Those Who Walk in Darkness by John Ridley


Science FictionSuspense

Those who walk in darkness Those Who Walk in DarknessJohn Ridley; Warner Books 2003WorldCat

Soledad has just been promoted to the MTachs – the special unit of the Los Angeles police who fight the “muties” – the metanormals. Metanormals are humans that appear to have evolved. They may be a firestarter, a telepathic, a metal former, a healer, a speed runner, or other “superhero” type of human. But years earlier two of the metanormals had a fight in San Francisco. Now San Francisco is a memorial to the horrors of the “muties”. They have been expelled from the United States.

Soledad has developed a new specialized gun that can fight the metanormals. If a metanormal doesn’t leave the U.S., he or she is subject to arrest and incarceration. But it is difficult for a normal human to approach and arrest a person who can throw fire? Or can run faster than the eye can see? Or can telepathically have you put your own gun to your head and pull the trigger? Although she hasn’t discovered solutions to all the different types of metanormals, she has made a beginning to it. When she uses the gun on her first outing with MTach, she is put on desk duty with possible suspension or firing for not following standard protocol.

Soledad had spent her teen years and adult life wanting to fight “muties”. Now she is sidelined, watching an MTack friend die from injuries received during the one mission Soledad had participated in. She works at a desk, then is put back on street duty. The only redemption she has found is the relationship with a man who is completely separate from the police.

Those Who Walk in Darkness features an extremely strong woman police officer. Soledad O’Roark is an engineering genius, a fighter, and emotionally stable. John Ridley has written a novel (now becoming a faddish theme) about the “what if” of humans evolving into super humans. It wouldn’t be a sudden change, but a gradual one. The old order is threatened by the new order. Which will survive?

Ridley also examines human reactions and feelings under change. Soledad had first worshiped the metanormals, especially a nebulous figure named “Nubian Princess”. Now her hatred is equal to her childish worship. Others are afraid of the metanormals. San Francisco is a vivid reminder of what can happen. Ridley also pierces the different relationships in the intensely connected MTach team. They are involved in situations that immediately pull people together with strong bonds or force them apart as easily.

Those Who Walk in Darkness is a dark novel in many ways, with rough language and violent scenes. Yet through it there are lighter undercurrents. Ridley has crafted an appealing novel that not only tells a future story, but tells of current emotions and actions of mankind. There’s at least one sequel – What Fire Cannot Burn. If there are more, I didn’t see them yet..

Notice: Graphic violence, Strong indecent language, Suggestive dialogue or situations

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