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Shadow Kin: A Novel of the Half-Light City by [Scott, M.J.]
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Shadow Kin: A Novel of the Half-Light City Kindle Edition

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Length: 336 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product Description

On one side, the Night World, rules by the Blood Lords and the Beast Kind. On the other, the elusive Fae and the humans, protected by their steadfast mages...

Born a wraith, Lily is a shadow who slips between worlds. Brought up by a Blood Lord and raised to be his assassin, she is little more than a slave. But when Lily meets her match in target Simon DuCaine, the unlikely bond that develops between them threatens to disrupt an already stretched peace in a city on the verge of being torn apart...

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1216 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; Original edition (6 September 2011)
  • Sold by: Penguin US
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0052RGDMA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #132,356 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 3.8 out of 5 stars 45 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Something different 27 August 2013
By Eternal Senshi - Published on
Verified Purchase
I've got to say that after perusing my book collection of to-read novels (30+ plus books, yeah I'm a shameless bookworm) I didn't regret choosing this one at all. I do judge a book by its cover, and I do base books on reviews. I usually only write them when I have very strong feelings for them.

This book, from what I have researched online, is the author's first novel. Usually you can tell right away, feel it in the words and descriptions of things. There's a sort of elegance that newbie writers can lack, but hey not all of them do. And with time and experience you notice it far less as they improve.

I didn't get anything like that from this author. She builds her world very heavily, and the explanations are not tedious but very engaging. Instead you feel as if you are a part of the world, i.e. you can hear the horse hoofs on the road, you can imagine the darkened towns and the allure of the Night World. There's a lot of fantasy involved, but it's believable and not written like a story book.

The one downfall I had with this, and it was my own personal preference, was that the author goes back and forth between the two main characters. Just as I was comfortably settled with the one character they would swap points of view again. But she writes equally well from a females point of view and a males.

Males, I find, tend to seem more difficult to write. I've mentioned heavily in previous reviews that I cannot stand men who are just so weak and go from an alpha, strong character to a melted puddle of ooze, losing their mind and thoughts around a perfect female. In this book both the main characters are flawed and don't deny it. They endure hardship and don't quite entirely recover from their pasts but both look to the future.

This was an excellent read rich with world building, fantasy, darkness, and likeable characters. If you liked this one I also highly recommend Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark and Interesting Urban Fantasy Premier 5 June 2012
By Pamela (@SpazP) - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Shadow Kin is an impressive first book in a debut series! After a botched assassination attempt on sunmage Simon, our Shade heroine Lily is very worried, and also very trapped. Lily is a rare wraith, no other Blood lord had a wraith at his command. Bought by the Blood lord Lucius when the Fae abandoned her, she is called "my shadow" by Lord Lucius, and "soulless" by the Fae. But known to everyone, she is Lucius's chief assassin.

Simon has her spend the rest of the night with him, held immobile in a chair, so she can't fade in to the shadows, until sunrise. He immediately knows she is in a bad situation, and comes from a place of violence and brutality. He also happens to mention that he was not expecting her to be so .... beautiful. At her reaction, he realizes that her world has been cruel to her. And he feels compelled to help her, whether she wants it or not. He meets up with his brother, a Templar, and the two decide that having her come to the Light side and testify for them against Lucius, that he ordered her to have a human killed, could end his rule forever. The problems? She is kept on a very short leash, and if Simon can't convince her, his brother will kidnap her. And then they have to convince her to help them, without knowing where her loyalties lie.

This was a really interesting fantasy book, with paranormal and romance, and a lot of dark. The first chapter is from the heroine's first-person Point of View, and the next is from the hero's first-person POV. It goes back and forth like that, and it flowed better than I would have expected. This technique also kept is fresh and interesting, too. Lily is viewed by the Light as an abomination, and she has never been exposed to kindness or compassion. Simon wants to trust her, and wants the humans and fae to trust her, but that becomes a very tall order. She is herself ashamed of what she has been turned in to, and her fear of being judged and persecuted is something she has to face, even if it means death.

"He was so full of life and confidence part of me wanted to slap him. But another part wanted to let him show me how to feel like that. That part made me want to slap myself."

M.J. Scott's take on vampires is thoroughly interesting, they are termed the Blood and they are the evil villains. Whereas the Fae and Humans mostly live in the Light, the Blood and the Nightseekers live in the Dark. The heroine had been so deeply traumatized from routine beatings by her Blood Lord, and labeled the enemy by everyone in the Light, that it might have been hard to understand her motivations and connect with her. I really did connect with her, though, and liked her right from the start. And the hero was your pretty typical martyr, but I liked him just fine as well. The romance definitely worked for me, I really wanted them to be together!

Shadow Kin has some pretty fantastic world building, but the pace was sluggish at times because of its density. Mostly in the middle, but that did not detract me from enjoying this book overall. This is a great start to a dark fantasy series with great potential. I will definitely check out the upcoming second book in the series, Blood Kin.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Liked The Darkness In It 16 January 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Verified Purchase
I've found that I tend to drift more toward darker books. I read widely across the spectrum, but the ones that really resonate with me have that core of darkness. I like the complication of muddying the waters with gray characters and I like the complexity that comes from slightly twisted situations. I wouldn't say that Shadow Kin is a dark book, per se, but I wouldn't call it light. The heroine has that complexity to her and I found myself fascinated by the twisted existence she had been forced into.

Lily (Shadow) was sold at birth to a Blood Lord (vampire). She's a wraith and has the ability to slip into shadows. Wraiths are abominations in most people's eyes, so Lily is trapped in the only existence she's ever known. Lucius, the Blood Lord, raises her and trains her to be his pet assassin. He is not a nice man and her whole life has been filled with pain and fear. Lately, Lucius has become obsessed with her and has become even more vicious than usual. Lily fears for her future, but she has nowhere to go. He would hunt her relentlessly if she tried to escape.

Lily's character was sad but authentic. She had been abused and beaten down her whole life. She wasn't only physically abused either. Lucius played sick psychological games with her which left her unable to ever relax. He would go into a rage and beat her or he would become displeased by a failure of hers and would humiliate her. Lily is a strong character, but she's emotionally fragile. She's suspicious of any kindness or help offered to her, so someone like Simon is hard for her to understand. He looks at her and sees someone worth helping, regardless of what it costs him. Lily doesn't want him to get involved in the darkness of her life and is ashamed of what he might learn about her. Fortunately for her, Simon is determined to help her whether she wants it or not.

Simon and Lily have a complicated relationship. They are drawn to each other, but they both are bound by skeletons from the past. They have a hard time trusting each other, though they want to. They are caught up in a complicated situation where they have to keep things from each other to stay true to their "side." The tension and longing between them was very well done. This isn't a Romance, but I found the star-crossed relationship between them compelling. At times I became angry at them for the choices they made--especially toward the end--but it didn't keep me from being glued to the pages.

The middle of the book felt slow but I really liked the beginning and the end. At first I wasn't quite sure how I felt about having alternating first person POV's and I found the transition between them jarring--until I figured out that the symbols at the beginning of the chapter indicated whose POV it was--but I ended up really enjoying the style. In addition to developing the main characters well, Scott also created some fascinating side characters. Lucius, in particular, comes to mind. His relationship with Lily was complex and disturbing. Too often the villains are flat caricatures. You won't get that with Lucius. He was dark and fascinating. I found Lily's reaction to him believably conflicted, although I found it creepy. At one point she goes back to him and willingly sinks into his seduction so she can haze her mind and not have to think about the reality of what she is doing. I was very angry at her for this, but it cemented the vibe I had that Lily was behaving like an abuse victim; unable to keep from returning to her abuser and the life she'd grown accustomed to.

Although I liked Simon and his determination to be Lily's hero, I thought he could be a right prick. He was quick to blame Lily whenever he learned about something she had kept from him but he never really internalized the fact that he kept just as much from her. His anger when he learned the truth about her twisted connection to Lucius made it hard to like him. He came down on her like a ton of bricks and blamed the victim of the situation. They eventually make up and apologize, but I felt that he was forgiven a little too easily.

Although I had a couple problems with the pace in the middle of the book and the behavior of certain characters, as mentioned, I found the story completely engrossing. This is my first book by this author, but it seems like she has a definite talent for creating intense, emotional stories. I'm definitely going to pick up the next book in this series when it comes out.

Favorite Quote:

"Permanent mercy has to be earned. A warning to choose the right side. Only in my world the sides weren't right and wrong. They were my side and everybody else's.

I'd be choosing me."

*Review originally posted on Fiction Vixen*
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really 3.75 Rating 20 October 2011
By Kathy E. - Published on
Verified Purchase
I believe the synopsis for this book is misleading. Prior to my download of this book, I was under the impression that this was going to be a dark urban fantasy. This book turned out to have more than just a flair of romance. Even though this series had more romance than I was expecting, it was still a was a good entry into a new romantic urban fantasy.

I have to admit I hated the sun-mage. He seemed like a manic-depressive. One minute he's into the heroine and the next he's spouting horrible insults and sulking. Most of the times I wish he would harness the power of the sun to set himself on fire.

Besides the fickle sun-mage, this book was really good. It's not exactly what I thought it was going to be, however it was still interesting. I was expecting the "Shadow" to be harder and more ruthless than she was. Don't get me wrong, she was a fierce killer, however she did have a soft side that I wasn't expecting to see as often as we did.

I recommend this book to fellow dark urban fantasy readers and look forward to reading the next book Blood Kin due out 6/5/2012.
I also recommend:
Kissed by Darkness (Sunwalker Saga)
Grave Witch (Alex Craft, Book 1)
Bitter Night: A Horngate Witches Book
One Grave at a Time: A Night Huntress Novel
The Mage in Black (Sabina Kane, Book 2)
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Vamp book but probably not for the lightweight Twilight reader 10 July 2015
By Mr. Thomas A. Mckewen - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Unusual twist to a vamp story. Well written with plenty of action and not overdone with romance.

Interesting plot which sets the stage for multiple other books with different characters but set in the same world. The world building is good, if a little limited to just the city in which the book is based but still well thought out and practical.

Worth reading if you like vamp books with action. Probably not for the lightweight Twilight readers as the romance is pretty minimal and the story is what makes it worth reading.