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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 factions 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 there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?

Half Bad is an international sensation and the start of a brilliant trilogy: a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive.

394 pages, Hardcover

First published March 4, 2014

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About the author

Sally Green

13 books3,832 followers
Hi - I'm Sally Green. I'm the author of the real-world/ fantasy Half Bad Trilogy, which is made up of Half Bad, Half Wild and Half Lost. Most people read them in that order but there's always a few who don't. Many people who read them are teenagers but there's a lot who aren't.

I'm currently working on a new series called The Smoke Thieves, which is due to be published in spring 2018 and is definitely fantasy (there will be a map).

I said I'd never write another trilogy after Half Bad but it seems I lied.

I live in a village in north-west England.

There's some stuff about the Half Bad trilogy at www.halfbadworld.com.

Follow me on twitter@sa11eGreen

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 7,110 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,964 reviews294k followers
February 22, 2015
Do you know a story that goes something like this >>>> There's a poor family consisting of a mother and her bunch of kids, each one from a different father. Then there's that one kid (or more) who had a dad who was known for causing trouble... maybe he drank a lot, got into fights, ended up in prison... you know the kid I'm talking about? The one who has that dad? Well, everyone expects he'll turn out just the same. Everyone has their eye on that kid his whole life, expecting him to become just like his father, watching for his first mistake. And it makes him angry that people constantly expect the worst of him. It makes him lash out and get into fights and become something of a delinquent. It makes him exactly what everyone expected him to be. And people nod their heads and say "See! I told you so". And no one will ever know if that kid was always his father's son or if the other people in his life made him that way.

Half Bad is, in many ways, that story. The story of a boy who was never given a chance. A story of nature vs nurture, outsiders, family and prophecy. But... with witches!

So, apparently there is some juice left in British YA after all, I'd begun to assume JKR had drained that one dry. I only hope that the US publishers don't Americanize it for you readers across the pond because I think there's an eerie English/Scottish/Welsh countryside atmosphere that permeates this novel and adds to the overall experience. Which I thought was wonderful, by the way. This is a book set in an alternate universe version of England where witches live alongside humans (or Fains): the "good" white witches, and the "evil" black witches. Then there's half bloods (or half codes) like Nathan who are the product of both. Unsurprisingly - and as every decent novel should remember, in my opinion - there is never really anything as simple as "good" or "evil", despite what Nathan has been told his whole life. As he grows up in a world that distrusts him, he realises that the good guys often do bad things and those who are evil might not be all they first seem.

Half Bad is two main things and both of them are good. For the first, it is a coming-of-age story about a boy who must grow up in a difficult world and learn to survive the best way he can. It's strange how very... real this story felt, despite the strong fantasy element throughout. I suppose that's because of the parallels that can easily be drawn between Nathan's story and that of anyone who has ever been given a label before they've even had a chance to work out who they are. I really liked all of the characters in this novel (and there were quite a few). The author seems to have that special knack for delivering characters who do bad things and make the wrong decisions but still manage to get you on their side. Characters you initially think are going to be merely "evil" (like Celia) are developed into something far more three dimensional and complex.

But I said this book was two things and it is. As well as a very realistic story about a boy growing up, it's also a fast-paced, vicious, gruesome page-turner. It's not a small book but once I found time to sit down and read it, I was mesmerised until I finished it late last night. My friend practically had to drag me away to go see 12 Years a Slave, even though I'd been looking forward to it for ages.

Now... where is the next book? WANT. NEED. MUST HAVE.

March 7, 2014
"...it’s the name of the most evil Black Witch there has ever been.”

I want to say “Marcus.” He’s my father and I want to say his name, but I’m too afraid. I’m always too afraid to say his name.
Oh, hi, Voldemort!

This book is Snape: The Teenage Years. Only without much magic. WHERE'S MY MOTHERFUCKING MAGIC? Is it too much to ask for magic in a book about WITCHES?! If I'm going to read Dracula, I want some fucking vampires, and I want them to suck the bloody hell out of some humans. If I'm going to read about witches, I want some fucking hocus pocus shit, ok?

This is basically the story of Harry Potter's Severus Snape, if Voldemort had been his daddy. He's also got a Lily to comfort him and some Marauders-wannabes beating him up.

If you are a Harry Potter fan, you will find the setting in this world quite familiar, which is good, because the setting in this book is very poorly built. This book has excellent character development, a sympathetic main character (OH COME ON, WHO DOESN'T LOVE SNAPE?!), but almost no magic at all for a book with witches. The plot is vague, the setting is unclear, it's well-written for a character insight, but that's the limit of this book.

The plot is long-winded, and there's not much of it. There are a lot of beatings, a lot of torture, a lot of discrimination and hate, a lot of angst, and not a whole lot of story or world-building. The book was just all over the fucking place.

Let's get the elephant in the room out of the way: there are a lot of similarities to Harry Potter in this book, but there is no comparison with the original series. In this book, we have a corrupt Council (HP's Ministry of Magic), we have Hunters (Aurors), we have the Pure (Purebloods), a term for non-magical humans, Fain (Muggles), and for god's sakes, we have a Cobalt Alley...

The beginning of this book is confusing as fuck. This was literally my reaction for the first 10% of the book:

Hang in there. It gets better.

The Summary: Some people have the worst fucking luck in the world. Meet Nathan Byrn. He is Half-Black. No, it doesn't mean he's got African ancestry, it means that he is half Black Witch. His father is a notorious Black Witch, a murderer of hundreds. A name reviled by the White Witch community. As his son, Nathan is despised. Nobody loves him but (most of) his immediate family. Not his mother, because his mother is dead. Dead because of him.
“She’s dead because of you.”
I back against the wall.
Jessica shouts at me. “She killed herself because of you!”
His oldest sister reviles him. His other siblings and Gran love him and try to protect him, but they can only do so much against a world that is inclined to discriminate against those with Half Black blood.

This is not a happy book. Throughout the book, we see how the world turns against Nathan. From his own sister, who constantly tries to intimidate him, to the bullies at school, who pound him into the ground.
Niall catches me on the side of the head with the brick and Connor is clinging on to me.
Then I get rammed in my back, which must be with the brick again.
It reverberates down my spine and stops me dead.
I’ve been hammered into the tarmac like a nail.
Pain and misery and torture. That is the extent of Nathan's life. It never stops.
He puts the point back into my left shoulder blade and I clench my jaw and scream while he makes another cut.
He stops again and says, “You should have listened to him.”
He makes another slow cut.
And I am going mad screaming and praying for someone to make him stop.
But he makes another cut and then another and all I can do is scream and pray.
Even his mentor is more prisoner than friend.
The routine is the same as ever. And so is the cage. And so are the shackles. The choker is still on, loose but there. If I try to leave, I’ll die, no doubt about it.
It never seems to end.
I scream and curse him and move my finger as much as I can but the ring tightens and the needle goes into me again.
As it comes out I’m sweating.
He moves on to the top of my finger, over the fingernail. The needle goes through again.
That's pretty much the entire book. There is a lot of torture, a lot of pain, and some very vague plans to find his daddy. He-Who-Must-Be-Named. Actually, his name is Marcus.
So I must go to him.
I must go and find my father.
The Setting: Vague as fuck. There is just no background. It is a contemporary English setting, without much of the setting at all. I wouldn't have known besides the fact that they watch "the telly." The existence of witches doesn't really make any impression, because the book acts like "oh, everyone knows it, there's no need for any sort of information whatsoever." So BOOM. No setting. We know there's a vague...Council. We know that there are Hunters.
Hunters are the elite group of White Witches employed by the Council to hunt down Black Witches in Britain. Gran says they are employed by other Councils in Europe more and more as there are so few Blacks left in Britain. Hunters are mainly women, but include a few talented male witches. They are all ruthless and efficient.
And as you can tell from that passage, the world building is terribly trite and mundane; there's no evocative writing here.

I'm glad that I read Harry Potter first, because the world setting is very similar, in that magic is apparently an inherited trait, delivered by blood on a Witch's 17th birthday.

There is:

1. Almost no magic at all within the book

2. No history, no background

3. An unclear reason as to why the fuck Black witches are so bad. If someone were to tell you "Oh, XXX is a terrible person," you wouldn't just buy their words for it. You'd want to know why the fuck that is. There's not much of an explanation for why Black Witches are so reviled in this book. We know that Marcus, the most evil one, kills and steals magic. Do they all do that?

The Black Witches in this book are the Boogeyman. They're just a vague presence in the background to scare children. That's it.

The Plot: There is not much of a plot here. We see Nathan from up, from a child, to a 17-year old. He gets tortured. He runs away. That's it. There is no huge, compelling, overwhelming plot, and the main clue that we were given turned out to be a red herring because the book didn't turn out at all the way I expected it to go ased on the hints.

Nathan: I felt incredibly bad for the main character of the book. This truly is Severus Snape, the teenaged years. Everyone hates him. He is small, puny, and unlike Snape, Nathan is dumb as fuck. In secondary school, he is barely literate. Here's a sample of his writing:
i hava bordr and sisser my bordrs Arran
he is niss and Debsis clvrer
He gets bullied. He gets beaten. Thankfully, he has a Lily (named Annalise) to befriend him. A beautiful, clever, kind girl.
Annalise has long blonde hair that glistens like melted white chocolate over her shoulders. She has blue eyes and long pale eyelashes. She smiles a lot, revealing her straight, white teeth. Her hands are impossibly clean, her skin is the color of honey, and her fingernails gleam.
Annalise is a Pure blood, in the HP Universe, we would call her a Slytherin. A kind Slytherin.
I hold out my picture. “What do you think? Now it’s finished.”
I’m prepared for her to say something horrible, laugh at it or at me. But I don’t think she’ll do that.
She smiles and says, “It’s really good.”
Nathan is so lonely. His other siblings, Deborah, and Arran, love him, but that's not enough when he knows that the entire Witch world hates him for his father's blood. Nathan constantly dreams of his father. Wild, impossible dreams that give him hope.
It is a secret story that I tell myself when I’m in bed at night. My father is not evil at all; he is powerful and strong. And he cares about me . . . he loves me. And he wants to bring me up as his true son, to teach me about witchcraft, to show me the world. But he is constantly persecuted by White Witches who give him no opportunity to explain. But he is waiting for the right time to come for me and take me away with him.
Nathan is so hideously persecuted. Nobody wants him. Nobody believes him.
Of course I know. I know that even if I don’t fight, even if I avoid Annalise, even if I get on my knees and lick Niall’s and Connor’s boots, it will make no difference; they will do what they like and say what they like, and what they say will be believed.
He is unsure about his nature: White or Black. But it's all up to his personal choice:
"You aren’t evil, Nathan. Nothing about you is evil. You will have a powerful Gift—we can all see that—but it’s how you use it that will show you to be good or bad."
Recommended with reservations.
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews169k followers
January 4, 2015
I really enjoyed the first 50 pages and the last 50 pages, but everything in between was underwhelming. I'm going to do a full video review to share more of my thoughts, so look out for that! :)
Profile Image for Daiane.
179 reviews202 followers
March 20, 2016
Unpopular opinion time Yay!

I thought about giving this book 2 stars but who am I kidding? It was a torture to read it! I seriously have no idea how I got to the end. Oh wait, yes I have! I was actually waiting for something, anything, to happen! Plus, it promised me

A world divided between black and white witches and those in the dark side are tortured and murdered. Almost all the black witches are nowhere to see but one. Since Nathan was a baby he is treated poorly by his family. The only kid from the most powerful Dark Lord black witch that is alive and a white witch who died after giving birth to him. His life is a journey to discover his true self. Is his heart black or white?

"You will have a powerful Gift — we can all see that — but it’s how you use it that will show you to be good or bad."

In his journey he meets a really popular girl. While he lives in the shadows, always alone with no friends, she is the opposite. She is the light everyone is attracted to. But oh wait, she wants to be his friend! But wait... I'm having a Deja Vu here....

So how cool would it be to read a book about little Snape whose father is Voldemort?

It would be awesome but I'm still waiting for it because this book has nothing with the amazing world of J.K.
At first I was surprised by the writing style. I didn't like it but I have to admit that we don't see it every day.

After push-ups it’s just standing and waiting. Best look at the ground. You’re by the cage on the path. The path’s muddy, but you won’t be sweeping it, not today, not with this plan. It’s rained a lot in the last few days.

Aside from the "You do this. Now you should do that", it was like I was looking at some people's freaking twitter!!

Just had a shower. There’s a load of shampoo, soap, and stuff in the bathroom. And there’s an electric razor, which is a nightmare and hacks bits off my chin, but I can heal quick enough so I use it.

Tweet 1: Good morning guys! I just woke up :)
Tweet 2: Now I'm walking to my bathroom
Tweet 3: Oh, I'm getting my awesome pink toothbrush.
Tweet 4: Now I'm brushing my brilliant teeth.

As I got more in the book, the writing style changed to normal to tell the story of how we got there. However, it was slow and at some point it was really dragging. Most characters were just useless and weak. I saw some tentative plot of "Nobody is totally good or totally evil" but it was a big fail. Specially the dark witches who were bad just to have people in the dark side for the plot's sake.
The world building was also lacking. Aside from the witches' story, I missed some aspects about the place. Sometimes I was even imagine them in a middle age style and had to be reminded that this was a nowadays story. Also, at some point the inner dialog got into a loop where we had nothing new.
But wait, in this magical world that was one thing that disappointed me most. WHERE THE HELL IS MY MAGIC????
Where were the tons of spells? What would school teach aside from what the minister wanted them to ___Reead___? Why the hell would witches use fists and knifes to fight? I was promised magic so WHERE IS MY FREAKING MAGIC???

After all the dull pages I was expecting the climax. Well... I couldn't find it.
So, if you are in for some depressive thoughts and a kid who is trying really hard to be accepted by his magic(?) society that doesn't give a damn about him and just make him suffer more and more, this is your book.
But if you are looking for a book full of magic and spells, with a little bit of action and romance, I don't think I would recommend this.
All in all, this just wasn't for me.

Profile Image for Steph Sinclair.
461 reviews11.1k followers
July 21, 2016
When I first picked this book up from BEA, I wasn't very interested because I saw the word "witches" and thought, "NOPE, NOPE, NOPE." Even in my review policy it states that I don't review books about witches. Why? Well, because of Harry Potter. I didn't want to sit and compare the two and I had a feeling that I would. What made matters worse was the fact that ended up being toted as The Next Big Thing from The Hunger Games to, you guessed it, Harry Potter. So it's a good thing this book was nothing like Harry Potter.

Upon finishing Half Bad my first thought was, "HOLY SHIT!", so I went to Goodreads to see what everyone else thought. It's interesting to see how split most people are on this book, and it's not hard to understand why. The enjoyment of Half Bad is going to largely depend on your ability to adapt to the writing style. How do you feel about second person? How do you feel about first person? How do you feel about flipping back and forth from those two different point-of-views? If you answer is, "I can dig it!" then let's roll through the meadows together as I wax poetic about how awesome this book was. But if you answer is, "I hate it, I hate it, I hate it," then Half Bad might not be your cup of tea and I've got only one thing to say to you:

Good day sir

Half Bad is brutal and spares no punches as we are introduced to the main character, who lives in a cage. A cage. Immediately my interest was piqued. I knew this was a good sign for me because I'm the kind of reader that struggles with most book beginnings. However, the perils that Nathan endures really horrified me, and as terrible as it sounds, I couldn't stop reading about it.  There's nothing bright and sunny about Half Bad and the majority of it involves Nathan being ridiculed or tortured from a very young age because his father is the most hunted black witch. And so Nathan grows up alone in the community of white witches who despise him. He desperately wants to be accepted and not judged purely on his parentage, but no matter how hard he tries, the Council of White Witches continue to send restrictions:

-Any contact Nathan has with a white witch has to be reported
-He goes to the council for yearly assessments, where he is questioned about the father he's never met
-He can't have his Giving Ceremony with out permission (Think: Rite of Passage for Witches)
-He can't travel anywhere without first having permission

It gets pretty ridiculous with the amount of rules place on a child, but the Council has their prejudices, and it's clear they don't plan to let up. Nathan, who's only freedom included traveling to Wales every once in a while, refuses to ask permission for travel. Yet, his half-brother (a white witch), who genuinely cares about him, begs him to reconsider. That scene was one of the saddest in the book for me.
Later that night, when I am getting undressed, Arran has a go at talking to me. I guess Gran has asked him to try. He says I should "rethink," "perhaps ask permission to go to one place in Wales," and some other stuff like that. Adult stuff. Gran's stuff.
I just say, "Can I have permission to go to the bathroom? Please?"
He doesn't reply, so I throw my jeans on the floor, get on my knees and say, "Can I have permission to go to the bathroom? Please?"
He doesn't reply but drops to his knees with me and hugs me. We stay like that. Him hugging me and me still stiff with anger at him, wanting to hurt him too.
After a long time I hug him back, just a little.

But somehow in all the abuse, Nathan finds a little happiness in a girl named Annalise. Their romance was both short and sweet, and inevitably would fail since it's forbidden for white witches to fraternize with black witches. (I want to take the time to point out that this is NOT a Paranormal Romance.) Sometime later, he ends up living in a cage outside.

The writing, as I mentioned before, flips back and forth from second to first person in the beginning, but tapers off and settles on first person present tense. I personally loved it because it's so different from other books. In fact, I don't think I've ever read a novel with second person that wasn't a Choose Your Own Adventure. I felt like I could really get into Nathan's mind and understand how he felt. It also made certain scenes more intense because it forces the reader to imagine themselves in his situation. So imagining my hand being burned off from acid wasn't fun, but different.

Kat and I happened to be reading this book at the same time and had similar thoughts about it being difficult to read at first. It was very depressing in the beginning to see a child being mistreated and tortured. I don't often encounter that in most of the YA novels that I've read. But it does remind me of the same feelings I felt while reading The Hunger Games in that respect. The scenes don't fade into black, Nathan screams throughout some of them and they just felt very visual and hard to process at times. I'm not a reader of horror novels nor a watcher of scary movies that have a lot of violence, so my tolerance level for this might be low. However, I do think those scenes are where Green truly shined. Plus, they'll make for a great movie.

When I went through and read a few reviews, some mentioned the implications of race since Nathan is a black witch being persecuted by white witches. It's interesting because I never really thought about it that way. Looking back, I suppose it is there. The black witches and white witches are different races in a way, but I viewed it more playing on the long accepted mythology that black witches were evil and white witches good and simply putting another spin on it. In any case, I wasn't offended by anything intentional or unintentional.

Strangely enough, even though Half Bad is about witches, there's not much magic in it. There are a few instances where there are spells mentioned and used, but the vast majority boils down to witches making potions. There are no wands or cloaks or three-quarter platforms. I think this was smart, otherwise, would we see a lot of comparisons between Half Bad and Harry Potter floating around. As far as I can tell, they don't have anything in common besides the same paranormal creature.

As much as I loved the narrative and premise, I do agree with other reviewers that mention the second half isn't as strong as the first. This might have something to do with how violent the first half is, and therefore, a lot more engaging to read. I don't know if that's the right word, but the first half is definitely more interesting. However, I still enjoyed the second half because if the book had been filled entirely of violent torture, I don't think I could have continued reading. The second half mostly involves Nathan, newly escaped from the Council, searching for a black witch named Mercury who can give him his three gifts on his 17th birthday.

The ending took me by surprise due to the reappearance from a certain character. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but I am eager to continue this series. Do I think it's the Next Big Thing? Who knows. But it's a damn good book.

ARC was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuddlebuggery.
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,365 followers
March 4, 2014
Half Blood started as a 5-star read for me. This lasted 'til about three quarters which is when I realized we really hadn't gotten anywhere in the story. Boredom quickly followed, until I was unfortunately underwhelmed by the anticlimactic ending. Nevertheless, it's an incredibly well written book that has a lot to offer if you have a bit of patience, although it's unique in a way that may not adhere to all tastes.

When we meet our protagonist, Nathan, he's naught but a young lad. Young and unfortunate to have been born the son of a notorious Black Witch; a fact that makes him a leper, someone to be hunted down and caged. We learn that, even though he's highly intelligent in many ways, he's not exactly book smart. He can hardly read and write. To reflect his age and intellect, the writing is very simple, even childlike at times, which I found brilliant. In addition, Green adopts an informal narration lightly peppered with slang that really brings him to life. Then as he ages, so does the writing. To make the story itself just as genuine, it begins with second person tense. It's unusual, but highly gripping and surprisingly perfect. This is a child who has been controlled, tortured, and beaten both by his peers and by the system his whole life. Introducing the story with that choice of narration not only brings the horror of his situation to the limelight, but it makes you a part of it; it's haunting and unsettling. While it's definitely not for the younger crowd, the scenes of torture and suffering manage to be vivid without being overly graphic. The power of imagination is used well!

For the most part, however, the book is told through first person present, where Nathan narrates his own gruesome story. We follow him from childhood to his 17th birthday, from his hateful step sister, to his first love. We see how he learns to cope, to separate himself from the pain, to harbor strength not many would have. And, in spite of everything, he still manages to have a sarcastic sense of humor that had me chuckling.

The world building comes with no complaints. The witch lore is original, highly interesting, and doused with an old-school feel. There's a complex system in place involving White witches, Black witches, Hunters, Gifts, traditions and myths, with details delivered in a way that wonderfully balances our curiosity and fascination. I was engrossed for a good while, but sadly, my interest did start to dwindle close to 3/4 through, when I started to get restless from all the waiting around. His long days of torture turn to long days of nothing: detour after detour, jumping through loops to find this witch who's supposedly the answer to everything. I found myself getting increasingly bored. The plot was just not progressing at all. Then after all the waiting, the ending ended up being frustratingly anticlimactic. All this time, and it's like a balloon that pops and quickly fizzles. It's as if this was more or less an introduction for the real deal yet to come.

I would still very much recommend this one for all I liked about it. It's as much a book about witches, as it is a moving story about a young boy learning to survive in a cruel world.

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
December 31, 2020
The trick is to not mind. Not mind about it hurting, not mind about anything. (c)

Refreshing. Original. A tar-dark world full of magic and polarized along the lines of white and dark witches. The joke's the white witches aren't all that light.

I do have a secret, though. A secret so dark, so hopeless, so absurd that I can never share it with anyone. It is a secret story that I tell myself when I’m in bed at night. (c)
I’m amazed at Deborah; she still doesn’t get it. It can mean whatever the Council want it to mean. (c)
Ils demandent d’énumérer les sorciers que Nathan fréquente. Ça sera vite fait. Il voit peu de monde et encore moins de sorciers blancs. (c)
... he looks like he’s hit more than a few things that have hit him back. (c)
Profile Image for Regan.
366 reviews109k followers
March 25, 2014
Half Bad follows a boy named Nathan, and Nathan lives in a world where good witches (white) and bad witches (black) exist. Nathan, however, is unique because he is half good and half bad, his father is the most notorious black witch alive and his mother is dead. Nathan lives a life facing constant prejudice from all sides, and he is just trying to survive until his 17th birthday so he can receive his 3 gifts and become a full fledged witch.

I enjoyed this book overall, especially the first half. In the first half of the novel Green focuses on giving a very detailed back story of Nathan, some would say this part was too slow, but personally I enjoyed the pacing. However, the pacing shifted in the second half of the book when it jumped back to the present, and then I found everything was moving to quickly. I especially felt this with the climax, it seemed to came out of no where, and was only about 40 pages. I also had a small problem with the romance in the novel, my problem being I didn't believe it.

Overall this book was a very interesting, and fast read. I was hooked from page one, and I will be reading the next book.
Profile Image for Ben Alderson.
Author 18 books13.3k followers
February 14, 2014
this book was super good! i loved it so very much! i am really loving the building of the characters and relationships! i hope in the next book magic will be seen more ! :D
Profile Image for Daniel Cohen.
Author 9 books348 followers
June 11, 2013

For me, something like "Half Bad" is very, very rare. I read a lot of fantasy, much of that lot from the contemporary masters of the field (Sanderson, Rothfuss, Williams, Rowling etc.) I have been well immersed in the fantasy genre, and as spoiled as it may sound, have come to expect greatness in the fantasy that I choose to read. I chanced across a copy of the "Half Bad" unedited manuscript at the 2013 BEA, and decided to take a chance.

I was sufficiently and unexpectedly blown away. "Half Bad" delivered more than greatness. It delivered a feeling to me that I haven't come across since reading Rothfuss's "The Name of the Wind." I literally could NOT put "Half Bad" down. I'm not sure if it was the unique POV that Green chose to use, the excellent storytelling, the believable dialogue, or a combination of all three, but I fell in with Nathan. Spiritually, emotionally, even physically (I was genuinely squirming in my seat at some points). His journey was my journey.

And the fact that this is Green's debut novel makes it all the more impressive. This isn't your average YA urban fantasy centered around witches. I hated even putting that last sentence in here just because this book feel so unique. This is a masterful work of fiction that will grab you, hook, line, and shackles. "Half Bad" has a lot to say about suffering, love, and hope. I'm sure I'll be turning this story and its messages over and over in my mind until the next book in the trilogy comes out.

I will most definitely be championing "Half Bad." As soon as it's available, go buy two copies. Because if you're like me, you're going to want one copy to treasure and one copy to give to a discerning friend.
Profile Image for Josu Diamond.
Author 9 books33k followers
May 9, 2015
Con una trama que puede sonar típica, Sally Green presenta un personaje principal realmente bien construido y una historia que al final, es más profunda de lo que parece. Al ser una relectura, recordaba ciertas cosas que me marcaron. Aun y todo, había pasajes de los cuales no recordaba nada y que me han impactado igual. La autora no tiene pelos en la lengua y habla de torturas y sangre sin importarle nada (y bien que hace, oye). El estilo, sin embargo, es lo que consigue que El lado oscuro se convierta en algo más grande. Varía muchísimo dentro de la novela, siguiendo la evolución de Nathan, y narrando en primera, segunda y tercera persona. BRAVO. Además, utiliza diferentes 'formatos' y muchas figuras literarias. Como he comentado antes, la construcción del protagonista es muy buena, y las relaciones que se plantean con otros personajes se definen rápidamente y son determinantes, haciendo que la interacción entre personajes esté muy lograda. La autora consigue dar la sensación de agobio continúo y es algo complicado de hacer durante 400 páginas. Ahora toca ver qué nos depara El lado salvaje...
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,470 reviews9,633 followers
February 24, 2016

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

Nathan, poor Nathan. He had it bad from the start. He is born to a mother that was a white witch and a father that was a black witch. A lot of his family hated him from birth and wanted him dead. I mean to look at a little baby and want it dead. I'm not saying his mother did, there are things about her you have to find out by reading the book.

Nathan had one sister that hated him, but he had a great relationship with his other sister and his brother. They loved him for him and not for his half blood. His sweet grandmother loved him too.

The counsel were always having Nathan come in to be assessed to see if he had more of the white gene or the black gene but they never could determine it. I'm telling you though, a lot of the white witches in this book are some evil people. I don't know where they get off calling the black witches evil when they torture the black witches for a good while before they kill them. I mean yeah, you want to do away with anything that is evil but them torturing people if they even have black witch blood is a little much. Hypocrites!

I mean me personally would only see fit to torture people that are involved in animal cruelty, pedophiles, elderly abusers, you get my drift. But someone just walking down the lane and you see they are a black witch and your ready to burn them at the stake... um.. no. The freaking white witch bullies should have been tortured. They did evil things to Nathan because Nathan and their sister Annalise were sweet on each other and God forbid two mix witches get together!

Nathan ends up with a woman the counsel set him up with when things didn't work out at his home and she puts him in a cage and makes him workout all of the time and work around the place. She does some beatings here and there, but I felt like she didn't hate him as much as she let on. She taught him self defense, martial arts and did some schooling with him. Then the jerks decide to come and take him away again and do some more beatings and mark him as a half blood.

One of Nathan's family member dies and he wasn't even told until a month later, he wasn't allowed to see his family again. I really felt sorry for him.

There are a few different characters in the book that I liked. I didn't love or hate this book and I am interested in seeing where the rest of the trilogy goes and hopefully things will..um.. look up for Nathan. I mean really, this kid needs a break, there is only so much you can do to a kid before you MAKE them bad!!!

*I would like to thank Penguin Random House Books for a print copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.*

Profile Image for Simona B.
892 reviews2,985 followers
February 10, 2017
2.5, because oh, who am I fooling, it's a 2 and that's it.

I'm sorry, but I'm afraid this review will be terribly short. The reason? Take the title and replace the word "Half" with "Totally". Here you have my review.
But, as I'm sure you know by now, I wouldn't be at peace with myself if I didn't at least try to explain why.

• The pace is off, off, off. Pages in which nothing happens, others in which the hell happens, but my attention is already drifting in a sea of "let's guess how much f**k I give between none and none minus the number of pages of this book".

•The writing tries to be original, but actually it's simply dull. Criminally dull.

•The characters are duller than the writing, and that takes talent. With one exception: Annalise. She manages to be disgustingly annoying with just three or four scenes she's in. That takes talent too.

•The world building: the world is divided between fains (muggles, that is), Black Witches and White Witches. The White Witches hunt the Black because they think they are bad.
Sorry, I think I missed the part where I had to be impressed and clap my hands in delight.

•The only thing I liked? Nathan's childhood is depicted like a hellhole. In this, Sally Green succeded perfectly: no drama, no sentimentalism, just a crude and harsh description of the facts. But, I'm sorry, I can't bring myself to care for a character or his whole book only by virtue of his past. I need more. I needed more. And this book just didn't comply.

Profile Image for Darth J .
417 reviews1,253 followers
March 10, 2015

This book read more like an overlong prologue than the actual first installment in a series. The whole thing is about the MC finally getting his powers, which he does at the end. I’m not even going to put that in a spoiler alert because it doesn’t need one. The book is very predictable so it also should come as no surprise that he gains them from his father, a *gasp* Black witch.

I have a problem with these terms: “Black” and “White” witches. They aren’t clearly defined in the story other than saying Black witches are violent and kill people, but plenty of White ones are just as cruel and also murder people. The whole drama is about hunting down and wiping out Black witches, and keeping those who could be Black witches from gaining their powers. While there is some backstory provided about how they came about, the fact that there is a serious lack of clarity, ironically over something black and white, seems ill thought out.

Further, the writing is unpolished, and by that I mean rough. And by rough, I mean ROUGH DRAFT rough. And by that I mean plenty of errors and entire passages that seemed like more of an outline than actual storytelling. Ben Horslen is thanked at the end for being Sally Green’s editor but he did a horrendous job. It seems like a middle schooler wrote it and a lazy teacher gave them a passing grade just for turning it in. I notice this trend more and more in traditionally published books that supposedly went through editors, but the quality and content of the work don’t seem to prove that any actual proofreading was done.

Moving past that, the actual story is entertaining and fast-paced. It’s a tale of prejudice, abuse, bureaucracy, and magic. It’s weirdly gritty and unsettlingly gentle at times; it’s very modern.
Profile Image for Mai.
199 reviews112 followers
February 8, 2017
I can't believe it!
I finally read this book! I've wanted to read it since the first time I saw it on here.

And, I'm not disappointed, not one bit!

The reason I'm giving this four stars is because while reading I actually felt like the author was very inspired by Harry Potter that her book was infected by the main idea behind it, but it was also completely different and very well executed!

The storyline is amazing, I was feeling like crying every time I forced myself to close the book to sleep because I had this thing called work which is useless and couldn't wait to cuddle with it in bed, it just kept on making me more curious and intrigued!

But the best thing about this book is the characters!

Nathan the main character, is a half black biracial, bisexual witch who is on the run to find his black witch of a father and goes through a lot while on his journey.
His voice was so miserable yet very marvelous, I fell in love with him from page one or whatever, the way he described how his life was going at the moment only makes you feel bad for him and more proud of what he becomes, also he is a family man I'm gonna love myself a family chap and an angry little hedgehog, can he get any hotter? No one knows. I hope life is going to be a tad bit soft on him in the rest of the books.

ARRAN Have you ever read about the perfect brother who is ready to go through hell and back for his baby brother and then not telling him that life is so shite, then sing him a song, put him to sleep, run his fingers through his hair, and tops it off with a kiss on his forehead for good measures? No? Because it's rare. Here you go, another reason why you should READ THIS BOOK

Gabriel Blimey. But seriously though, this is how you weave a fictional character and make it believable! Because nobody can be gentle, soft, as straight as the letter S, long-hair-don't-care, wonderful eyes, loves unconditionally, loyal, beautiful, gorgeous, sexy af, posh, Swiss, and Nathan's number one fan. Seriously, what more convincing do I have to do?

Rose sweet sweet Rose. I just can't right now. Thank you for understanding.

The world in this book is so amazing, I can't get enough of it and I hope the rest of the books are as great as this one.
The book is so diverse, it's mind blowing. Also, sexuality is like a normal thing in this book? No one needed to reveal anything or come out of whatever they're imaginary inside, it's just is, no big deal. As simple as what colour your eyes are. As simple as it should be to be honest.

Seriously, just read it.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,728 reviews1,279 followers
March 6, 2015
2.5 stars
This started out strangely, continued that way for a while, then went really downhill.

Nathan was someone that I immediately felt quite sorry for. The way his mother , siblings, in fact everyone treated him from the time he was a new-born was just disgusting and awful. How anyone can treat a poor defenceless baby that way I don’t know. Poor Nathan just got tormented, put down, and generally mistreated his entire life.

This book for me seemed to be about racism? I might have that wrong, but on a very basic level that’s what it seemed to be about. There were the white witches and the black witches, and the ‘half-codes’ – those people who were half and half were treated like treated like vermin. Nathan’s life seemed to go from bad to worse, and the things that happened to him were just unforgivable.

This book was written a little oddly though, the writing style was quite unusual, and while I appreciated the fast pace, we hit a bit at around the 60% mark which was just boring and felt like it would never end!

There was a hint of romance in this, but not a lot. I wanted things to work out for Nathan and Annalise, but because she was a white witch and Nathan was a half-code, that seemed to be worse than Romeo and Juliet.

The ending to this was okay, and I was pleased that Nathan did finally get something that he wanted. I can’t believe that his life is going to be much better from now on though.
5 out of 10
Profile Image for Kassidy.
339 reviews11k followers
July 28, 2015

I love how original and unique this book is! The writing style is so cool and I really like how the timeline is set up.

The main character Nathan is great, he is just a fighter and never gives up. He goes through some absolutely terrible things, but he always has hope and keeps control of his mind. His journey is so intriguing and interesting, I just had to keep reading to know more.

The world is also great because I felt everything is explained nicely and it's not very confusing. I like the descriptions of how the witch world is entwined with our modern world. Also, I LOVE that this novel is set in the UK, we get to visit England, Whales, and Scotland! Also, some of the language reflects that. I just think it is so cool!

This story is definitely character based and the reader is deep inside Nathan's head. The story and writing really involves the reader and at times switching to second person and using "you". It's a startling way to tell such a gritty story, but very intriguing.
It is slower and not really "super fast-paced", but towards the end there are more action-y scenes that are very gripping. However, I felt this book is really setting up for the rest of the series and really spends a lot of time on background and developent.

There are great themes introduced, mostly focusing on what it means to be "good" or "bad" and how do we make this distinction. The author does a wonderful job of making you think about these things.

Definitely worth the read! I just cannot wait to read the sequel. I just have to wait a year :(
Warning: this book gets pretty graphic with torture and some violence, so it's not for the squeamish..

Thank you to Penguin for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Video Review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJwQme...
Profile Image for Rose.
417 reviews589 followers
June 22, 2016
buddy read with my fav, Christine :)

i don't think i've ever seen such mixed reviews?

and it's not even like people who just hate it or love it- there's literally a perfect mix of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 stars? weird... but anyway, not reading any reviews so i don't get spoiled or become biased~*~

wish us luck!!

- - - - -


sO many questions
Profile Image for Faye, la Patata.
492 reviews2,115 followers
February 9, 2014

If there's anything Half Bad by Sally Green has, it's definitely an interesting and intriguing premise. Now, let me tell you it's hard to make me excited for any Paranormal book, but that's simply because I hold this particular genre in very low regard. I am not a fan of it, not by a long shot, but having been proven wrong again and again by such spectacular PNR books (Written in Red and The Diviners), I will not say "no" to one that has been deemed great by my peers, and especially not to this one whose blurb was enough to excite me on its own. White Witches! Black Witches! Both factions at each other's throats! A boy trapped between two worlds who wants to be Good and to be accepted, but cannot control the changes in his body that lean more to his Black genes!

However, my enthusiasm for this book did not last very long. It started good, then it got slow, shortly after it felt dragging, and then the most disastrous thing happened - I started skimming. A paragraph, two paragraphs, a page, 2 pages... my eyes starting glazing over and when my attention became full again, I found myself not missing anything vital despite skipping so many pages of text.

That sounds pretty vague. Let me address my concerns one by one:


Nathan is our main character. His mother was a White Witch (WW) who fell in love with a powerful Black Witch (BW). However, his mother died and he was left under the care of his Grandmother and his stepbrother and stepsisters (Arran, Jessica and Deborah). Meanwhile his father is on the run, hiding from WW hunters who aim for one thing: his death. Because his father is a famous White Witch killer, Nathan is ostracized and looked down upon by the rest of the WW community; WW kids are warned not to talk to him, the Council (which is kind of the overbearing authority of the WW) keeps on releasing decrees limiting the things he can do, and he gets bullied every chance the others get.

I really felt for Nathan because I understood what he was going through. Being discriminated upon by your peers just because of what you are sucks a lot, having felt it myself when I went to Europe to study for a few weeks. It forces you to ask yourself if there is anything wrong with you and if there's something you should change to be more desirable to the community. It's not something I would wish even upon my worst enemy. The treatment Nathan got here felt very disturbing and real, and I admired his calm and calculating attitude in facing the adversaries that come his way.

“And your life is so empty that sitting in the middle of nowhere acting as jailor for an innocent child must seem pretty rewarding.”

She’s actually beginning to smile at this.

“And I bet the pay isn’t that great.”

He even managed to face it with humor, cracking a joke sarcastically to a captor of his. I really liked him as an MC... he gave an aura of control over his emotions, of thinking with his brains. However, this calculating demeanor didn't last long. Around the middle of the book until the end, it felt like I was reading the story of an all-new different person. Nathan was no longer in control of his emotions... he's always angry, is always making mistakes, and is always overcome by his feelings. It's not really a bad thing as I am guilty of that myself, but it was just so exhausting to read the last 50 percent that were full of hardcore angst and anger (not to mention it was at that time it became an adventure book where he went from one place to another... ugh).

“I do have a favorite though. Solzhenitsyn. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. You read that one?”

He shakes his head.

I shrug.

“How can it be your favorite . . . if you’ve never read it?”
And I want to yell at him, “’Cause the woman who kept me chained up in a cage was a Russian-loving lunatic, you stupid, spoiled Swiss idiot.” I want to scream and shout. And next thing the plates are all smashed on the floor and I don’t know how I get so angry so quickly. I’m breathing hard and Gabriel’s standing there, with suds dripping off his fingers.

There are many of this kind of episode happening in the book, where he would suddenly become so angry he would throw things around and he would shout and he would go all angsty in his head and I'm like, "...Man, I'm drained from reading this shit."

Like I said there's nothing wrong with that... for me I guess it was simply a matter of him becoming really boring all of a sudden. Where did my beloved character go? Sorry, Nathan.


...is highly disappointing. Her name is Annalise, a White Witch whose Uncle is in the Council. It could have been an interesting "We-Are-Not-Meant-To-Be" love story, but holy shit, was she the most useless character EVER. She does absolutely nothing but look pretty and demure. I am aware she has a hard life at home as her family is limiting the things she can and can't do and she is being pushed around all the time, but come on, a little personality wouldn't hurt, would it? This is the reason why you're being pushed around - because you allow it to happen. And I'm not surprised why.


I definitely felt the pacing was weird. The first part was pretty good as we're given a view of Nathan's childhood and how he was perceived by the people around him. I felt for him, cried for him, and was even angry on his behalf. I think this comprised the first 30-40 or so percent of the book?? After that it was a long, drawn-out journey from one place to another, with a lot of internal narration in between that I felt was just constant repetition of the same thoughts over and over again . It was this part that disappointed me the most - the "journey" was so dragging that I was skipping pages upon pages just to get to the end of it (doesn't help Nathan became a cardboard character at this point). For such a drawn out middle part, you'd think the climax would be powerful and enchanting and meaningful, but nope... we're only given a few pages with an anti-climactic interaction and that's it.




Some of the side characters were interesting, but I wish the evil guys were given more personality and attitude than just simply being evil for the heck of it. The Council as the evil-disguising-itself-as-good organizational authority is pretty old already to be completely honest. That's probably just me, though.


Half Bad is not a bad book by any means. It's an impressive debut, and I have no doubt it would be a bestseller and probably be a movie too, but there were a lot of issues I had with it that merited it only receiving three stars. Thankfully there is no cliffhanger (at least I didn't see it as one!), so those who have phobias of such, it's okay, you can come closer, the book won't hurt you.
Profile Image for Luce.
514 reviews36 followers
October 25, 2019
Edit, 2019: I really liked this book when I read it in 2015. But no matter how much I enjoyed a book, I absolutely do not support authors who are transphobic. This book and its author can go right in the bin.
Profile Image for sumi.
133 reviews65 followers
April 29, 2017
full review now hereeee!

LMAO I finally sat my ass down to write this review LOLOLOL

I have been procrastinating writing this since I finished the book and cried instead of studying for my test which was a day after. Wow. Anyways, this was such a beautiful, beautiful book. My heart pains to see that it’s so good and yet so underrated! (pls read it lol)

I loved everything, and it’s been a WHILE since I had absolutely no complaints in a book. The thing is, I want to read the next books ASAP but I’m not getting money until May 1. THEN there are 999999 book releases in May which I want to buy and basically WHAT THE HELL DO I DO?????

I have a crisis going on everyday ignore me and read the review pls CUZ THIS IS WHAT YOU CAME FOR. LIGHTNING STRIKES EVERY TIME I WRITE A REVIEW OOOOHHOOO OHHOOO HOOOO

(I think this was funny??)
Things I liked!

•I loved the writing style. The starting is painstakingly slow and the first few pages were so bloody confusing that I wanted to DNF it. But thank god I didn’t!!! It all gets better in the flashback parts! It is part second person and first person and basically there should be more second person books because I think I love that sort of narration style the most.

•All the secondary characters were wondrous. (except one, which I’ll get to later) I loved Gabriel even though he was for a short while in the end only, and all the other people who helped Nathan.

•The plot started out really slow, but god damn was it addictive!! I read this in 12 hours. YES YOU HEARD THAT RIGHT. Now, I know I am a really fast reader and I can read a book in day, but 12 hours is insane even for me lol. (I had to stop to go to swimming and to class. Yeahh. Not fun at all, I know. But you know what! I am a responsible person! Ok not really)

•Nathan draws!!! I love to paint and do artsy stuff so I was so happy to see that he had a hobby!

•This emotionally drained me and that should be a bad thing but like still?

•I always love books which talk about the topic that what is evil and what isn’t. Nathan is half black and half white, BUT how do we know if he is evil or not? The white witches were fucking awful and evil throughout the story (and can I murder them??? This is called a taste of your own medicine IMAO) What I liked was that everyone has evil in them and no one is purely 100% good or bad.

•NATHAN. CRIES!!!!! I’d say that yes, he has gone through so much shit load of torture, that crying is justified and pretty reasonable. BUT. I see a lot of time in fantasy (and in other books too) that boys don’t cry. This is obviously a dumb stereotype. Even if a guy in a book is going through a lot of shit, he will never cry and that pisses me up to no extent. Like BITCH PLZ. Boys do cry!!

Things I disliked!

•The love interest was mehhhhh. I was expecting a lot more from her but in the end I was so disappointed. TBH I think something shady is going on with her. (also I ship Nathan and Gabriel so she is just intruding here)

Overall thoughts- Half Bad is a wonderful, wonderful book and it will rip your soul out, so keep tissues, chocolate and your cousin’s cat on your side SINCE YOU WILL NEED THE THERAPY AFTERWORDS.

This book fucking drained me emotionally. I haven't cried this much in a book AND IRL in years.

Review to come when I feel like my emotional state is better
Profile Image for Katrina♡••.
405 reviews68 followers
June 24, 2016
For some parts I was like

By the end


I was not wowed by this one. I think it started of well and towards the middle it got boring. Only like the last 25% of the book at the end was a bit enjoyable. I think what lacked for me was the world building. All that we find out is the catagories of witches and their abilities and oh yeah there is no magic. It's a bit plotless.
I know I said I appreciated the language but by 30% into the book I started to get annoyed by it. Yeah it bit me in the back! I also think that maybe some multiple povs would do well... I did feel sorry for Nathan... But I found this book to also be lacking emotions. Oh and not forgetting a lot of this book had lots of pointless lines like what Nathan's doing repeatedly. Despite this I did enjoy it. I honestly think it was a great start to the series and I know it will improve.
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,401 reviews11.7k followers
April 8, 2014
The downfall of this book is its lackluster plot. I quite liked the story in the beginning - the cage, the brutality, the freshness of the narrator's voice (oh yes, this boy IS half bad). But as the book went on, the limitations of the plot revealed themselves - imagine Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and all the running around and hiding, but without the friendships, the deep back story and the big showdown in the end. What's left is a lot of going from one place to another and meeting various underdeveloped characters with a very clear and rather uninteresting end point (it's not a spoiler - finding the main character's father). I am curious to see if this novel will be as big as its publishers expect it to be. I am certainly not dying to know what happens next, or even finish this installment.
Profile Image for Lexie.
181 reviews134 followers
March 31, 2016
It took me a shamefully long time to finish this book for me, because I kept getting distracted by... things... Things I truthfully don't wanna admit. But anyway, onto my review for this book.

When I first started reading Half bad, this book was nothing like what I had been expecting, and in truth, this book is in that certain, particular style that I just don't like. The writing style was kinda basic, and it also kind of jumped from first person to second person all the time. In all honesty, this book has a very similar layout to The 5th Wave, and we all know how I felt about that book. However this had better characters and a better story. Significantly better characters and story.

Overall, kind of mixed emotions about this book. The story was pretty good, the characters were decent, but it was kind of downgraded by the writing style. This book was good but it wasn't great. However it was decent, and I would say I did enjoy it, I was interested in what was going to happen next. I liked Nathan's character, and the concept was quite interesting. There aren't really that many characters in this though, I liked Arran and Annalise also, didn't like Jessica and Kieran (he was evil) as well as Clay the hunter, and also didn't really like Celia or Mercury even. I liked Gabrielle and Rose though, oh and that Nikita girl was cute. But that's about it.

The first third or so of this book is in the past, basically it's just Nathan describing his life before he ended up in the cage. Admittedly though, the story kind of got a little repetitive. There wasn't that much action. But as I said before, I did like the concept. Everything with the White witches and the Black witches was interesting. It was interesting, it had its own unique aspects. However... I do feel the story of this book is A TINY bit cliched. Not this story exactly, but kind of the whole broad concept. However in all honesty, I wasn't super into this story, probably part of the reason I kept getting distracted from it. So in saying that, I didn't get hugely in to this book to say the complete truth. And so, I don't think I'll continue the series. I don't know, maybe I'll pick up the next book, but... probably not. That ending was good, but I just didn't get into the story enough. Sadly this book was really not what I was expecting, but it wasn't bad! It was simply alright, just not my kind of book. Glad I gave it a go though, and again, I definitely wouldn't say it was bad, it's just not the kind of story I like. But nevertheless I'd probably still recommend trying this. If you don't mind this kind of writing style, it is a pretty good story. Unique and well set out, simple but effective.

PS I also happened to like Marcus, he was quite fascinating, and I wish we got to learn more about him personally in this book.

I just wanted to say I did have a few scenes that I rather liked in this book. That part where Kieran, Connor and Niall attack Nathan and Kieran gives him the BW scars was heartbreaking, poor Nathan. Though otherwise, the story was a little boring, it spent too long in Nathan's past I think. Also what was with Celia? She didn't really have a role honestly. It was good when Nathan finally escaped from the Council, the whole part of him on the run was where it got a bit more interesting at least. But I didn't like Mercury, I knew there was something up with her. I liked Gabrielle though, and Rose was alright. I'm actually unsure if Annalise was telling the truth or whether she was a trap for Nathan to be honest, I'm leaning more towards the trap side but I guess it doesn't really matter. So mean of Mercury for what she did to her though still. But I really liked that bit at the end, when Nathan's father Marcus finally showed up, and he gave him the Three Gifts and all. Marcus was honestly quite cool I'd like to learn more about him, sure he seems evil but I think there's more to the story. The ending was good, I liked it, and it admittedly would set up the next book nicely. Even if I most likely won't be reading it.

Spoilers End.

So while I moderately enjoyed this book, it didn't blow me away or leave me with a big impression, as stated before I kept getting distracted from it. The book was fine though, the story was good, the characters were decent, the pace was good, overall though just not the kind of book for me. I didn't get hugely into it. The ending was fine, and for me it just feels like a pretty satisfying ending that can stay where it is, with something that leaves the reader guessing, kind of like a short story. This book was alright, but not great. Just not my kind of book is all. That's it.

But then again, in saying this, I do kind of want to see what happens. I don't know I'm really unsure. I may try and read the next books at some point, but I don't really want to have to pay for them. I won't be going really out of my way to get the next books, but I do kinda want to give them a try. I am kind of interested to see what happens next, but then, I didn't find this book supremely engaging. I don't know... Real mixed emotions...

A 6/10 for Half-bad, that is the appropriate score. I didn't love this book, and admittedly was a tiny bit disappointed by my first impression, but I certainly didn't not enjoy it (sorry about the grammar there). Just wasn't a fan of the writing style or the way the book was set out. But the story was fine, and I'm glad I gave it a try. It was far from a waste of time, it was an interesting and unique little story. This was a decent book.

This review's a little short I know, I didn't have a whole lot to say about this book, but this is basically all my thoughts about it.
Thank you for reading my review. (Sorry this one took kind of long).
Profile Image for Matt Kays.
31 reviews3 followers
December 23, 2013
This will become your new obsession come March. Trust.

Between this and Red Rising the SFF YA landscape is changing, and for the better. It will be hard for me read other YA novels this year that do not live up to this level of storytelling and craftsmanship and I imagine my DNF list to grow exponentially because of it.

Half Bad is as good, if not better, than most of the adult fantasy I read. Think Sanderson, Rothfuss, Weeks, Ryan, etc. This book is excellent and I have no doubt that it will become the huge deal it deserves to be. Sally Green has written an entertaining, smart and epic first novel and I am going to find it impossible to wait for book 2.

Profile Image for Heidi The Reader.
1,377 reviews1,439 followers
September 1, 2018
Half Bad is a young adult fantasy novel that seeks to be "grittier" than typical YA fare. It succeeds, in part, but is bogged down by the typical angst-y relationships and fairly predictable plot.

I think most readers agree that the opening is the best part of Half Bad. It is a bit of a downhill ride from there.
Profile Image for Juliana Zapata.
280 reviews4,197 followers
January 5, 2015
El libro tiene una temática muy original, y siento que deja un mensaje claro, todos tenemos un lado oscuro, nadie es completamente bueno ni completamente malo.

También siento que el inicio del libro es enigmático, después lo sentí lento (creo que la autora peca por detallista) pero el final mejoró muchísimo la fluidez de la historia.

Me encantó el personaje de Gabriel!

Reseña Completa: http://bastvilard.blogspot.com/2014/1...
Video-Reseña: http://youtu.be/spo2HQCnTsI
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