Series: Half Bad #1
Published by Penguin Books on 27th March 2014
Genres: fantasy, young adult
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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!