Synopsis: Kept in a cage for two years by the Council of White Witches, Nathan was trained to kill his father, the most violent and feared of Black Witches. Now Nathan has escaped, and he dreams of a quiet life of freedom with Annalise, the girl he loves - but Annalise is a prisoner, wasting away in a death-like sleep. Nathan's friend Gabriel is missing, likely dead, and although Nathan has found his unique magical Gift, he can't control it. The Council's Hunters are on his trail, so he is always on the run. Nathan's only hope of survival is to join with new friends and old enemies in an alliance to bring down the Council, and they want Nathan's help: they, too, want Nathan to be a killer. Maybe that's the only way out. Maybe that's just who he is now.
I've been anticipating this sequel ever since I finished Half Bad. And while I enjoyed this book for the most part, it was not without its problems.
First off, it takes a while for the book to get going. Nothing much happens in the first hundred pages or so and a lot of it is mostly recapping events from the first book. Things start to pick up a little after that but this installment didn't grip me completely until the last fifty pages or so.
Also, I was extremely irritated with Nathan throughout the book and it's mostly to do with the book's love triangle. As the reader, it is completely obvious who Nathan is supposed to be with but he struggles with choosing between the two of them and keeps choosing the wrong one. To be fair, I think Sally Green did this on purpose, so (hopefully) when Nathan realizes who he really loves in the next book, it will be more rewarding. However, it was just so irritating to see him with the wrong person that I skimmed through a lot of the love scenes between the two of them.
However, the one kissing scene between Nathan and the right person was so scorchingly hot, I reread it about five times.
Another thing about this book is that it is very plot driven. There isn't a lot of description of either settings or characters so sometimes the story felt a little flat to me. For example, the secondary characters were so one-dimensional, that it was almost impossible to distinguish one from the other. Or they would be introduced so suddenly that I would forget about them, then they would be mentioned a few pages later and I would think 'Who the hell are they?'
Because of this, it was hard to care about the characters and what happens to them. This became evident at the climax of the book. While I did think it was a good ending, I thought it could have been so much more emotionally impactful if I was more attached to the characters. And it all happens so fast, there's no room for the reader to linger over any emotional devastation. There was one scene in particular that I thought should have been drawn out but it was over so quickly that it was like 'Wait! Go back!'
I know this seems like a negative review, but I do really like this series and I'm curious to see what happens in the last book. And I'm stoked for the movie adaptation.