Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

Half Bad by Sally Green

Posted by Caitie F on March 7, 2014

Title: Half Bad18079804
Author: Sally Green
Hardcover: 416 pages
Pub Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Rating: +++++

Summary from pub:

In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and fifteen-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 sixteenth 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?


I find it so hard to believe this is a debut, but it is. This wonderful, incredibly written, complex, exciting, and horrifying novel is the first thing author Sally Green has had published. Every fantasy book I read for the rest of the year will be compared to this.

This is not a book for the faint of heart. It is gruesome and sad. At times, it is a very dark book. Yet Nathan is not a dark character. Nathan is an outcast, but Nathan remains hopeful and strong. The white witches can’t trust him because he is half-black witch and if he reached out to the black witches, well, he doesn’t know what would happen but it probably wouldn’t be good. They do murder quite often and his father is the biggest baddest witch of all. Of course the white witches are not synonymous with good and people are never what they seem to be on the outside.

You can read this as a parallel for so many things. There are the simple things like being the only stepchild in a family, having a disability, or being the weird kid. You can also see it as tackling bigger issues as immigration, racial relations or child abuse and its consequences. The author meant it to be a story, but it will make you think about many of these things.

This is the type of fantasy book I have been waiting for. The battle between “good” and “evil”. A teenager stuck in the middle who goes through hell. The witches.

The second book does not come out until at least next year and I am waiting eagerly to read more. This is a great book for anyone who likes fantasy, horror, or just great stories with wonderful writing.


2 Responses to “Half Bad by Sally Green”

  1. Caryn said

    I got an ARC of this one at Barnes & Noble (the cover didn’t really entice me, but once I read the back, it looked pretty good!), and I’m excited to read it now.

  2. […] Half Bad by Sally Green […]

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