REVIEW: Half Bad by Sally Green

REVIEW: Half Bad by Sally GreenHalf Bad by Sally Green
Series: Half Bad #1
Published by Penguin Books on 27th March 2014
Genres: fantasy, young adult
Pages: 380
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
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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?

Half Bad is an international sensation and the start of a brilliant trilogy: a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive.

I’ve owned a copy of Half Bad since it was released and have since wanted to read it regularly. I’m not entirely sure what was stopping me – possibly the huge buzz surrounding it – but I wish I had started to read it as soon as I bought it.

In a version of modern society, witches live among fains (humans) and there are two types of witch: black and white. The white witches outnumber the black, and the white witches are hugely prejudiced against the black. Nathan, the protagonist, is a Half Code – he’s half black witch, half white witch. In the witches’ eyes, Nathan will only ever be half black and therefore half bad.

The most striking thing about Half Bad is the beautiful way it is written. Green makes every single word matter, and there are so many different styles and techniques she uses to grip the reader. In particular, I loved the parts written in second person narrative. They really stood out!

I became so invested in Nathan’s story. The book covers a long timeline, from when Nathan is very young to him becoming a teenager. I loved this because it felt as if I was watching him grow up and the reader gets to see so many different sides to him. It was such a brilliant way to let the story flow.

I LOVED Half Bad SO MUCH and I am beyond excited to read the rest in the trilogy. I know they will be amazing!


Lucy Powrie

Lucy Powrie is a blogger, YouTuber and author from the UK. When she's not reading, she enjoys cuddling guinea pigs and eating Oreo chocolate, but let's be real: she's mostly always reading.


  1. Reply

    Regina FOo

    2 February, 2015

    I’ve just finished this book 3 days ago. I like to read about Nathan’s character development in this book but I expect to see more magical moments (like magic casting) since this is a book about witches.

    And I’m very eager to know more about Nathan’s father, Marcus, since he’s been described as the most evil Black Witch. And I hope to know more about the Black Witch society too. Hopefully I’m able to read it in Book 2 – Half Wild.
    Regina FOo recently posted…[Book Review] Half Bad by Sally GreenMy Profile

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    3 February, 2015

    I loved this book too and I’m really glad you enjoyed it! A lot of people are put off by the fact that part of the novel is written in second person (and if I had known that before I began reading, I probably would have been too), but it was so unique and well done that I absolutely loved it!! Great review!
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  3. Reply

    Charlotte @ Books and Baby etc.

    7 February, 2015

    I LOVED this book but I read it sometime in January and I didn’t get around to reviewing it so now I feel like I won’t remember it well enough to review it properly 🙁 I really want to read the sequel though… and the novella! I must say I strongly disliked the bits in second person though, it very nearly put me off at the beginning.
    Charlotte @ Books and Baby etc. recently posted…The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. MaasMy Profile

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