Book Review: Half Lost

Half Lost (Half Bad #3)
By: Sally Green
Published by: Viking Books for Young Readers
Release date: March 29, 2016
Genre: YA paranormal
352 pages
Source: purchased by reviewer

It has been a while since I read a book in this series, and I found myself really needing a catch-me-up. I read about online a little and managed to muddle my way into the story, and I will mention some key plot moments in this review, so beware reading further if you would rather not know!

Nathan starts Half Lost shortly after eating the heart of his father, Marcus. I had forgotten just how much that grossed me out!! The reason Nathan did that is to take on Marcus's powers, as he was dying anyway, shot by Annalise. As Half Lost develops, Nathan spends time in the wild with Gabriel learning to access some of these new powers, and control them. He is quite consumed with rage for Annalise and determined to find her and kill her, and anyone standing in the way. The Black witch side exploits this rage for their own purposes in the war against White witches and whilst they don't exactly condone his slaughtering every Hunter he can find, they aren't exactly disapproving either. He is a handy blunt instrument, and they hang their entire strategy on him. 

I liked Nathan's journey from blind rage to something similar to mercy. He learned a lot about himself and what he was prepared to do, and grew up a lot in the process. Gabriel was absolutely pivotal to this progression and I loved following their arc. It was brave to explore their romance, as very few YA books seem to look towards same sex romance, and I found that very refreshing. Their love was sensitively explored and it developed very believably. I loved Gabriel and his unwavering support and compassion for Nathan, even when Nathan was being very difficult. He was such a calming influence and I was really hoping that Nathan's visions of the future would come true. What happened in the final confrontation between Black & White wasn't entirely unexpected, but I wasn't pleased. Thereafter, the story was particularly beautifully written. So while I would have wanted a different ending, Nathan found his peace and it was serene. 

This is the final battle.

The Alliance is losing the war, and their most critical weapon, seventeen-year-old witch Nathan Byrn, is losing his mind. Nathan’s tally of kills is rising, and yet he’s no closer to ending the tyrannical rule of the Council of White Witches in England. Nor is Nathan any closer to his personal goal: getting revenge on Annalise, the girl he once loved before she committed an unthinkable crime. An amulet protected by the extremely powerful witch Ledger could be the tool Nathan needs to save himself and the Alliance, but this amulet is not so easily acquired. And lately Nathan has started to suffer from visions: a vision of a golden moment when he dies, and of an endless line of Hunters, impossible to overcome. Gabriel, his closest companion, urges Nathan to run away with him, to start a peaceful life together. But even Gabriel’s love may not be enough to save Nathan from this war, or from the person he has become.

Set in modern-day Europe, the final book in the Half Bad trilogy is more than a story about witches. It’s a heart-achingly visceral look at survival and exploitation, the nature of good and evil, and the risks we take for love.