Books

Sally Green: The Half Bad Trilogy; Half Bad


Author: Sally Green
Genre: Young Adult, Urban fantasy
Pages: +- 376
First book of the Half Bad Trilogy

Wanted by no one, hunted by everyone.

It’s not easy, being a half blood. Growing up in modern England, Nathan is a boy born out of a union between a Black and a White witch. To make matters worse, his father is the Black witch Marcus, the most evil and vicious of all black witches.
To stay alive, Nathan has to find his father and become a full witch at his seventeenth birthday, or else death may very well take him from this world. Without anyone to help him, Nathan stands alone. He has to fight and flee from those who want to harm him and use him for their own purposes.

The Half Bad Trilogy is the, at this moment not so new, debut Young Adult series by Sally Green.
To be quite honest I was struggling with the writing a little in the first part of the book, but after getting used to it, it was a quick and easy read with some fun and a lot of emotions running through me. I nearly cried… okay… I cried.
If you want to read this book, here’s a word of caution: this is a novel with the ability to get under your skin.
Why? Well, because for me it was like reading a dairy, very personal and captivating.
When you read this book, you’ll follow Nathan every step of the way and you can really relate, feel what he feels and you might even take a liking/care for him at the end of this first novel.

Half Bad is the first part of this series and so you’ll get to know everything about Nathan. How he grows up in England, a land divided between Black and White witches, in a White family. His father is the most famous Black witch and as evil as they come, Marcus.
Since he’s the only half blood they know to be half white half black, the council keeps a close eye to him and every time there are new ‘notifications’ stating new wishes from the council for him and his family to follow. Each year he gets an assessment in order to decide if he is indeed a White or a Black witch. His life takes a turn for the worst when the council takes him away from his families care and places him with a new guardian and teacher, who puts him in a cage and makes his life a living hell. Only the idea of finally meeting his father keeps him going and the only option for Nathan is to escape and search for him. But with no one to help him, things get really complicated. Being hunted by hunters the Council sends after him doesn’t help either.
Will he be able to escape the Council of White witches? Or will he have to give in to them eventually?

So yes, in my opinion this was quite a decent Young Adult novel.
It was not great in world-building area but that wasn’t really necessary because it is Urban Fantasy. As expected some scenes were more detailed than others but in the end it was, obviously, mostly about how Nathan grew up in this hostile world and how he survives.
Like I already mentioned in the beginning I had some issues with the writing style at first but it can be dealt with if you just keep reading on. As usual there was my own personal problem with the first person but in this case I was able to overlook it because this was in a sort of diary setting and, to be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to knowing more about Nathan’s mean half sister.
At the start it took me some time to get into the story, mostly because some chapters were longish and then some were not even two pages long and then there are the knowledge gaps, though those are not that bad because it kept me interested.
I had however expected a little more magic, since it’s about witches and all. It was a bit of a disappointment that there wasn’t a lot of magic stuff going on in this book, except for the end, and then things became a little more interesting.
Overall it was a captivating first book of a series, even though some parts were not that gripping, but that’s not that uncommon.

In the end I think this book kept me in, although it was a bit difficult for me to come through the first third of it. It’s a decent Young Adult novel, but there could have been a bit more magic in it, some more action in the midsection as well. But it was an easy and quick read, with some humour and a great deal of making the reader feel compassion for Nathan and some other characters in this book.
I give this book three stars because I’m curious about the sequel and I liked it in general, but I wasn’t that blown away or anything by this book.
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