.

The Liminal People are those with powers beyond the human possible. The Liminal People are those whose existence is a secret best kept from others like them.

The Liminal People is a book about what it means to be human, what it is worth to be human. It's a gritty, unforgiving look at the world--and a brutally honest portrayal of love and hope.
James Warner
Feb 11, 2013 James Warner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cyberpunk-ish only more streetwise. The author takes the wounded healer archetype through its paces. The character of Nordeen is seriously scary -- "All the royalty of Malaysia send him birthday cards, all at different times of the year." Somehow one knows not to mess with that guy...

"Healers are poison to the warrior soul," says a Dogon chief. A thriller that leaves you thinking many thoughts about the use and abuse of power.
Taggert, the main character of Ayize Jama-Everett’s debut novel The Liminal People, is one of a growing number of people with supernatural powers, called the liminal people. Taggert’s power is his ability to heal, which also gives him the abilitiy to read body functions, change and stop them. The Liminal People reads like a superhero comic told in a noir prose style. Now, there are a lot of superhero stories in lots of mediums available at the moment, and I’m usually hesitant when it comes to th ...more
Liminal People is a super-powered mystery story featuring an unlikely detective. Taggart is a healer, with the power to control human bodies on a cellular level for good or ill. He's also a secret weapon for a drugs-and-other-things cartel based out of Morocco, headed by Nordeen, a boss with powers of his own and a predisposition to usefully complex plans. The self-reflection in Taggart, the part of him that is able to tell someone he wants to respect him that the best healers are the ones who k ...more
not bad for a first novelistic effort. i had higher hopes for it at the beginning than proved out, but there was still a lot to like.

one: it starts in africa. wishing deeply for more sf not from the US or britain, so i was happyhappyhappy. even if the main character is american, at least he's not your standard white guy, and fortunately he's not even white. and he lives in morocco.

i do wish the narrative had stayed there, but alas, we had to go to london.

and our protag himself... he starts out
Jan 09, 2012 Jacqie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tried this one on the strength of a good review. I thought it was decently well done, but not enough for me to recommend for book club.

a non-white, non-American main character. Most of the book features characters of color, and it begins in Morocco. I would liked to have seen more of the book take place in Africa, actually.

the powers were interesting and slightly different. We never get an explanation for them- are they magic, psychic, mutants? also slightly unusual- the main characte
Shana DuBois
Mar 06, 2015 Shana DuBois rated it it was amazing
An amazing and refreshing take on superpowers.

Be forewarned, this book will suck you in. I honestly wasn't sure what to expect going in but several people had recommended it so I went in knowing very little. By chapter four I couldn't put it down, I had to keep reading. The characters, Taggert and Tamara in particular, are incredibly developed. Even smaller (as in time on 'screen') characters, like Samantha, are written such that the reader gets a true connection and feeling for the character.

I was engrossed in the world where magical superpowers are superimposed on the world that we know and love, and yet is intertwined with it. The narrative is more technical than comic books and more occult than the sprawl trilogy, although it is reminiscent of both. Each character is strategically navigating a web of power by way of super-human abilities that are dialed in like some quantum-computer although their motivations retain recognizably human sentiments. The powers of each character coun ...more
Oct 24, 2012 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Richard by:
Excellent. A very well-written paranormal-scifi-fantasy. No vampires.

The blurb is an adequate overview; what it cannot convey is the author's engrossing prose and lifelike characters. There is a well thought-out conflict for the protagonist to navigate, with a mix of cliched and innovative twists. Bonus points for a black protagonist and several strong female characters.

Read it.

Oh: Also recommended by ("We come from the future") with a lengthy review at The Liminal People is the twisted
Mar 25, 2015 Claudia marked it as not-my-cup-of-coffee
Shelves: fantasy
It's not a bad story, on the contrary, the idea is very interesting - a (some) guy(s) with special powers, who can sense the heartbeats of people even if they are not in close range and who have the ability to heal and hurt with his (their) mind at distance.

It's just that the setup is not for me: the main character is the pawn of a drug dealer and terrified by him and his right-hand, which is supposed to be his friend also. Actually, the relationship between them is the one I have a problem with
Feb 10, 2014 Joseph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A unique and refreshing take on superpowers and post humanism that is as relevant and as important to science fiction and or urban fantasy as Otomo Katsuhiro's Akria and Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons' Watchmen.

Told thought the eyes of an African-American anti-hero named Taggett who's on a mission of rescue, then later, revenge, we see Africa, then London though the eyes of a man, who reads peoples bodily functions like a book and can manipulate them at will. We watch as he slowly begins to question hi
Stephen Dorneman
This slender novel, told in the first person, does what the best superhero-base entertainment only very rarely achieves -- for the duration of reading, of experiencing, it, you believe that this world of telepaths, firestarters, telekinetics, and many more living alongside normal humans (norms) is real. In that world, older powers warp the younger ones and war against each other, and a healer must (rather graphically) kill and kill again, before chossing whether or not to suffer the repercussion ...more
Nick Fagerlund
This ultra-violent superhero crime/revenge story was a functional page-turner, but was not precisely my cuppa. The protag was supposed to read as a dark, conflicted antihero, but he was kind of just a piece of garbage. (Cruel, ragey, crappy towards women, blames most of his flaws on his mentor/crime boss, etc.) And even ignoring him there were plenty of problems, what with the love interest killed off for motivation and the evil psychic disabled person and all.

Well-staged action, mildly intrigui
Nov 07, 2016 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I stayed up until 3am reading this because once I started, I just couldn't put it down.

I chose to read this just because I liked the name and didn't really have any expectations and so was super pleased to find such an enthralling read. The characters are all fantastic, the world very engaging and I was just totally hooked. I'd definitely recommend this book and look forward to reading the next book!
Vytautas Malesh
Jul 30, 2014 Vytautas Malesh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick and engaging read - refreshing to see People of Color in leading roles, likewise for superheroic action set outside of good ol' 'murica. Present-tense keeps the pacing fast, but also limits chances for exploring language and pacing. Excellently suggests a larger, scarier world beyond that of the narrative without spoiling it.
Dec 09, 2011 Samuel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(based on receiving the previous small press printing as an arc:) Very, very good. Some parts so tense I was actually shaking. Haven't cared about the outcome of a book so much in several months. Emotionally powerful and viscerally violent, packed into 200 pages.
Dec 27, 2011 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this. A creative take on people with powers. Also, the first e-book I read, which I purchased directly from the very cool small-publisher who put it out. Fabulous.
Aug 11, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Goodreads firstreads winner

I really liked this book! Serious page turner, short though, blasted right through it. Alot of books feel familiar, this one did not, which is a very good thing.
Geoffrey Deacon
Jan 20, 2015 Geoffrey Deacon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Impressive Afro-Multi Culti-Modernist Noir. Great entertainment...
Lisa Eckstein
Feb 07, 2017 Lisa Eckstein rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017
Ayize Jama-Everett is one of the honored guests at the upcoming FOGcon, so I tried out this book that wouldn't otherwise be the type to attract my interest. I'm glad I did, because I enjoyed the characters and the writing, and I recommend this novel, especially to fans of urban fantasy.

Taggert has the power to alter bodies at the molecular level. He can use his ability to heal, but during his time in Morocco, he's more often applied it to harm or impede the enemies of his boss, an international
BJ Terry
Jun 22, 2017 BJ Terry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrea Blythe
Mar 10, 2017 Andrea Blythe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fic-scifi
The Liminal People is a scifi crime novel centered on Taggert, a man with the power to heal or hurt the people around him. He serves a ruthless man and has done terrible things in the course of his work. Although he dislikes it, he has made peace with his life — until an ex love asks for his help to find her daughter. The search for the girl leads him into a face-off with others with enough power that they seem to walk the borderline between human and god.

Taggert is an interesting character, bor
Kristina Franken
The Liminal People oozes atmosphere from the first tense scene, as Taggert, doing a drug deal for his boss, is double-crossed in an unfriendly environment. Fortunately, Taggert can take care of himself: he has the ability to read and alter bodies; he swims in the biorhythms of the people who surround him. He can induce sleep, inflict pain, grow tumors, cause death. He can produce the same changes in his own body: increase muscle mass, boost adrenalin, toughen skin, deaden nerves, heal wounds. He ...more
Andy Coleman
Mar 01, 2017 Andy Coleman rated it really liked it

I got to this book through The Entropy of Bones, which I had picked up without much thought before finding myself completely engrossed in it. I knew I needed to read more from this author and since his older works were also about the "liminals", I didn't wait long to grab this book.

At one level, this book is a fun, action-packed read. Plenty of superpowers and interesting characters. The story of hunting down a missing girl and a murderer is very satisfying. But on a differ
Feb 16, 2013 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Super secret people
Recommended to Alan by: Repeated spinal viewings
Dayum. I'd looked at this book a couple of times on the shelf and passed it over more than once, but kept coming back to its title and synopsis. And I'm glad I did finally check it out. The Liminal People turns out to be a gripping story of the super-powerful people living secretly among us—and of their limitations. Its title is not accidental; its protagonist Taggert, and the others who are like him, are the "liminal" people, beings on the threshold between humanity and... something else. Somet ...more
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“I'll turn into a god of pain and disease and build an altar to you from the bones of your murderer. Their suffering will be my first odes, and they will not end until I feel satisfied that even dead, resting wherever you are resting, you can hear the pain of the idiot that thought your death would go unavenged.” 3 likes
“I've never had this kind of scrap with one of our kind, only heard about them. You ever hear about a whole town losing its memory, ships at sea that witness water doing things it shouldn't, like talking, or ever just notice a large plot of land that never changes even though the entire neighborhood around it does? That's my kind fighting in one form or another. Croatoan? That was us.” 1 likes
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