Voldemort has returned and Harry is being left out of the loop. We find Harry hiding under a bush listening into the muggle news - trying to find any trace of Voldemort. From the very beginning we find that Harry has a lot of pent up anger, he's started to become bitter. Bitter about the fact he has to stay with the Dursley's, that no one will tell him anything. Upset that his friends are spending time together without him. But are these really Harry's feelings? Or is he being fueled by his connection with Voldemort? After almost being expelled for prevent the Dementors from taking his cousin's soul - Harry reenters the wizarding world where people are less tolerant of him and his wild stories - however true they may be. Although work load has tripled as the students get ready for their O.W.L.s Harry is finding it harder and harder to care about his studies, who can concentrate when it looks like Voldemort is steadily on the rise and Dumbledore will barely look Harry in the eyes. All Harry knows is he's searching for a weapon - could that weapon be Harry?
BOOK SIX OF the greatest literary phenomenon the world has ever seen is, it must be said, an extraordinary reading experience. If Five was hard to 'get' then Six is its antithesis. Book six is fast, its action packed, its shocking, its sad, its funny, its romantic, its exciting, it will rip your guts out and leave the reader decimated, and at various times in the story, it will leave you on the verge of tears. Book five was nothing like this.
Five was full of anger, it was dark, and you could say it was very technical and informative. It wasn’t really fun to read. Which made it *very* un-Potterish. It was certainly full of pivotal information that is useful for setting the foundation to something extraordinary, but a solid foundation does not always make for an entertaining read. Six, however, is immediately uplifting, and stays that way, at least towards the end of the adventure when the sky starts to fall in and the world becomes something less than it was before you started.
JK’s writing skills have matured and she has produced a tome that sparkles. Characters have grown to near adulthood and their goodness shows at times brighter than a wand that has just been cast with ’Lumos’. Aspects of some of the characters need some work; at times even one of the story’s main stars demonstrates some qualities that are less than fulsome. The sadness of Harry’s life in particular is enough to bring a grown man to tears, and yet his strength and determination to never waiver from ’the light’ is one of the most remarkable and glorious legends of the twentieth century. And his continued loyalty to Professor Dumbledore may give you goosebumps on the several occasions that it comes into question. Hermoine is still Hermoine (thank God). Neville did not really have a major role to play in this tome but he gets an honourable a mention right at the end. Ron’s sister Ginny matures on several levels, not the least was her talent on the Quidditch field. Characters that we have loved to hate right from book one continue along this path; some accelerate along the rocky road to eternal damnation; whereas some are actually stopping to think and make their own decisions.
Hogwarts itself, it has been said, was a stroke of pure genius, but concentrating too strongly on that claim alone will detract from the many facets of JK’s extraordinary intellect that are on display right throughout this incredible seven book saga.
In some respects, HALF BLOOD PRINCE is an interesting dichotomy. It acts as a summary to WHAT HAS GONE BEFORE and yet it doubles as a prelude to THE FINAL VOLUME. It is a good way to establish and relieve the incredible events, journey and information we have all been experiencing for five incredible books, and with the amazingly unforgettable and breath taking ending to HBP, we get a glimpse of what life will be like for all of us when we leave Castle Magnificence.
HALF BLOOD PRINCE gets a mandatory five stars from this reader. Its a perfect prelude to the DEATHLY HOLLOWS, but be warned, fellow book lover. You will finish it in a state of disbelief, shock and unremitted anger. Have a box of tissues on one side of your chair, and have Book Seven ready on the other. Don't read it too quickly, though. Harry, Ron and Hermione are our friends, and if i have learned anything from six years at Hogwarts, its that they are friends for life.
I mean, has JK Rowling ever dissapointed us? She bounces back with another unsurprisingly phenomenal book, blowing us away with the power of magic. Action packed book, and as a huge Harry Potter fan, 2nd best book out of all of them. First being Philosophers Stone, obvi. Btw, if you don't like seeing people in pain, this may not be the right movie for you, but stick with this enchanting and enticing book.
The sixth book begins with the Minister of Magic visiting the English Prime Minister – that is the Minister of Muggles. Of course, it is not very surprising that the normal minister does not enjoy his magical counterpart’s visit. But it’s amazing the way the author has written the scene – the detailing too great for words.
This is followed by the Unbreakable Vow that Snape takes with Draco Malfoy’s mother. Could Dumbledore still trust him or was the school principle getting senile with age? Read the book to find out more about this one.
Dumbledore takes Harry’s help in bringing Professor Slughorn out of retirement – another cute scene so well written – to teach at Hogwarts and Slughorn goes on to become the Potions Professor much to the students’ surprise and delight. They are happy that Professor Snape is not teaching potions any more. But much to Harry, Ron and Hermione’s horror, Snape is the new teacher for Defence Against the Dark Arts.
While Harry improves tremendously in Potions – especially with the help of the book that he ‘borrows’ from the Half-Blood Prince, he begins to hate DADA, no thanks to Snape. Their hate-hate relationship continues while Harry does his best to convince Dumbledore that Snape is an enemy. Would the principal listen to Harry? No, it seems.
Harry is also not very happy with Draco Malfoy’s strange activities and is convinced that Malfoy is a Death Eater now. But no one seems to take him seriously – not even Hermione and Ron.
Things turn murkier when murder attempts on students bring terror into the youngsters’ lives. While Harry has special classes with Professor Dumbledore, they are usually trips down memory lane through the pensieve. Harry learns a lot about the young Voldemort aka Tom Riddle as Dumbledore builds up the evil wizard’s life story piece by piece. He is preparing Harry to face his nemesis and it appears that the event is all set to happen in the very near future.
The story drags Harry and his friends deeper and deeper into dark magic while some light moments cheer up the readers with Felix Felicis and Ron’s swallowing a love potion hidden within Chocolate Cauldrons.
Darkness clouds around the introduction of Horcruxes, spells such as Sectumsempra that almost leads to Malfoy’s death and the silver and opal necklace that almost does Katie Bell in. It took me a couple of readings back and forth with the 6th and 7th books before I understood what Horcruxes were.
Who is the Half-Blood Prince whose book Harry has been using during Potions’ class? While Hermione disapproves of his using a book that belongs to a stranger, Harry scoffs her off believing that she is jealous of his doing excellently well in his worst subject so far.
The worst is yet to come during the climax. After reading this book, it finally hit me that fate had dealt such terrible blows to Harry Potter - one after another - and I felt very sorry for the young hero for the first time. While it had been all light-hearted before, it is not so any more. Black magic is rampant in this book as Lord Voldemort gets stronger. Harry hates it when the people around him are affected by it and believes that he is responsible. Is he?
There is no way you can get off midway once you are on the Harry Potter rollercoaster.
And that’s how I went on to read the seventh book, not wanting to miss the ending. Will good triumph over evil? It looks tough.
This is definitely J.K.'s best book yet. With all the plot twists and cliff- hangers, what's not to love about it? Although I had to rip out my soul at a few pionts in this wonderful book I would definitely read it again. The movie does not do it justice. It is a very dramatic and somewhat dark book and sets the scene up perfictly for Deathly Hallows. I can't wait to start reading the next one!!