Monday, November 21, 2011

REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6)
Author: J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: July, 2005
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 10/10

Description: The war against Voldemort is not going well; even Muggle governments are noticing. Ron scans the obituary pages of the Daily Prophet, looking for familiar names. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses.

And yet...

As in all wars, life goes on. Sixth-year students learn to apparate -- and lose a few eyebrows in the process. The Weasley twins expand their business. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Classes are never straightforward, though Harry receives some extraordinary help from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince.

So it's the home front that takes center stage in the multilayered sixth installment of the story of Harry Potter. Here at Hogwarts, Harry will search for the full and complex story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort -- and thereby find what may be his only vulnerability.

My Thoughts: This book definitely did not hold the same shock factor for me in this reading that it did 6 years ago. Knowing what’s coming helped me actually focus more on the story instead of worrying about what may or may not happen. On the heels of Book 5 when Harry lost Sirius, I was dreading finding out who Harry would lose next. If Rowling could kill off Harry’s godfather, then nobody was safe. Having grown up without his parents, unfortunately, Harry has become accustomed to losing the people he loves. After a long summer at the Dursley’s, Harry is collected from Privet Drive by none other than Professor Dumbledore who takes Harry on an excursion to contact an old colleague and then escort him to the Burrow.

Harry, Ron and Hermione finally receive their long anticipated O.W.L. exam results and Harry finds himself in an advanced Potions class with a new professor, Horace Slughorn. Potions have never been Harry’s favorite class, especially when Snape was the instructor. Harry acquires a potions book that belonged to someone calling himself the “Half-Blood Prince” and following the notes and tips provided within the book by the previous owner, Harry outperforms Hermione.

Harry is convinced that Draco is up to something sinister and spends a lot of time trying to figure out what it is. There are a few occurrences of students being cursed by unknown perpetrators that add to the suspense of the story. I enjoyed that Harry is made Captain of the Quidditch team and puts together a team that will hopefully win the House Cup.

The best part of the book, for me, are the private lessons Harry has with Professor Dumbledore where he learns what Dumbledore already knows about Voldemort’s early years and family. Through Dumbledore’s memories, Harry witnesses Dumbledore’s first meeting with the boy would become the most evil wizard of all time. Harry is also tasked with finding out the true memories of one of the professors that had been tampered with. Harry has his work cut out for him in this installment and as with the whole series, I enjoyed every minute of it.

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I am not a professional reviewer, but I love to read and share my opinions on my reading with others who are interested. I work full time but my ideal perfect day would be to curl up with a good book. The majority of the books I review here are from my private collection and my reviews are provided purely for entertainment purposes. I receive no compensation whatsoever for sharing my thoughts and review on any book. If you would like me to review your book, please email me at Happy Reading! :o)