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

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

DNF: Half Wild, by Sally Green

  • Age Range: 12 and up 
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: The Half Bad Trilogy (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers (March 24, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670017132
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670017133

"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.

The Half Bad trilogy has been translated into 47 languages. TIME Magazine calls it "highly entertaining and dangerously addictive." Kate Atkinson says it's "brilliant and utterly compelling." London's Daily Telegraph has named author Sally Green "the new J.K. Rowling." Discover the story that readers all over the world are raving about." - Amazon

My Thoughts:
I've mulled over my disappointment of the Half Bad Trilogy over and over, never quite finding the words to encapsulate my gripes. Is it the lack of magic? probably. Is it the lack of Spectacle? Not exactly. Much like one of those pre-packaged, microwave ready "health conscious" meals, Half Wild sounds great in theory - but when you actually get around to consuming it, you find out just how desaturated, crumbly, and ODD it is. Allow me to explain.

There isn't really much of a plot, other than a few vague tent-poles that consist of "save the girl", "control the beast" and "evade hunters". As a result, the reader is left not knowing their immediate location in the overall scheme of things.

“I always thought a person’s Gift reflected something about that person and all I can think is that my Gift reflects my desires, and my desires are to be totally wild, totally free.”

The Magic in Half Wild is also pretty dull. If you expected captivating spells, ancient incantations, or exotic relics - in fact no- if you expected anything vibrant or exciting you'll be disappointed.

Just to be clear - there's nothing wrong with a Fantasy novel being "gritty"- I'm all for making the genre more dynamic, but in this case it felt monochrome. Like somebody tried to "Nolanize" Harry Potter.

“The point of being good is doing it when it’s tough, not when it’s easy.” 
Rather Strangely, there were some great things to come out of Half Wild, more specifically Van. The weird, vampiric potion maker who assists Nathan in his quest for Analise. Her motives are almost always cloudy, and she's an intriguing figure "plot-wise". If there was one reason to finish this novel, it would be her.

My Rating: 2.6/5

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