Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Genre Character of the week: Nathan Byrn

So recently I've been enjoying reading a lot of the books my youngest daughter is reading, including the Divergent series (one more to go!) and all sorts of others, but a pretty cool one I just finished was the novel Half Bad, by Sally Green.

This Dark Fantasy novel follows a sixteen-year-old boy called Nathan Byrn, who happens to be a son of both a white witch and a black witch.  In the world of the novel, this appears to be one of the worst situations you could find yourself in.

Growing up in a world ow White Witches who rule every aspect of his life with Draconian Measures, Nathan becomes a pretty angry young teen (which, to be fair, is how most people would turn out if raised by people who disliked them in a society that barely tolerates them).

In the world of the novel, there is a massive preoccupation with the possibility that Nathan may grow up into a Black Witch, who would then have to be hunted down and killed by society at large.

As a guy who grew up half native and half white, there's a lot I can relate to in Nathan, a feeling of not quite fitting in and a fear that I wouldn't really be accepted by either side.

The story moves at a very quick pace, and although there were some sections that required a little suspension of disbelief, Nathan is a very relatable young man and I am definitely interested in seeing how his life turns out over the rest of the series as it comes out.

Although the book may be too dark for Elementary or Junior High aged kids, I think High School readers might get a lot out of it.

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