DNF: Ink and Bone  My Thoughts: Six of Crows My Thoughts: A Darker Shade of Magic My Thoughts: Quake

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My Thoughts: Half Bad, by Sally Green

  • Age Range: 12 and up 
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: The Half Bad Trilogy (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile; First Edition/First Printing edition (March 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670016780
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670016785
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 1.4 inches
  • "In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and sixteen-year-old Nathan, who is both. Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his seventeenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch—or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust—not even family, not even the girl he loves?

    In the tradition of Patrick Ness and Markus Zusak, Half Bad is a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive, a story that will grab hold of you and not let go until the very last page" -Amazon
My Thoughts:
I'm feeling fairly conflicted over Half Bad. On paper, it should've been a masterful  epic - and usually it was, however this enigma was flawed from conception. There was nothing horrible or anything, no specific cracks - but rather some general concepts that permeated the novel as a whole. Let me elaborate.

The Mysterious lack of wicthcraft
Throughout Nathan's "quest", he encountered little to no magic. This is a story about witches, allot of people who pick this up will expect fantastical displays of Harry Potter proportions. Its inevitable that comparisons will be drawn, but I don't think Half Bad needed to be as wary of resembling HP as it seemed to be. (Though that would require people not to scream "RIPOFF!" and every sorcerous tale, so I can see where Sally Green is coming from)

The lack of World building
I never really got a sense of Half Bad's overall world. Instead, (I) the reader was only presented with the locations Nathan came in contact with. Think of it like a world-puzzle, slowly forming as the main character ventures on his hunt. *there are a few exceptions to the statement above*

It felt like the first third of an awesome story`
Y`know how books are supposed to have a beginning, middle, and an end? Half Bad felt like "the beginning" part. Distilled to its purest form, Sally Green's fantasy was a quest for three gifts - a prelude of sorts, to the main spectacle. I can't help but feel slightly empty upon completion...

Here comes the uber-confusing part - In almost all areas except the ones mentioned above, HB did good. Nathan is a great example of this. He was both a relatable and sincere character. I was able to understand his yearning for his father, even though he was evil. (Well, not in Nathans mind at least.) I hoped we would get more back story into Marcus (Nathans dad), but I theorise that'll be in the next installment.
"Any indication that a White Witch sympathizes with any Black witch is seen as treacherous. All Black Witches are tracked down by hunters under the direction of the council. If they are captured alive they suffer retribution. Any white witch who  aids a Black is executed"
This (as said by one of my fellow bloggers) is not a book that appeals to EVERYONE. It may not be your cup of tea. I would only recommend you check this out at your school or public library.

My Rating 3.8/5

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