Sally Green’s Half Bad was a fantastic read. It’s been a while since I’ve been compelled to keep reading into the wee hours of the morning and it surprised me because this fantasy book was only meant to be a break from all the dystopian novels I’ve been reading lately (and giving me nightmares).
It’s about a boy named Nathan, but he’s not just a boy; he’s a whet, an underaged witch, but he’s had the misfortune of being declared a half code. His mother was a witch witch, a healer and the symbol of goodness, and his father is a black witch, a killer and the evilest of his kind. Brought up in the white witch community, he is heavily prejudiced against and he’s tested constantly to see if he will become black or white by his seventeenth birthday.
It’s an easy read, enjoyable and has a steady pace and is more complicated than I first thought it would be, the themes intricately handled. While it’s labeled a young adult novel (because of the age of the character mainly), it didn’t really feel like a young adult novel. Maybe because Nathan has such a rough time of it, but I kept forgetting how young he actually was as he has to make some pretty heavy choices on his own without any real support so if young adult novels aren’t your thing, you shouldn’t pass this one by.
For a novel about witches, there’s not as much magic as you’d expect but that’s part of the beauty of this novel. It’s more realistic, edgier, there are rules. I’m very keen for the follow up novel, Half Wild (due out Autumn 2015 or Spring for those who are somewhere warmer than I am).