Increasingly I am finding that books with a bit of hype are actually very good. I suppose that should be the case though! ‘Half Bad’ is no different.

That said, I couldn’t help reading it and thinking that it was Harry Potter but without the warts removed. Nathan is half white witch and half black… half bad. We start the story with him as a youngster and not due to come into his powers until he’s seventeen. His father is the most infamous black witch alive who has killed hundreds of people. Nathan is eyed with suspicion by some and loathing by many. His life will not be easy. Other witches, black and white alike want to either kill him or force him to do their bidding. They want him to kill his father.

Written in the first person, the story is a very personal and harrowing account (at times, but not overdone) of a young boy’s journey through adolescence. It’s covered rather quickly but I enjoyed it. Nathan has a stoic resilience most of the time but a soft underside too. At the end of the day, he’s just a kid.

So, it’s a bit like ‘Harry Potter does Skins’ – if anyone reading this has seen the TV series, ‘Skins’. Nathan has some nasty stuff done to him. I won’t spoil it but don’t expect too many fluffy black cats to stroke.

This book would suit children 12+. ‘Half Wild’ is book two. Personally, I can’t wait.

Rating out of 5: ♦♦♦♦♦

Suggested age: 12+