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  • Writer's pictureA. Murphy

Half Bad: Yah

Warning: Spoilers. Like major spoilers.

I'm straight up gonna say I love this book. I am seriously debating whether or not to put it on the top ten list but that means I would have to remove something else and decisions are hard.

The race of witches is divided in two. White witches and Black witches. You can probably guess this is going to be about racial prejudice. The protagonist, Nathan, is a half code. While his mother was a White witch his father was the most infamous and evil Black witch to have ever existed. He lives his life being treated like a monster, shunned by white witches even though he is never technically designated a black witch. However it is the 'good' White witches that are in power so he must live by their rules. In fact it is a matter of life and death. On his seventeenth birthday if he does not receive three gifts and the blood of a relation, he will die. So when he breaks one of the strict rules set by the Council of White Witches he is risking everything.

I can't describe how much I love this book. It's a wonderful look into the world of racial prejudice even if it is as simple as black vs. white. Nathan is a fantastic character because Green did not make him some poor misunderstood child. As he gets older he does bad things, he's not wholly innocent. However you are always on his side as it is made clear that he has been unfairly treated his whole life and suffered abuse because of his blood status.

The world Green creates is interesting and fantastical yet no so far removed from the real world that the audience cannot relate. Plus it takes place in Britain. Think of magic and Britain and you know exactly what comes to mind. Half Bad is grittier and darker by far, spinning a story that makes you question what can be considered right or wrong.

Additionally Nathan turns out to be bisexual. The stereotypical heterosexual love interest introduced early on contains a twist that threw me completely.

(I adore the lovers to enemies trope it's great.)

Half Bad is the first of a trilogy, the other two of which are Half Wild and Half Lost. Both are just as good as the first. I thoroughly recommend it. (Don't be put off by the use of second person it doesn't last the entire narrative.)However if you do choose to read be warned there is violence, abuse, and some really gruesome imagery but it is a fantastic read.

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