A Powerfully Meaningful Finale | Review of ‘Half Lost’ (The Half Bad Trilogy #3)


By Cynthia Ayala

Half Lost by Sally Green
Viking Books for Young Readers
Image Credit: Goodreads

Ever since the death of Nathan’s father, the Alliance has been losing the war and Nathan, their last critical weapon left, is beginning to lose his mind in his rage and heartbreak. But there is something that could help them, an amulet that makes the individual indestructible. The Alliance fights for peace but when their only weapon is a tormented soul bent on killing and revenge can they have it?

Published March 29, 2016 by Viking Books for Young Readers, Half Lost is the final book in the young adult fantasy series, The Half Bad Trilogy by Sally Green.

Half Lost is an exceptionally written novel that has powerful and meaningful themes laced within the magical realism of the novel, and was, most certainly, a grand finale. As the final novel in The Half Bad Trilogy, this novel had to wrap up many of the themes that have built up throughout the series, and Green establishes those themes wonderfully, and through Nathan, the reader both sees him dealing with these issues and confronting them in a relatable manner.

Nathan’s biggest issue is his identity that many people can understand. As a Half Code, he doesn’t belong to just the White Witches or the Black Witches, he belongs to both, but because of his blood, no one side wants him, leaving him in limbo. His struggle with his identity is the strongest part of the series and one of the driving plot lines. He acts one way, but people are reminding him that he isn’t just one, that he doesn’t have to be. These people are giving him the acceptance he needs to live; they are giving him the help he needs to find peace within himself. Green presented that with beautiful language and details. She has brought out the character dynamics through that, making for a strong narrative that draws the reader in, because that is exactly how this novel is written, narrative. There are no quote marks to determine dialogue; there is just Nathan telling the reader who said what, their facial expressions, and his thoughts. However, through him, the relationships and the other characters thrive. They make for an unbelievable read.

Nathan doesn’t just struggle with his identity though, he also struggles with his sexuality. He loves a man and a woman, both romantically, but he doesn’t know who to love more and for the homosexual community, especially the younger generation that feels this struggle, they are able to read Nathan going through this and accepting it for what it is: just love. There is nothing wrong here, but his struggle is both very real relatable to that end. Nathan has to learn to accept himself before he launches himself into the healthy relationship he deserves, with someone who accepts him for him and isn’t forcing him to do or be anything he doesn’t want to be.

Finally, there is the “race” issue coming into play here. The White Witches want to dominate the world because they believe that Black Witches should exist, so they are taking the steps they need to eliminate them. In a world where race still plays a significant role society, and racism and bigotry are still prevalent, this book teaches the harm that comes from that blindness. People are dying, people are suffering, and in their desire to establish a “White” only code for Witches, they are letting their racism bling them to the atrocities they are creating.

Half Lost is a novel the world needs to read because this novel is an eye-opener on many levels. However, while the messages within the novel are powerful, the language and style of the text make it a magical read. (★★★★★ | A+)

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