The trick of not minding is key; it’s the only trick in town. Only this is not a town; it’s a cage beside a cottage, surrounded by a load of hills and trees and sky. It’s a one-trick cage.
Nathan is a half-white witch and a half-black witch. His father is a ruthless black witch who is being chased by the council of white witches. Due to his heredity he is discriminated against, locked in a cage and beaten and trained, all because the White witches need him for something. But Nathan needs to escape before he turns seventeen because he needs three gifts given to him, or he may die.
I had heard a lot of things about Half Bad, some good, some bad. I saw this for a couple of pounds in ASDA and for such a good price I decided to pick it up. I am very glad I did. The main theme in Half Bad is race. Nathan has suffered racism in every aspect of his life. He is deemed to be evil, especially because his mother was white. He has spent his life living by rules and discrimination, until one day he escapes. He was then on the run, people always needing things from him, but he doesn’t want to do them. I think Sally Green approached Racism in a new original way. She is showing that Racism exists in all aspects of life, that it is still there. She did it very well. The plot was slow at places, but I never really found myself getting that bored. Nathan’s POV was riveting and interesting and, I personally think, that he has such a great voice. He was a character you could easily empathise with, and feel compassion for him, and to root for him to get away.
The world building was very good. I really did get the sense of the council, of the white and black witches. Sally Green did it really well. I also enjoyed how Sally Green wrote. Although, I must be honest, I really didn’t like it when she switched to second person narrative, but thankfully, there was not much of this. But the rest was first-person and simplistic, and I actually liked it. Sally Green definitely has a writing style that stands out.
The characters was also an aspect of this book which I liked. I really liked Arran, Nathan’s brother, and Gabriel. They were really interesing characters and I really liked Arran’s kindness. I really hated Jessica, and Annalise brothers. The way they treated Nathan was unfair and unjust just because of the colour of his skin. Annalise was an OK character, but I never really felt anything for her, and her relationship with Nathan didn’t really win me over.
Overall, Half-Bad is a promising debut novel, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series, and more from Sally Green.
MY RATING: ★★★★☆