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Shadow Kin: A Novel of the Half-Light City Mass Market Paperback – September 6, 2011
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"M. J. Scott’s SHADOW KIN is a steampunky romantic fantasy with vampires that doesn’t miss its mark — I loved it.” — New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs
“M. J. Scott weaves a fantastic tale of love, betrayal, hope, and sacrifice against a world broken by darkness and light, where the only chance for survival rests within the strength of a woman made of shadow and the faith of a man made of light. Lovers of fantasy, romance, and magic will fall into these pages and never want to come out again.” — National bestselling author Devon Monk
“The solid worldbuilding creates a believable city and mix of cultures. All in all, it’s a compelling read from first page to last.” — New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop
About the Author
- Item Weight : 5.9 ounces
- Mass Market Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0451464044
- ISBN-13 : 978-0451464040
- Product Dimensions : 4.2 x 0.86 x 6.79 inches
- Publisher : Ace; Original edition (September 6, 2011)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,357,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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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.
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.
Top reviews from other countries
I’m looking forward to the next in the series.