Friday, July 31

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Title: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Author: J.K. Rowling

Pages: 607

Summary: The wizarding world has finally woken up to Voldemort’s return, and his Death Eaters are on the rampage, causing chaos, confusion and death. Harry Potter, who is now surrounded by more rumours than ever before, returns to Hogwarts for his sixth-year of magical education – but the school is no longer the haven it used to be, and spies who have been hidden for years will soon show their true colours. As suspicions escalate and workloads increase, Albus Dumbledore invites Harry to join him in piecing together the tale of Voldemort’s parentage and upbringing – a tale that will reveal his darkest secret yet.

My Rating: 10/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This review contains spoilers, a lot of spoilers. If you haven’t read the book seen the movie, or haven’t heard what happens at the end of the book/movie. Stop reading here.

Tied with the third book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is my favourite in the Harry Potter series. I loved this book the first time I read it (which was about 12 hours or so after it was released), I couldn’t put it down, and I became so involved in the story, that I threw the book across the room screaming at it, at the end, but not for the reason why most were. See, I didn’t really care that Dumbledore was murdered or that he died. I kind of figured when we first saw him, with a blackened hand and that he seemed more tired and slow to Harry, that Dumbledore would likely not make it to the end. I was mad and angry at the fact Snape killed Dumbledore. SNAPE! The one I knew was a good guy, and he kills Dumbledore?!?! You know an author has done their job, when the book is hurled across the room, because she pulled something like that. After, I started analyzing everything such as; the Unbreakable Vow, the fight he and Dumbledore had, and the fact Dumbledore looked like he was going to kick the bucket all through the book and that he was pleading for death from Snape, I concluded that Snape was good, and would refuse to believe otherwise, until the seventh book came out. Oh it was a long wait, but I had plenty of evidence built up to prove the non-believers wrong. Either way, I’m one of few who didn’t care that Dumbledore died.

The rest of the book was well done, just as Dumbledore’s death and the build up to it, the entire story is filled with adventure, suspense, darkness and brilliant story telling. We meet an interesting character, Professor Slughorn, although he isn’t a favourite of mine, he was amusing to read as he tried to “collect” certain characters. I also liked how dark the story was getting, it made for a very interesting read, and you really wanted to see how far it would go. Even learning about Voldemort’s past was rather dark, from the start he was a bit, okay, a lot evil but it was interesting to see how he became who he was. I also loved Draco in this, you really feel sorry for him in this book, even after all the horrible stuff he’s done. It really shows Voldemort’s powerful hold on the wizarding world, through Draco’s reaction, showing how many people really have no choice but to follow his orders, or face his wrath. One part I didn’t like, was Harry’s constant digging into what Draco was up to, before he had any real evidence that Draco was doing, what he was doing yes, Harry was right about it, but at the time he had no reason to believe it was Draco except the fact Harry hated Draco and hated Lucius, so he automatically judged Draco, with little reason to believe so. It got annoying after awhile, especially after he’s been told, that the issues was being taken care of. Harry’s major flaw is that he can’t see beyond what’s in front of him, and he can only think one way about an issue, which bugs me because this is the one who’s meant to defeat the Dark Lord, someone who can only see one side to solve a problem? Someone who refuses to believe one of the greatest wizards in the world, and the guidance he’s passing on to him? Smack! Also, I found it odd, that Harry nearly killed Draco with the Sectumsempra spell, yet he gets detention on Saturdays for the rest of the term, with no badgering or talking to from Dumbledore, even with all this heightened security. I know he’s the chosen one and all, but pulling crap like that, deserves worse punishments in my opinion.

Tonks and Lupin. That was sure pulled out of the left ring. Although I think they made a cute couple, I don’t quite get how Tonks fell for him, or how anything progressed into a relationship. All we saw was a depressed Tonks and anxious Lupin. There wasn’t much clue or hints they were close friends in the Order before hand. I think this is a big plot hole in the story. If they (in book five) had just made comments, how Tonks and Lupin were always on duty together, seemed to get along great, then this “love” they had for each other would have made a lot more sense. Two of my favourite characters still, but something broke down in the build up to this relationship, making it seem a little odd and less believable.

The Half-Blood Prince was also a very clever ploy. Especially considering how much Harry depended on him, enjoyed his “brilliance” and his help, and then found out who he really was. I loved it! And just adds more to Snape’s brilliance in my books, being able to figure out the potions like that, perfect them. He should have definitely stayed as Potions Master. And Harry screw off with your I Hate Snape B.S already. If you want respect from someone and someone to not hate you, maybe you should show some in return. (As you can guess I’m pro Snape, and dislike Harry).

Overall, the book is fast paced, has a lot of “teens coming to age” themes, which means a bit of romancey stuff (anything to do with Lavender Brown made me cringe, I have yet to meet a girl like her, similar yes, but as bad as her, no) and angst of growing up. But it’s also full of darkness, history and build up for the next book. My favourite part, the fight scene at the end, which has huge importance in the story, because it shows that the one “safe” place in the wizaeding world, was finally breached by the Death Eaters. It showed that even with the extra security, the Order, and Dumbledore, Voldemort’s evil is stronger then all of that, and it came into the place they all thought they’d would be safe. It’s so important, because it shows that the “good” guys are losing, and they’re losing badly, they’re showing that Voldemort’s power is stronger then the generation before, and there will be a long battle ahead to defeat them. So I was PISSED when they left it out of the movie. I hated the movie. Two hours of teen angst and romance, 30 minutes of plot. Thanks a bunch! So, I’ll just have to get my satisfaction and then some, from the book. Since it is a million times better and is one of the best in the series.

Would I recommend it to read: Of course! It's a fantasic book, that you can read over and over again, has a lot of action, and a lot less teen agnst in it then the fifth (especially concicdering the movie). It becomes very dark, and it becomes less and less of a children's/young adult book here. I think most would be able to enjoy it. You won't be disapointed by it, that's for sure (unless you liked Dumbledor, then, sorry.)

What to read next: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows

Challenges: 100+ Challenge, RYOB Challenge, Summer Lovin' Challenge, YA Challenge


  1. Other than the fact that I really liked the movie and thought they did a great job on it, I agree with just about everything you say here. I don't hate Harry, but I'll be the first to admit he's annoying, bratty, and blind. He's a little full of himself. I guess I"m glad in a way that he's that way because it makes him far from perfect, and perfect heroes get on my nerves. It also allows the reader to see the other heroes. LIke Snape.

    Oh Snape. I didn't hurl the book across the room - it didn't belong to me - but I think I cried. I went to bed every night tossing and turning, tortured by the conflict. I liked Snape so much. I was sure he was a good guy. And then he up and kills Dumbledore? It took several nights of HP-filled dreams before my brain woke up with a solution: Snape was in love with Lily. That's why his worst memory includes him calling her a mudblood. That's why it can be proven he's a good guy - you can't fabricate or hide love, so anyone who uses occlumency on your will be able to see it - but only if they look. Voldemort would never look for love, so he'd never see, and Dumbledore would look at see it was sincere. That was my idea. Of course, I was half right with the whole Lily thing. The occlumency thing came to nothing, though I think it would have been a good plot point. I was disappointed that wasn't what happened, haha!

    I do like Slughorn. A lot. But then again, I hate Hagrid. I usually skip the Hagrid chapters because god I can't stand him. actually have met people just like Lavender Brown before. Awful, I know.

    Okay, I'm hijacking your comments again, and better stop. I love this post!!

  2. Great review. I was all believing Snape was really a good guy, too, until I reached the end of this book. It really frustrated me for a while!

    I have to say again- I love the covers on these newer editions. Who publishes them? I was looking on Amazon last night and couldn't find it, and now I want to replace my whole Harry Potter collection with the ones you show.

  3. Amanda - I never realized about ho Snape fooled Volddy, because of his lover of Lily, or that being his worst memory before, but it makes a lot of sense!

    Jeane - or if you type in Harry Potter adult, you get the books in theses editions. The ones I have are from Raincoast Books (in Canada) and these ones all have the regular sized print (I think you asked me that in my OOTP review).

  4. Thank you! Yes, I had that question about the print size.

  5. I loved this book as well. It was probably my favorite of the series because there were just so many twists and turns in it although I think you are right, the Tonks and Lupin thing came a bit out of left field. And I have to say, although Snape isn't my favorite character, I have a sort of soft spot for him and hated to think he was a villain. Great review, you make me want to pick up the books and start all over again!