Friday, May 15, 2015

Review: Half Bad by Sally Green

My rating: 4/5 stars
Original language: English
Series: The Half Life Trilogy #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy (Urban Fantasy), Paranormal, Witches, Romance
Published: March 4th 2014 by Viking Books for Young Readers
Pages: 394 pages (Hardcover)
Source: Received via Netgalley

Links: Goodreads 

Summary (from Goodreads)
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?

My Thoughts

I’ve been meaning to read Half Bad for ages now but every time I was ready to buy it it was either
a) not there or
b) I was on the book buying ban (Thank God that’s over)
But then, one day, I saw Half Bad on Netgalley and decided that I was finally going to read it. I am quite happy I did. Sure, it had some flaws, the main one being the very lengthy mid of the story but other than that it was definitely pretty interesting (And I also suspect this is one of the cases where the story gets better with each book).

The reason for that is, like I said, the book being very slow at times. Actually, the only scene which actually felt like a convincing action scene was one of the last ones. But, hell: That scene was freaking great! But the rest of the story… Well, the first 150 pages or something like that were his complete backstory and the story of how he ended up in the cage. Kind of interesting, but not enough for 150 pages.

The very beginning of the book though is still in the present and there is no other way of describing it but unique. The book starts when the protagonist is already in the cage but you don’t know his name because it is all told in the second person singular. And then the backstory starts, you get to know Nathan and his family better and of course how he got into the cage.

As I already mentioned, the writing is obviously unique and really fascinating: The character somehow shines through all the words, giving you a feeling of who he is before he is properly introduced.
Just one little thing: There was one time that they spoke of Marcus, the big-bad witch, as “you-know-who”. Am I wrong or does this sound weirdly like Voldemort? Maybe it’s just one of these jokes I don’t get…


  1. Hi Constanze, ich habe vor kurzem erst Teil 2 gelesen und muss sagen, Teil 1 hat mir doch etwas besser gefallen. Mir sind aber auch die Längen im mittleren Teil aufgefallen, trotzdem konnte mich das Buch sehr faszinieren. Vor allem, wie man Nathan hier behandelt, hat mich emotional sehr mitgenommen.

    1. Dem kann ich nur zustimmen. (Ich glaube ich werde den zweiten teil auch sehr bald lesen - Bin auf jeden fall sehr gespannt!)

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