Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Half Bad Series, Book 1
Description (taken From Sally Green's website):
Wanted by no one. Hunted by everyone.
Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan’s only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it’s too late. 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?
Nathan's world is made up of fain (non-magic people) and two kinds of witches: White and Black. The White witches are the witches who practice good magic and use it to promote mankind. However the Black witches are evil and kill other witches for their power. Or that is what the witch-order would like us to believe. Being a half black and half white witch, Nathan's not so sure which side is good and which side is evil. So far all he's known from the governing white witches has been cruelty and evilness. Maybe Nathan will be able to find his father to prove to himself that not all black witches are evil.
After Nathan is taken from his home, he begins to learn bits and pieces about his family history as well as prophecies. But there's not much sense in these prophecies if Nathan can't figure out half of what's going on. As the White Witches Council tries to shape him into a half-starved animal, he escapes. And before he can become a full-fledged witch, he needs to receive three gifts from a family member. So now he's even more convinced that he needs to find his father in order to understand the past that haunts him.
This book is like Harry Potter goes goth. The prejudices that Nathan undergoes; it's shocking. He's like the black sheep that everyone tries to paint white before giving up and killing the thing. And the story moves forward. And builds. Suddenly you're engrossed and need to know what's going to happen. And you realize the ending is coming soon, but it's still climaxing. And then you're like OMG, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? And the title of the next chapter is "Acknowledgements," and you realize you're at the end of the story. The only thing you can think of clearly is how much of an improper ending that was. And where's the next book?
This is a good starter novel. It has you wanting more pretty quickly. And then you hit the end of the book without getting a good ending. I'm off to get the second one now.
Thanks goes to Penguin Random House for providing me a review copy.
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