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Shadow Kin

(The Half-Light City #1)

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  2,704 Ratings  ·  248 Reviews
Welcome to the Half-Light City.

Imagine a city divided. On one side, the Night World, ruled by the Blood Lords and the Beast Kind. On the other, the elusive Fae and the humans, protected by their steadfast mages. A city held together by nothing more than a treaty-and even then, just barely...

I was born of a Fae mother, but I had no place amongst her kind. They called me "so
Paperback, 1st Edition, 324 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Roc
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Paulina I'm only 120 pages in, but when I was reading the others titles while at the bookstore it seemed these were all novellas of the same world. (:

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kerry Allen
Apr 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I admit, I love my Urban Fantasy gritty, fast paced, action packed, with some great paranormal elements. Shadow Kin lived up to part of my expectations in the end.

Lily has been made into the perfect assassin by a Blood Lord, a wraith whose able to slip between the shadows. Until the next job puts her face to face with a sunmage, Simon DuCaine, whose light forces her from the shadows. Simon sees something in Lily, that makes him feel she can finally stop the most powerful Blood Lord of the city
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm waffling with this book, but I really liked it. Certainly for a first in a series it was REALLY well-thought out and not with all the clunky stuff that comes with first-timers where there's a ton of expo dump and backstory friends. I LOVED how the lead guy was not a pushy Alpha dude, and this was a pretty interesting meld of Templars, Vampires and Faeries that didn't feel THAT contrived a stew of paranormal. I enjoyed the plot and how the main character went from cold to warm because of the ...more
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 ...more
Mandi Schreiner
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
I picked up Shadow Kin on a whim, not knowing anything about the book or author. I sat down to read the first chapter, and didn’t get up until I was over 100 pages into it. Shadow Kin presents a very engaging twist on an urban fantasy world. Before I can talk about how much I enjoyed the protagonists, let me set up the world.

In this world the baddies belong to the Night World. In the dark that is the Night World we have the head honcho Lucius, who is a vampire that leads the pack. In this world
Jacob Proffitt
Jun 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I worried a bit about this book because while it sounded interesting enough, the setup seemed geared towards victim/angst pandering. And really, it does have that, so I suppose those expectations weren't unrealistic. Fortunately, Scott does a good job keeping her characters grounded and providing a realistic-enough character arc for her main characters—by which I mainly mean that it never feels like Scott had to manipulate either her characters or story to provide an atmosphere of oppressive dar ...more
8 February 2016: $1.99 on Kindle

1.5 Stars

First, this book is told in alternating first-person POV. There are, apparently, character-specific symbols that mark the beginning of each section, but I'll be honest and say that I never paid attention to these. Resulting in it taking me a couple of lines (or paragraphs sometimes) to get into who's voice it was.

I think that there's potential with this author, but unfortunately it just didn't hit the mark for me.

Lily, the main character, is a Wraith. A f
Apr 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: realms, giving-up
Have you been to an art exhabit and you stop to look at a painting. The painting stops you for a moment and you are not sure if you hate it or like it. Then some smart people cames along talks about it like its the solution to world peace, you stare at it for a moment with mixed feeling than decide you hate it and move on without glancing back. This is what the book made me feel.

The characters in this book are flat. Lily is suppose to be the trained killer, but really lets herself be abused and
Per Author's Website, a new dark fantasy trilogy starting Sep 2011. Description: "Welcome to the Half-Light City.

Imagine a city divided. On one side, the Night World, ruled by the Blood Lords and the Beast Kind. On the other, the elusive Fae and the humans, protected by their steadfast mages. A city held together by nothing more than a treaty-and even then, just barely...

I was born of a Fae mother, but I had no place amongst her kind. They called me "soulless." An abomination. Perhaps they're ri
Danielle (Danniegurl)
RTC jarring pov changes sometimes. And I don't like that it's not the same characters moving forward. i.e. Simon and Lily.

I can't believe I forgot to review this. I really did enjoy this book aside from the jarring POV changes. Once I got into the swing of how the POVs were changing it wasn't too difficult but I didn't care about other people's povs.

It was interesting the things that went on between Simon and Lily, how he treated her and how she treated him. I found it sucky how the Fae looked
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was in the mood for some new urban fantasy but the beginning of this didn't grab my attention.
Carmel (Rabid Reads)
Aug 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 experi ...more
Sarah Mayberry
Sep 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was an fantastic read. I used to be a huge fantasy reader, but for some reason have dropped away from this genre a bit lately. I still have my faves - George RR Martin (although I am waiting until there are more books available before I start reading again. Too long between installments, Mr Martin) and Robin Hobb and Anne McCaffrey, to name a few. I read the opening scene in MJ Scott's Shadow Kin on her website just before her book was released and was utterly entranced by the crisp, origin ...more
Cat Russell  (Addicted2Heroines)
Mar 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Solid world building and a fascinating protagonist. I can't wait to see what Scott will come up with next!

Gray eyes narrowed at me, looking like she wanted to kill me.
She looked beautiful. Beautiful and deadly.

Lily is a wraith. She's a complex creature of mysterious origins who can move invisibly through the dark and walk freely through any solid object or magical ward. Wraiths are rare, dangerous and make perfect assassins.

As a child, Lily was sold to the viscious Blood lord, Lucius. A very pow
Ms. Nikki
2.5 Stars

Potential. This author has it. This book is like a box of chocolate, they look good, smell good, the outer layer is scrumptious and melts in your mouth but, when you get to the middle you realize it has nuts in it and you're allergic. This read had fae, beasts, Templars, Healers, and a Wraith, but none of them were "real" in the fictional sense. Simon, if you pay attention, does not come off manly at all. He was naive and sometimes petulant. When he screamed 'no' in one scene I imagined
Kagama-the Literaturevixen
Oct 06, 2011 rated it did not like it
This book was really dumb :(

The main character is supposed to assasinate this she creeps up on him..but is caught.

She gets tied up by her intended victim. Is she scared? Angry at him? No she checks him out,because hes so totally sexy,rippling abs,pretty hair etc. Um...hello? Thats not a very natural reaction.

And there is her victims reaction,wich is even more unbelievable.

Who would get concerned for their murderer-to-be? And then let her loose to have another go at him?

I thought the worl
Mar 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012, lost-steam, meh, pnr
I had high hopes for this one and unfortunately it didn't meet any of them. The heroine talks the talk, but her wishy-washy tendencies and constant need to retread the same ground over and over again in her frequent inner monologues was irritating and boring. Simon was likable enough, but even he became tedious and predictable (and more than a little naive). The characterizations felt hollow and I never really felt immersed in the world the author was trying to create. Even the bad guy was blah ...more
This one was meh to me.

I think the problem was mostly that I didn't like Simon. I found him to be a judgmental douchecanoe. And Lily was ... eh, she had no backbone.

I was disappointed, because I thought the world was interesting. But the combination of the hypocritical Simon (I can lie to you and manipulate you, but if you keep one thing from me, you're an irredeemable whore) and the doormat Lily (no one will ever love me, I don't deserve it *gets emo snake-bite piercing*)... plus the asinine se
Sep 14, 2011 rated it did not like it
I had high hopes when I picked this book up. Reading the back had me so excited and it held up for the first chapter. But it did not take long for my excitement to die. I found Shadow's(I will not use the main character's real name in case you have not read the book yet) lacking. There was no real heart to any of the characters. The dialogue is boring.

Most the book to me was them walking in hallways and talking.The action is lacking. There was some good pages that sucked me back into getting ex
Maya  ~the Pessimistic Happy Cat~
Jan 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2014, dnf, pnr

I just couldn't.

The story was: Meh
The world was: Meh
The characters were: double Meh
This was a brilliant book, with lovely characters in a new fantasy setting. It was an exciting first book in a new series that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The main characters are Shadow and Simon; Shadow is a wraith sent by her master to kill Simon but what she doesn't realise is that he is a sunmage and has the power to trap her out of the shadows. The two spend a night bonding and then Simon makes it his mission to free Shadow and bring down her master in the process. But Simon catches feelings for
Lily is only Bad*SS because we're told she is, but never actually see it. I mean, she won't even reach into dudes pocket to save herself.

First, Lily tries to kill Simon, but Simon catches her. (Which is an amazing feat, btw, since he isn't actually capable of this again, though he tries twice that I saw.)

Then for some reason Simon let's her go and then JUST HAS TO rescue her from her life for reasons I'll never know. He's a good guy? He comes across as naive to me.

He rescues her.

Aug 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: i-quit, dnf
DNF at 15%

Yeah, this is just too bleak and victimy for me. And lame.

Disclaimer: All my DNFs get 1 star. I know it's a major point of contention and is seen as a reviewer faux pas for a lot of people, but I don't care. My review, my rules. Peer pressure can suck itself.
Shera (Book Whispers)
This was the perfect book to get me out of my stupid female lead syndrome. Shadow was everything I wanted her to be (I won't use her name just incase you haven't read the synopsis. That way it will be a treat/surprise). A wraith assassin! A half breed of the Fae sold to an evil vampire named Damon. She's lived in darkness her entire life.

So when her job to kill a Sunmage clearly turns into the setup of a romance I wasn't bummed. Because Simon was actually a cool character. Not to mention it fel
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
In Lily's world, the many different species are ruled by a treaty that has granted a fragile peace. Of course, that treaty cannot help her as she really doesn't have a kind. She's a wraith and can fade herself into nothingness. She was abandoned by the fae and called soulless, left to be raised by the leader of the Blood, to become his personal assassin. He rules with an iron fist and mistakes carry grave punishments. She's made sure to never fail him and fall subject to his torments, yet all th ...more
2.5 lackluster stars

It’s tricky to even define the genre for this book. It was like fantasy in the sense that the setting wasn’t based in the real world and technology was nonexistent. OTOH it had a strong UF vibe since it was in a city and the usual UF creatures were in it such as fae, vampires, werewolves, and mages. But it did have templars, once again leaning towards fantasy. The plot was weak making the book feel more like PNR since most of it was devoted to Simon and Lily’s feelings for ea
*Rating* 3.0
*Genre* Urban Fantasy


In a divided city between light and dark, Lily. a Wraith, is the most dangerous being in existence. On a mission to eliminate Simon DuCaine at the behest of her vampire master Lucian, Lily finds herself drawn into the reality that her master is a conniving, evil son-of-a-bitch who will send her to kill anyone he thinks is a danger to his goals of ruling the city.

The problem is that Simon is a powerful sun mage and healer whose powers stop Lily in her tr
Carrie Slager
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-bought
I was a little apprehensive in the beginning of Shadow Kin simply because I’m very familiar with the whole ‘assassin falls in love with his/her mark’ trope. However, I loved M.J. Scott’s take on this old trope because of course nothing is simple in the Half-Light City.

One of the things I really liked about Shadow Kin is the world-building. There are four factions: vampires, werewolves, humans and the Fae. There is a sort of tense peace between the four races but there’s a lot of compromise. The
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here:

Lily is an assassin for the Blood Lord Lucius,bound by a need seemingly greater than herself to do his bidding,and his killing. When Lucius sends her to kill the handsome sunmage Simon DuCaine,she fails,and in Lily,Simon sees someone he can save,and maybe even love. What follows is Lily’s journey in finding herself and her inner strength,and also allowing someone else in,when she’s suffered a lifetime of prejudice,abuse,an
Van (Short & Sweet Reviews)
I remember the first time I saw this cover, and I was thinking to myself “I have to get my hands on that book!” For the cover alone, I would have bought the book…but the synopsis actually sounded very fascinating. The story is told between two narratives, Lily a.k.a Shadow, a wraith that can fade into nothingness and Simon, a sunmage. Lily was raised by a blood lord (vampire) because her own mother, a fae didn’t want her. Lily is a half-breed and in the eyes of everyone, she is an abomination. L ...more
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Paranormal Romanc...: Shadow Kin Discussion 6 34 Dec 30, 2014 09:05AM  
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M.J Scott is a RITA® Award nominated author. She is an unrepentant bookworm. Luckily she grew up in a family that fed her a properly varied diet of books and these days is surrounded by people who are understanding of her story addiction. When not wrestling one of her own stories to the ground, she can generally be found reading someone else’s. Her other distractions include yarn, cat butlering, d ...more

Other books in the series

The Half-Light City (4 books)
  • Blood Kin (The Half-Light City, #2)
  • Iron Kin (The Half-Light City, #3)
  • Fire Kin (The Half-Light City, #4)

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“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.” 5 likes
“I wasn‘t talking to Simon. Talking might lead to something foolish like wanting to kiss him again. Or punch him. One of the two.” 4 likes
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