Half Bad by Sally Green
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Published by: Penguin
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon
I think everyone has already made this joke, but Half Bad wasn’t half bad. I bought this book because I’d seen a few people haul it on booktube, but mainly because it was being sold for £3. I’m not the kind of person to give up a bargain, and for such a hyped book, it seemed like a great price. However, I was surprised with the tone of the novel – it was a heck of a lot darker than I was expecting, and a lot more graphic. I’m using the term graphic loosely as there isn’t any nudity or violent gore, but quite a large helping a torture, which, surprisingly, isn’t all that fun to read, even if I did only buy the book for £3.
I struggled to finish Half Bad, but was intrigued enough to continue to the end. I don’t think the cliff-hanger was enough to make me want to continue the series, because I really didn’t connect with the characters, or the world, particularly. I doubt that I will be picking up Half Wild, but if it’s only £3 then you never know.
I very much enjoyed the first section, due to the fact that it was written in second person. Granted, it did make it that bit more gruesome considering the fact we were locked in a cage, but I was excited by the prospect of reading in this perspective. My enjoyment soon dwindled when I discovered that the world I was reading happened to be a particularly ruthless one. Just because I didn’t enjoy Half Bad is not to say that anyone else will dislike it, in fact, before writing this review I read many five star reviews, and agreed with the majority of their points. It just transpired that Half Bad wasn’t for me.
Nathan Byrne is our main character, and he is the son of a Witch and Black Witch, which is unheard of, so the Council are extremely cautious and keep a close eyes on Nathan. The problem is, they’re prejudiced and don’t think that Nathan, even though he’s living with his family of Whites, is going to end up being a Witch Witch himself. An important quote to remember at this time would be “The wand chooses the wizard, Harry.” Everyone around Nathan tells him that he’s going to be a White witch, he can fight the evil darkness and he won’t turn out like his father, and to be quite honest I’m surprised that no one else saw Nathan’s true identity sooner.
My favourite character was probably Annalise and I liked much prefered the story when Nathan was younger, except for the fact that he kept getting beaten up, of course. There was a lot of family history to do with the Black Witches that was slightly confusing, and I did get lost at some points and had to refer back. On the other hand, I liked characters like Ellen and Gabriel who were introduced later on in the plotline, and would probably only read Half Wild just to read more about them.
What I wasn’t expecting, that made me keep reading, was just how much adventure there was. Towards the end, it became very much about trying to survive, and the back alley streets and apartment were reminiscent of one of my favourite books ever, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Suffice to say I enjoyed these bits best.
I do love a good short chapter and there are plenty of those in Half Bad. They make the action seem quicker and the slow parts seems quicker too. I find that when I’m not really in the mood to read it’s always nice to have short chapters so I can get that sense of achievement a lot quicker. Overall, I’m glad that I read it and gave it a chance, because the build-up and suspense was excellent – perhaps a bit long winded, but it got to the exciting bits eventually – but it just wasn’t the type of witch book that I enjoy. Not enough magic in my opinion! I think I’ll just wait for the rest of the series to be released so that I can gauge other peoples opinions on whether or not I should continue.