I'll be fain forever, but so are most people.
I can still have a great life.
And I'll be free of torturing, cheating, lying and murder...
Pages: 50-60 (Roughly.)
Chapters: -- (Told from various viewpoints.)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Book Links: Goodreads
I really should have just smushed the reviews for Half Truths and Half Lies, two prequel shorts for the Half Bad trilogy, together. They follow much the same vein, elaborating Gabriel's backstory and personality. Well, we're here now.
Half Truths doesn't have the emotional punch its predecessor does, but it's still a nifty little entry to the series. It picks up not long after the ending of Half Lies, and follows Gabriel on his journey to find Mercury, a powerful Black Witch who holds the key to returning Gabriel back to his witch body. Feel a little lost?
I'm going to stick by my recommendation of reading Half Bad, the first core entry, before you read the two prequels. It just works wonders with your understanding of certain situations.
SPOILER WARNING (Mostly for the short before this one.)
Synopsis (I'm using the intro from the beginning of the book; it's clear and concise.)
The story so far...
Our hero Gabriel, a Black Witch, has been trapped in the body of a fain (a non-witch). Following the murder of his sister, Gabriel has left the USA and travelled to Geneva to work for the Black Witch Mercury, in the hope that she will help him regain his true witch nature.
Plot - 4/5 Stars
Half Truths takes place after Half Lies and during Half Bad. Gabriel begins to work for Mercury and he finds himself stuck in a new world full of moral quandaries. I like the story, even though we know all of it. There are some exciting moments where the plot feels like a spy film, and the magic and stealth work together well.
The darker tones are a benefit, but the short tries too hard to follow in its predecessor's footsteps. A lot of threads are built, and before they have a strong enough feel to them, Green tries to cash them in.
But overall it's a solid short story that does its job in giving the Half Bad world a more fuller feel.
Pace - 4/5 Stars
This short is, surprisingly (not really), short (surprise!). It won't take you more than half an hour at the max.
Characters - 4/5 Stars
Half Truths fleshes out the relationships between Gabriel, Rose and Mercury, giving the reader a rounder view for when we meet them in Half Bad. The chemistry is great and the cast members are as distinctive as ever.
Gabriel grows on you more and more, and that's all thanks to these wonderful shorts and his tortured past. I hope we see more of him in the core entries.
Writing - 4/5 Stars
Smooth and confident. I feel like the author has got to grips with her characters and plot in a way that leaves everything progressing naturally.
Overall - 4/5 Stars
A decent short and a decent prequel.
Previous Instalment: Half Lies
Next Instalment: Half Bad
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