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Half Wild

by Sally Green

Series: Half Life Trilogy (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4392240,307 (3.9)4
In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, seventeen-year-old Nathan has come into his own unique magical Gift, but he is on the run with the Hunters close behind, and they will stop at nothing until they have captured Nathan and destroyed his father.

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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
So here's a problem. Sometimes once you read a really great book then after you read a pretty sub-standard book and you want to go back and update the rating of another book. Right now, I kind of want to go back and give Cress 5 stars just because after slogging through Half Wild I appreciated that book so much more. I have not been as disappointed in a book in a series since I finished Dean Koontz's Saint Odd (Odd Thomas #7).

I really liked Half Bad, but still hoped that Sally Green would take more care with regards to world building and adding in more details since a lot of time things would happen and there was no explanation. I think the author has all of these ideas in her head and they are just not making it into the final version of her books. Right now I think this book is a good outline and layers need to be included. Told in the first person, we continue the story of half black teenage witch, Nathan.

The plot of Half Wild picks up days after the events in Half Bad. We have Nathan still on the run from Hunters who will stop at nothing to kill him and his father Marcus. Nathan is searching for his friend Gabriel and also trying to come up with a plan to save his sort of girlfriend Annalise from a sleep spell.

Nathan should be a complex character. Too bad he's not. I have seen puddles with more depth than he has at this point in the story. Nathan should be torn. I get that. He was raised in a household that in terms loved and despised him. Then he was stolen away and treated like an animal for two years. Nathan's story grabbed me from the first in Half Bad. His current plight in Half Wild bored me to tears.

We have the introduction of two new black witches that have somehow found Gabriel and use that to lure Nathan to them. Instead of there being some question of these people not being who or what they claim to be, right away we find out that they are trying to build a faction of half black/white, black, and white witches to fight against the Hunters who are starting a reign to wipe out all black witches and anyone that is against their actions. That right there should have been the whole plot in this book. Instead we meander along with Nathan feeling torn and insisting that these new people and Gabriel put themselves in danger to free Annalise. It just added unnecessary padding to this book.

The character of Gabriel who I came to adore in Half Lies proceeds to act like a love struck teenager throughout this whole book. Gabriel who knows how dangerous the white witches are keeps doing his best at impromptu moments to get Nathan to admit to something between them. I felt badly at first for Gabriel. Heck we all have had that person that we liked that l didn't like us that way. Instead we have Gabriel acting like a brat at times about Nathan and Annalise. Heck I love that there is potential for a same sex relationship to be included in this book. It was just clumsily done here. Maybe it is because we get to hear Nathan's thoughts and we know that he loves Gabriel, just not that way. I think with how the whole book was going, that readers could have been spared typical teenage angst every other chapter when people were trying to murder them and they were going around killing people.

Other characters in this book had little to no depth to them at all. Annalise might as well be a bowl of oatmeal (with no sugar or milk added) at this point. I really liked this character in the last book. I got why Nathan was drawn to her and why he loved her. This book turns her into a shrill crying teenage girl with no brains at all.

I think the main issue is that the group of witches that were supposed to be fighting the white witches just had no personalities at all besides them still not trusting one another. The leadership seemed splintered and all we would hear when people were training is that they seemed to be running. There was no explanation of people practicing their gifts or using spells, etc. You would think that more people would be up for this cause considering the events we hear described, but instead it sounds like we have maybe 6 adults and a bunch of teenagers running around in the woods "training".

The writing needs to be fixed pronto. We just have Nathan's voice to guide us about people, settings, etc. and besides him describing every freaking person's eyes that he meets, there is not a lot going on there detail wise. This book just has things happening and we hear how he feels about it and it is written in such a clumsy way. For example, say Gabriel says something to Nathan and Nathan feels badly that he can't respond in a way that Gabriel likes. We have Gabriel speaking and then Nathan saying I wish that I could feel something I feel so torn and I know that Gabriel can see that in my face. Um. What? Just say it. Say words.

It doesn't help that it makes no sense that apparently a bunch of witches are being murdered/tortured/experimented on and no one is doing anything about it. And why are the non-magical not noticing a thing? That is one of the big problems of this book for me. It is not realistic that all of these events keep happening in a vacuum with no one figuring it out.

The pacing was really not done well. I think it is because each of the chapters are maybe 3-4 pages long and there is not a lot of time to build up suspense since we just have Nathan and party going from place to place getting into skirmishes.

Half Wild takes place in Europe in cities and that's all I can really say about the setting. You really would not know that since there is no description of anything to give a person a sense of landmarks at all besides people saying here and there that the European witches are trying to flee.

The ending was so bad that I just laughed at some point. It makes no sense the events that happened and we have Nathan having no common sense since he blames one person for what happens instead of him realizing that another person was more to blame and he should be more angry about of instead of him and his quest for vengeance which I guess will make up most of book three. I don't like quitting a book series before I get to the end. However, in this case, I will happily just skip book three. I hope that Ms. Green is given more time to set up the story, expand the world building in this book, and actually write her characters' more consistently and sympathetically. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
Nathan: dumbass, annoying, horny

Gabriel: boring but still likeable


Annalise : horny, pretty but useless


Marcus: likeable ( )
  Titut | Feb 10, 2020 |
After finally having his ceremony to celebrate his transition from a child to an adult witch, and recieving his three gifts from no other than his father; Nathan is still on the run. Mercury still has the sleeping Annalise and he hasn't seen or heard a word from Gabriel. He's starting to dread that his friend might be dead, as well as trying to come to terms with his new, powerful gift. There's hunters around and without allies or knowledge on how to control his gift, he knows it won't be long until they find him.

But then Nesbitt shows up – a strange but seemingly allied witch who claims Gabriel is alive and well; and even suggests bringing Nathan along to reunite with him. His words are true; Gabriel is very much alive thanks to Nesbitt's partner Van. It doesn't take Nathan long to figure out that they want something from Gabriel and him. Especially Nathan. But it also doesn't take him long to figure out that if he wants to reach Annalise in time and save her, he's not going to be able to do it on his own. It'll mean going to war. Choosing a side in a war where both sides loathe his very existence. But if it's to save the one person who against all odds looked at him and saw him – nothing but him – then maybe it's worth it.

The Half-Bad trilogy takes place in an alternative world which is much like our own; except some happen to be witches. Once upon a time all witches carried both Black and White within them but during the centuries, there's now two distinct groups of witches. In the UK, White witches are the dominant ones while Black whites are becoming more scarce as Whites hunt them down. But there's some who are both. Like Nathan, our main character. His mother was a White witch who had a secret relationship with the feared Black witch Marcus; a relationship that resulted in his birth. From the day he was born, he was considered a tainted witch; the Black side of him corrupting the White in him. He's an anomaly. He's not supposed to exist.

The first book focuses on his childhood and the years leading up to his seventeenth birthday, but as this is the sequel, he's no longer the small child; he's the young man who spent years locked up in a cage when he wasn't training to kill his own father. But as much as he no longer has a problem with vocally expressing his anger over the injustices he's constantly handed – there's still that naive, loving side of him. It's a complex and delightful mix; the man the abuse has made him and the child he never truly got to be.

What I love most about this series, however, is the way it's written. Green's prose is both fascinating and gorgerous; it's hard to let the go book. Even when I felt like something was lacking, either plot or character-wise; it was all delivered in sentences that kept me coming back for just one more page. I've never had a problem with first person narrative but this series just proves how powerful and personal it can be. Nathan's feelings and thoughts felt very real; like I was sinking into his mind.

But the fact that it felt like something was lacking is hard to get around despite the great prose and interesting structure. I honestly have a feeling it's because the book is more or less about racism. Yet the main character is definitely white – and it honestly causes the plot to fall together and feel so bland and overdone by default. I'm baffled we're still writing stories about racism or other kinds of discrimination without actual representation from the disctriminated group the plot is an allegory for. It robs the messages of most of its power. We can do much better. We need to do much better. ( )
  autisticluke | Nov 14, 2019 |
Picking up almost exactly where Half Bad left off, Half Wild - the second book in the trilogy - by Sally Green is as exciting as the first. New characters are introduced to the readers, with some interesting personalities, while old characters change in the weirdest ways. It's one helluva ride from beginning to end, I can tell you that much. You see, Nathan is now a fully fledged Witch, and he's realised he takes after his father more than he initially hoped he would. This, however, is not what the far-right wing White Witches Council had wanted, especially when Nathan is running around loose. As pandemonium reaches whole new levels in the Witch world, it's up to Nathan to help put an end to the Nazi-regime threatening to exterminate all Black Witches as well as sympathetic White Witches who stand against the Council. With an army of White, Black, and Mixed Witches, he tends to bring balance back to the world - if not for himself, at least for those he holds dear.
Although Half Wild started off just a tad slower than I wished it would, the pace picked up quickly and the story drew me in easily. I liked the betrayals and the growth of the characters, and I especially enjoyed shipping Nathan and Gabriel, because let's be honest ... those two are so freaking adorable!

Half Wild sets the tone for the third - and I suppose final - book perfectly as Nathan takes charge of his own destiny and help to establish a Witch world free of prejudice and discrimination due to parentage.

In other words, I can't wait to see what happens!

Review originally posted on:
( )
  MoniqueSnyman | Oct 3, 2019 |
I did like the book overall and the narrator for the audio book was great. I didn't like how obsessed Nathan was over Annalisse, she was so irritating. I am going to listen to the third book to see how it ends though. ( )
  AlyP59 | Apr 25, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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"You will have a powerful Gift, but it’s how you use it that will show you to be good or bad."

In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, seventeen-year-old Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world's most powerful and violent witch. Nathan is hunted from all sides: nowhere is safe and no one can be trusted. Now, Nathan has come into his own unique magical Gift, and he's on the run--but the Hunters are close behind, and they will stop at nothing until they have captured Nathan and destroyed his father.
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