Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Review)

November 14, 2010

Book cover for "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" by J.K. Rowling.Title: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Author: J.K. Rowling

Publication Year: 2005

Pages: 608

Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy

Source: From the bookshelf in my classroom

From the cover:

It is the middle of the summer, but there is an unseasonal mist pressing against the windowpanes. Harry Potter is waiting nervously in his bedroom at the Durselys’ house in Privet Drive for a visit from Professor Dumbledore himself. One of the last times he saw the Headmaster was in a fierce one-to-one duel with Lord Voldemort, and Harry can’t quite believe that Professor Dumbledore will actually appear at the Dursleys’ of all places. Why is the Professor coming to visit him now? What is it that cannot wait until Harry returns to Hogwarts in a few weeks’ time? Harry’s sixth year at Hogwarts has already got off to an unusual start, as the worlds of Muggle and magic start to intertwine …

(This is the sixth book in the Harry Potter series, after The Philosopher’s StoneThe Chamber of SecretsThe Prisoner of AzkabanThe Goblet of Fire, and The Order of the Phoenix.)

I know that I’ve said this for a few volumes now, but the Harry Potter series is really much darker and more mature by this point.

Not only are there yet more injuries and deaths (of unknown, minor, and major characters), but there’s a real sense throughout The Half-Blood Prince of darker forces and personalities than Rowling has written about before. This comes right from the beginning – the first and second chapters don’t concern Harry or his friends at all, instead showing things happening between the Muggle Prime Minister and the (new) Minister of Magic in the first, and between Snape, Malfoy’s mother, and Beatrix Lestrange in the second. It’s a whole new way of going about the introduction to the new school year, and one that really sets up the tone for the rest of the book.

I really enjoyed The Half-Blood Prince because of this – it went on a different track than the earlier volumes, and I had a harder time putting it down. It wasn’t as easy to figure out what was going to happen as before, and I really wanted to know how the story would end. Also, since it’s the second last book in the series, I knew that it would be heading towards the “big” conflict – and the final chapters definitely lived up to this and set up the last book really well.

I’m very much looking forward to reading Deathly Hallows now. I want to know how it ends!

Rating:

2 Comments

  • Iris November 15, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Okay, *spoilers spoilers spoilers* !!!

    I HAVE to ask, because I read them at the time they were released and I remember how much this bothered me. What do you think of Snape? In between book 6 and 7, it was all I could think about. “How could he?” “Surely, he can’t be bad, because that would mean Rowling painted a black and white world after all” “I need him to be good” “But.. killing Dumbledore?” and went online and read hundreds of theories and.. and.. Okay, so you could safely say that Harry Potter slowly turned into the “Harry Potter and Snape” story for me. Doesn’t help that Alan Rickman is so brilliantly cast in his role as Snape. Did you have an even remotely similar reaction as me, or are you simply more sane than I am? Also, I cried A LOT reading this book. It is safe to say it is one of my favourites in the Harry Potter series. You make me want to reread it right away. I don’t have access to them here 🙁

    • Carina November 15, 2010 at 1:34 pm

      Oh no, I really want to know what happened too, now – and even before what Snape did. I’ve been trying to avoid reading up on the plot twist online, though I have to admit that I’m sorely tempted. I’m actually thinking about picking up a copy of Deathly Hallows here in Vancouver just so that I don’t have to wait to find out what happens until I get back to Toronto!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *