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Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince

The sixth book in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series.

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A worthy addition to a popular series

  • Jul 18, 2005
  • by
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is a worthy addition to a very popular series. I purchased my copy on Saturday morning, and had completed my reading my Sunday afternoon.

It is my intent to provide some commentary on this book, without accidentally "spoiling the plot" for those who have yet to read.

There are quite a few positives to this book.

* The book is tightly written, much more so than volumes 4 and 5 which, at least in the mind of this reviewer, suffered from a lack of editing.

* The plot is appropriately "moved along". A difficulty with a popular series is the tendency to get "bogged down" in a story-line and lose focus. J.K. Rowling avoids that here.

* The story includes several of the humorous conventions we've come to expect in the "Harry Potter" stories. An example is the amusing scene with the Durselys in the beginning of the book. In the opinion of this reviewer, such a humorous interlude is something most readers have come to expect. Similar humorous episodes help keep the tension from becoming overwhelming.

* In spite of the previous point, the tension in this book certainly mounts. There are times in which the plot is rather dark. In this, the volume certainly has more in common with volumes 4 and 5, than with the first three. I'm probably going to put off letting my 10-year-old read the book for a little while.

* Again, like the previous two volumes, there is a death. No plot spoiler here, though!

* Again, without spoiling anything, I felt that J.K. Rowling was particularly effective at casting serious doubts upon the reliability of one of main characters -- a character she has been building upon for the previous five volumes.

A few minor quibbles:

* In volumes four and five, quite a few interesting characters were introduced. With a few exceptions (Tonks being the most obvious) these characters were largely relegated to the background. (I would have thoroughly enjoyed some more "Mad-Eye Moody")!

* Harry ENJOYS Quiddich. One begins to be tired of him missing every important match!

* The ending, while satisfying in its own way, makes one wonder how J.K. Rowling will be able to "wrap things up". If Harry truly does not return to school, the entire "each book equals one year at school" theme rather disappears. Or is Ms. Rowling leaving the door open for more books?

Overall, a very solid effort -- one of the better books in the series. Enjoy!

Four very solid stars.

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More Harry Potter And The Half-Bloo... reviews
review by . February 05, 2010
Writing a fictional character from childhood to adulthood, as J. K. Rowling is doing in this series, is not easy; following a character from uncertainty to heroism, as Harry Potter has progressed in Half Blood Prince, is fraught with danger for the writer who attempts it.    And again, Rowling attempts all and succeeds. With one year to go, Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts for Year 6, but not before dealing with lingering complications from the taut climax of Harry Potter and …
review by . July 02, 2010
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was released during a tragic period of my life, just when I thought that I had grown out of the series I'd loved as a child. I was entering my junior year in high school when my parents decided to move our family from the big city of Los Angeles, California to the small town of the Middle of Nowhere, Georgia. As an act of reconciliation, my brother in law purchased the book about 300 miles out of California. I was so depressed about my loss of friends …
review by . June 09, 2010
What was your emotional reaction as you read? Why?      I was excited to finally get the next Harry Potter book out and learn more abou tthe plot and discover the mysteries.        Who would you recommend this reading to and why?      Anyone who likes young adult and fantasy books. And if you like a book with a good mystery.        Consider the setting.      Its set in a mystical …
Quick Tip by . October 15, 2010
I was totally "blah" about this novel. It is purely a setup novel--creating the necessary ingredients for the finale. Its very much like laying out all the ingredients to make your own creme brulee. Gathering the ingredients is necessary to making the final product, but ... it isn't exactly all that fun. I didn't feel cheated by the novel, just not even remotely sated.
Quick Tip by . October 14, 2010
This is my favorite book in the series. It's the one that ends on the biggest cliffhanger. Appearances can be deceiving.
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
The entire series are worth reading. They are full of imagination.
Quick Tip by . July 03, 2010
Pivotal, but not as strong as other books in the series. A great many hints are dropped that are not necessarily "canon" (e.g., Dumbledore is gay?), and much background is filled in. Good, just a bit longer than I'd have liked (with apologies to the author!). Not the ending you'd expect.
Quick Tip by . July 01, 2010
the half blood prince was a very good book. i liked it a lot. they certainly switched things around by making snape defense against the dark arts teacher in this book. and the horcruxes made voldemort just seem that much more evil. not like he was an angel but the things he did to become immortal are frightening, and very extreme. im going to get the griffindor house crest tattooed on my forearm because i like this series so much.
Quick Tip by . June 30, 2010
harry learns the secret that will unlock his past and his future...a very thrilling and exciting read.
Quick Tip by . June 26, 2010
Great book! The story is a bit scary :)
About the reviewer
David Zampino ()
I am a 44-year-old historian and theologian.
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The long-awaited, eagerly anticipated, arguably over-hyped Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has arrived, and the question on the minds of kids, adults, fans, and skeptics alike is, "Is it worth the hype?" The answer, luckily, is simple: yep. A magnificent spectacle more than worth the price of admission, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will blow you away. However, given that so much has gone into protecting the secrets of the book (including armored trucks and injunctions), don't expect any spoilers in this review. It's much more fun not knowing what's coming--and in the case of Rowling's delicious sixth book, you don't want to know. Just sit tight, despite the earth-shattering revelations that will have your head in your hands as you hope the words will rearrange themselves into a different story. But take one warning to heart: do not open Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince until you have first found a secluded spot, safe from curious eyes, where you can tuck in for a good long read. Because once you start, you won't stop until you reach the very last page.

A darker book than any in the series thus far with a level of sophistication belying its genre, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince moves the series into murkier waters and marks the arrival of Rowling onto the adult literary scene. While she has long been praised for her cleverness and wit, the strength of Book 6 lies in her subtle development of key ...

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ISBN-13: 978-0439791328
Author: J. K. Rowling
Genre: Education, Juvenile Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Arthur a Levine, Scholastic
Date Published: July 16, 2005
Format: Novel
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