Review: Half Bad (Half Bad #1) - Sally Green

Release Date: March 3 2014
Published By: Penguin Australia
Pages: 400
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 3 out of 5

Synopsis: Half Bad by Sally Green is a breathtaking debut novel about one boy’s struggle for survival in a hidden society of witches.

You can’t read, can’t write, but you heal fast, even for a witch.

You get sick if you stay indoors after dark.

You hate White Witches but love Annalise, who is one.

You’ve been kept in a cage since you were fourteen.

All you’ve got to do is escape and find Mercury, the Black Witch who eats boys. And do that before your seventeenth birthday.


Review: So much potential, but fell short for me.

The first third of this book was engaging, fast paced and exciting. You wanted to know what happened next as you pieced the parts of the puzzle together. Really amazing concept for a story and Half Bad had me hooked up until about page 90 or so.

Unforutnately that’s where it all started to fall apart for me. The pacing that we were used to came to a grinding halt. The story slowed down and became more convoluted than I would argue it needed to be. I don’t know what happened. I felt very empathetic for Nathan in his situation to begin with… and then nothing. By the middle of the book onwards I lacked compassion for Nathan. I am really still quite confused as to how that happens.

The writing itself had a certain style about it that I found intriguing. Short chapters that had a very sharp and choppy style about them. It suited the protagonists nature and it was the style of writing itself that drew me in.

So if the issue wasn’t with the writing, I’m putting it down to pacing and weaknesses in the storyline itself.

Redeeming points of this book was Nathan himself as a character. His “voice” as narration was brilliantly written, and his strength even in what can only be described as a bleak existance was admirable. He is a strong character yet at the same time is incredibly vulnerable and isn’t afraid of showing pain. But he is tenacious and doesn’t give up.

One thing I didn’t get was his loyalty to his father Marcus, who basically can be best described as a sperm donor. Nathan has never met his father and yet cares so much about him and has this fierce belief his father really cares for him? I didn’t connect with this nor understand it. Kid, your father hasn’t been in your life since you were born.. I am not sure why you think he cares?

The end lacked…. well, it just lacked. I felt like there was this huge epic storyline throughout (pacing issues aside), and it was really building up to this big pivotal moment…. and then…….. the book was finished. And I was like oh. That was it? Where was the ending? It was disappointing to push yourself through a book when you’re finding it slow as it is, only to be let down by a non-ending.

This is a real shame, because I rushed out to buy this book thinking I would absolutely love it. Safe to say I am not going to continue with this series. So so unfortunate.

Book Trailer:

What do you think?

  • *first glance* Oh hey look there’s a face in the smoke! Ahem… back to reading the actual review…

    I haven’t even read the synopsis, because it was so hyped and I figured I would skip it till the buzz went down. And now I think I’ll be jumping over this one entirely. The concept sounds great, but a slow plot is my worst enemy!

    Sorry this didn’t work out for you - I hate it when I buy a book and it’s nothing like what I was expecting :(

  • I’ve been on the fence about this one since I heard about it, after reading your review I’m still not sure. I won’t be rushing out to buy it, but I’ll probably read it eventually. Maybe. Thanks for sharing.

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    CommentLuv badge