Author: Sally Green
Series: Half Life #1
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Half Bad starts off with a bang of an introduction, then leaves you wondering where the heck all the excitement went. On first introduction, Nathan is trapped in a cage and no doubt being tortured. He plans his escape, but fails. Even though he is beaten down again, he is still determined to break free of his pain and prison.
Then we are whisked away to the past, where the back story into the characters and world begin. While interesting enough, the narrative drags along through this next part of the novel, as I went from hyper adrenaline push in the prologue to boring back story in almost a blink of an eye. It was staggering, really, how quickly the pace of the novel changed and it through me for a loop. I think this dramatic change in pace can be held somewhat responsible for my lack of interest towards the beginning of the novel as Green focused more on the development of the characters then on Nathan's escape from the cage. The fact that a teenage love interest was introduced for Nathan also did not help hold my attention in the beginning.
Half Bad felt a bit juvenile at points for a point of view of a 16 or 17-year-old, but it was still true enough that I could buy into Green's narrative through Nathan's eyes. And while the novel was definitely slow after the high velocity introduction, it was still a rather solid debut novel. The characters did not feel fully developed, but they were still engaging, which I am finding more and more difficult to come by in the young adult genre these days. And while the novel never became as engrossing as the first few opening chapters, Green held onto the plot long enough to make the ending intriguing enough for the sequel with the possibilities Green leaves available.