Author: Sally Green
Series: Half Bad trilogy (Book #2)
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Witches
Release Date: March 24th 2015
Page Count: 400
“I know the trees here so well that I can close my eyes and see each one but I try not to close my eyes so much—-it’s easier to stay positive with your eyes open.”
Finally! I feel like I have been waiting for this sequel for so long but in reality I only read Half Bad in January which really wasn’t all that long ago. As soon as I finished the first book I pre-ordered the sequel thanks to the cliffhanger. Something tells me it is going to be really difficult to wait even longer for the third and final installment to be released.
Goodreads Synopsis: “You will have a powerful Gift, but it’s how you use it that will show you to be good or bad.” In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, seventeen-year-old Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most powerful and violent witch. Nathan is hunted from all sides: nowhere is safe and no one can be trusted. Now, Nathan has come into his own unique magical Gift, and he’s on the run–but the Hunters are close behind, and they will stop at nothing until they have captured Nathan and destroyed his father.
*IF YOU HAVE NOT READ HALF BAD (BOOK #1), THIS POST MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS*
Half Wild picked up right where Half Bad left off. Nathan has received his gift from his father Marcus, the most powerful black witch, but soon after receiving his gift, Nathan and his friend Gabriel, a black witch stuck inside a human/fain body, are separated after the Hunters who are chasing Nathan down ambush them.
The story is still told from Nathan’s point of view, but what is interesting about Half Bad and Half Wild is that the perspective switches from a first person narrative to a second person narrative in a few chapters. I found a lot of readers were bothered by this when going through some reviews on Goodreads. Although I’m still unsure as to why the story was written this way and what purpose it serves, it never really bothered me at all. What changes in Half Wild is that there is a third style of writing in which there is no use of capitalization, not even when using personal pronouns. It’s hard to discuss why this works without spoiling an aspect of the story, but let’s just say it helps to differentiate between two points of view within Nathan. Once again, this only occurs in a few chapters but I think it’s very effective.
There are many characters that we are reunited with from the first novel, apart from Nathan, such as Annalise, Mercury, Marcus and Nathan’s half-siblings Jessica and Arran. Nathan’s other half sister Deborah is also mentioned. I do wish we got to see more of Arran, but it’s looking hopeful that we will be seeing a lot more of him in the upcoming third installment. His character was very well written in the first novel and the moments between him and Nathan were beautiful. After the first novel I was unsure about my feelings on the character of Annalise, but after reading Half Wild I have determined that I do not like her very much. She always seems to cause nothing but more problems and pain for Nathan. I haven’t mentioned Gabriel yet simply because the end of Half Bad left his whereabouts unknown and I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read this book yet, but I will say that Gabriel is probably my favourite character within this series simply based on his interaction with the other characters.
Although a lot of characters reappear for this sequel, we are also introduced to quite a few new characters as well. One of my personal favourites is Nesbitt, a half black/half fain witch that meets Nathan while he is on the run from Hunters. We soon find out that Nesbitt is working for another black witch named Van who promises that she will be able to help Nathan find Mercury who is keeping Annalise prisoner. Van wants to start an alliance between white and black witches as well as half codes and half bloods so that they can overpower the corrupt white witches who are currently in command. I like the idea of an alliance between witches who typically do not get along and I am excited to see where that goes in the final installment of the trilogy. Although there were a few great characters introduced, I feel as though there might have been a few too many towards the end and it became a little hard to keep track of everyone.
We also get to learn a bit more about Marcus. In Half Bad, Marcus felt more like an ominous shadow in the background, like a fictional character in folklore that all of the witches would talk about around a campfire, but after reading Half Wild we get to meet him and learn more about him. I do wish we were able to learn more about his back story, but hopefully we can get more of that in the final novel.
Throughout Half Bad, we learn a lot about Nathan’s upbringing and we also witness the awful circumstances in which Nathan has to live. Where Half Bad made us feel sad and upset about the unfairness of it all, Half Wild gives us hope that Nathan will be able to use his gift and the new friends and acquaintances he has made to better defend himself as well as gain some vengeance. The writing and story line was a little more repetitive this time around which made this novel feel a bit like a filler. Unfortunately this is usually the case with the second book in a trilogy in my experience. There was a lot more violence and gore in this portion of the story though and the ending provided us with yet another cliffhanger. I was not expecting a lot of what happened towards the end to occur, but it successfully set up the finale.
Overall I think this was a successful sequel. There is a lot of character development with some of the original characters from the first novel and the storyline is getting pretty serious. This sequel sets up the finale perfectly and it gives a good idea of the feel that the final novel is going to have. Half Bad was one of the biggest surprises for me this year and the sequel did not disappoint!
And now we must wait until next year…
HALF BAD (BOOK #1) BOOK TRAILER
WHAT’S NEXT FOR NATHAN IN HALF WILD (BOOK #2)?