Title: Half Bad
Author: Sally Green
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Supernatural/Witches/Paranormal
Format: Paperback (Library)
My Rating: 5/5 stars
“The new trick is to stay in the present … Get lost in the detail of it … Enjoy it!”
“Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan’s only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it’s too late. But how can Nathan find his father when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?”
I absolutely adored this book! The characters were amazing and the plot had me turning the pages quickly. I’m so glad I picked this up (story time: I was getting my reserved book from the library when I saw Half Bad on a shelf and I thought of Denise and decided to give it try because she loved it). The cover is simple yet gorgeous. The book I read with has one side in black and the other side in white, to represent the intermixed bloodline that Nathan possesses. The cover also attracted me to it.
I love Nathan as a character. He’s a good person and doesn’t deserve half the things that happen to him. Like, just leave him alone, he didn’t ask to be born Half White and Half Black witch. He has such a beautiful relationship with his family, excluding his eldest sister Jessica. Nathan and Arran are sibling goals! He has a strong healing gift like his mother and can identify a witch by looking at their eyes like his father. So it seems like he is literally half good (white witch) and half bad (black witch). His motivation to gain his three gifts pushed the story to where it is. And he is able to gain what he wants but loses what he “loves”. I really need to know what happens next. Gabriel is such a sweetheart too! I adore him so much; he protects Nathan and could possibly be in love with him, as stated by Rose. Which is SO CUTE! (Cue the fangirling). I ship them so bad. (Sorry Annalise) I don’t know how to feel about Nathan trusting Annalise so easily, I fear she’s faking it. But let’s hope not because I don’t want Nathan to be in more danger because of her.
Anyways, I feel that Mercury lives up to her Black Witch name as she is very manipulative and tries to use whatever she has to her gain, such as using Nathan to achieve her one true goal. I actually like Mercury, she isn’t soft on her enemies and you can tell she’s very smart. But she also has a good side, a side that cares for her sister, Mercy, and her adopted daughter, Rose. Also, we don’t see much of Marcus, so I can’t really say if he is a bad witch. But I want to see more of him because he is such an interesting character. And I’m not going to say anything else in case I spoil something accidentally.
Just so everyone knows, I HATE THE WHITE COUNCIL! They believe they’re doing good and bringing peace for White Witches, but they’re really just manipulative and it seems that want to take control of all witches. They target Black Witches and torture them; like that’s very cruel. Just kill them and get it over with. They also, in a sense, torture poor Nathan by making him abide to separate rules. As I said before, LEAVE HIM ALONE! Please.
I love the formatting of the book. The first few chapters are in second person, which is different. And to my understanding, they are flashbacks in a dream. Then the story moves itself to the present but Nathan retells it to how he got to where he was. So it’s like a circular narrative, except it continues with story and ends at a different setting and scene. I found this to be unique and it may sound confusing but it wasn’t. The writing was smooth and easy to read. (You can tell I loved this book a lot.)
I also liked how this novel was set in England, a normal country where you wouldn’t expect witches to be. This made the story a little more realistic. It also reminded me of The Mortal Instruments just because of the way the world is set; normal humans living amongst other ‘species’ and not realising it.
Overall, I LOVED this book and need the rest of the series in my hands. (My library doesn’t have the Half Wild but has Half Lost and I’m like “What is this?”) I was warned that there is a huge cliff-hanger at the end of Half Wild so I need to somehow get the two books closely at the same time. Half Bad made me fall in love with witch stories all over again since I haven’t read any since The Lost Legacy: Awakening.