|Photo credit: Goodreads|
So when Half Bad by Sally Green was first released, I heard a lot of people on Twitter raving about how amazing it was. And so I made a mental note to check it out.
Fast forward several months, I bought the book, read the first couple pages and immediately knew I was going to love this one.
But before I go on! The back cover copy (or…inside flap copy? Anyway):
“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 faction 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 his every action is monitored, when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?”
Okay, so I’ll start by saying I haven’t read a book about witches that I really loved since Harry Potter. Not that there aren’t any out there (there are), but one hadn’t really caught my interest until Half Bad.
Well. I was on the fifth page when I realized this was very likely going to be a new favorite. And I was right.
First and foremost: THE VOICE. If you’re a YA writer looking for a great example of powerful, immediate, raw voice, pick up this book immediately. Nathan’s voice is so real and intense and I honestly could not have loved it any more.
Secondly: the second-person POV. There are indeed sections of second person POV, including the opening, which I was pretty surprised to read. But holy wow, it worked so well! Ms. Green broke the rules on this one, and it really really worked.
Now the characters and the plot. Half Bad has you question right from the start who the good and bad guys are. There isn’t a clear-cut this person is good, this person is bad element, which I absolutely adore because gray characters, to me, are so much more realistic and interesting than morally 100% good/evil characters.
What made all of these even better was the pacing—even in the flashback sections that show us how Nathan ends up caged—are full of tension and conflict and events that had me racing through the book to find out what happens.
Overall, I absolutely loved Half Bad. It’s now one of my favorites and I can’t read to get my hands on the sequel, Half Wild. If you like dark, intense YA Fantasy, I couldn’t recommend this one any more.
Have you read HALF BAD?
.@Ava_Jae gives 5/5 stars to HALF BAD by @Sa11eGreen. Have you read this intense YA Fantasy? (Click to tweet)
Looking for a dark, exciting YA Fantasy read? Try HALF BAD by @Sa11eGreen. (Click to tweet)