Rules for Retribution (Half Bad – A Book Review)

Half Bad (The Half Bad Trilogy #1)
Author: Sally Green
Published: 2014

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt

Rated P for parents who unknowingly and unwittingly put a shunning curse on their kid.


Wanted by no one. Hunted by everyone.

Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage. Son of the most infamous Black Witch, Marcus, he’s given rules and limitations, pushing him to the brink. His captors run him ragged and his only hope is to escape so that he may receive the three gifts that’ll bring him his magical powers. Only then can he go after his father and put an end to him. How can he do that when there’s nobody he can trust?


I’d heard such good things about this book, so when I saw a copy on sale I couldn’t help but grab it. And as much praise, as it’s gotten, I am in that small percentage that just didn’t enjoy it. Well, enjoy isn’t the word. I didn’t get hooked. I gave it my all, but it was just slow and lacked excitement for me.

Scarlet Reader


Taking place in Europe, witches are divided between white witches and black witches. Nathan was unlucky to be borne by both, his mom being a white witch and his father, a white witch. Many rules/laws kept him from having any normal kind of life because it’s quickly assumed he’ll be just like his father, a killer and power snatcher of witches.

Visually pleasing, the world building was impeccable. It was wide open and also beautifully bleak. I really liked how exploratory it was with Nathan’s journey.

This wasn’t dreadful, and I’ve read a dreadful book and reviewed as so. The characters were actually pretty moving. They carried such heartache and darkness. It was heavy and raw and deep. With Nathan struggling as everything worked against him, it was amazing how strong he was. Those that revolved around him showed how outside factors can strongly influence one’s life. It was pretty dang tragic.

Scarlet Reader - Kissed by an Angel

I struggled with the POV the most to be honest. Nathan is sixteen, but the book starts off much younger than that. What really caught me up, was that Nathan’s tone throughout it came across much older. More so, the POV switched up with second-person POV and first-person POV. It was a little confusing and distracting.



Though the imagery is strong, I struggled around other bends. I love the paranormal genre and the YA genre. This one just didn’t capture my love and that stinks. So, this goes to my donation pile.



“The new trick is no easier than the old trick.” (Nathan, p. 156)


P.S. Song today? Halfway Gone by Lifehouse.


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