Series: The Half Bad Trilogy #1
Published by Viking Juvenile on March 4th 2014
Genres: Family, Fantasy & Magic, Supernatural, Witches, Young Adult
Source: bought online
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.
Nathan is half White Witch and half Black Witch. Half good, half bad. He lives with his two sisters, brother and grandma. Every year he goes to the Council to get assessed. He needs to receive his three Gifts before he turns seventeen or he will die a painful death. The clock is ticking and he doesn’t know if his family will be willing to help.
Well I really wanted to like this one. It had all the bare bones for an epic adventure and journey and even a wide character arc but it fell flat. First there was a second point of view in the beginning and that always throws me off because whose viewpoint am I really reading from? Then there was the unbelievably slow pacing problem. I get that we were waiting for him to turn seventeen and even though the book starts off when he’s just twelve years old, I don’t know why it was necessary to go through all of that. I needed the action to start, I needed the big chase that happens when someone is after a character. I didn’t get any of that. It was just days where he does the same routine and you get so bored reading about it. I almost wanted something bad to happen to Nathan just so it could be his motivation against the White Witches who aren’t as good as they seem. There was also no real explaination as to why these two factions tapered off, only that one side is good and the other violent and murderous. The White Witch faction and their superiority complex made me cringe. And the way they would use torture to get what they want? Are they really good? I didn’t think so.
Now for the characters.. I pretty much hated one of his sisters, she was just terrible. His brother Arran is sweet and kind and a bright spot whenever he came on to the page. He was pretty much my only favourite of the entire cast. And then there are random secondary characters Nathan meets along the way which were only introduced so he could get help. I almost wanted Nathan to be part of this huge struggle where he is trying to tame his Black Witch side, but hardly any of that happened. I found it interesting that he didn’t hate his father and rather admired him. Now Marcus is one character that I’m willing to find out more about. I don’t know why I find the villains so much more fascinating. Probably because they’re so different than the heroes in the story. And even though Nathan was really into one love interest, I kind of want him with someone else, someone who isn’t female. I think that would make it even better. Let’s see if that road is met in Half Wild.. *crosses fingers*
Don’t read this is you’re looking for a fast filled page turner because you’re not going to get it. It’s more about the journey than the destination and I always have trouble with books like these. I need a bit of everything and even though the world of the White versus Black is interesting, I wanted so much more.