Friday, December 30, 2011

Mini-Review of HP 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 few eyebrows in the process. The Weasley twins expand their business. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Classes are never straightforward, though Harry receives some extraordinary help from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince.

So it's the home front that takes center stage in the multilayered sixth installment of the story of Harry Potter. Here are Hogwarts, Harry will search for the full and complex story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort — and thereby find what may be his only vulnerability.
 [from Goodreads]

Rating:  4.5 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience: Muggles of all ages
High point:  The action and suspense
Reader maturity:  13+

There was so much in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince that I had forgotten! Unfortunately, I had already almost finished HP & the Deathly Hallows by the time I got around to writing this review, and the two are blurring together a little bit.

The events from HP & the Half-Blood Prince that stick out in my mind are Harry's "private lessons" with Dumbledore. Every time I read through the memories that Dumbledore collected, I'm plagued with more and more questions that are never answered. Those memories also serve, I believe, as an example of what can happen due to a single and, what may seem to be, insignificant, choice.

I wish Harry had taken Hermione's concerns about the Half-Blood Prince more seriously and investigated the Prince's identity further, though it wasn't out of character for him not to have done so. It also wasn't out of character for him to develop a crush on Ginny; in fact, I'm surprised it took him so long. However, I still find Ron and Hermione's relationship/feelings/mutual irritation-turned-affection/whatever it is to be unbelievable. I just don't see how someone as smart and brave as Hermione could fall for someone like Ron. I know he's not exactly stupid or cowardly, but he's...Ron. It stretches my imagination less to picture Hermione with Neville. And, of course, I always hoped a little bit (and not so secretly) that Harry and Hermione would end up together. Alas...

What did you think of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince? If you've reread it, are your thoughts on it different than before you saw the movie/read the rest of the series? Were you rooting for Hermione and Ron or another couple?

Title:  Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Author:  J. K. Rowling
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Year:  2005
Book Source:  Purchased

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