Half Bad Wasn’t Half Bad // Book Review



Goodreads synopsis:

Wanted by no one. Hunted by everyone.

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 there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?

***I received a copy of this book from Penguin Teen in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my thoughts on it.***

Phew. I have a lot to say about this book.

Let’s start of with…

What I liked:

The book features two main groups: Witches and Fains. Within the witches are different types: there are Black Witches (considered to be evil and hunted by the government), and White Witches (the good witches). Nathan is a Half Witch: his father is a famously evil Black Witch that he’s never met, and his mother is a white witch who died when he was young.

I found this story premise to be really interesting, which was a pleasant surprise. The White Witch vs. Black Witch plot wasn’t particularly new or original, but the world felt like something I hadn’t read before. The ideas were there, even if I felt like they weren’t all executed amazingly.

Also, I enjoyed the story a lot more as I neared the ending. With more action, the writing style flowed better than I felt it had in the first half of the book. I can’t really say I cared a particular amount about any of the characters (they didn’t quite feel real if you know what I mean?), but the story felt overall fresh and different.

What I didn’t like:

First off, I feel like this book was just a major case of “it’s not you, it’s me.” I just didn’t mesh with the writing style. For the majority of the story, I felt like the author was just telling me the story, instead of putting me in it, showing me the world. I didn’t feel any connection to the characters; the whole story felt a little distant.

Also, the world development was poorly executed. The story features things like phones and televisions, but I’m still not sure on all the details of the world. For example, it doesn’t feel like the earth we live on, but I think it’s supposed to be? The main character, Nathan, talks about Wales and Scotland, but the world always felt unfamiliar.

The pacing of the book was just off. I’m not the type of person who judges books harshly on whether they’re boring or not, but the first quarter of this book? I wanted to pull my hair out, it was so tedious.

The entire first 130 pages of the book were just backstory, backstory, backstory. This was made even more tedious not only by the fact that I wanted to get to the story, but also because the entire time I felt like I was being told the story, not like I was part of it. It felt like someone was just laying out the facts in front of me; I didn’t grow a deep attachment to any of the characters and I honestly felt that I was wasting my time for the entire first third of the book.

Would I recommend it?

I can’t say I really enjoyed this book. There were numerous times when I was reading it that I just didn’t care, and if I’m being honest, I’m not sure that I want to read the next two books in the series.In my opinion, it wasn’t good, it wasn’t bad; it was meh. (Guess you could say it was half bad… haha). I just had a lot of small issues with it.

However, like I said earlier, I feel like this is one of those books that some people love and some people hate. So, if you’re at all interested in the book, I would definitely tell you to give it a go. You might love it! (I know that it’s one of Ben’s (from benjaminoftomes on youtube) favorite books.

My overall rating:

2.5/5 stars, rounded up to three on my Goodreads. 🙂



4 thoughts on “Half Bad Wasn’t Half Bad // Book Review

  1. Nicole.Ilene says:

    This is a good review and I’m really glad that I read it because I recently put it on my TBR list since it seemed to be a possible next hype book, but now I’ll be more cautious if I decide to jump into it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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