Title: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Author: J.K. Rowling
Publication Year: 2005
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 …
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!