Brace yourselves, readers. You're entering a blog with belligerent rants/reviews, chaotic writings, incompetent; pointless fangirling... and, oh yeah, GIFS. Fuckloads of them... did I also mention some swearing? I'm an eighteen-year-old girl majoring in Theatre Arts. I may not be an excellent writer, but gosh, I love doing it.
If you loved Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn then don’t hesitate to pick this book up; they both give off the same dark gothic-like atmosphere when reading.
Well… this is going to be hard to review because I’m feeling this “I like this book, but I don’t like it” pull whenever I look at it.
Nathan has a hard and abusive life due to the fact he’s a Half Code (half White Witch, half Black). He cannot communicate with anyone accept his family, he cannot leave without having permission from the Council, he’s watched everywhere he goes, and every five years or so he has to be assessed by the Council to see if he would be considered a White Witch or a Black one by the time of his seventeenth birthday. He hasn’t met his father, but he knows the Council is searching for him because he’s a notorious Black Witch… and a murderer. To add on to his problems, he can neither read nor write... and he's on the run.
There’s a division between the two witches and you can pretty much guess who are the dominant rulers:
”Whites hate Black Witches for their anarchy and lunacy. They don’t integrate withing fain (human/non-witches) communities but don’t have a community of their own. Their marriages never last, often ending in abrupt violence. They usually live alone, hate fains and fain technology. Their Gifts are strong.”
The Whites assembled a Council and Hunters (White Witches [W.W.] who hunts and captures Black Withces [B.W.]) for Black Witches — to enslave them, tortured them, and eventually kill them. Oh, the hypocrisy coming from the W.W. It makes me think the B.W. are the good ones instead. These witches have very interesting Gifts, but I don’t consider them it to be “magical”, it feels more like Fantastic Four than Harry Potter.
***A list of the "magic" the witches receive on their 17th birthday***
+ Potion making ( PASS )
+ Breathing fire and sending fire from hands ( FAIL )
+ Invisibility ( FAIL )
+ Moving objects by thought (PASS/FAIL - it can be some form of witchcraft, then again I think of some superhero)
+ Seeing the future ( PASS )
+ Disguising oneself as any human being, male or female (FAIL - I'm going to have to give this one a fail, despite the fact glamour can be used in witchcraft; however, Mystique from X-Men keeps popping up in my head... again, superpower )
+ Flying (PASS/FAIL - I'll see how that plays out in the next book)
+ Making plants grow or die ( PASS )
+ Sending electricity from the body (FAIL - how the hell is this magic?)
+ Healing others (PASS/FAIL - mehhh, maybe. Depends.)
+ Bending and controlling metal objects ( FAIL )
+ Slowing time ( FAIL )
And here's what disappoints me: the majority of them are not being used; we're merely given a list of the "magic". Only the potion making, healing, and disguising are used here and there throughout the novel.
Unfortunately, I did not like the worldbuilding; it didn't feel as though I were in Wales, Scotland, and London (the places Nathan went to). We're given very little description which felt more like telling rather than showing. Half Bad has so much potential and I'm really upset I didn't enjoy like I hoped. This would have been 2 stars, but the last 30 pages were really good. Very curious to read the next book.
***Before I leave, there are couple of things I found interesting***
+ Becoming a witch: on the whets' (a witch under the age of seventeen) 17th birthday, the guardian of the whet has to give three gifts and perform some ceremony for the coming-of-age witch. When spells are exchanged, the whet has to drink the blood of the guardian to receive their Gift a.k.a "power". I should be disgusted, but that felt like witchcraft to me.
+ A witch can steal another witch's power by killing them and eating their heart. Creepy, huh? That reminded me of Another Little Piece.