This book is already a phenomenon—sold in 42 countries already, movie rights purchased, and lots of buzz around the world. Normally, I'd have back-peddled already—I don't trust hype as a general rule. But boy oh boy, am I glad it landed on my desk before I heard the hype, because this is one HECK of a read. Technically a YA book, it's going to be a wide-ranging crossover for readers from 12 years up. The tale is about so many things, but mainly racism, though in the book we are talking about White Witches (supposedly the good guys) and Black Witches (supposedly evil and actively hunted by the WWs). Nathan is caught in the middle—his father is the most powerful Black Witch and known as a killing machine (at least that's what Nathan's told—he has never met the man but understands he looks almost identical to him), while his mother, a White Witch, has died under questionable circumstances. Because Nathan is "half and half," he is torn from his family and sent to a sort of prison. I don't want to reveal much more because I don't want to spoil anything. I'll just warn you—start it when you have plenty of time because putting it down is going to be very, very hard to do. " ~Jackie--Jackie is one of our store's greatest assets, reading & reviewing more books than anyone else here.
In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and sixteen-year-old Nathan, who is both. Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his seventeenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witchor else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trustnot even family, not even the girl he loves?
In the tradition of Patrick Ness and Markus Zusak, Half Bad is a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive, a story that will grab hold of you and not let go until the very last page.
About the Author
Sally Green lives in north-west England. She has had various jobs and even a profession but in 2010 she discovered a love of writing and now just can’t stop. She used to keep chickens, makes decent jam, doesn't mind ironing, loves to walk in Wales even when it's raining, and will probably never jog again. She really ought to drink less coffee. Half Bad is her first novel.
Praise for Half Bad…
A Spring 2014 Kids' Indie Next List pick
Booklist's Top 10 SF/Fantasy/Horror for Youth
"[A] grim and thrilling tale . . . an unforgettable protagonist"—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"A horrifying, compelling trilogy that pushes the boundaries of what we believe to be good and evil. . . . Nathan's survival is tenuous and marvelous—and only just beginning."—Booklist, starred review
"Highly entertaining and dangerously addictive"—Time Magazine
"Half Bad makes stubborn, sly, near-illiterate Nathan genuinely engaging." —New York Times
"Green's Half Bad is much more than a book about witches. Her page-turner is a ruminative exploration of the nature of evil."—The Boston Globe
"Energetic, gripping." —School Library Journal
"Nathan’s harrowing quest to build a father-son relationship will compel readers to the sequel."—Kirkus Reviews
"Rewards readers with a compelling story with plenty yet to resolve and a main character worth following in future installments." —The Horn Book