There are two kinds of witches: White Witches and Black Witches. White Witches are kind, loving and pure blooded. Black Witches are ruthless and hunted by White Witches. They do not mix. They do not tolerate each other.
Nathan Byrn is a Half Code, he's half white witch and half black witch and the only one of his kind. His mother was a powerful White Witch and a great healer. His father is a Black Witch and a ruthless murderer. He has his mothers heart and his fathers black eyes.
As the only one of his kind Nathan is constantly under scrutiny. He lives his life under the watchful eye of The Council Of White Witches in England and is seen as a tainted Black Witch upon his birth.
Nathan is ostracised from his community, he is beaten, caged and shot. His life is constantly under threat and he only has one choice: survive.
I received this copy of Half Bad by Sally Green at PTALive for free I'd wanted Half Bad for a long time and when I got it I was ecstatic.
Half Bad is explosive. I read it in three days, which is relatively fast for me. I just couldn't get enough of it.
Nathan is truly a great character. He's wild and adventurous and tough. He's forced to be a survivor and he endures. I loved that he's complicated. Just here me out before you roll your eyes. I mean that he's a complete, whole person. He is fiercely passionate about those he loves, he's quick to anger and can be violent, but he's also very gentle. He loves art, but he loves to fight. I like to see a well written character and Nathan is the complete package.
Some of the book was written in second person which is when you are the character. You do this and you do that. I think this was a very bold and smart choice, especially when it's used at the start of the book. It gets you invested in the survival of this character who you know nothing about because you feel that the character is you.
This book was also excellently paced. Sometimes pacing is forced, but this book had me devouring it page by page through most of ot. Towards the end I felt like I was crawling towards the last page, just like Nathan was struggling in the story.
The overall story arc was quite good. I won't say much because I don't want to spoil anything for you. It keeps you on your toes and has you wondering what's going to happen next.
I really hope that doesn't happen in the next book, but I really wouldn't put it past Sally Green based on what happened in Half Bad.
This book was good and such a quick, fast read. You should definitely pick it up from your local bookstore or order it online (just not on Amazon, please).
Rating: 8/10 stars.
The next book, Half Wild, will be out next year. Just look at the cover. It's drool worthy.
It doesn't come out until 2015 so there's a long wait. I'd still recommend reading it now (or, at least, the first part of the book) so you can join me in feeling like, well, this.
Anjulie Te Pohe
Founder of Koru Mag | Mookychick contributor | Avid reader and writer of YA | Takatapui (Maori & bi/queer) | She/Them | Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org