Series: Half Life Trilogy #1
Published by Penguin on 2014-03-04
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult
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.
Ugh. No one is more surprised or disappointed about this than me. I was so excited to read this book. I’d seen great reviews of it, and the cover is awesome. I wouldn’t say that I hated Half Bad, but I was just so….bored.
Somebody equated Half Bad with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, except without the backstory, no friendships, and no character development. See why that could be boring? There’s a lot of following Nathan, the main character, around as he travels from place to place, from abuser to abuser (there’s a lot of abuse going on). Except I didn’t really care about Nathan at all…so why should I care about his frolicking through the countryside?
Ok, frolicking is the wrong word. It’s pretty miserable. This book is DARK. Is it just me, or is YA getting darker and darker these days? Like, there are some super nightmarish things that happen in this book. I’m all about serious conflict and dark storylines, but not if tweens are going to be reading them. Sheesh.
What I read of Half Bad was so nebulous. I kind of understood what was going on, yet it wasn’t presented in a way that I cared much. Sure, I felt bad for Nathan who is abused and shunned because of what he is, but it was pretty much on a level that I would extend to any human in a similar situation.