„Half Bad“ by Sally Green
„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 did expect this book to be good, even though I have never read a book with proper witch lore and things like that. But I had heard so many great things about it. I expected it to be a wild ride. What I really did not expect, was for it to break my heart.
What surprised me the most, was that the books starts in second person point of view. Meaning for the first part of the book, you are the main character, trapped in a cage, running in pursuit of freedom. I was not prepared for that, but it worked surprisingly well.
The other parts of the book is what some people call „too slow“ in their reviews, but I didn’t feel like that at all. I would almost go as far as to say that it was „not enough“, in the sense that I just wanted to know more, about Nathan’s family, his life and especially his brother Arran.
It’s strange, how secondary characters like Arran can hardly be in the book, but you can care about them just as much as you care about the main characters, sometimes even more. Chapeau to the author for that. I hope to see more of Arran soon when the second book comes out.
But all the other characters are amazing as well, I think every single one of them are the strong points of this story. Even if you think it’s slow, or predictable, the characters will glue you to the page until the book is done and you will want to know what happens to all of them. The good guys will break your heart, and you will love to hate the bad guys.
The story is gripping, and really interesting for all kinds of reasons, but that’s coming from a girl who has never read a book with „proper“ witch lore before. I loved the view back into Nathan’s past, and would love to know more about his father, just like he does. But I also can’t get enough of the present, and can’t wait to find out what everyone’s plan is. The ending surprised me, especially where and how and with who it ended. But I won’t spoil you.
5/5 Stars. I really recommend this book, to anyone. Even, or especially, those that usually do not read or enjoy books with witches.
p.s.: the second book in the series „Half Wild“ comes out at the end of this month… I can’t wait to get my hands on it!