Half Bad by Sally Green
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Really enjoyed this - although I can see where some of the other, less excited reviews are coming from. There's a Potter-esque vibe, with White and Black Witches living amongst us (Whites try to blend, Blacks don't). The Council and its Requirements felt very familiar, too. Having spoken with the author, I know that she based Nathan on Aiden Turner from the UK's Being Human and, well, sometimes a little more of that show than just the look of the lead leaks in. Marcus and Mercury weren't as believable as they might have been, but perhaps they'll become more real in future volumes.
Still, this was a world I believed in most of the time. The idea of a coming-of-age that includes being given three gifts in order to find your Gift and that Gifts could be stolen was intriguing. The persecution of non-full-blood Whites reminded me of Germany's purity laws, as did the increasing strictures the Half Bloods faced (or did they? was it only about Nathan?). The best part was the beginning, which immediately brings you into the story part-way in without a ton of explication, then backtracked thoughtfully to show how we got there.
Can't wait for Books Two and Three.
ARC provided by publisher.