Book Review: “Half Lost” by Sally Green

When we last left our hero Nathan at the end of Half Wild, things weren’t going ideally – his girlfriend had just fatally wounded his father, Marcus, meaning that if the Alliance was going to stand any chance of winning this war, Nathan had to eat Marcus’s heart to gain his father’s magical abilities. If you for some reason are reading this review and haven’t read Half Wild or the first book in the trilogy, Half Bad…we really aren’t kidding when we say these books are dark.

Half Lost picks up straightaway from where we left Nathan last, and as you can imagine, he’s having a rough time dealing with everything. His thoughts are dominated by a determination for revenge on Annalise, obscuring his good judgement and bringing out Nathan’s dark side more than ever before. Personal vendettas aside, Nathan and the Alliance know that the leader of the corrupt White Witches, Soul, must be killed in order to end this war, and as Nathan has just inherited a whole slew of magical gifts from his father, he’s the natural choice to carry out the assassination. In this final installment of Sally Green’s trilogy, Nathan is more powerful than ever before, but he’s also dangerously close to losing himself in the turmoil of this deadly war.

The best part of the Half Bad trilogy has always been Green’s willingness to take her story in a much darker direction than most YA novels would ever go, lending them a sense of bleak authenticity and allowing for some truly fascinating internal exploration on the part of our hero. That trend holds true in Half Lost, where Nathan is so far removed from the innocent boy he was at the beginning of the series that he’s almost unrecognizable – or even likable. In this vein, fan favorite Gabriel plays a role that is vital both to the story and to Nathan himself: knowing that there is still goodness in Nathan, and never for a second losing faith that Nathan’s better nature will win out in the end.

In this last volume, however, Green’s trademark desolation could be a pitfall for some readers. Trust me when I say that the ending is not as uplifting as most readers would like…I can’t say any more for fear of spoiling the book, but if you were hoping for a happy ending you might want to temper your expectations! Still, Half Lost is action-packed and quick-paced, ultimately a satisfying ending to the trilogy.

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.