Half Bad

Half Bad by Sally Green.

I chose to read Half Bad after reading the great reviews it received. Wikipedia says ‘ At the Bologna Children’s Book Fair the book has created much buzz and was cited as one of the best books of the fair.  Since then, the rights have been sold to 36 countries worldwide  and the novel has been translated into 31 languages. Even before publication people drew comparisons to The Hunger Games Harry Potter or the Twilight series. Half Bad has also been compared to Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell.  Additionally, Half Bad has already broken two Guinness World Records as the most translated book – and the most translated children’s book – by a debut author before publication.’ Very impressive for the first book by any author!

I enjoyed reading Half Bad, and have yet to meet anyone who did not enjoy it. Having said that, I did not feel that it compared with the Harry Potter series, although it may be closer to the Twilight series. While Harry Potter appealed to a very wide age range, from children to grandparents, it seemed to me that Half Bad would have greater appeal to teenagers. This may be because the main characters are all teens, and also because the book has a darker, moodier feel with more personal violence than the Potter novels.

Nathan is a 16 year old boy whose mother was a White Witch while his father was a very powerful Black Witch. Caught between the hostile sides of his heritage, Nathan has suffered considerable abuse during his childhood, culminating in the White Witches locking him away for the final two years of his childhood. Nathan cannot read or write, but he can heal himself veryquickly. He gets sick if he stays indoors after dark. In order to survive, Nathan must find his father and receive from him (or a direct relative) a few drops of his blood and three gifts before his seventeenth birthday. Nathan has never met his father, however the Black Witch, Mercury, has supplies of witch blood that could be used if Nathan can find her and persuade her to help him.

Due to the cruelty he has experienced from the White Witches (excluding two of this family with whom he grew up), Nathan hates most White Witches – but he is in love with Annalise whom he met during his few (unsuccessful) years at school. Annalise comes from a family of White Witches who hate Nathan and hunt him to have him killed or locked up again. She is the first girl that he kisses.

Half Bad is the first book of a planned Trilogy. According to Wikipedia, ‘author Sally Green is already writing the sequel titled Half Wild’.