TITLE: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
AUTHOR: J.K. Rowling
STARTED: July 16, 2005
FINISHED: July 16, 2005
FIRST SENTENCE: It was nearing midnight and the Prime Minister was sitting alone in his office, reading a long memo that was slipping through his brain without leaving the slightest trace of meaning behind.
SUMMARY: [From barnesandnoble.com] 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.
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 at 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.
REASON FOR READING: Do you even have to ask?
THOUGHTS: Wow! What a ride.
This book was just as good as all the others, but I could not help but think that it was inherently different. Yes, this book is darker. Yes, this book starts the summation process. Yes, this book shows the remarkable growth of the characters that have been with us for years. But, this book also took a different angle on the world of Harry Potter. Since it's the sixth book, Rowling does not have to continue to introduce the magical realm and the characters to us. There are new things, but they are not the focal point of the story. This book was all about character relationships, in every sense. In some ways I felt as if this was more of a book about high schoolers than about Hogwarters. I felt as if I was getting smacked upside the head with "this-is-what-romance-is-like-as-a-teena
Also, I could not help but think that Rowling was influenced by the movies, particularly the last one. I could see the film shots in my head. Then again, I am a media major. The dialog, however, would be perfect for the three actors they've cast. I can't wait to see what the film does with this book.
As for the plot twist (the one the critics called heartbreaking) as much as it made me unhappy I think it was necessary. The fact that I was listening to a sorrowful sound from the "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" soundtrack made my tears flow even more freely.
And, thank goodness Harry's witty is getting snarkier. It makes me like him more.
MISCELLANEOUS: I have a hard time not picturing my red-headed little brother as Ron. This sometimes made reading this book really awkward.
KEEP/SHARE/CRINGE(?): Keep, duh.
RATING: 8/10 [Terrific]
CR: Carnal Gift by Pamela Clare
RN: Who knows? I have a birthday coming up and my reading may be delayed.