Book Review: HALF WILD by Sally Green

Photo credit: Goodreads
Once upon a time I read and reviewed Half Bad by Sally Green, then went on to tell a whole bunch of people about my favorite read of 2014 (which was, of course, the aforementioned dark YA Fantasy novel). So it’s probably little surprise that I pre-ordered Half Wild and was just a little excited to read it.

But before I go on, here’s the Goodreads summary:
“‘You will have a powerful Gift, but it’s how you use it that will show you to be good or bad.’ 
In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, seventeen-year-old Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world's most powerful and violent witch. Nathan is hunted from all sides: nowhere is safe and no one can be trusted. Now, Nathan has come into his own unique magical Gift, and he's on the run--but the Hunters are close behind, and they will stop at nothing until they have captured Nathan and destroyed his father.”
It can be a little hard to know what to expect from a sequel. Sometimes an author hits it out of the park, and it’s amazing, and sometimes it’s a let down (which is especially sadmaking when you loved the first book).

Half Wild, however, was definitely the former.

I had pretty high expectations jumping into the Half Bad sequel, and I have to say, those expectations were totally met. Half Wild is dark, exciting, full of action and complicated characters (and character relationships) and I was racing through this book to find out what happened. Nathan/Gabriel are one of my favorite ships, and I really loved some of the new characters and magic introduced in this book.

Like Half Bad, the voice is raw and arresting and it was interesting to see Green play with different formats and stylistic choices. There isn’t nearly as much second person POV in Half Wild as there was in Half Bad, but even though I loved the second person POV in Half Bad, I didn’t mind the shift.

Nathan’s character development has been super fascinating to watch, and the ending was seriously awesome, and 2016 is too far away because I want the next book now. If you like dark, violent, gritty YA fantasy, I honestly cannot recommend this series more. It’s on my perma-favorites list for sure.

Have you read the Half Life series? 

Twitter-sized bites: 
.@Ava_Jae gives 5/5 stars to HALF WILD by @Sa11eGreen. Have you read this dark, gritty YA fantasy? (Click to tweet)
Looking for an intense, action-packed YA fantasy? Check out HALF WILD by Sally Green. (Click to tweet)


Heather said...

I've had Half Bad on my Kindle for a few months now. I need to not get distracted and just open the file. XD Everyone says it's so good!

Ava Jae said...

Gahhhh you have to read it, Heather! You already have it. No excuses! :D

Darth Lolita said...

This is a weird place for me. One of the books I write in the past has a thirteen year old protagonist, with occasional chapters written from the perspective of a thirty-five year old woman. Because of the themes and general violence, I know for sure it would never be middle grade no matter the age of my character, and I've often wondered if it'd be a problem. It was partially inspired by Ender's Game, which is primarily written from the perspective of children under the age of eight or so. But that book was released at a time where there were the market was different, and the real only category divisions were Children's and then the adult market, no MG, YA, NA, etc, and it's not a contemporary novel either and is wayyy too famous, so I could never use it as a comp title.

I'm fairly certain the book I wrote after that is urban fantasy, since the city is a primary focus. But I've also wondered since I'm not using established mythological creatures. (And I just sort off refer to the fantastical creatures as "immortals".)

Narrowing it down definitely helps, though. I know for sure my sci-fi isn't a space opera or a dystopian, and the fantasy book isn't high fantasy or magical realism or something. So I guess that's progress :P

Ava Jae said...

Hmmm that first one sounds like a tough call. I think it'd probably depend on the voice, which is impossible to predict without reading.

As for UF, I think your book can still be UF without using established creatures. It generally just means fantasy in an urban setting (often paranormal in an urban setting).

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