Friday, 31 July 2015

Book Review: Half Bad

'Half Bad' by Sally Green

Rating: 4 stars

This is not an easy book to form opinions on, and from reading other reviews I can understand why Half Bad has everyone's minds so split. 

I for one, really enjoyed it. From the beginning you get thrown into a first person narrative that is so disorientating that it makes the story as a whole more intriguing. There are fairly graphic scenes of torture, where all you can do is wonder what the protagonist could have done to have possibly deserved such a punishment. 

The answer is simple: he was born. 

Nathan is the child of a White Witch and a Black Witch - the only half code in existence. If that didn't have the Witches Council tracking his every move, then it might be because his father is Marcus - the most evil Black Witch to ever exist. Everyone expects Nathan to come out just the same - another monster, another killer. 

Half Bad blurs the lines between what is classified as 'good' or 'bad', but as far as his half sister, Jessica, and the council are concerned Nathan will always be more bad than good. But how does that work when the good guys are the ones who torture you, and the bad guys are the ones who are willing to save you?

Nathan is such an interesting character, because his anger stems from how he's been treated his whole life rather than it being inherited. He doesn't want to kill people, even though that is what people expect of him. And he is definitely not okay with being manipulated. 

The other characters are also intriguing, all with their own strengths and flaws that raise the idea that no one is born good or bad, but have the ability to alter the path that they are on.

My main problem with Half Bad is that although it is about Witches, it cannot be classified as a book about magic. The use of magic is so minimal that if you were to take the characters out and place them in another setting, the story would still work perfectly. My hope for the rest of the series is that there is a bit more structure seen for this magic-realistic world that Green has created.

Find this review on Goodreads


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