Series: Half Life #2
Author: Sally Green
Publication: Penguin UK, March 24th 2015
Pages: 402 Pages, Paperback
Source: Thank you to Penguin Random House for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review!
Rating: 5/5 CUPCAKES!
After finally meeting his elusive father, Marcus, and receiving the three gifts that confirm him as a full adult witch, Nathan is still on the run. He needs to find his friend Gabriel and rescue Annalise, now a prisoner of the powerful Black witch Mercury. Most of all he needs to learn how to control his Gift – a strange, wild new power that threatens to overwhelm him.I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. I'm not even sure if I can write this review right now because there's about a billion feelings whizzing around inside of me and every single one of them is to do with this book because Half Wild broke my heart. I loved every second of it but still, it completely annihilated me. I'd also like to say It's very rare for me to love a sequel more than I love the first book, but Half Wild, the sequel to Half Bad, blew me away. It took me on a journey, it broke my heart and I'm still waiting for the author to stitch me back together with ink on ivory. It made me laugh and it made me swim in an ocean created by my tears. Half Wild was exhilarating and riveting and I've fallen completely in love with it.
Meanwhile, Soul O'Brien has seized control of the Council of White Witches and is expanding his war against Black witches into Europe. In response, an unprecedented alliance has formed between Black and White witches determined to resist him. Drawn into the rebellion by the enigmatic Black witch Van Dal, Nathan finds himself fighting alongside both old friends and old enemies. But can all the rebels be trusted, or is Nathan walking into a trap?
I was quite hesitant going into Half Wild because I didn't fall as in love with Half Bad like I was hoping to, but within 60 pages this book had me completely and irrevocably entranced. Everything about this book was so excellent. There was a fast-pace, there was beautiful character development, there was an engrossing plot, humorous dialogue and shocking twists that drove a stake into my heart. I'm not even joking, I have not cried so much whilst reading a book in a very long time.
I'll talk about the characters who are all so angry, confused and hurt and who I just want to wrap in a blanket and keep them safe from the mean author. Nathan was one part of Half Bad that saved the book for me. I absolutely love Nathan. He's not a perfect person, he has the blood of witches on his hands, he lashes out at the people he loves, he's scared and he's so angry, but he's also not bad. He cares for people and loves people and wants to minimize the amounts of death in the world. He's conflicted due to all that he's experienced but he has his heart in the right place. He's this fiery ball of fierceness, vulnerability and snark and I just absolutely fell in love with Nathan all over again. It was quite painful for me to read of the internal struggle he was having with himself, debating his worth and whether or not he was more "Black" or more "White". I think we both realise now how much more complicated it is than that and I really adored how this book, like the former, challenged the good vs evil. In this book lines begin to be more blurred though and you realise how complicated and complex the nature of being wholly angelic and thoroughly devilish is and whether or not it's even possible to reside as both.
Then there was my darling Gabriel who I am utterly in love with. He's so sweet, so gentle, so patient and it breaks his heart daily to see Nathan pine over Annalise but even if Nathan doesn't reciprocate his feelings he stays by Nathan's side, does whatever he asks, is willing to lay down his life for Nathan. His devout loyalty and his fierce determination to protect Nathan just broke my heart and I wish him nothing but happiness. He's definitely one of my new favorite fictional characters but gosh, he can make me cry.
“I can’t not be with you, Nathan. I wanted to leave you in that grave and walk away but I couldn’t. I can’t walk ten paces away from you without it hurting me. I treasure every second with you. Every second. More than you know.”MY EMOTIONS. I CAN'T RIGHT NOW. I JUST CAN'T.
I absolutely adored the addition of Van and Nesbitt to the story! Not only do I ship them (they are so utterly different yet I feel like they belong together. Are they even like a thing? I don't know but I ship them) but they added more texture to the story and it was from the introduction of Nesbitt where I really started falling in love with Half Wild. Sally Green creates such interesting, complex characters and I'm so happy that she added Nesbitt and Van to the story because their banter and their Gifts and just everything about them made the book so much more interesting to me.
Then there's Annalise who I am so mad at I could possibly explode. Not only is she unsympathetic, doesn't appreciate my precious Nathan enough and ruins pretty much everything for everyone the entire book, I think I have enough reason to be mad at her. Especially in this book, you'll know what I'm talking about if you've read it. I can understand her reasoning for the way she acted but GOSH, COULDN'T SHE HAVE THOUGHT THINGS THROUGH A BIT MORE. Spoiler: Clearly not.
There was also another character who we were introduced to in the first book but who we only got to see more of in this book and that is Marcus, Nathan's mysterious father. Guys, I love Marcus. He's a villain because he's one of the most evil, murderous Black Witches in the UK but if you see the way he interacts with his son, the way he protects him and the way he's always been there for him in small ways, you'll begin to see him differently. I also appreciated how the author showed us his ruthless, murderous side as well as the caring, loving father as it once again emphasized how good and evil coexists in all of us. Within the darkest of hearts can be a flickering of light and in the purest of hearts there can be a jagged crack of darkness.
Another thing I absolutely adored about Half Wild was the development of the characters and the relationships. I feel like all the characters are growing and becoming more comfortable with themselves and becoming fearless in their attempts to test their limits. I also loved the relationships. You see Nathan and Gabriel grow closer as they truly realise how much they love each other and how loyal they are to one another. You see Nathan begins to see a darker side to Annalise. You get to see the almost friendship of Nathan and Nesbitt which was absolutely hilarious and you get to experience the magnificent relationship between Nathan and his father which just killed me inside. The relationships were so well done and I fell so in love with reading about every single one of them and I'M IN LOVE WITH THIS TRILOGY OKAY.
Then there was the writing which was as divine as always. I love the author's unique writing style, I loved the breathtaking quotes scattered throughout this book and I loved how wonderfully everything is tying together.
Half Wild was an extraordinary sequel that snatched me up in its clutches from the first few chapters and didn't relinquish control until the end of the novel where I was allowed to catch my breath again. With characters you'll fall in love with, a plot that will have your heart racing, magic weaving through the story, a heartbreaking romance and devastating plot twists, Half Wild stole my breath away and now holds a place on my "favorites" shelf.
I give it: 5/5 CUPCAKES