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?
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In the world of Half Bad, there are two factions of witches living quietly amongst the humans – Black Witches and White Witches. Born to a white witch mother, Nathan has a black witch for a father making him a Half Code. His mother committed suicide after he was born and he and his Half-brother/sisters were brought up by his grandmother. But the closer Nathan gets to his seventeenth birthday, the rules become stricter and more stricter. Nathan ends up living in a cage, chained and shackled, under his new guardian as appointed by the council. But he hopes to meet his father and receive his three gifts before his seventeenth birthday, even if it means leaving his family and the girl he loves behind.
I love the world that Sally Green has built for this series. It is magical and yet quite simple. The two factions are not supposed to meet. There are ‘Hunters’ amongst white witches, who hunt and kill the black witches. Amongst everything, Nathan is an abomination – half white and half black. But no one seems to give him the benefit of the doubt and automatically assume that he would end up a black witch like his father. Then there is the matter of a prophecy… Yeah, I will not say no more about it, other than the fact that it is what makes the plot interesting, in the fear of giving away spoilers.
I liked the world building and the character development in the book. The author never fully gives away everything about a person, keeping the curiosity alive. The language and the narration style of the author is simple and engaging. There is something about the story telling style that attracted me to the book. It felt a bit different and fun. There are so many questions that I have at the end of the book that I will be sure to pick up the next instalment.
There are two things that I did not like as much. First, the relationship between Nathan and his half-brother Arran felt less brotherly and more like that of lovers. It just did not feel normal there. Also, once I put down the book and looked back, I can’t say that much happened in the book. For its size, the plot barely moved. But the book did not feel like a drag at any point while I was reading it!
Overall, an interesting start to a new series and a good introduction to the world of Half Bad.