Sara’s Review of Shadow Kin by M. J. Scott
Series: Half-Light City
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…
From the moment I started reading, until the very moment I turned the last page, I could not put this book down! Murr! Shadow Kin is a beautiful story that blends paranormal fantasy and steampunk, with strong characters, an engaging plotline, and just the right amount of romance. As I read, I could picture the scenes in my mind just as if I was watching a movie. Not many books succeed in doing this for me and that just shows how unique M. J. Scott’s novel is.
The story alternates between Lily and Simon’s points of view, though Lily is predominately the main narrator throughout the book. The blending of the two narrations helps to reinforce the struggle between those of the Night World and those outside of it. In Lily’s narration you see the bulk of the battles take place and glimpse the Night World in its entirety, whereas in Simon’s narration there’s more humor and the focus is on the desire to heal and protect not only Lily but the city as well. Whether it was Scott’s intention to have the dual narration be a representation of the contrasting differences between the two worlds or not, the idea works.
Scott also does a wonderful job creating believable characters whom the reader can easily relate to. Lily, aka Shadow, is the sort of character you can easily fall in love with. She’s strong willed, independent, and extremely street savvy. Given her upbringing this comes as no surprise. Yet at the same time she has her moments of vulnerability, at least where Simon is concerned. As she struggles between wanting her freedom and placating to Lucius’s desires, her battle over her feelings for Simon shows that, though she is tough as nails in a great many things, when it comes to matters of the heart she is still just a novice.
Like Lily, Simon also comes across as being a strong and independent character, but I just couldn’t stand his inability to come to terms with his warrior side. While I applaud his desire to hold true to his calling as a healer, even the most seasoned of healers knows that sometimes one must cause pain in order to heal and save. Despite this flaw in his character, which is what made him so believable in the story, I liked Simon and found him to be a nice and much needed contrast to Lily.
As I said, I loved this book. Murr! As a debut novel and the first of a series, Scott has done a brilliant job of setting the stage for the next installment. Yes the question of what happens next ran through my mind when I was done, but the biggest question this cat was asking was, just when can I get my paws on book 2?