I was lucky enough to win an ARC of Half Bad (book 1 in the Half Life Trilogy) by Sally Green, and I can say that this book is excellent. This is a must-read, a fresh, exciting new series in the overdone paranormal genre. I had grown tired of the Typical Trio, i.e. the usual suspects in far too many paranormal books: vampires, werewolves, and witches. I had begun to skip over a book that even mentioned one of the three. But when I read the blurb for Half Bad, I thought, wow, that sounds completely different. Maybe I should give it a shot.
There’s no maybe about it. This book is unlike any paranormal I have ever read. Nathan, born to one White Witch and one Black Witch, has been hated and feared most of his life. He lives in fear of being classified as a Black Witch by the cruel council who tries to control every aspect of his existence. To them, he is merely a pawn in an endless war against his Black Witch father, but Nathan is so much more than that.
I attended a writing symposium where a popular YA Paranormal author said, “Think of the worst possible thing you can do to your character and then do it. Then think of the second worst thing that could happen to your character and make it happen.” I think Green attended the same symposium because she does not hesitate to make Nathan suffer and to torture him. Literally, Nathan is abused, held captive, burned, branded, scarred, and hunted like an animal through this page-turning book. The amount of suffering he endures is heartbreaking. At one point, I thought to myself, “if Nathan goes dark and kills everyone who ever hurt him, he’ll be totally justified, and I will still love him.” Yes, his suffering is that bad.
Green has created a great, strong voice in Nathan’s narration, combined it with a good supporting group of characters, and created a fast-paced, intriguing plot that had me turning page after page. So much happens in Half Bad and, yet, you get to the end, and the story is anything but over. I can’t wait for the next book to come out and see where Nathan leads us next. The sequels will definitely be on my most anticipated book lists.
Look for Half Bad in stores on March 25, 2014 from Viking Publishing. You will not be disappointed!