Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Book Review: Half Bad by Sally Green

I own two editions of this book because the design of this cover is awesome.

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 there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?

This book was overhyped. When publishers/a mass lot of reviewers get excited about a book, it does more damage than good. I did like it and enjoy it, but I looking through this book reviews on goodreads a lot of people didn't like. Someone actually claimed that the whole book was a prologue, which is a nonsense and it would be annoying prologue. I think the problem with is highers expectations and people who would never pick up a book because the plot not really them, does pick up and guess what they don't like it but they got pressured into it (Note to self: do a video about over hyping).

This book is parts in the point of view main character and mostly in first persons, however, it is separated into parts and  the first part in seconded person. Not sure why that choice was made completely, except maybe it's normal target of engaging the reader but I did like how a scene was told in second and then first. I do the like the general sturcture of this book, with the parts and chapters.

The world building is interesting but problematic. Though, I don't think I can really judge in a proper critical manner till I've read the whole trilogy (or at least the second book). The book is plotted pretty well, the book ends where it should and is good start for trilogy. There is a tiny empty second half of the book, that is a bit lacking in realism. The ending is also sappy.
Some of the characters and relationships are good, some are just Nathan is a okay character, I cared about him, though a big problem with him is that he is given a characteristic that are ignore in the plot, lazy solved and it kinda bugs me. I can forgive it but having a similar characteristic myself it annoys me. There is romance in this book, but I know nothing about the main romantic interest except what find out from a I.D. and a family tree. She is literally just plot point, in terms of the plot that really bad thing. I don't care if we ever see this character again, except for Nathan's sake that can't carry a romance. There is sort of another romance that I feel is walking a tightrope as the end of this book (and not just because of love triangles). However, I care about the other party, we know personal stuff about this character and I want to see development instead of there being nothing to develop.

In this world, magic is meant to favour woman, woman tended to be stronger but it's strangely patriarchy. I'm not sure how to explain this without spoilers. I guess what I mean is by the end, almost all the big players are men and they are also arguably bigger players than that one woman. I don't know, I'm mean thinking about feminism in relation to media (which books do come under) so playing in the back of my mind, counting the genders of who influence the plot. Especially, since they don't have to be that sex. The woman are mostly just sisters (other relations as well) and dead. Some could say that it opposite of female lead YA books where woman are usually, no sometimes all the big players and men are dominant in the background. But no most YA still have mostly male villains so not the opposite at all. Something unsatisfying about this setup, it's no more sexist than most media but feels bit mismatching with the setting.

Overall, I give this book 3 out of 5 stars for bone samples. I originally gave this book 4 stars but in reflection it doesn't quite deserve that rating. There is a lot to discuss in this book and there are things set up in this book that could go terribly wrong in the next book so I'm anxious to see how things turn out. Though, I did enjoyed reading this novel and I want to see where this series is going. If I'm good then a review of the sequel will be out next week.

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