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I was so lucky to win an ARC copy of Half Bad through the Goodreads First Reads program. I have a feeling this may be one of the biggest books of the year!
The premise alone was enough to hook me and keep me following Nathan's journey. At heart, it's an awesome coming-of-age story- boy faces extreme hardship and is forced to survive in the best way he can. There's also White Magic and Black Magic thrown in - not so much that it's overpowering because it's still firmly rooted in our world - and it's handled uniquely. It's decidedly not Harry Potter, but I can't help but draw parallels. If I wanted to describe it to someone in a sentence or two I would probably say something along these lines, "Imagine Lord Voldemort was Harry Potter's absent father, and the Ministry wants to exterminate him because they don't know and are afraid of what this kid could grow up to become and/or use him to kill his father because he just might be the only one to get close enough." Just going with that as a description, I would probably be first in line to get a copy!
Nathan, isn't really the most likeable character, but he really held my interest. Basically, he's never met his father, but he knows a lot about him, since people won't let him forget (family, the Council, other White Witches, etc.), and he finds himself wishing that his father will give him his Gifts (a must for Witches to access their main magical skill). He knows that his father is a cold-blooded murderer, hunted by the council but he can't help but rationalize his actions - it was self-defense and he had no other choice rather than that he craves power and doesn't care who gets in the way. Marcus Edge is an excellent villain and I can't wait to see more of his character in the upcoming installments.
Another thing I loved, the moral ambiguity! Nathan fights it every day being a Half Code (the only one, by the way), the Council, Nathan's own mother. Refreshing to see it used in the way it is here.
And you know what the Fairborn reminded me of other than a Fairbairn-Sykes knife, the Colt from Supernatural! I couldn't help but make that connection!
It's an awesome book and I hope all the best for it. It comes highly recommended from me!
I read this from March 19 - 28, 2014 and my review is also on Goodreads.