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

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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 fe...

Title:Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0439785960
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:652 pages

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Reviews

  • Aloysius

    I was first introduced to Harry Potter in a Children’s Lit class in college. I had resisted this popular phenomenon until I was forced to pick it up for a grade, and Book 1 was short enough that I could read it in the course of 2 hours. I have to admit I wasn’t impressed to any extent, nor did I dislike the experience, but I was critical on grounds of its being derivative, even if reading the first led to reading the second. After all, if I was bored and looking for something light, I could do w

    I was first introduced to Harry Potter in a Children’s Lit class in college. I had resisted this popular phenomenon until I was forced to pick it up for a grade, and Book 1 was short enough that I could read it in the course of 2 hours. I have to admit I wasn’t impressed to any extent, nor did I dislike the experience, but I was critical on grounds of its being derivative, even if reading the first led to reading the second. After all, if I was bored and looking for something light, I could do worse than a fantasy about a child wizard who fights evil with his friends. But it was really the third book, with its increasing darkness, that took me in and made me a fan.

    With a movie coming out for Order of Phoenix and Deathly Hallows on the horizon, I decided I would reread Half-Blood Prince. I figured it would take four sittings, of course, with its 600 pages, but time does fly when reading this one, and I’ve come to the conclusion that this is my favorite so far. What I wouldn’t have been willing to admit in college that I’m perfectly comfortable saying now is that J.K. Rowling is a fantastic storyteller; she writes with great clarity, wit, and humor; and she’s created a cast of loveable characters with whom most people, due to the common experience of growing up, can relate closely.

    That said, the reason for my preference for the 6th book is that it’s the most emotionally rich in the series. Here we get the backstory of Voldemort (*spoiler alert*) through a series of flashbacks (coming in HP by way of magically extracted memories), and in this way, we come to understand the villain’s similarities and differences with our hero. After all, the villain has to have reasons for committing heinous acts, and until now, we don’t know what these are.

    Voldemort is from a once-powerful wizard family reduced to poverty that lives in a dilapidated hovel on the edge of a small town, wary of outsiders, and their main point of pride is their pure blood, the lineage having cross-bred for generations so as not to pollute the line. Voldemort’s mother lives with her father and brother and yearns for the love of a nonmagical man (“muggle” in this world) and when her father and brother are arrested, she uses the opportunity to bewitch her beloved and run off. She ends up pregnant, the man deserts her, and she dies while giving birth to her half-wizard, half-muggle son, thus making him an orphan (like Harry).

    (Faulkner anyone?)

    But whereas Harry comes to Hogwarts and befriends Ron and Hermione creating unity and strength through positive emotions, Voldemort, when growing in the orphanage shuns other children, torturing them at times (without the awareness of adults) and stealing their possessions. What fuels him is his hatred of his beginnings, his mother’s weakness at having died like a common person despite being a witch, and the “muggle” blood inherited from his father. Over the course of his time at Hogwarts, Voldemort, charming as only evil can be, learns to win over people as a means to an end and disguise his insidious purposes, but he never befriends anyone. He moves, through his hatred, further away from many of the emotions that drive Harry, namely the desire to protect the people he loves and avenge his parents’ death.

    With Dumbledore’s help in exploring Voldemort’s past, Harry begins to understand that he’s come to be where he is through the choices he’s made, that his greatest strengths are an alliance with his friends, and that this might hold the key to destroying his enemy, a fact that’s made all the more poignant when Dumbledore, in an all-out assault on Hogwarts by Voldemort’s Death Eaters, is killed at the end. The stakes are higher than before, the action and pace increase as the conclusion draws near, and things are looking darker than ever, which is the setup that any fan wants when the end is looming and it leaves us with the question: How will our hero prevail?

  • John Brooks

    The crown jewel of the Harry Potter series, "Half-Blood Prince" is one of the finest novels I've read in my lifetime. Having allowed us to watch Harry evolve and mature for so many years, Rowling finally lifts the veil, so to speak, humanizing the larger than life characters of not just Dumbledore and Snape, but significantly and achingly, Tom Riddle. This is love letter to one of the hardest things we all experience: the moment that your idols become your peers, your parents become your friends

    The crown jewel of the Harry Potter series, "Half-Blood Prince" is one of the finest novels I've read in my lifetime. Having allowed us to watch Harry evolve and mature for so many years, Rowling finally lifts the veil, so to speak, humanizing the larger than life characters of not just Dumbledore and Snape, but significantly and achingly, Tom Riddle. This is love letter to one of the hardest things we all experience: the moment that your idols become your peers, your parents become your friends, and your superiors your equals, when you realize we're all in this together and that it is nobody's job to shelter you, and when, finally, you realize that people are absolutely human.

    Rowling's affection for her characters and her sympathy for even the most vile of her creations (the Malfoys and Voldemort himself) are at the heart of Harry Potter's lasting beauty and insight. Here, she explores her three most fascinating creations, and one wishes the story would never end. But it does, and when it does, Harry is faced with the same challenge that Rowling subjects her readers to: how much faith do you really have in what you've been told, and do you believe, at the end of the day, that good really does win out?

    A timeles classic. One of my favorites, ever.

  • Chris

    (Intro: Piano and strings)

    You were always by my side

    You will always be my guide

    But the road I'm on

    Goes on and on

    And I've left you beHIIIIIND!

    (Big crunch

    (Intro: Piano and strings)

    You were always by my side

    You will always be my guide

    But the road I'm on

    Goes on and on

    And I've left you beHIIIIIND!

    (Big crunchy electric guitar)

    (DUMBLEDORE!)

    I will never forget the strength you showed!

    (DUMBLEDORE!)

    I will never forget the debt you're owed!

    (DUMBLEDORE!)

    And when I face the final hour

    (DUMBLEDORE!)

    I will call on all your power!

    (Guitar solo)

    There's no way back again

    But if I can find a friend

    To see me though

    And remember you

    I'll make it to the EEEENNNND!

    (DUMBLEDORE!)

    When I finally catch that snake in the grass

    (DUMBLEDORE!)

    You will be able to rest at last!

    (DUMBLEDORE!)

    You know he never will escape

    (DUMBLEDORE!)

    I'm comin' for you SNAAAAAAAAPE!!!!

    (Guitar solo)

    (Guitar solo with children's choir singing "Run, Snape, Run!")

    (Guitar solo with fireworks)

    (Drums explode)

  • Whitney Atkinson

    i dont want to talk to anyone

    dont even look at me

    i was expecting it and i still cried for like 30 minutes

  • Cait (Paper Fury)

    "Read Harry Potter!" they said. "It'll be fun!" they said. "Our childhood was built on Harry Potter!" they said.

    WELL YOUR CHILDHOODS WERE ALL HORRIBLE. OMG WHAT IS THIS BOOK? WHAT IS THIS MESS I'M IN?? Excuse me, but that large salty lake where my life used to be is my

    .

    But SERIOUSLY. Nooooot okay. At the end there, especially, I couldn't put the audio down so I was wandering about my house in a blind daze listening instead.

    And because every human and their

    "Read Harry Potter!" they said. "It'll be fun!" they said. "Our childhood was built on Harry Potter!" they said.

    WELL YOUR CHILDHOODS WERE ALL HORRIBLE. OMG WHAT IS THIS BOOK? WHAT IS THIS MESS I'M IN?? Excuse me, but that large salty lake where my life used to be is my

    .

    But SERIOUSLY. Nooooot okay. At the end there, especially, I couldn't put the audio down so I was wandering about my house in a blind daze listening instead.

    And because every human and their fluffy poodle has probably sensibly reviewed this book, BAH. I'm just going to make a list of things I loved and things I didn't.

    • Harry + Ginny = yes. I was dubious at first. Like I think romance is NOT JKR's strong point...plus when she gets to a romantic scene she ends the chapter. HHAHAH. ADORABLE. (Not that I minded, I just...I think she's not good at romance.) But omg, there was that moment after the Quidditch match??? YUP. You know what I'm talking about. Excuse me, my heart just ran around in circles screaming and shipping.

    • Hermione: I adore her, but...I gotta admit, she was a little bit too stuffy. BUT I STILL LOVE HER. I love her love for learning.

    • I also adore how sensible Ginny is.

    • Fred and George's joke shop gives life. Also death, probs, but liiiiife.

    • I am utterly in LOVE with the whole concept of Hogwarts. I mean, I think it's stupid that they have to write with a quill and ink (can't they just enchant the quill to write for them?) and they seem to get an excessive amount of homework, BUT. It's all so vivid and detailed and it literally feels like Hogwarts is A REAL PLACE. I totally get why people wail about their letters going missing.

    • Speaking of detail...me likey. I always felt

    the story.

    • Plus the audio book (narrated by Jim Dale) is GREAT. I totally recommend it. I think Hermione's voice had a tendency to sound like an insufferable goat, but I got used to it. Harry's voice was perfection.

    • I also particularly liked Harry in this book. I JUST LOVE HARRY. <3 He's snarky, but he's lost some of the angriness from bk 5. He's got snarky quips at the ready, but he's also intensely...good. Like he's just a really GOOD chap, who makes bad decisions but really means well. ZOMG. *flails about* He was definitely my favourite character in this book.

    • ALSO DUMBLEDORE WAS GREAT. I love Dumbledore and how he's always polite and kind and smiley.

    • Okay so, question: WHY do they sometimes go places and buy food...and sometimes they just magic it? Like Mrs. Weasely magics onion soup out of nothing for Harry. But in the next chapter, Harry and Ron are peeling sprouts. LIKE WUT. This makes no sense to me.

    • Why didn't Dumbledore pour the evil potion on the ground instead of drinking it? Just wannna know...

    • How the FLYING FRIKKIN BROOMSTICKS can anyone possibly convince me Snape is still on the good side? Because I don't even care. He can go abra kadabra himself to Timbuktu and DIE THERE THANKS. There is no repentance after this. I don't even care what the "reason" is in book 7, but Harry: you are an idiot to name your kid after Snape.

    • I HOPE SNAPE DIES.

    • DID I MENTION MY HATE FOR SNAPE YET???????

    • Oh and another thing...

    • Okay. Good now. I'm calm. Thank you.

    • HAHHAHHAHAHTE SNAPE.

    • Yes, I truly am calm this time. I'm good.

    . I also am fairly annoyed about Voldermort's (Tom Riddle) backstory. Because he read like he was straight out of a psychopath text book...which I found monstrously unimaginative. Attractive, calm, subtle bully, kleptomaniac, limited emotional reach, charmer, smooth...blah blah. Yes. I can just read a book about psychopaths and that's Voldey's description. I wish there'd been a little more ingenuity in there.

    • I really also dislike Ron. I KNOW. Travesty. But he's a bully! He was bullying first year's

    ...turfing tem off chairs, scaring them, bossing them around, taking stuff off them in the name of "prefect". Like how is that good?? How is that okay??? I will not forgive Ron for all this. And also the fact that he's a downright BRUTE to Hermione. How can I ship them when he's so rude and demeaning to her?? I DON'T. Hermione deserves better. And I don't buy the "She completes him by sorting him out" because I think all humans should take responsibility for their actions. Hermione shouldn't HAVE to force Ron into a better person and be his conscious. AGH.

    • Not shipping that. ^^

    • Okay, I'm done. But just *whispers* I hate hate hate Snape.

    I loved the audio. I loved the story. I

    Harry and the world just feels so big and rich and visual. I get the intense fandom for this I DO GET IT. After being so angry and 1000% done in with book 3, I can successfully say I can't WAIT to read the last book now. And then watch all the movies. And then I'll finally be caught up, omg. Only took me like 10 years.


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