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 there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?
Half Bad is an international sensation and the start of a brilliant trilogy: a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive.
Half Bad, made quite the splash when it was released last year backed with plenty of hype, and I’ve had the audiobook for a few months now, waiting to be listened to. It’s taken a while for that to happen. I think that’s because much has been made of the harshness of Nathan’s life for the first half of the book and I’ve been waiting for the right mood to strike.
It’s a shame I waited, because I don’t think that first half is as bad as I was expecting, sure it’s no bed of roses, but he has, at least at the start, his family.
So Nathan’s life wasn’t as bad as I expected, although as the years go by and the council starts to turn the screw, things do start to get more difficult, until the point he is taken away, and given over to the care of a council approved witch, and he spends the next couple of years, living in a cage outside, and being taught and beaten by the ‘white’ witch.
I think we’ll find out that there’s more to what Nathan goes though during those two years, that just the torture and the council wanting to control him.
The second half of the book is where the story gathers pace, as Nathan escapes from the council, and starts to find out more about his heritage, and his future, and races to find a rogue witch, who can give him his three gifts, he needs to become a full witch and discover his talent.
I loved Nathan’s character, and his will to survive (he personifies the phrase, “What does not kill you, makes you stronger!” and Carl Prekopp does a great job of bringing him and his story to life, and I’m really looking forward to book two, Half Wild, later this year.