12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
AND THEN WE MEET ANNALISE...,
This review is from: Half Bad (Paperback)
This book commences on a very obscure, shocking and even offensive manner. The reader learns of a young boy kept in chains, tortured, and abused by a woman that we know nothing about, for reasons that are not given until later in the book. I can understand some readers throwing the book / kindle away at this point, but i did not, and at the very least i have learnt what is actually going on.
The young lad (Nathan) in question is a witch. Boys with magical powers are called "witches". His father is / was a black witch. Nathan has not seen his his father for many years. He was brought up with feelings of hatred and repression toward this man. But as he matures he develops the instinct and ability to recognise truth and thus is able to see the wood for the trees when it comes to dealing with the emotions and potential relationship with this figure that he knows nothing about.
Only white witches are "approved of" in this world in which the book is based. Half whites are ok but black witches and half black witches are not. Aaron's mother committed suicide before the book had started (why am i not surprised?) and we learn via a series of relatively interesting flashbacks that he was raised by his Gran (also a witch) and had allies in a brother (Aaran), one nice sister (Deborah) and one seriously sick and evil sister called Jessica. Who hates Nathan.
The author's writing style is certainly compelling. The story and plot line are original (up to a point) but there is no humour in the book. Characterisation is excellent and of course you can't help but become attached to the characters. Some you feel for immediately, and some you hate, instantly. Naturally once you reach the end of part one you want to see how it all develops, comes together and ends. The book is entertaining enough to make it difficult to stop reading.
And then we meet Annalise. The enjoyment factor of the book picks up considerably when Nathan meets his Juliet. She is beautifully portrayed and realised whenever she makes an appearance. The writing and descriptions used when these two interact are electrifying and beautifully depicted, and are perfectly pitched given the book's target audience.
And of course with a love interest involved, the stakes for Nathan (and the reader) are now a lot higher. He suddenly has more to lose.
So in summary: I can't award this book five stars. It is dar, it is violent and it is disturbing. Parts of the book are bound to make the reader feel uncomfortable. Other parts of the book are stunning, heart warming and are likely to steal your heart. But despite this, the book is not quite the fairy tale ride the publishers would have you believe. It is a very good start to a rumoured trilogy, but it is not quite perfect.
PS For the record I purchased the kindle version of this book myself from Amazon.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Mar 2014 10:58:31 GMT
George Stevenson says:
'No humour in this book'. Of course not! Humour is sadly lacking these days. It takes great skill to make a book funny, not nearly so much to make it gothic.
In reply to an earlier post on 12 Mar 2014 11:34:38 GMT
Thanks, George. You might be surprised at what makes me laugh, though. Especially in a book. I kmow a little bit about humour, but nothing about goth. Have a great day.
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