Coming off another series centered around witches and magic, I started Half Bad intrigued. The backdrop of good vs. bad mixed with what seemed like a dark and dreary premise is something that is right up my alley. So I had hope that Half Bad would live up to its buzz. Lucky for me (and for you!), it lives up to the hype.
In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and fifteen-year-old Nathan, who is both. Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his sixteenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch—or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust—not even family, not even the girl he loves?
In the tradition of Patrick Ness and Markus Zusak, Half Bad is a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive, a story that will grab hold of you and not let go until the very last page.
Nathan is one of the most fascinating protagonists I’ve ever read. He’s not exactly a hero. You can’t assume that he’s a good guy, being misunderstood as bad because of who his father is. He doesn’t even know if he’s a White or Black witch, just that he’s drawn to both sides. This all makes the story riveting because Nathan isn’t easy to figure out, so there’s such a refreshing unpredictability to his nature. As a character study, the story excels to its highest potential.
I enjoyed how the author tackles good and evil, and the parallels to real society make it all the more interesting. Despite the segregation of Black and White witches, this society deals with a lot of gray. Being in Nathan’s shoes is very frustrating because you clearly see the injustice he has to deal with on a daily basis. It’s appalling, but gives the novel that emotional punch it needs to get you invested in Nathan and his journey.
Half Bad is very worthy of a spot on your book shelf. If you’re looking for something that is equally entertaining and thought-provoking, Sally Green’s debut novel of good witches, who aren’t all that good, and bad witches, who aren’t all that bad, is it.
Half Bad by Sally Green is now available wherever books are sold. Since we enjoyed this book so much, we are giving away a new hardcover copy to one lucky reader!
For a chance to win HALF BAD, enter your name and email in the Rafflecopter application below. Rafflecopter is an application that randomly selects winners. Once you submit your information, it will ask you to complete some tasks. The tasks include tweeting about the sweepstakes, liking “The Young Folks” on Facebook, etc. Just remember that every time you complete a task, you increase your chances of winning! Come back every day to gain more entries. The contest ends on March 22nd at 12:01am EST. Winners will be contacted via email. Good luck!
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