Half Wild (The Half Bad Trilogy #2) by Sally Green
Released: March 26th 2015
My Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
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.
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? (from Goodreads)
I just. Words fail me. This book. THIS BOOK. I honestly can't stop thinking about it, even now, though it's been weeks since I finished it.
Nathan...I can't tell you the extent of my feelings for this character. The stuff he had been through, the stuff he had to keep going through...it broke my heart. No-one would let him be happy. And this book was dark. I mean, the first book was too and this one generally continued in that fashion. It was a bit graphic at times so it's not for the faint-hearted. But back to Nathan. I don't even know what to say. He was...having a hard time. That's an understatement. He was determined to find Annalise and I just knew, KNEW that it would not end well. I couldn't understand why he was so obsessed with her. I know that she was nice to him as a child, and the only one who ever gave him the time of day but..ugh! I felt like he'd fixed it in his mind that he was SUPPOSED to be with Annalise and nothing else would ever compare. He had this image of her that wasn't true to reality and he wouldn't let anything ruin it. It was so difficult to read sometimes, because Nathan was more than Annalise had ever seen. She'd only ever seen one side of him, the only side he was comfortable showing her. He couldn't talk to her about things like his Gift, and his difficulty controlling it. He couldn't talk to her about the people he had to kill, or his father, or anything he thought would scare her off. She didn't really understand much about him, because he was hiding a huge part of himself, the side he thought was "bad" - and yet he couldn't see it. It wasn't even about good and bad. It was just about doing what you needed to do to survive, and that shouldn't have been something he had to hide. He was already struggling so much with accepting himself and his Gift and everything that had happened and there was this underlying feeling of not being good enough for Annalise that he had to put up with as well. I know he wanted to be with her but it just seemed impossible that it could ever work out and all I wanted was for him to even acknowledge that as a possibility.
Gabriel...well we all know I'm Team Gabriel in this love triangle. Have been since book one. He and Nathan were just so close. At the start of this book, Nathan was so worried about him. He waited in that cave for him to come back all that time. And they just trusted each other. Nathan COULD talk to Gabriel about everything, and vice versa. They understood each other. Gabriel knew that were lots of different sides to Nathan and he accepted them all. I just loved their interactions and every scene they were both in. The dark humour. The way they stuck together. And it's not like Nathan wasn't aware of his feelings for Gabriel [spoiler, highlight to read] ahem the "do you kiss all your friends like that" scene [end of spoiler] but he was just too hung up on Annalise to consider any other relationship. I kept wondering if there really was any hope for them but Sally Green knows how to keep you in suspense. I honestly have no idea how it will end. And Gabriel! He stuck with Nathan through everything. Okay he sort of blindly hated Annalise and thought she was a traitor that would be the end of all of them, but he was nice to her and he went to rescue her and he always had Nathan's back. I really liked his character. He was loyal to a fault in a way, but he was also kind of funny, a strong fighter and could bring people together in a way that others couldn't. He had a pretty depressing past too, with his sister, and I loved the scene where he made a certain vow. Ugh why couldn't these characters just be happy for once!
Annalise...I didn't hate her. I could understand how she felt. She was locked up just for paying attention to what her family considered the wrong type of person. Her own relatives didn't even bother to find her went she was missing, and yet she still loved them. She didn't know where she fit in anymore. But at the same time, I couldn't actively like her. She was too naive. What did she expect to happen? That no-one would die? That Nathan wouldn't be involved in the killing? I don't know what she was thinking. Did she not understand that this was what her brothers were doing? Killing people? Why was it okay for them, but not for Nathan? Or was it just the brutality of it all? Her decision in the end...ugh. She just had no idea what she was doing or the consequences it would bring. And I don't even know what's going to happen in the next book.
In terms of the other characters, I really liked Van and Nesbitt, two new people introduced in this book. I don't think I wholly trusted them, but Van was smart and the kind of person Nathan needed to offer guidance. And Nesbitt, well he was willing to be Nathan's friend. And he tried, even if his jokes were rubbish and pissed everyone off. How could you not warm to him? Marcus also reappeared and I really liked that Nathan got to spend some time with his father, though I wish he'd been in it more. It was interesting to see his point of view and thought processes on things. Definitely enlightening. And despite everything, I couldn't hate him.
Plot-wise...well. So many things happened that I did not expect. We saw the return of several characters playing roles I didn't think I would see. And God, Jessica was a nasty piece of work. The writing was also excellent. There was, and I'm being honest, not a single boring moment. There were scenes that just made me want to cry, that made me so so angry, that me feel hope and then despair and basically every emotion ever. The humour was so dark sometimes I wondered whether it was even humour anymore. And the ending. The ending. HOW could it end there, HOW. What did that last line even mean? How am I supposed to live, until 2016, not knowing what happens next? I haven't wanted to read a sequel so much since Harry Potter, and that is saying something. I need book three.
Overall, Sally Green is amazing, I loved this book and everyone needs to read this series.