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Publisher's Summary

John Ridley, the best-selling author of The Drift, is renowned for his gritty, violent tales and their razor-sharp dialogue. This foray into science fiction is an explosive thriller. In the near future, superheroes are very real. But so are supervillains. When San Francisco is toasted during a superbeing clash, America has had enough. All metanormals must leave the country, or face extermination at the hands of an elite new law enforcement branch.
© John Ridley; (P)Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Readers will find themselves torn between sympathy, empathy, pity and disgust, often on the same page. With its lavish fight scenes, the book was clearly written with an eye on film adaptation. Yet Ridley...knows how to make his story work both as a novel and as a proto-screenplay. And as a novel, it works very well indeed." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Terrific narration, story needs an editor...

This story needs brutal editing, it sounds like it was written on deadline and fueled by caffiene. A good editor would hack out huge chunks of redundant, mind numbing stuff. I found my mind wandering as the story went down the same roads over and over again. Some of the interesting plot lines were thrown away too quickly. Interesting characters and events in the story were abandoned, in favor or more useless atmosphere and scene setting.

Ms. Floyd's dramatic reading is the principle saving grace of the book. Her acting ability brought some depth to characters, that would have otherwise been flat. She gave a professional performance to material that really did not deserve her talent.

Too much focus was given to the wrong characters, we should have spent more time with the "bad guys" who were all much more interesting than the protagonist, Soledad. Too much meaningless atmosphere. Too much repetition in the narration -- like Mr. Ridley thought we would forget the motivations of his characters if we didn't hear them repeated often enough.

Trim it down, then sell it as a graphic novel or a TV movie script. It doesn't work in this medium.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Randy
  • Jefferson City, MO, USA
  • 09-28-05

Good material for RPG players

I finished the book and just now found the audiobook for it.
This is a good book for people who grew up reading X-Men. It is a good source book for those who play role-playing games like d20 Modern. The twists in the story are good, though perhaps expected. It doesn't go into details about the biology of the mutants. But it does go deep into the relationship of police officers and how their work affects their life. I look forward to the sequel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Robert
  • Mary Esther, FL, USA
  • 08-03-04

Those who write and narrate in darkness

What a waste of time! Xenophobic, fearful, and a general horror. The plot is a twist on the old X-Men "fear of mutants" conceit, from the POV of an unbelievable mutant hunter. Mutants have been banished to Europe and anywhere else "not USA" because of an 'uprising' which makes them sound like an unruly underclass, not supermen. Those mutatns who remain are hunted and killed. This premise is simply given without any effort to make it plausible. There is little character building. The plot is carried almost exclusively by action, or by the voice of a narrator. Dialogue is faux 'street tough' and laughable in it's efforts to be current, as if it it was lifted from MTV interviews with Snoop Doggy Dog. An additional treat is that the narration of this audiobook is atrocious. The reader has one 'voice' and that one is not conducive to reading dialogue, which this book relies on heavily. The publisher calls this dialogue 'gritty' but I would call it 'illiterate' or 'dim' or just bad. I did not like the three hours I endured.

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jim
  • University City, MO, United States
  • 11-09-13

Main protagonist is completely unlikeable.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If the main character had undergone some sort of character arc or learned that her hatred puts her squarely in the wrong. She remains the same bigoted, murderous person at the end as she did at the beginning.

What was most disappointing about John Ridley’s story?

By the time I was two thirds of the way through I was rooting for Soledad to die. She is no hero. She is just the smartest and most gestapo-like in her hatred of all super-powered beings, no matter how good or evil they are. She is a murderer who has sanction because of the law of the land and the badge she wears.

Have you listened to any of Patricia R. Floyd’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

N / A. I hadn't heard any other readings by Floyd, but I thought she did a good job.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Those Who Walk in Darkness?

The last half of the book after which Soledad has too much innocent blood on her hands to ever be a sympathetic character.

Any additional comments?

This was obviously written as a screenplay. Given how unlikeable the main character is it is no wonder that no studio wants to turn this into a movie.

  • Overall
  • Flavius
  • Morro Bay, CA, United States
  • 04-21-11

Intriguing Take On Superheroes

This is a well-written novel, which manages to achieve the very difficult--make us root for an unlikeable, broken character.
The narrator, Patricia Floyd, is also very good. However, whomever mixed and edited this audiobook (I'm assuming it wasn't Ms. Floyd, as I doubt anyone who obviously puts so much effort into her narration would do such a sloppy job on her edits) did a horrible job. Quite literally the worst editing in an audiobook as I'd ever like to hear. You'll catch every mouth noise and stomach gurgle.

  • Overall
  • D
  • CANTONMENT, FL, United States
  • 08-08-08

Waste of time...

Very good idea, interesting story, but the ending leaves you hating the protagonist. This book could have had great potential for a positive ending, but ends up being racist (towards the super-powered) and lets the protagonist not work through her issues and become a more scarred, hating victim. Sad.

  • Overall
  • Tom
  • Savannah, GA, USA
  • 02-16-06

Terrible !!!

This was narrated like a poor 'I'M GONNA GET YOU SUCKA' immitation. It sounded like an urban authur narrated by an educated lady that tries to sound like a gheto urban reader. I would rather chew on tin foil - save your credits.

  • Overall

Maybe this review doesn't belong here ...

I should point out that I haven't listened to this audio book. Maybe the reader is simply atrocious. I did, however, read this book in paperback and enjoyed it quite a bit. The "uprising" another reviewer mentioned wasn't really what happened though that is sort of the impression given early in the book. Later more details are given and the underlying reasons for the animosity toward the mutants comes out - the normals are really ticked at themselves for putting all their faith in the mutants. And when the good guy mutants failed to save the day the normals got ticked. They, IMO, overreacted (and I think that's part of the point the author intended) but once the details are understood, the results make more sense.

For anyone who was disappointed with the audio book, I'd recommend picking up the paperback. It still may not be your cup of tea but at least you won't be put off by a poor reader (which, from the sounds of it, this one has).

I agree that the plot is somewhat slim and something of a knock off of X-Men in some ways - but, then, it'd be hard to do anything related to mutants these days and not have it compared to the X-Men in some way.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • W
  • Marina, CA, United States
  • 02-23-05


I downloaded this title hoping for an action story filled with superhero derring do and conflict. Instead I was bored. This book failed my 'listen to 30 minutes or delete rule.' Quite frankly Boring. I'm disappointed I wasted a credit on it. Also the narrator wasn't that hot. Listen to the sample before purchasing.