Monday, March 23, 2015

Half Wild by Sally Green

Half Wild
by Sally Green
Read: February 3 - 11, 2015
Published: March 24, 2015 by Viking Juvenile
Source: ARC from Big Honcho Media (Thank you!)
Category: YA, fantasy, witches, male narrator, 
Series: Half Bad Trilogy # 2
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

"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.

NOTE: Half Wild is the second book in a series. Find my and Jen @ YA Romantics discussion-review of Half Bad, HERE

Here is my breakdown of Half Wild in 5 points (and a bonus).

1) This book was very slow to start. It picked up eventually, but I didn't find it to be unputdownable until closer to the end. Most of this installment is focused on one specific task, interspersed with lots of hiding and switching locations. The latter quarter features a wider direction and a better look where the rest of the story is headed. It's the end that made this a stronger read for me.  

2) I like Nathan's voice a lot. He's very conversational and amusing, and much of this story is focused on him telling the reader information. Being inside of Nathan's head, we are able to see Nathan the way that he sees himself, and it's different from how others perceive him. The world sees a powerful killer who has a lot of his father's Black Witch nature inside of him. We see a boy with a lot of painful scars - both internal and external - who has insecurities and is confused about his feelings. However, Nathan does not think very deeply in this story, which I very much wanted to see, and hope will happen in the final book. 

3) I still don't really get the differences between Black and White witches (not color of skin, but origin of powers). They can be equally terrible. But I guess it's like the question of why two nations or races hate each other for what from the outside may appear to be arbitrary reasons. I don't see why everyone thinks that Black witches are more evil, as White witches have done equally terrible things. But I was happy to see one character actually comment and acknowledge the fact that "goodness" is a separate thing from "Black" or "White" witch nature. 

4) This book had way more relationship angst than I anticipated, including a love triangle. If you've read book one you can probably guess who the parties are (one was Nathan's love interest already, the other is the person we all hoped he would fall for). To me, the romance was clearly going in one direction in this book, and the tension is definitely stronger on one side. But there's also some back and forth, and I got bogged down in the relationship confusion as I was reading. Nathan doesn't think or worry about it as much as I thought he would though. He's more physical than a deep thinker in this book - despite the fact that he's quite honest and open. I think the not analyzing is a protective instinct, though it got to be frustrating. But it also makes the triangle not feel as dramatic or angsty as it could have. I still don't like triangles, btw.

More specific spoilers about the romance: 

5) The end of this book is surprising and exciting. I wasn't expecting the way it played out at all, and it has intrigued me for the final installment. It changed the way I felt about some characters - some I like more, some less, and a few became more complex. The end also made me more eager to read the final installment, as I was unsure through the first half of this book.  

6) Bonus: I love Gabriel. LOVE. This boy feels so much and I felt it along with him. You should definitely read his backstory in Half Lies before starting this book. It will give a better insight into him. 

Love Triangle Factor: Medium
Cliffhanger Scale: Medium - ends after some big revelations, but not in a stressful moment


  1. Thanks for your review, Lauren! This troubles me a bit because one of my problems with the first book was the pacing. There was too much travel from Point A to Point B to Point C that it got so boring, and the only exciting part happened in the end when he met his dad, and even that was short-lived as it didn't last long. It worreis me that Half Wild features the same thing. I'm also quite disappointed there is not much deep thinking going on. It would have been nice to read more internal, profound narration from him considering he's going through a lot of things.

    Thanks for your review again! I'll have to ponder whether or not to continue this series...

    Faye at The Social Potato

  2. I just disliked the first book so I'm kind of unwilling to give this one a try! Even in that first story, I really didn't understand the differences between Black and White Witches or why it was such a big deal what kind someone was (they were equally nasty to me). Calling the Witches "Black" and White" and hating the Black Witches, despite it not referring to skin color at all, made me really uncomfortable (and not in a good, "let me think about that" way). *sigh* Not for me but I fully appreciate a book/series that gets mixed reviews.

  3. Gorgeous review Lauren. <3 I'm glad you liked a lot of this book. But, ugh. Love triangle? SOUNDS SO ANNOYING. I do not think I would like these books at all, sad face. Though the other parts sounds pretty exciting :D But a lot of the beginning is boring? That is not good at all. Sigh. I do hope you'll like the third book, though :) Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3

  4. I haven't read the first book yet even though I'm interested in it for sure mostly because witch stories are so rare these days! We need more of them for sure. And I love that this has a male POV and Nate does sound like a lovely character. I don't know if I can handle the lagging in the story line though and the history of the witches not being clear. And ugh. Love triangle. They need to die already.
    Great review, Lauren!

  5. I just can't wait for you to tell me all about the third book next year, haha. I love that you were tweeting me pictures! I felt like I was getting the good, interesting bits without having to suffer too much. <3 This is why our relationship is the best.

    But I DIGRESS. I'm definitely curious to see where this one will go next. The love triangle situation sucks, but I'm glad Nathan's voice worked well for you.


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