Half Wild by Sally Green
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary, UKYA
Published by: Penguin UK
Format: ARC e-book
Series: Half Bad (#1) | Half Lies (#0.5)
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon
It’s been quite a while since I read Half Bad, and originally I didn’t think I was interested enough to finish the series. Then I read the novella, Half Lies, and realised I needed to keep going because of Gabriel. I wasn’t disappointed by Half Wild, but it was certainly a lot darker than the first book in the series, and pacing wise it was extremely slow and the action was condensed to, I’d say, the last 15% or so.
There are quite a few new faces in Half Wild, and quite a lot of new names to remember, but luckily a fair few of those character were disposed of extremely quickly, so not to worry(!)
I was sad that there wasn’t as much second person narration as there was in Half Bad, because I really think it helped to illustrate the psychological issues that Nathan had to face, and it really exposes the animalistic side to his personality – which is even more important in this sequel. Nathan was as distressed and untrusting as ever, and at first I was horrified by what he was going through because I’d forgotten that we wasn’t 14 anymore. His age definitely led to a changing nature in his relationship with both Annalise and Gabriel – not to mention his father.
I thought that Marcus seemed a lot less threatening in this book, maybe because Nathan’s opinions have changed as he’s learnt more and more about his father’s character. Nathan is certainly a strong character, he’s put up with a lot of horrible situations and can deal with trauma well, especially considering he hasn’t got a handle of his metamorphosis yet. But unfortunately, his communication skills need a lot of work.
I am so incredibly intrigued about Nathan’s relationships. His sexuality isn’t really clear, and I’m still undecided whether I want him to end up with Gabriel or Annalise. In truth, I don’t think I would mind either way. But surely it’s hard enough having to deal with torture and witch-y wars and conspiracy, let alone trying to work out who you are. I’m all up for more exploration of who his true love is in the final book, it would definitely help balance out the gorier details.
Nathan’s lack of communication skills obviously led to some trouble in the Annalise department. Consequentially I have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen in the finale, but maybe I am leaning towards NathanXGabriel more.
Half Wild was incredibly slow paced. The main goals were to rectify the problems Nathan faced at the end of book one re: Annalise and Gabriel. Once those problems were dealt with I wasn’t sure where the plot was going to go. For the majority of the middle section Nathan and the gang were just chilling in different part of Europe! The plot was really only driven forward by the introduction of new characters and the deaths of old ones.
It seems as though Sally Green has gone for the classic dystopian “take down the corrupt government” trope, which I think I’m okay with. The wars between the sides make for interesting political parallels, and I would like to see how the witch-wars impact the human world.
Overall, I’m going to give Half Wild 2.5 stars, because it wasn’t an improvement or a decline in the quality of Half Bad.