Half Bad - Sally Green
Published: 27th March 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Wanted by no one.
Hunted by everyone.
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?
Half Bad is an international sensation and the start of a brilliant trilogy: a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive.
I have had this book in a pile of books waiting to be read for the past 2 years. Finally, Saturday 30th January 2016, I decided to read it. I am glad I did and I’m glad I waited until it was closer to the release of the third book, this is a series I plan to finish quite quickly. I was drawn in and finished this book in a day, it was fantastic and I only wish I read it sooner.
Let’s Start With The Bad And Get It Out Of The Way
First off, it’s written in the first-person perspective. I hate first person perspective, it makes me feel really awkward with being inside a character's head. I get used to the perspective eventually, but to begin with I really hated it. The story itself made forget about that minor narrative pet peeve, but it still bugged me.
Secondly, the whole thing with Nathan and Annalise really annoyed me. I didn’t understand why he was so fascinated with her because the entire time I was reading it felt like she had no personality to speak of. I couldn’t figure why Nathan cared about her at all when it seemed like he barely knew her. I mean, when they started meeting up more I got their connection, but then stuff happened that made it blindingly obvious she was a weak-willed pathetic child who couldn’t stand up for Nathan or herself and he still liked her! What is that?
Let’s Stop Being So Negative, I Loved More Than I Hated
I really enjoyed the story itself, and I think that was because we were following the entire story from Nathan'sperspective. We need to clarify now, Nathan is not the most likable of people, he is mean and a bit crazy and impulsive, but I really liked him. I liked the fact there was no trying to deny the flaws in his character, it just was and you had to accept that. I love when characters don’t try and be something they’re not, and Natahn doesn’t apologise for who he is. He is a selfih person who has been demonised and persecuted simply for being born to the parents he has. After all he’s been through he is actually pretty normal and functional, it’s impressive.
I loved the commentary that was going on with the White Witches and Black Witches separation. It’s assumed White Witches are good, but then their treatment of Nathan, a half code, and black white in general is disgusting. It’s like they think they are lesser beings, lower than animals with the way they treat them. I know we’re viewing it all from a biased perspective, but even that doesn’t justify what’s happened. I do wish there had been greater explanation for why white witches are viewed as good and are in control, and I wish there was greater explanation for what is so bad about black witches, but there are more books to come.
I found the formating of the story reallt interesting too, you immediatly feel cympathetic towards Natahn as you find him trapped in a cage and forced to train and run whilst basically being threated to stay or risk losing a hand from the bracelet on him. You then find how he got to where he was, where he gets into fights and goes wondering aroud the country and does things that make you realise he is not a flawless human being. Then you get the rest of the story, it was smart. You gain sympathy from the beginning so you can forgive some of the more negative things about him.
Would I Recommend?
Definitely, I really enjoyed this book. I looked over the reviews on Goodreads and can see that there were differing opinions on this book, I am very much of the postive end of the spectrum. This book features a completely flawed system of power, with those in control being raging hypocrites who deserve a punch in the face, with those willing to speak up being the ones who were oppressed. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read where the main character is not necessarily likable, or even a good person, and I loved it for that fact. It was a book with faults, but they were faults you should be willing to overlook. It deserves your love, adn with the third book coming out this year it’s the perfect time to get reading.
Am I the only one with a strong dislike for first person narrative? And what was the last book you read that featured a morally ambiguous main character who you couldn’t help but love?