Half Bad

Kobo eBook available

read instantly on your Kobo or tablet.

buy the ebook now

Half Bad

by Sally Green

Viking USA | March 4, 2014 | Hardcover

Half Bad is rated 3.8 out of 5 by 5.
In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and sixteen-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.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 416 pages, 8.53 × 5.97 × 1.35 in

Published: March 4, 2014

Publisher: Viking USA

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0670016780

ISBN - 13: 9780670016785

save 27%

  • In stock online

$15.96  ea

Online Price

$21.00 List Price

or, Used from $8.81

eGift this item

Give this item in the form of an eGift Card.

+ what is this?

This item is eligible for FREE SHIPPING on orders over $25.
See details

Easy, FREE returns. See details

Item can only be shipped in Canada

Downloads instantly to your kobo or other ereading device. See details

All available formats:

Check store inventory (prices may vary)

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from More than Half Good When this book was going around the office as "the untold years of Severus Snape," it caught my attention. Turns out, it isn't a far-fetched statement. "Half Bad" did indeed feel like it was telling the story of Snape's childhood, but as the story progressed, I found it becoming more like the history of Sirius Black. "Half Bad" is nothing like Harry Potter. The initial reaction was to treat it like an extension of the Potter universe, but Sally Green is wiser than to make it so. As the plot progressed, so did the evolution of "Half Bad" into something more uniquely its own. Yet, I couldn't help but find my interest waver as I read on. The overall narrative and arc is commendable, but the plot details and chain of events seem a little haphazard and too random for my taste. While the conclusion set up the next book nicely, the lead up to it was middling with nothing distinct enough to separate it from other magic/dystopian teen series. That said, "Half Bad" is not quite half bad. There is promise to a greater series, which I have confidence that Green will deliver on. The mystery of Nathan as a character still holds my interest and will be my motivation to read the sequel.
Date published: 2014-11-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Born from a Villain Before I bought this in March 2013, and now finally read with the influence of Indigo's World's Biggest Book Club Discussion soon, I was also intrigued to this book by the book trailer that is also on this page below the cover. That is what got me into buying this book. This is the story of Nathan, a half white half black witch. The white witches are good while the blacks are bad. His father, Marcus, is the black witch that has killed many other witches and because of those traits, which mix in Nathan?s genes, it supposedly makes him appear as though he is a villain too. Except his character doesn?t seem that way. But who says to judge the villain for being the bad guy, let alone being born from one? Nathan seems to be a strong character with flaws of a villain that was certainly felt by me while others will argue he is born bad because of part of where he?s come from. As well, since there are witches, there isn?t a whole emphasis on potions and flying broomsticks. This is a new take on witches in our contemporary world which I very much enjoyed. It?s nice to see a different view of how they?re lives are and the world. It almost appears as though it?s a dystopian society with the Council and having to be evaluated every year just because Nathan has half of his genes consisted of not a bad witch, but the most wanted of them all, Marcus. I could also sense that Nathan's looking for his father, which is what I want to see as well, because it didn?t appear to me that Marcus just left Nathan with his Gran. Nathan wonders about his father, dreams about him, and also knows Marcus is thinking of him. As I read, I wondered if he does meet him and that is where I will stop. The ending was sufficient and I can?t wait to see more, especially since the ending gives us a glimpse of what to expect next in the sequel, Half Wild. Violence, torture, gruesome scenes, and especially when this journey began, this fast paced story is what kept me turning the pages as excitement roused me for more and wonder what could happen next. Given that this is also a trilogy, this may seem like an introduction but it has many juicy concoctions that I believe will make the Half Life trilogy into one very good potion of a story.
Date published: 2014-09-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Review from Esther's Ever After The story in Half Bad is one bursting with emotion and tension. The writing is thoughtful, and Nathan's character stayed with me long after I finished reading this book. Reasons to Read: 1. A story that simmers (slowly): The main character, Nathan, is absolutely filled with pent up emotions but the plot progression is fairly slow - don't expect action-packed excitement. Despite the external circumstances endangering Nathan, much of the story revolves around his internal struggles. I found that worked very well for the story in Half Bad, but you have to prepare yourself for a slow-moving plot. 2. Harry Potter (without Hogwarts): Let me explain what I mean by this: Half Bad is not at all the same story as Harry Potter. However, it felt to me like it could very well be set in a similar type of world - but not Hogwarts. Think of the United Kingdom where there are social divides between witches, and the magic is subtly woven into the real world. More like the later books in Harry Potter where the Ministry of Magic takes a more prominent role in the story. The way the magic works is interesting as well, because it isn't exactly something that can be learned but more like a skill inherited or gifted to the witch. The story isn't quite told in chronological order though, and I found it jarring at times to jump around in the book's timeline. There were some ways in which it was effective and kept my focus narrowed on certain aspects of the plot. But overall, it felt mostly jumbled to me as a reader. I was most confused by the second person narration used briefly on occasion. Second person narration is so hard for me to connect with as a reader! And it didn't feel like it added anything to the story. I had no problem relating to Nathan's character or his circumstances otherwise and the second person narrative was just confusing. And the use of this technique was so minimal, it seemed out of place. That being said, Half Bad is a remarkably emotive book. Sally Green's storytelling is beautiful, and she touches on a wide range of issues and feelings with it. I felt a complete connection to Nathan and I was fully invested in what happened to him. For that reason alone, I would recommend reading Half Bad along with the benefit of a curious magical world. This story is utterly heartbreaking and the events endured by Nathan are horrific and shocking - which is why his story has stuck with me. ARC received from Penguin Canada for review; no other compensation was received.
Date published: 2014-05-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Dystopian-Fantasy! "Half Bad is a dystopian-fantasy set in England where white and black witches live among the fain. In this debut novel Nathan Byrn lives in a community of White Witches but is an outcast because of the black blood inherent in his mixed heritage. Over the years Nathan quickly learns to adapt to the abuse and ridicule of a society that only tolerates him in the hope that he will one day fulfill a prophecy that could mean the death of his father-a ruthless Black Witch. With only months to go before his seventeenth birthday when he will inherit his magical Gift, Nathan escapes the White Council and the Hunters who pursue him in a desperate attempt to seek out Mercury, a Black Witch who may help him attain his power. The plot is creative and interesting as it looks at the complexity of a society of Witches, neither of which is good; their customs, myths and taboos. The narrative is told from Nathan's perspective from early childhood and into his teens; his interpersonal relationships, the abuse and bullying at school, his love for Annalise, and his continual conflict with the Council. The story tends to be somewhat slow and tedious in places as the theme of the plot, his struggle to survive and escape the authority of the White Witches gains momentum only half way through the book. Most of the story centers on the abuse and gruesome torture of a boy who is segregated in his community, so it tends to be gritty and violent;the only redeeming quality is the loyalty and love of his family. The characters reflect the mood of the society that they live in. None seem to show any compassion or tolerance except Mrs. Ashworth, Arran, and Deborah who genuinely seem to care for Nathan and do what they can to protect him. Nathan the Half Blood Witch is an illiterate non-conformist who has mood shifts and a sarcastic sense of humour. He falls for Annalise, the daughter of an elite White Witch family who I found was a bit of a conundrum. She seems considerate, understanding and loving, wanting to pursue a forbidden relationship with Nathan, but when challenged by her family about her feelings is unwilling to stand up and fight for what she wants. I wasn't smitten by Nathan and Annalise's romance as it seemed unrealistic and contrived, just as I couldn't warm up to any of the characters because their personalities seemed too predictable. I had the feeling that this was just another vampire story,only with a twist. I don't know if I will read any further novels unless the plot and characters are better developed
Date published: 2014-03-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Already desperate for the next one! Born into a world where White and Black witches are at odds, young Nathan is torn between the two worlds and the two sides of himself. A dark and compelling story, the furious pace and gloriously depicted cast of characters is enthralling. This riveting fantasy will keep you glued to the page and waiting desperately for the next piece of Nathan’s journey. I know I can’t wait. This book has--dare I say it-- the feeling of being the long lost story of Severus Snape’s youth... *insert loud squeee*
Date published: 2014-01-24

– More About This Product –

Half Bad

by Sally Green

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 416 pages, 8.53 × 5.97 × 1.35 in

Published: March 4, 2014

Publisher: Viking USA

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0670016780

ISBN - 13: 9780670016785

Read from the Book

     Kieran says, “You know what this is, Connor?”
     Connor has to think about it, but eventually says, “A hunting knife.”
     “Yes. To be exact, it’s a French hunting knife. They make great knives, the French.
Look at that blade.’
     I squirm and grunt and curse them.
     ‘Hold him still, Niall. The blade folds away beautifully into the handle. Great design.
The Swiss go for all the fancy gadgets in their knives, but all you need is a good
blade.”
     I hear the rip of my T-shirt and feel the cool air on my back. I buck and curse again.
     “Hold him still.”
     I feel the blade brushing over my back and now I hold still. The knife stops in the
middle of my left shoulder blade. The point goes in.
     “I’ll start here. This half is the Black half, I’d say.”
     And slowly the blade cuts down my back.

From the Publisher

In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and sixteen-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.

About the Author

Sally Green lives in north-west England. She has had various jobs and even a profession but in 2010 she discovered a love of writing and now just can’t stop. She used to keep chickens, makes decent jam, doesn''t mind ironing, loves to walk in Wales even when it''s raining, and will probably never jog again. She really ought to drink less coffee. Half Bad is her first novel. 

Editorial Reviews

Praise and accolades for Half Bad
 
"Highly entertaining and dangerously addictive."—Time Magazine
 
“Genuinely engaging.”—The New York Times
 
“Gripping.”—US Weekly
 
“Bewitching.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Captivating.”— Los Angeles Times

 "A page-turner."—The Boston Globe

"An epic journey."—D.J. MacHale, New York Times bestselling author of Pendragon and Sylo
 
"Brilliant and utterly compelling." —Kate Atkinson, New York Times bestselling author of Life After Life

"This will haunt you." —Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of Legend

"Edgy, arresting and brilliantly written." —Michael Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Gone

* "A thrilling tale . . . Unforgettable."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "Marvelous."—Booklist, starred review
 
A Spring 2014 Kids'' Indie Next List pick
 
Holder of two Guinness World Records
 
Optioned for film by FOX 2000
 
Rights sold in 50 international markets
Item not added

This item is not available to order at this time.

See used copies from 00.00
  • My Gift List
  • My Wish List
  • Shopping Cart