In the world of White and Black Witches, Nathan doesn't quite fit into either. His mother, a white witch, was known for her kindness and her amazing healing powers. His father, a black witch, was known to cut out of the hearts of white witches and steal their powers. Nathan tries his hardest to be what others want him to, but can't seem to get a break.
With orders coming down from the Council, his life is closely monitored. His grandmother loves him beyond doubt and tries to shield him, while his birth sister blames him for the death of their mother and wants to kill him. It doesn't get easier either. Picked on at school for his small stature and inability to read and write, Nathan's life becomes painful socially and physically. The older Nathan becomes, the more curious his life becomes. He now cannot stand to be indoors or he becomes deathly ill, a trait of a black witch.
Now, locked up in a cage, he must find a way to have a family member bestow his two gifts onto him, or his life will end. His only hope is to find Mercury, another black witch, who could harm him or help him, but is her help only another painful disguise?
Green creates a dark and ugly side of magic that weaves itself together with the dark and ugly side of bullying, prejudice, and conformity to society. Although I found it slow to start, the story line picked up and quickly wound itself around me to keep me turning the pages to find out what would ultimately happen to Nathan. Viking, 2014
414 pages 978-0670016785 Ages 13 and up
Other titles in the series: Half Truths; Half Wild; Half Lost; Half Lies
Storyline: Dark Fantasy
Tone: Gruesome; Violent; Dark
Recommended by: Naomi Bates, Library Media Specialist, Texas USA
"An international bestseller, translated into more than 50 languages!
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 his every action is monitored, when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?
Half Bad is an international sensation and the start of a brilliant trilogy: a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive."--from the publisher