Urban Wolf: On The Run

Urban Wolf: On The Run

by MShadowlawn

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Traumatising content

June had cursed her bad luck for nearly all her life. One dark night, she set foot on the train platform to escape her past… But it seems whatever dark cloud’s been hanging over her followed her.

The train ticket took her to Halych, the illustrious city that thrives in the daylight and hides great darkness in its shadows. It’s just her luck, then, that she ends up in an underground gang war against a drug cartel. 

It’s just her luck, then, that the swordmaster can’t seem to escape the blood, the danger, and all the choices she didn’t want to have to make.

But worst of all is how—despite all her soul-searching—she can’t even escape her own shadow.

Chapters will be released in a serialized manner...

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Disclaimer: Cover art is not mine

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Amazing Action, Terrible Tense

Reviewed at: No-Knock Raid

Foreword: This review is based on my experience with it. With that in mind, my review is about my view of the story and has nothing to do with the fact that it was part of a review swap.

This story is about a sword master who is running away from her past and joins a gang. If you are into well-described fight scenes with a thin and drawn-on plot with lots of tense issues then this is for you.

Style: The fight scenes are well described and are the story's selling points. Lots of repetition which I guess is to point out how much the MC cares about their training. The major drawback to the style is a lot of waiting for something to happen. This becomes more apparent in Act 2 of the story.

Story: The story itself is a war about drugs. There is no real goal to the story giving it an edgy slice-of-life feel. There is some mystery about who is selling the drug Teneb (which is the main story) and then some side stories. 

The bland pacing gives for a realistic feel of the world so if you are into that with long-awaited fight scenes then this is for you. Personally, I found myself waiting for the fight scenes or wanting to learn more about other characters than the main plot.

Grammar- Tenses, tenses, tenses. The biggest problem with this story is tense usage. The story uses both past and present tense and sometimes within the same sentence! I tried to reach out to the author about what tense they wanted the story in but they said they would continue with the tense breaking. So you'll find edits about tense in my comments on each of the chapters.

Now there is grammar about swords that an average person wouldn't understand. This problem was fixed recently when the author added a glossary so bravo to that. This really allows the strongest parts of the story to shine through.

My only other problem is the heavy use of "blah blah -describing something or internal thought- blah blah. For me, there are a lot of times the - could be replaced with, and make for a better read with smoother pacing.

Characters: This is where I really have a love-hate with this story. 

The side characters are well written. We have:

Lenny, a higher up in the gang who is a martial artist, torturer, and surveillance master.

Nick, a higher up in the gang as well. He is in charge of distributing drugs and earning money for the gang.

Jack, a PI, who was recently introduced but has a lot of potential.

Then we have June, the MC. June is a very skilled swordsman or swordswoman, whichever you prefer to call her. The woman is also superhuman and can heal much faster than normal people. She comes to a new city to escape her past and ends up in a gang.

June is instantly promoted in the gang because of her skills and also kills people and torture or helps torture some. This isn't bad for the story but she is written with this bare-bones morality where she struggles with killing and torture for about half a second before shrugging it off. It would have been better if she never had this "moral struggle" as it fits her character better.

Later in the story, she only thinks of this quickly before killing who she has to. Of course, the story again tries to use this for one of the more dramatic scenes because the MC didn't kill someone but you'll read that yourself.

In Act 2, this is almost brushed aside, thankfully.

As for the other parts of June, she has an internal struggle with accepting her past and who she is which is why no one has seen her extra ears and tail (I am assuming they look like a dog's because of the story's title).

Her more lovable parts are when she is having more casual moments with others or singing in her band. Those parts truly need to be experienced.

Quentin R

June's ''Slice'' of life

Reviewed at: Tempting Fate

Urban Wolf: On The Run has a good premise with a lone girl, her swords and her past leaving everything behind to live her own life in a new and dangerous city.

The mysterious June is well described and a lot of efforts have been pumped into her personality and world’s vision. The entire story is at the 1st person which is hard to pull off and MShadowLawn did it very well. Her past and relationship with her family have been intriguing so far as we just started to have a glimpse of info.

The other characters are also described in great details.However, as the story is entirely focused on June, the seems a little bit shallow and it feels like they don’t really matter. As a matter of facts, it was hard to track their name.

The plot and the main events aren’t groundbreaking as the school June finally joined is more a criminal organization than a dojo. I’d say it’s slightly above average as the only thing that kept interested in the story was the main character. Plus, most of the chapters got an ending in themselves. There was rarely something that kept me at the edge of my chair, craving to continue. But I think it’s more related to the style than the story. This is fine.

However, I found the sword fights (and the action scene) in general very well done. It is fully described (sometimes with a specific vocabulary) and flows perfectly. MShadowLawn knows what he/she is talking about and if you’re into that kind of stuff, this is a great novel for you. This is one of the selling point of the story.

In terms of grammar, nothing very immersion breaking. Some mistakes or typos from time to time but nothing that couldn’t be fixed after some polishing. The major issues have already been pointed out in the comments.

What to think of June’s journey? It is fun for sure. It’s well written even if it could use a little polish but it’s kinda unique. In a couple of months after some rework, it will be a very good story. Keep it up, MShadowLawn!

Jacob A Zucker

The sword-swinging, lone, badass warrior is always a fun motif, and the author wields it (pun intended) to good effect. The writing is solid and easy to follow, with the exception of a few jumbled, run-on lines. Dialogue can also be a bit clunky at times, but nothing overly distracting. 

The first person, present tense keeps the pace fast. There's plenty of action, as promised by the emphasis on the swords from the first chapter.

It's a fun read. 


This review is part of a review swap. 

Urban Wolf is a runaway story. The swordmaster is trying to escape her past, her mysterious ghosts, and ends up falling into a complex web of crime and conspiracies. 



MSShadowlawn knows their martial arts (I confirmed this via comment), and it shows. The whole story is fairly well depicted, the urban sprawl, grey and impersonal as any metropolis, teems with danger and shadows that can be perceived only by the corner of the eye in good PI-like description. But when the blades come out of the scabbards and the onlookers turn away, time slows down. MS describes each strike, each parry, like he's following stances from a traditional manual, and the entire thing feels both elegant and visceral.


A few hiccups here, tense issues and the like, but nothing that gets in the way of the nice prose described above. 


In reading this story I went well off my favored ground of medieval-ish fantasy, but I like the city environment of gangs, drugs, and conspiracies dressed in the vestments of traditional martial schools. If you like the nitty-gritty of action and the grey of cities, you'll like this.


The main character toes the line between traumatized and aloof. Death doesn't seem to faze her, and whatever she's doing in the city -- pursuing thieves, slicing up hoodlums -- seems to be good enough as long as it keeps her away from her past. We will eventually reach a break point, I imagine, where either the past returns with a vengeance or the protagonist decides to confront it head on. 
Right now, what we see is an overly-precise and analytical swordmaster, sure of her skills and eager to stay on the move. If you like capable protagonists, you'll like her.


My best recommendation is this: if you like action, if you like katanas, if you like the steel and stone of urbanity -- do yourself a favor and read this now.


Cleaning the streets - One sword stroke at a time

Reviewed at: A Rookie's Debut

Just to get this out of the way, the grammar is great, and if there are some small mistakes these are the kind you will find in any unedited work, and better than the majority of work on here.


The prose is generally clear and easy to read. The first person perspective keeps things moving along really well, though I did find that (particularly at the start) the tense sometimes slips between present and past, which does break the flow a little.

The sword fights in particular are well described and put together, and clearly written from a position of some experience (or at least a lot of research). In fact all of the action scenes are laid out very well, and to me definitely seem the strongest part of the text. They flow nicely and I rarely had any trouble visualising the combats. In fact I was quite impressed by the author’s ability to describe what was happening so clearly and without cluttering the text -A very difficult thing to do!

The dialogues are also generally well handled, if sometimes a little fast paced. One thing I noticed is that there is sometimes a tendency to prioritise spelling out the main character’s thoughts and emotions through narrative, rather than through action and dialogue, although this is obviously something that comes up more with a first person perspective.


The characters are competently described, at least for the roles they perform within the story. There are many ancillary characters throughout, but they don’t generally have much of a spotlight put on them (excepting quite literally with one individual in chapter 12), and come and go as the narrative requires. I would have enjoyed a little more time spent out fleshing out and exploring these characters, but this might happen naturally as the story continues. That said I really enjoyed the characterisation of Lenny, who has a very distinct and relatable personality, and grows more interesting and well rounded with every chapter.

The protagonist is well written as well, but also quite reserved and dispassionate, which can make it hard to get a handle on her personality. I would quite like to see events push her into baring her true self a little more, in order to flesh out her character.


Without spoiling anything, story-wise things get more and more interesting as it goes on, with a escalating turf war between rival gangs and a mysterious drug that changes people from within. There are some interesting themes so far, most notably the moral cost of the conflict the protagonist is slowly being drawn into. I'm quite interested to see where the story is going, especially with regards to the body altering narcotics.

The biggest criticism I have with the work in general (and it’s something that is fairly easy to fix), is that sometimes more context is required in order for the reader to build a clear picture of the setting. Some information can be waited for (questions about the city and setting, or what role or prevalence sword schools have within the world), but others should be more immediate. For example, during the protagonists initial encounters with mutated attackers, I was unclear given the context whether the attackers were something relatively common (the protagonist seemed fairly unperturbed, considering), or a genuine outlier. There is also the main character’s ‘physical differences,’ which also left me a little confused as to the rules of the setting. I feel like either it’s something that should be explained immediately, or instead be hinted at throughout the story, building up to a reveal later.

Like I said though, this is all something that can be fairly easily fixed, and I’d probably recommend getting some more people to read it and take note of anything that confuses them, as it could just be me!


All in all, it’s shaping up to be a solid urban fantasy so far, and I recommend others to check this story out -especially if you’re a fan of katanas and fast paced combat!


A Dark Protag in a Dark City

Reviewed at: No Longer Free

Story: The story follows a presumably young girl named June, escaping to a new life in a not-so-good city. Giving the work a strong, 'fish out of water' theme. While some things in the story came abruptly out of the far left field, it wasn't immersion breaking overall. Dialogue could use some work. With some exchanges being cringey, to be blunt.

Examples being someone replying with, "How naughty of you." After being cut iirc. And another time where someone was referred to as 'Batman.'

That said, there were things that seemed strange or stood out to me. Particularly when she finally made it to this acclaimed school, only to find out that it wasn't was she thought it'd be. It being, for all intents and purposes, a gang. One that still practices kenjutsu and is filled with severely inexperienced gangsters.

I understand that she had nowhere else to go and that she was unaware of the latter at the time. But the fact that she didn't at least think about it and joined without hesitation seemed strange to me. 

Style: The overall writing style is pleasant. Author shows their abundant knowledge by showing the readers the relavent task or topics June experiences, or that is explored through the story. Something that particularly shines in the fight scenes. Which are not only vivid in discription, but his aptly gory in the most appropriate situations.

Grammar: No issues with grammar. Though, as many have said before, there are tense issues. Issues that the author has openly stated to address. So five stars.

Character:  MC is described very slowly over the course of the story and we're given her past at an even slower pace. Something that may be of an issue to some readers. me, personally have a different mental image of her than what was actually revealed to be. And even that felt somewhat lacking. It took me a few chapters to even get/remember her name. Many people that June meets aren't even introduced to her. And sometimes she goes through entire conversations without even receiving names. Which seems kind of strange in a dialogue sense. 

This is especially apparent in the chapter, 'Home By The Lake.' Where we're abuptly introduced to someone named Lariat with almost no explanation of what they look like or their obvious importance to the MC. They appear in the story with no prior knowledge to the reader to teach June how to use an unmentioned power latent within her.


Style: The actions scenes are well written and entertaining. Thanks you the good writing, you can picture the fights scenes very well, making them more engaging. The description of the setting is also very good. You can cleary visualise the dirty urban city this story takes place in, making the story feel more grounded in reality. Which is good for an urban fantasy.


Grammar: Personally I found no issues with grammar. There might be a few here or there but you'll hardly notice them.


Story: I really enjoy how nothing is over-explained, this gives the story a sense of mystery and intrigue. We get a few mentions to the character's past, including the mostly important parts. I enjoy not knowing the main character's entire backstory before hand. However this can go a bit too far, like when June is calling out to her friend in her dreams, but we know too little about how much this friend meant to her. Just generally knowing that, this person was important to the main character, but in an emotional scene that is not enough. So, altough I personally like the not fully explained back story, a few more tidbits about it wouldn't be amiss.


Characters: The character of June, the main protagonist, is very interesting. She is clearly tormented by her past, and tries to take actions to avoid having to deal with it, such as fleeing all the way to the city. There are plenty of side characters, which is not exactly ideal in this story. The story mainly focuses on June, and the amount of side character's leave them a just slightly undeveloped. A focus on fewer side character's would be better.


Overall: This is a fun read about a wolf girl joining a mafia organisation in a crime ridden urban city, in order to escape her past life. This is a high quality novel, which I highly recommend.


Dark, but in a good way!

Reviewed at: Dress Rehearsal

 „Urban Wolf: On the run“ is an adventure fantasy novel starring June, a master swords(wo{lf})man who, in the attempt of escaping her old life, joins an underworld organization called Haracrein. Haracrein are sort of the “good guys” of the underworld in the city and currently spend the bulk of their efforts and resources to combat darker underworld elements that are drugging the population with a violence inducing, rage creating drug. Basically black-ooze bath-salts.

The setting of the story is, as the title suggests, extremely urban with a very strong modern underbelly ‚big city‘ vibe to the locations that just smell like dirty, wet concrete and dinky neon signs. This aesthetic lends a great deal of weight to the moral ambiguity that arises more and more often as June sinks deeper and deeper into the conflict spreading around her.

As for spelling and grammar, I can check those boxes off with little concern as there was nothing I found that sounded or read wrong. It appears that the chapters have been well edited by the time I found them! The writing is fluid and there are some chapters that are strongly poetic in their prose, which makes for an interesting switcharoo now and then from the gritty action. The author seems to have put a great deal of effort into researching not only weapons, but also the relevant terminology relating to them.

I especially enjoyed seeing June live out her quirks, a great example really early on would be in the public bathroom scene in the beginning of the story where she doesn’t want to set her swords down, because it really helped me understand her as a person. If I had to name a gripe, then it would be that I would like to see more ‚little moments‘ with just her being her on her own. Some quality time with nobody else, no story, no action, just June, you know? =)

All in all though, if you’re looking for a dark, street-action, underworld story, then you’re in the right place. You should definitely give this one a fair shot!