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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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The Stage Is Set

  • Feb 23, 2007
At the risk of sounding like a broken record I must admit that J.K. Rowling has done it again. With "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," not only has Rowling taken the tale of "the boy who lived" in an entirely new direction, she's managed to do it without sacrificing style or substance. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and the rest of the youngsters at Hogwarts are now full-fledged teenagers. With "Goblet of Fire" and "Order of the Phoenix," Rowling got the jitters of puberty out of the way for the most part. Now, all of the major characters have settled into their respective attitudes and mannerisms quite comfortably. They have also developed their magical skills as well.

**Potential Spoilers**
In this tale, Harry receives a very special text book from the new Potions teacher, Slughorn. The book contains "liner notes" (for lack of a better term) that dramatically improve his performance in his Potions class. Expecting him to be the new Defense Against The Dark Arts teacher, Harry helps Dumbledore coax Slughorn out of retirement. Instead, a familiar, yet somehow still mysterious, face pops up in that position: Severus Snape. Yep, ol' Snape's dreams of being the D.A.D.A. teacher finally come true in this tale.

As the tale unfolds, Harry tries to figure out who the Half-Blood Prince is. He also begins taking private lessons with Dumbledore in which we get to learn of the sinister childhood of Lord Voldemort. Harry also must figure out why Draco Malfoy seems to be up to something, where Dumbledore wanders off to for weeks at a time, who should be on the house Quidditch team that he now captains, AND how to break some news to one of his friends about feelings he has for someone very close to them. We also get to catch up with characters like Lupin, the Weasley clan (even Percy), Fleur, Tonks, the always reliable Hagrid and a slew of other old characters both loved and hated. A few new characters are also thrown into the fray for good measure.
**End of Spoilers**

It's all done with typical J.K. Rowling flair, and she leaves plenty of gates wide open on the end of this novel that only make the reader hungry for more. There's plenty of action and suspense as was found in "GoF" and OotP," but Rowling leans more toward the mysteriousness of who the Prince really is and what Dumbledore's up to. The action is present, but takes more of a back seat until the climactic finale. As I'm sure many are already aware, there are a couple of BIG surprises at the end of this book that may leave some shaking their heads and others saying that they knew it all along. Either way, Rowling has set the stage marvelously for the conclusion to the story of "the boy who lived."

Highly recommended.

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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
Kendall Fontenot ()
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Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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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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