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Half Bad: Half Life, Book 1 | [Sally Green]

Half Bad: Half Life, Book 1

In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and 16-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 witch - or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust?
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Publisher's Summary

In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and 16-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 witch - or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust - not 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.

©2014 Sally Green (P)2014 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (96 )
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  •  
    colleen ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 03-06-14
    colleen ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 03-06-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Bloody Edge"

    Dark magic. Set in England in a secret witch society run but "white" witches. The main character, Nathan Edge is a mix of half white and half black witch blood. His mother forced to kill herself and his father on the run, Nathan's mixed parentage makes him an outcast of sorts, mistreated and openly abused by the witch council. The abuse is very graphic and might put some readers off. The ending is rather abrupt, but I'm looking forward to the next installment.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TEDDET Skaneateles, NY USA 04-29-15
    TEDDET Skaneateles, NY USA 04-29-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Great start"

    Good first start to a series. A few pace issues where certain chapters lulled me to sleep, but overall quite captivating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. J. Neary Oreland, PA USA 03-30-15
    B. J. Neary Oreland, PA USA 03-30-15 Member Since 2015

    bjneary

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    "Half Bad by Sally Green"
    If you could sum up Half Bad in three words, what would they be?

    An amazing audiobook! I loved Carl Prekopp's narration; he was gripping and mesmerizing. I kept looking for ways to plug in and LISTEN to this book!!! In a future England, Nathan is 1/2 white witch and 1/2 black witch and it is being the son of black witch Marcus that brands him an outsider---even his own sister, Jessica, hates him. Thankfully Nathan has a wonderful and sympathetic brother, Aaron. Aaron is sweet, trusting, and very protective of Nathan. But Aaron is not bullied, beaten up, or branded "BAD" like Nathan. Will Nathan be able to elude the hunters and survive until his 17th birthday and receiving his 3 powers of magic? Will he be able to survive in a world that does not want him or his father? Now I can't wait to get into the second book, Half Wild!!!


    What other book might you compare Half Bad to and why?

    Dystopian novels like Maggot Moon


    What does Carl Prekopp bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I liked his voices of other characters and his pauses and his angst came through loud and clear.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Nathan meets his father.


    Any additional comments?

    I would have never listened to this book but it was part of The 2015 Hub Challenge as an Amazing Audiobook and I so agree and will be listening to her next book in the sequel as a result!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin NEW PORT RICHEY, FLORIDA, United States 03-27-15
    Justin NEW PORT RICHEY, FLORIDA, United States 03-27-15 Member Since 2013

    Its a fascinating tale that would begin on may 5th, 1989 in Mease Dunedin hospital and from there the legacy grew. I am adult now.

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    "Half genius"

    Sucks you in like a sirens spell. Can't wait for the sequel. Brilliant from start to finish. I highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristin ~ EIT Junkie Indianapolis, IN United States 02-28-15
    Kristin ~ EIT Junkie Indianapolis, IN United States 02-28-15 Member Since 2012

    Kristin B

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    "Surprisingly Good!"

    Solid 4.5 Star Read
    <I>Half Bad</I> is a little different and I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into at first. But even before I realized I was enjoying the book ~ it was really hard to put down because the story line really held my interest early on. Primarily this is about White ("good") witches and Black ("Bad") witches. Nathan is a "half code" as his mother was a white witch and his father a black witch... And as Nate (and his community) try to determine how to label his witchiness, Nate finds there is rarely anything black & white about the two branches of witches. It's a fast pace journey with some captivating characters and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. Looking forward to book 2!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nickey 01-17-15
    Nickey 01-17-15 Member Since 2014
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    "An Okay Listen"

    I loved the drama, but felt it was lacking the "magic". That was what other reviews had said as well and I completely agree. Hopefully the next book has more battles and magic. Also, the author really needs to decide if she likes first person or second person better. The second person was a different perspective, but did not add anything to the character or story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alethea GLENDALE, CA, United States 01-08-15
    Alethea GLENDALE, CA, United States 01-08-15 Member Since 2008
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    "Magnificent"

    This is my second "reading" of the book and it's every bit as riveting as I remember. The main character, Nathan, is an atypical but likable anti-hero, and I rooted for him every step of the way. The reader adds an extra level of brilliance with his performance of a wide range of characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JJH 12-18-14
    JJH 12-18-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Dark but Refreshing"
    Any additional comments?

    Can I say AWESOME! Though the ending is very open and abrupt leaving you wanting, book 2 comes out this Spring and it can't come fast enough. The narrator does a Fantastic job. Its a very harsh novel laden with judgemental hate and graphic abuse between the good white witch and the bad black witch. With a "half-code" child as the main character and his struggles against the "man" and "society" as he struggles to mature find himself. It's a refreshing change from the Harry Potter sagas and the twinkly sparkly vampires of Twilight. Very worth the read or in my case, the Listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Canadian eReader Montreal 06-17-14
    Canadian eReader Montreal 06-17-14 Member Since 2012

    When reviewing books I try to be fair; I appreciate that not everyone will be looking for the same things in a book.

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    "Good match of written style and narration"

    Half Bad by Sally Green tells the story of Nathan who is the son of a white witch mother and a black witch father. In Nathan’s world, black witches are hated and feared and Nathan’s parentage makes him a pariah, someone to be caged and studied. To make matters worse, Nathan’s 17th birthday is approaching by which time he must receive three gifts and the blood of a family member – or die.

    The story starts off with Nathan in a cage and trying to escape before flashing back to recount his earlier life. The story is told primarily in the first person present, almost stream-of-consciousness – with some diversions off to the second person when Nathan is trying to distance himself from what is going on, such as during torture. The narrative style is deliberately simplistic to reflect Nathan’s lack of book learning.

    What I liked

    The narration. I LOVED the audio narration of Half Bad, which was done by Carl Prekopp. Written as it is in the first person present, the narrator IS Nathan, and it’s as if the protagonist himself is speaking. This is emphasised by the simple, informal language. My heart rate did shoot up during certain sections because of the writing paired with the narration. This is a book I would definitely recommend enjoying as an audiobook rather than in written format.

    The world. I found it interesting that those in the world try to separate witches into black or white, good or evil, when it’s obvious right from the beginning that this is not an realistic worldview. One character tries to claim that the difference is that white witches use their powers for good and black witches not so much. Clearly that is so simplistic as to be laughable. From all the second-hand reports we hear of attacks by black witches, it seems that these incidents were in reaction to white witch activities. Given that the first witches we meet are white witches who harshly curtail our protagonist’s freedoms with regulations reminiscent of Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter before imprisoning him in a cage, the reader is not exactly disposed to like them.

    The pacing. Given that our hero is under a deadline – to receive his gifts before his 17th birthday or die – the pacing and narrative tension is kept high. It always helps the pacing when the protagonist has to chase down a McGuffin – in this case, someone who can grant him three gifts and the blood of a family member. Incidentally, it’s not made clear to me whether the consequences of meeting this deadline would be as severe as Nathan believes – the point is, he believes it. The action sequences are interesting being written in the first person present. This was the point at which my own heart rate increased notably.

    The protagonist. I did like Nathan – despite his lack of book learning, he is pretty shrewd I look forward to seeing how he upsets the Council’s worldview in future books.

    What I didn’t like

    The romance. For me, it just didn’t gel – it felt forced. My issue was that Nathan didn’t get to spend a lot of time with Annalise before falling for her. OK, she is one of the few non- family members who is nice to him, but still, this subplot just didn’t work for me. (In all fairness, I should point out I rarely like the romance in YA.)

    I would certainly recommend Half Bad – especially as an audiobook – and gave it four stars out of five.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rosana Nassar Orue Coronado, San José Costa Rica 06-15-14
    Rosana Nassar Orue Coronado, San José Costa Rica 06-15-14 Member Since 2009

    I love magic and fantasy

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    "Disappointing!"
    What disappointed you about Half Bad?

    It bought that the store was interesting. However, between the really slow pace of the book and the accent of the reader (very difficult to understand) I couldn't go farther than chapter two.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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