Half Bad – Sally Green

half badNathan is the product of a Black Witch father and a White Witch mother.  His father, Marcus, killed his mother’s husband then left his mother with 3 full blooded White Witch children and baby Nathan, the Half Blood, to raise.  Set in England, the White Witches are leading a successful campaign to eradicate the Black Witches.  Nathan is monitored and watched throughout his childhood.  After his mother’s death, he and siblings are raised by their grandmother, who treats him lovingly.  But his oldest half-sister despises him. The White Witches closely watch Nathan and each year, his freedoms are gradually taken away until he reaches his teen years and the White Witches take him from his family, cage him, and torture him for years.  His mission is to escape, taste freedom and find his father.

While he has the ability to heal himself, the tortures are excessive.  This seems to be a trend in YA literature – where the teen hero is repeatedly beaten and tortured.  Still, I was captivated the entire read – always eager to pick up the book when I had a moment.  The story opened in the middle, then backtracked to fill in the gaps.  The writing device works – brilliantly.  Every character is well drawn, most are clearly good or evil but several are shades of gray.  The reader will root for Nathan, be perplexed over Celia and count the months until the next book is released.  Highly recommend.

eGalley review      Publication date 3.4.14

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