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?
How was it?
This book is grim. I did not expect this, I first experienced Nathan’s story through the Netflix adaptation of the book: The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself. So I was a little surprised when I saw how much darker, grittier, and heart-wrenching the story can be. The beginning of the novel kind of threw me, I was a bit lost, but I quickly found my footing as my emotions were riled up for this boy who was so young and had so few people who could do anything for him.
Son of a “Good” white witch and the most wanted “Evil” black witch, Nathan’s story is one about nature versus nurture, in a world and a community where everything is black and white, and everyone expects the worst from him. I mentioned that my emotions were riled up throughout this book and the main reason for that is the realism that is infused in this story. It is a story about witches alright but they are some universal themes that are so well written that they are easy to relate to.
The world-building is also strong because it’s very easy to make parallels with how our own world works and the way some people in it behave. In particular when you’ve been the target of some hate because of a label, an expectation, or a prejudice that was put on you. And since this world seems so grounded and familiar, and the behaviors are so recognizable, the many characters in this novel are not difficult to keep track of and quickly become more complex than you’d expect for a YA novel.
However, if you come to this book with the idea of a lighthearted, dark-ish story about magic and a misunderstood boy, you’ll probably be disappointed. This story is vicious and gruesome and it has more depth than it appears to have. I enjoyed this book so much that I got through all three back-to-back and it even made me rewatch the Netflix series that I still love but it might have been a better HBO show.
Also, Carl Prekopp does a marvelous job narrating this book, and I’d even go as far as saying that it might be the better experience of the story.
Half Bad is available on The Book Depository and other book retailers near you.
One thought on “Half Bad (Half Bad Trilogy #1) by Sally Green | Book Review”
Great review, you really make me want to read this book. I have often been afraid to read because of my inexperience but this morning I just want to get it and dive in! Thank you for this interesting suggestion!
LikeLiked by 1 person