Title: Shadow Kin
Series: The Half-Light City #1
Author: M.J. Scott
Published: September 6th, 2011
My Copy: Bought
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.
Shadow Kin started off slowly, probably due to the fact that it’s the first book in The Half-Light City series so M.J. Scott had some world/character building to do. Once that was out of the way though then this novel really started to shine. The element that pulled me in the most was how the seemingly “bad” protagonist struggles with doing the right thing and wavers between her allegiances. Usually the heroine fights for good, it’s pretty much a given, but not this time. I really enjoyed experiencing a darker point of view; it’s not often that you get to view a story from the bad guy’s perspective.
Lily is a very complex character. Her origins are blurry, the few people who do know the truth refuse to share and she’s never been treated like anything other than a burden or a possession. It’s hard to form a good opinion of oneself when you’re constantly being treated like dirt. Lily was resigned to her fate up until she meets Simon. The sunmage takes the time to look beneath the surface and discovers that there’s more to this wraith than meets the eye. I easily sympathized with this story’s heroine. Her internal struggles over her worth and her actions are heartbreaking. Lily wants to do the right thing and put an end to the chaos but it’s hard to do that when you’re not entirely sure what good is anymore. At one point, she actually goes back to her captor thinking that sacrificing herself will put an end to all of the killing. The good guys were angry at her for her decision but from my perspective I could definitely understand why she did what she did. It wasn’t an easy choice to make and I admired her all the more for making it.
The action in this book exceeds the romance by far but there are a couple of encounters. I found both of them to be emotional and intense. One was the result of need and desire while the other was caused by anger. Two very different sentiments but both were equally enjoyable, just in different ways. Simon is another complicated personality so I guess he and Lily compliment each other well. On the outside he appears to be a self-assured healer who’s life’s goal is to make the world a better place. However, if you dig a little deeper you’ll discover that he’d hiding quite a bit. Simon frustrated me at times. The sunmage’s goodie-goddie attitude came off as preachy and self-righteous. Later, I learned that he was overcompensating for his past mistakes and then I began to like him a whole lot more.
The plot line is fascinating and definitely leaves things open for many future installments. Shadow Kin has a nice mix of supernatural drama and political intrigue that’s rare to find in Urban Fantasy fiction. I’m anxious to see what M.J. Scott has in store for book 2. This is a well-balanced read that manages to be smart and hot! The wait until the next release in June 2012 will be long but well worth it!
I’d been wondering about MJ Scott’s Shadow Kin for a bit, I’m glad you gave it 4 paws =)
–Wendy from A Cupcake and a Latte: YA Reviews
I totally agree with you, it was a nice book and I really like the world the author has built. But I think the relationshib between the two characters was a little fast. I’m very curious to to know how will the second book be. Great review