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4.2 out of 5 stars301
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 5 March 2014
I can't believe this is a first novel. And gutted book two isn't out to next year. Whether you are a teenager or middle aged book hag (like me) on the look out for new material - this is a fantastic find. Got to say I am loving the edgier thought provoking stuff that's been published for this audience over recent years. And resonated with the author's thoughts around nature versus nurture. WILL DEFINITELY RECOMMEND to my teenage daughter and anyone who likes material from author's such as JK Rowling, Suzanne Collins and Mallorie Blackman.
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on 2 July 2014
Wow! Half Bad has completely blown me away! This was one of those novels where I really did not know what to expect, the synopsis gives very little away, but it is enough to peak your curiosity and I'm SO glad I picked up Half Bad to read.

Half Bad tells Nathan's story. He has been born a half white and half black witch. Black witches are considered evil and are continuously hunted down by the white witches who are supposed to be the good witches. Nathan is also not only half a black, he is the son of the the most powerful, most evil of all the black witches and that makes the white witches wary of Nathan. We are first thrown into his story where he is locked up in a cage and the ominous She. We are then taken back into Nathan's past as to how he ended up in the cage.

Every time I put this book down I just could not stop thinking about it, it completely sucked me in and refused to let go. Sally Green writes and describes things so simply, but it has a massive impact on you whilst reading. There were a couple of scenes that really got to me and I had to put the book down to recover myself before I could continue reading.

Although this focused around witches, do not for a minute think this is a Harry Potter spin off. Half Bad is much darker and much grittier. If you do want to compare it to something then it is closer to The Hunger Games. There are fewer happy endings here, it is very dark and very raw and it manages to get you thinking about those that consider themselves the 'good' witches.

I seriously NEED book two now!!!! I am so glad that I have finally found a series that has got me crying out for the next book!!
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In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and fifteen-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 sixteenth 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?

Oh goody! A new YA read for me, the start of a series, one that has had a mixed reaction amongst my favourite reviewers and with a premise that immediately had me excited to read it. What did I think? I thought it was absolutely brilliant. I went in hopeful of a new addiction and I got exactly what I wished for…

The magical element of the story is actually quite low key which for me was perfect – learning about this strange new world, picking up on the nuances, knowing that there is more to come, understanding the realities that the characters face – this is all, for me as a reader, very important in order to engage me, and again, that is exactly what it did.

Then we have Nathan – our main protagonist. With a White Witch for a Mother and a Black Witch for a father he is looked at with suspicion, under a tremendous amount of scrutiny and faces these many issues head on – often in a totally unlikeable manner. His attitude can stink. Frankly mine would too with a sister like Jessica – but when we meet him he is locked in a cage. As we go back to his formative years and learn what has led up to this we realise that nothing in this world is black and white – the shades of grey are everywhere surrounding Nathan and who he will ultimately choose to be (and he will choose) is what I believe is at the very heart and soul of this adventure. And we have a ways to go..

From an Adult perspective I would say there is a lot to enjoy here – the analogy and subtlety in giving a point of view about how we sometimes look at each other based solely on appearance, background and other things that are totally out of our control is cleverly achieved. There are dystopian threads running through this – the “Council Directives” about the treatment of Non White Witches get steadily more terrifying and dark and often induced a real sense of anger in me as I was reading.

For a Young Adult there is plenty to enjoy. A blossoming romance that is fated to be pretty impossible, an eclectic cast of supporting characters all with their own black and white and shades of grey, some to love, some to hate – and which ones are which is anybody’s guess. Add to that a healthy dose of action, a touch of angst, some thought provoking events and an ending that will have you desperate for more, and I’d say you were onto a pretty good thing.

This readers opinion: Bring on “Half Wild” as soon as is humanly possible and hope that a movie will be coming to a cinema near you quick smart. AFTER you have read it of course.

Happy Reading Folks!
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A young man is being held in a cage. His female captor feeds him, makes him exercise, but keeps a close eye on him. Exactly what is happening?

We suddenly realise the world we are viewing - a world where witches lives among us. But no. It's not Harry Potter. Maybe a little more like Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.

Nathan was born to a white witch mother and a black witch father, who attacked his mother. Feared, ostracised, hounded, he isn't sure who he is, who he wants to be. He knows he wants to meet his father, whom he discovers to be a famous killer. His society place restrictions on Nathan, who finds ways to rebel as he grows up.

Eventually he is confined - will he find a way to break free and discover his heritage and decide for himself who he really wants to be?

It does draw you in, you do feel for Nathan, unfairly bullied and shunned. His is a tale of growing up within a context of magic, two for the price of one.

It's the first in a series so it leaves you feeling rather unsatisfied, with further events to unfold in later books.

Nathan is a strong male lead, and I don't think girls would be put off reading this by his narration either. With fantasy such a winner at the moment, Half Bad has enough originality to make a dent and do well.

If you're a fan of fantasy and magic and YA dystopian fiction, you might want to try this.

Review of a Netgalley advance copy.
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Half Bad tells the story of Nathan and his fight for survival in a society of witches. I think the description above says it perfectly so I won’t elaborate on that but I was quickly sucked in and glued to Nathan’s story and the world around him. To say this is quite a read is an understatement…I was completely blown away by what I read and even now I can barely find the words to describe my feelings for this. Wow.

I really liked Nathan from the beginning, as soon as I read the first sentence I was immediately on his side. I really felt for Nathan in that position that he was in, and everything that he has either been through or is going to face, and oh how I longed for things to go his way. Throughout the story I really got behind Nathan and I was constantly willing him on. I really want to talk about EVERYTHING but I’m really conscious not to spoil what it is a gritty, dark and amazing story.

The writing is very intense, very dark and I was HOOKED to every single word. My heart pounded loudly in my chest as I constantly raced to get to the next part. I loved the twists and turns, I was kept on the edge of my seat and it was fantastic in the way that I had no clue what was going to happen next.

The best part of this is that Half Bad is the start of a trilogy, and so like many others I am so very excited to see where the story will go next, and I am now eagerly awaiting the next part! Half Bad is a dark and story that had me captivated from the very first page.
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on 15 March 2014
It took me a while to get into this book as I had read that it was a cross between Harry Potter and Twilight. I don't believe this is a correct description. It is a story in its own right and once you keep that in mind it is an easier read. I did enjoy it and will read the second book when it is released in 2015.
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on 19 March 2014
Loved the storyline of witches white and black and the plight of poor Nathan. I would agree with other readers that for the most part this isn't a happy book and has chapters that are quite dark but the sheer power of imagination that this book generates by the ability if it's author has won the ratings for me
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on 14 March 2014
It took a little while to get into the story and the short quirky sentencing. However, the book quickly began to grow on me. Nathan is an engaging character and there are plenty of others to keep you engrossed such as Gabriel and Rose. Good enough ending to make me look forward to Half Wild.
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on 9 April 2015
The story is readable, I like the plotline - that's what I give the three stars to, but sorry to say that it's just very disappointingly 'barebones' - all is seen from one character's viewpoint, there's very little in the way of description, and very few characters. I've seen the series described as a 'dark Harry Potter,' I guess because it's about a boy who has magical powers who gets treated badly, and who has a link to a dark 'witch' (wizard) but that's about as far as the similarity goes. J.K.Rowling is a better writer, full stop. If this story had been fleshed out and thought about a lot more instead of the writer just rushing it out in this basic state, it could have been a whole lot better.
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on 9 September 2014
I was driving home from work and was listening to Simon Mayo talking about this book, and I liked the sound of what they were saying about it. So I ordered the book for the kindle, I had a couple of other books to read first before I got round this one. I read Half Bad in no time at all The biggest compliment I can give this book is I can't wait for the second book to come out in the Spring of 2015, I remember reading Harry Potter long before they became films and feeling the same about them books. Well done Sally Green, I hope you are as successful as a certain other female author. Richard Howland
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