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Benighted

3.5  ·  Rating details ·  953 Ratings  ·  141 Reviews
“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. Beni
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Kindle Edition, 544 pages
Published (first published 2006)
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Chris
Aug 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 little more something, like Dresden Files. ...more
Jamie Collins
May 25, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jamie by: Julie
Shelves: fantasy-urban
This book supposes a world where more than 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 ...more
Stef Rozitis
What would you say are the chances of me liking a "paranormal realism" book about werewolves, where a major and important part of the plot is a (heterosexual) romance between our heroine who is a loner/misfit and a very attractive young werewolf.

Yeah I didn't think it would happen either! I guess I gave it a go because of the idea that it had something to say about prejudice and violence- something that I expected to be cringefully simplistic but I thought at least may be timely.

It turned out I
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Brent Scherer
Mar 10, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The book was just not good at best and very irritating at worst.

The main character is completely unlikable. The victim of being a minority her entire life, she lashes out at anyone and everyone she can without reason. She has a personality that she's on the righteous side of everything because she is a victim when the legal system she uses is completely idiotic and makes no sense given the fact the population is 99% werewolves. Somehow her and her organization have the legal authority to lock up
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Ladiibbug
Did Not Finish - Quit at page 130

90% of the population are werewolves, the other 10% are non's. The law requires werewolves to lock themselves inside on full moons to avoid prowling, maiming and murdering while under the moon influence.

The non's are required to belong to DORLA (Dept. for the Ongoing Regulation of Lycanthorpic Activities). DORLA teams in vans hunt on full moon nights to catch and jail those werewolves who are out. The "dogcatching" is extremely dangerous, as the human non's are
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Jade
Jan 20, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: quarter-2
Bareback Jade Farrar
Kit Whitfield
©2006
In the book Bareback the world is very similar to earth, except for one thing. Most of the population is Lyco (werewolves), who become horrible beasts underneath the full moon. And the other very small percentage of the population are called barebacks who are regular humans. The main character in this story is 28-year-old Lola Galley. In this world there are rules about the werewolves transformed roaming outside after their curfew. There are agents who ta
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MG
Sep 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Benighted is not a book to start with false expectations. If you are looking for a story which focuses on the fantasy elements and worldbuilding, or a supernatural drama, this is not the book for you. Benighted is depressing as all get out, and that needs to be understood going in.

Its protagonist and narrator is Lola Galley, a "bareback" in a world filled with lycanthropes. "Barebacks" (a derogatory term for non-lycanthropes), or nons, are conscripted at a young age into DORLA, the organization
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Naiya
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
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Juushika
Benighted takes place in a world not unlike our own, except for one fundamental difference: over 99% of the population are lycanthropes, and the remaining minority work with the Department for the Ongoing Regulation of Lycanthropic Activity, capturing and prosecuting lunes that break full-moon curfews. Lola Galley is a DORLA veteran, but the events of two bad moon nights leads her to investigate a new type of lycanthrope crime: lycos capable of thought in wolf form and murder in human form. Beni ...more
P D
Oct 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Based on the blurb, I got a sense that this would be supernatural noir with an intriguing premise - most of the population are werewolves and for the unlucky few who aren't, all of their choices are subsumed into a career in maintaining the peace during moon nights via an organization called DORLA, when society collectively loses its prefrontal cortex, down to a level where they even shut off the power because there's no one around to run it.

DORLA is like the CIA except with no money (down to th
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 Lenore Beadsman64
Lola Galley non è un licantropo. In un mondo in cui i lica sono la razza dominante lei fa parte della ristretta cerchia dei senzapelo. I senzapelo non hanno diritto ad una vita privilegiata, né ad un istruzione. Vengono prelevati da piccoli e cresciuti in appositi nidi, dove solo i più forti sopravvivono per essere poi addestrati a fare la ronda nelle notti di luna piena. Lola è quanto di più vicino ci sia tra la sua gente ad un avvocato. Ha una sorella lica ed un amante lica. Ma questo non è un ...more
Kate
Nov 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2007
In a world where werewolves - or lycos as they are called in this debut novel - are the norm and barebacks or ‘nons’ (in other words people that do not turn at the full moon) are considered disabled or crippled, born with a birth defect that means they come out headfirst and different, Lola May is a social outcast. As a non, she is forced to work as a dog-catcher for DORLA, the organisation responsible for policing the activity of lunes (lycos during full moon) for the two days of the month that ...more
Michael
Aug 03, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting premise let down by poor writing/world building decisions. It's a world where most of the population is made up of werewolves. Those who aren't are conscripted into an agency (DORLA) who watches over the lycanthropic population on the nights they change over.

But why does this agency exist? There are references in the book to show that the werewolves are able to pack together without slaughtering each other while they're in their turned state. So if 99.4% of the population would b
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Clarice
Jun 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: at-the-library, 2009
So, when I picked this book up from the library, it was a spontaneous choice and I completely thought it would be kind of cracktastic. Well... I was completely and wonderfully wrong. The set up is pretty decent - a world of werewolves where being non-were was a birth defect/disability, and the nons ran a government agency to help deal with weres who caused trouble and were a minority treated as a lower caste of people. The set up was good, the story was pretty well thought out, and a lot of the ...more
Hirondelle
I quit. Not my cup of tea. Interesting, but the premise of the universe just does not make me suspend disbelief, and nothing in plot of characters makes me want to actually finish the book.
WakenPayne
Oct 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, reading the premise of the book I felt extremely interested in the world they set up. When I did start reading it, for some reason - it might be that I haven't read in a while - I didn't feel that it had the page turning qualities something similar would do. Now granted, with that aside it is a good book, but there are a few problems.

The plot is that Lola Galley is a "bareback" one of the few who is born with the physical disability of not turning into a werewolf, and faces prejudices ever
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Francesca
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Immaginate un universo in cui sono gli esseri umani ad essere considerati degli abomini. Anzi, peggio, degli storpi invalidi. Esseri inferiori a cui manca fisicamente qualcosa, tanto da essere considerati scherzi della natura e corrotti senz'anima dall'opinione pubblica, dalla massa votante e privilegiata, quella dei Licantropi. Immaginatelo e riuscirete a capire in minima parte questa storia, con tutto ciò che comporta. La cosa che più mi ha colpita di quanto ho letto, è stata la tremenda sensa ...more
graveyardgremlin (formerly faeriemyst)
I've spent the last three weeks reading Benighted off and on. I have a hard time describing how I feel about this book - in one respect I feel that it is well-written and very lifelike, even if it deals with lycanthropes, but in another, I feel that the story is flawed. I think that it was hard to stick with it because the tone is so depressing and dreary that I needed breaks.

Lola (or May) is a sympathetic character, but that does not, in any way, mean you'll like her, but I couldn't help but fe
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Lisa Eckstein
This novel has an intriguing premise: Most people in the world are lycanthropes (werewolves, though the book avoids ever using this term). When the moon is full, they change into violent beasts, but the rest of the time, they carry out normal human lives, and as the majority population, they control pretty much everything. Those who don't transform due to a rare birth defect make up less than one percent of society. These people are considered freaks and are treated as second-class citizens, but ...more
Samantha
Aug 29, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I started this book with high hopes. The urban fantasy world has been pretty well clouded with books full of all sex and little plot with very few exceptions. Hunters of every kind flood the pages and all get caught on the same clichés. It's a trope that can be well done, but to be frank, not very often.

Then I encountered this book. Lawyers? I wondered at the concept of that. The reverse morphology was fascinating to me as well, so I read the first few pages to get a good handle on whether the w
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Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
Benighted is a hard book to review: for starters, it's almost impossible to explain without spoilers. It includes lycanthropes (werewolves), but no magic and few action scenes, and delves deeper into moral and psychological issues than any urban fantasy I've ever read. It portrays a dystopia of sorts, but the point still seems to be the story, not some political message. There's a murder mystery or two involved, before the plot veers off in a direction you've probably never seen in a simple myst ...more
Sara Henry
Jan 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You could call BENIGHTED (BAREBACK in the UK) a crime novel that explores society's prejudices, or you could call it a fantasy novel with a mystery to be solved. Or you could call it a damned fine novel whose full-human protagonist just happens to live in a place where turning into a wolf at full moon is the norm, and she's the oddball.

I'm not a fan of werewolf fiction - but this isn't. It just happens to be set in a world where most people turn into, well, werewolves, and those who don't are ta
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Cora
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 assi ...more
Tal
Jun 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For those born feet-first, life is normal. Civil rights are enshrined in law, the world is a comfortable place, and every full moon night, you lock yourself in a secure room to fur up in peace. But for those born head-first, the damage done is more than just physical. For a non, locked in his or her human skin, is first and foremost a conscript, drafted at eighteen into DORLA, the Department for the Ongoing Regulation of Lycanthropic Activity.

For a DORLA agent, insultingly referred to as a 'bare
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Alexapeterson
This is actually closer to 2 and 1/2 stars . . .
This book turns the traditionally fantasy plot-line on its head, creating a world in which 99% of the world's population are lycanthropes, while the small one percent without the gene to change during the full moon are derisively called "barebacks". Members of this one percent are forced to join DORLA, an organization charged with policing the streets during full moons and convicting those lycanthropes who are found wandering (rather than locked up
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Cathal
Oct 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so, I went in not expecting to like this book as much as I did; werewolves, like so many other monster types, have been recycled constantly by authors without adding much a twist to the story. This one sort of flipped a lot of familiar paranormal plots by having the humans as the minority and the creatures as the majority, with both groups fully aware of each other's existence. The book was a bit of a slow start for me at first, but after a point I found the social issues in the novel too ...more
Tracy Terry
Set in a world populated by Lycos/Lunas (werewolves) and Nons/Barebacks (humans) Bareback is loosely an urban fantasy, sort of a crime thriller and kind of a romance. Described in The Times as neither [quite] horror nor supernatural fantasy, but more a cautionary tale, I'd describe it as a mongrel of a read in that it comprises bits of this, that and the other.

Though undoubtedly an interesting slant to the whole werewolf/human relationships thing, I personally would have preferred less, a lot le
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Gouty
First let me preface this with two things:
1. I am not a big fan of fantasy (there is some I like, a lot I don't).
2. I like my detectives more along the lines of Sam Spade, or Jack Reacher.
that being said I still really did not like this book. It was not so much a matter of genre, but the fact that while fantasy don't have to be believable they should not have plot holes that one can drive a truck through. As for the main detective she is a trully unlikable character. There are some very good boo
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Laura
I picked this book off the bookshelf at the library on a whim. I was looking for new authors without long, multi-book series started yet. The premise was interesting: a human cop living/working/surviving in a world of werewolves.

It's a dark world; it's a dark book. Humanity is slowly being bred out/killed off. Although the author didn't say it, I had the feeling that humanity was a recessive gene, getting more recessive each generation. Yet the werewolves, or lupines, need humans to keep society
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Kit Whitfield grew up in London. In her time, she has trained as a chef and a masseur, as well as working as a website editor, quote hunter, toy shop assistant and publisher.
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