First off, I'd like to say that yes, I was quite reluctant to read this because it did
sort of scream Potter spin off.
Actually, I didn't enjoy it very much. It seemed to me that Sally Green has suffered with a bumped head and decided to write this, well, diary
that reeks of emotional manipulation and with a storyline so thin you could mistake it for a tissue.
Nathan is a Half Blood (sound familiar?) which means he's Half White Witch on his mother's side and Half Black Witch on his father's side. Black witches are like the terrorists of this paranormal reality. They maim, pillage and kill and are basically monsters. So it's no surprise that the Council (made up of solely White Witches) would put out a law that any Black Witch found should be arrested or killed.
Being Half Black Witch, Nathan has been mocked and bullied his entire life. He can't read or write, can hardly defend himself and has spent the last two-and-a-bit years of his life locked up in a cage and guarded by a Big Bad Woman.
He has to escape to find Mercury, 'the witch that eats children' if he wants to collect his three Gifts and become a full blown, scary witch.
So here's what I did like: Sally Green drove the point home countless of times by showing
us how terrible Nathan's life has been up to this point. He's been bullied, attacked and mocked, he's been cut up like a slice of bacon and chased, and all this because his dad is some scary guy who kills people and eats their hearts.
It's honestly really sad because it reminds me so much of the society we live in now, where kids are constantly labelled because of their family. Your dad's in prison? You're going to turn out just like him then! Your mum's made mistakes? You're going to be a disappointment!
I also liked the
I'm lying, that's the only part I liked.
For crying out loud, it's a book about witches and there isn't a dribble of magic used. Black Witches are supposedly feared because they are strong and ruthless, but Nathan spends half of his time whining about how bloody unfair his life is. If you don't like it then do something about it.
It doesn't matter how many obstacles you head butt on the way, the only thing that matters is that you DO something.
But does he? Course not. He only manages to escape his weird cage because he's arrested
. There is fuck-all world building and if it weren't for the fact that I LIVE in England and have read the HP books, I'd be as confused as the next guy. There's no description, no character building, nothing
We see Nathan grow up, from the age of about 7 up until 17, and you really do feel bloody terrible for him, but at the same times I, anyway, was absolutely exasperated. He constantly victimises himself instead of standing up and doing something about it. His Gran sticks up for him, as do his brother and one of his sisters, but do something, boy! Don't let them coddle you forever!
And the WRITING
. Christ, a child could've done a better job. You're constantly slammed with short sentences, no adjectives, and the plot is just insane. If you're going to read this book in the hopes that you'll read about some great, life changing adventure, then put it back down because it's nothing like that at all.
Imagine reading someone's journal, and you get Half Bad. WHOLE BAD. TERRIBLY BAD.
It's 380 pages of boring, badly written sentences. I just could not engage myself and it took my longer to finish than usual. You can definitely call it an 'easy read', if you're looking for a book about someone's awful life story, because it's definitely easy
My reluctance to pick it up in the beginning has morphed into full blown annoyance that I didn't listen to that loud voice that screamed, "DO NOT READ. YOU WILL BE DISAPPOINTED."
Throughout the book, we learn nothing about Nathan's father, nothing about his mother, we never find out why his father is so badly wanted by the Council. All we see is countless of beatings on Nathan and him running away.
Seriously. That's it
However I gave it 2 stars for a reason. 1 star because I did honestly feel bad and sympathise with Nathan for his life at home and on the road and the 2 star because I'm sure it would have GREAT potential as a story of only Sally Green could untangle that mess of thoughts and tried to make some sense of what she was writing, so I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt in the hopes that in the next book in the series, the books improve.