“Neuropath by R. Scott Bakker crackles with energy, a thriller that presents a frighteningly plausible look into the future of neuroscience. I found this an outstanding read, as fascinating as it is original, with real science, real characters, and a relentless plot. On top of that, it raises some big, big questions about free will and the nature of the human mind.” ~ Douglas Preston, New York Times bestselling author of Blasphemy

“At first I couldn’t believe what I was reading, and that was scary, and then I could, and that was really scary. Neuropath describes a future that is creeping into reality by stealth, and it is going to challenge our most basic ideas of who and what we are. Add to that a ferociously exciting reading experience and a startlingly well informed plot, and you have a book that works like arson for the mind. Terrifying and brilliant.” ~ Whitley Strieber, author of The Wolfen

“This book has emotionally hurt and disturbed me in a way none has done in many years. You should think twice before reading this – there could be some scientific and philosophical possibilities you don’t want to know!” ~ Thomas Metzinger, Director of the MIND Group, Co-founder of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness, and author of the acclaimed Being No One

“A gripping, occasionally queasy thriller that’s part slasher fiction, part neuroscience primer. Enough twists and reversals to keep our brains working overtime right to the end. Bakker proves that real, hard science is bigger, better and a whole lot scarier than anything our imaginations can come up with.” ~ SFX Magazine

“has all the nastiness of the current fashion for gruesome thrillers, one very good late plot twist, and – what gives it a kind of sf sensibility – intelligent debates about the nature of consciousness, autonomy, identity, desire and the degree to which the mind is no more than a manipulating machine. T H Huxley meets torture porn.” ~ The Telegraph

“Neuropath seems to be a rare book these days, a thriller that not only chills and thrills but also brings into the spotlight more intellectual issues. Unlike many books of this nature, it deals with big issues – the nature of reality, the ethical issues of technology merging with the brain, the state of the world as we know it, even the idea that soon we may not be able to trust our experiences – within a crime novel.”

“Neuropath is a frightening novel because it hits so close to the bone with questions people aren’t always willing to ask anyone or themselves.”

“an intense, breathtaking read. It is an unsettling look at the near future that really makes you think about just who we are and how much we know ourselves – or how much we don’t know ourselves.” ~ SFFWorld

“…the kind of book Stephen King might write if he had degrees in psychology and philosophy… Neuropath is a scary novel that will have readers spooked in more ways than one. It’s sure to give thriller fans a few of the twists and turns they crave.” ~ The London Free Press

“This is a taut and nerve wracking psychological thriller that is not only spine chilling, but also intellectually challenging.”

“Bakker keeps the story moving along lucidly and briskly. His particular premise allows for some nasty twists on the stock situations associated with this kind of plot, and his involvement of the security state with the study of those possibilities in the novel … adds another layer to the intrigue.” ~ Strange Horizons

““It’s Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” reworked for the postmodern crowd; a book that drags us out of our illusions kicking and screaming into the light provided by cognitive psychology and neurology. It strips everything it means to “be human” including the definition of “human”. It’s an amazing and brilliant must-read thriller that will resonate through you long after you’ve finished reading it. But ignore all this; it’s just my rationalization module working overtime.”

“Bakker’s novel is so intriguing it is almost impossible to put down. The action flows from one shocking incident to the next, filled in between with profound and disturbing insights. This elevates “Neuropath” above other contemporary thrillers in that it is an intellectual powerhouse of a novel. Bakker offers interesting observations and questions on selfhood, consciousness, love, morality, and government regulation. It’s impossible to read the novel and not reflect on it, as it shakes the very foundation of what we conceive of as humanity.”

“What Scott Bakker did for the fantasy genre with the Prince of Nothing trilogy, he also does here for the futuristic thriller: namely, set the bar for greatness. For fans of science fiction or thrillers, Neuropath is a must-read classic, chilling, original and truly disturbing. It grabs you by your mind, and shakes you hard, never relenting, never apologizing, leaving you shattered by the end. Whether you hate it or love it, you are guaranteed to feel it.” ~ Blood of the Muse

““… a chilling, disturbing book.” ~ The Cultural Gutter

“”A techno-thriller where the sheer brutality of some events has an impact precisely because there seems to be a point being made by it. And it works on a sub-textual level, as the big questions of identity are echoed by genuine shocks as to the identities of characters.”  ~ Starburst Magazine

“Neuropath is the most disturbing book I have ever read.” ~ Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist

“the ending is so chilling, so personal in a sense that I was sucked into imagining myself in the place of the protagonist, Thomas Bible. There was no redemption, no “saving moment.” Instead, it closes with a realization that the traumas endured, the horrors realized, all of those were but the stripping away of protective layers; I felt exposed afterwards. Made for quite a downer for a couple of days, as even my dreams dealt with the implications of what was shown in that novel. Totally unlike 99% of the other novels that I’ve read over the course of almost 30 years of reading.” ~ OF Blog of the Fallen

“Scott Bakker’s series, The Prince of Nothing, hit the SFF world with critical acclaim and a cerebral approach to epic fantasy. Bakker jumps genre in Neuropath to the realm of psychological and techno-thrillers and the same approach of intellectual depth without sacrificing the entertainment value of reading. Neuropath succeeds at both with its weighty implications of cognitive science and a suspenseful thriller plot.”

“Fans of philosophy and deep intellectual debate will eat up The Argument as it consumes them – I lost a bit of sleep and have brought its implications into many a conversation since reading Neuropath.” ~ Neth Space

“Like The Silence of the Lambs, Se7en and Saw, Neuropath is a new benchmark in serial killer/ psychological storytelling and has the potential to revolutionize the genre…” ~ Fantasybookcritic

“It’s possibly the creepiest book I think I’ll read this year (maybe the creepiest book I will ever

“At its most basic level ‘Neuropath’ is a storming thriller that rips along at a hell of a pace to an
adrenaline fuelled conclusion (and some interesting speculations on the shape our world might
take in the very near future). You have to hold on tight otherwise the twists in the plot will throw
you right out of the book and leave you gasping for breath.”

“All I can say is that, as a reader, I was constantly putting the book down and looking at passers
by in a whole new light.” ~ Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review

“a powerful hardboiled medical thriller… FBI, invasive surgery techniques and the mysteries of
the self. Uncommon.” ~ Murder One

“If this is what neuroscience is coming to – don’t tell me anymore – this is absolutely freaky. Neuropath is well written and is definitely a psychological thriller which delves into the mysteries of the self. There are so many new discoveries in consciousness and research to weave a tale that is as troubling as it is gripping.” ~ BFK Books


SF Site’s Reader’s Choice Best SF and Fantasy Books of 2003
Best of 2003: Locus Recommended Reading
Editor’s Pick: Best of 2003
Best Books of 2004: Publisher’s Weekly

“Canadian author Bakker’s impressive, challenging debut, the first of a trilogy, should please those weary of formulaic epic fantasy. Bakker’s utterly foreign world, Eäärwa, is as complex as that of Tolkien, to whom he is, arguably, a worthier successor than such established names as David Eddings and Stephen Donaldson.” –Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

“Highly recommended for fantasy collections.” –The Library Journal (starred review)

“‘Intelligent’ is a term trotted out so often by publishers that it has become almost worthless – which is hard for the likes of Bakker, whose [The Darkness That Comes Before] truly is intelligent, and original, and all those other overused words.” –The Guardian

“[R. Scott Bakker is a] class act like George R. R. Martin, or his fellow Canadians Steven Erikson and Guy Gavriel Kay. He gets right away from the ‘downtrodden youth becoming king’ aspect of epic fantasy in his very impressive first novel – The Darkness That Comes Before, which will be published in the UK in April 2004. But he also reminds us of the out-and-out strangeness that fantasy can engender, in a way no one has since Clark Ashton Smith. No clunky analogy of medieval Europe here. Odd, fascinating characters in a world full of trouble and sorcery.” –“10 Authors to Watch,” SFX Magazine

“I jokingly hesitate to truly call this a work of fantasy considering how absolutely convincing this novel reads as a historical account… Bakker… clamps his hand over yours and simply does not let go… Amid the cluttered shelves of the Epic Fantasy genre, Bakker is a name that stands out amongst, not just the new writers in the crowd, but established and recognized names.” –Sffworld

“The Darkness That Comes Before is something special… A stunning first book, brilliant setting and characterisation, and if this was just a warm-up then the entire series is going to set a new standard for fantasy writers everywhere. Go read it now, as the publisher’s blurb proclaims – ‘Something remarkable has begun…’” –The Alien Online

“The Darkness That Comes Before……is a must-read…… [Bakker’’s] style is readable and entertaining. His characters are well-developed and enthralling. The action is exhilarating, including spellbinding fight sequences that are reminiscent of The Matrix……this novel is certainly an auspicious start.” –The Winnepeg Free Press

“The Darkness that Comes Before… is a top-notch exemplar of the fantasy romance sub-genre… Throughout, Bakker not only reveals that he is an expert storyteller, but he touches on deep philosophic issues… He offers us a dark mirror of our strife-torn world, a mirror in which we think we see God when all the while we are only seeing ourselves. –Books in Canada

“Every so often the back cover copy gets it right, and in the case of R. Scott Bakker’s first novel, The Darkness That Comes Before, the statement that this young writer ‘is destined to become the next great fantasy writer of his generation’ is backed up by the huge and complex story begun in this novel…The Darkness That Comes Before is a fascinating, forceful debut.” –The Edmonton Journal

“The Darkness That Comes Before is a strikingly original work, the start of a series to watch.” –SF Site

“An impressive addition to the high-fantasy genre. The first novel in The Prince of Nothing trilogy deftly skirts the many and considerable pitfalls of the genre, gradually revealing itself as a smart compelling novel that will leave readers frustrated with the wait for the next volume.” –Quill and Quire

“Exquisitely intelligent and beautifully written, R. Scott Bakker’s first novel in The Prince of Nothing series inspires both confidence and anticipation–this is fantasy with muscle and brains, rife with intrigue and admirable depth of character, set in a world laden with history and detail. Take note, one and all, something remarkable has begun…” –Steven Erikson, Author of Gardens of the Moon

“The publisher’s hype compares [The Darkness That Comes Before] to The Lord of the Rings or Frank Herbert’s Dune, and gratifyingly the hype is not misplaced… The characters are among the most memorable and well-portrayed I can think of in recent fantasy fiction… [A] frightfully impressive first novel.” –George Walkley, Ottakar’s (Outland)

“I’m a Bakker fan now, and really can’t wait to see where this series goes next in The Warrior-Prophet. It may well be that we’re looking at a new landmark in Big Fat Fantasy, one the likes of Jordan and Goodkind, Eddings and Brooks, can only dream of aspiring to. The Everest of Big Fat Fantasy? Could be!” –SFRevu

The Warrior-Prophet Quotes

Customer’s Favourite: Best of 2004

“The Holy War fomented… in The Darkness That Comes Before, the critically acclaimed first book in the epic fantasy trilogy by Canadian author Bakker, explodes in this compelling sequel… The all-to-human tale of love, hatred and justice… keeps the pages turning… A daringly unconventional series in the Tolkien mould.” –Publisher’s Weekly

“There are powerful echoes of Byzantine politics and Crusader fanaticism… and the battle scenes work at an almost visceral level. The Warrior-Prophet… leaves most of the competition trailing.” –The Guardian

“Magic and monstrosities aside, one feels one is reading about a place as real (or a real place as convincingly reinvented) as Robert Grave’s Rome. It’s a subtlety, and an intelligence, that informs and challenges at every level of this commanding novel… To properly appreciate the scope, sweep, and power of this series, not to mention the complex thematic structure, [The Prince of Nothing] must be read from the beginning. And it should be read. Violent, passionate, darkly poetic, seethingly original, these are books that deserve attention from all true connoisseurs of fantasy.” –SF Site

“This is a violent, dark and passionate series, full of refreshing intelligence and with the kind of world building that few contemporary fantasies offer… [H]and on heart, this is a cracking series… and definitely one in which you get out of the book what you put into it. Set aside a goodly amount of time to sit back and simply revel in Bakker’s exquisite creation.” –SFRevu

“The Warrior-Prophet, like The Darkness that Comes Before, stands head and shoulders above most other so-called epic fantasies coming off the assembly lines today.” –The Edmonton Journal