Friday, July 20, 2007

Book 38: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

NUMBER: 38
TITLE: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
AUTHOR: J.K. Rowling
STARTED: July 15, 2007
FINISHED: July 20, 2007
PAGES: 652
GENRE: Juvenile / Fantasy

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] As the novel begins, a "grim mood" has fallen over the country. The minions of Lord Voldemort (a.k.a. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named) continue to grow as his evil spreads. The Ministry of Magic has stepped up security everywhere, and as Harry enters his sixth year at Hogwarts, he begins to see himself -- and everyone around him -- in a different, more discerning, light. With rumors swirling about Harry being the prophesied "Chosen One," he begins taking private lessons from Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore. As Dumbledore prepares Harry for his destined clash with Voldemort by revealing jaw-dropping insights into the Dark Lord's past -- who his parents were, what happened after he left Hogwarts, and more -- Harry also struggles to uncover the identity of the Half-Blood Prince, the past owner of a potions textbook he now possesses that is filled with ingenious, potentially deadly, spells. But Harry's life is suddenly changed forever when someone close to him is heinously murdered right before his eyes.

REASON FOR READING: The final book comes out in about 8 hours...

THOUGHTS: Well, I did it. I finished book six the day book seven is due to be released. I gotta tell you, Half-Blood Prince is a much more interesting read the second time around. This is the first time I've re-read the book since it originally came out. The foreshadowing, dear god, the foreshadowing. I missed it the first time around because all I cared about was figuring out what happened and not the why or how. Reading the book again allowed me to understand the story more and left me with a string of questions that I hope will be answered by the time I finish book seven tomorrow night.

I saw in this book, more than any of the others, J.K. Rowling's borrowing from past mythology and fantasy novels. The language and wit in this novel left me laughing, crying, but, most importantly, intrigued.

Now I am even more excited for tonight. I cannot get my greedy little hands on the final book fast enough.

Greatest. Birthday Gift. EVER! I can't say that enough.

MISCELLANEOUS: I want a phoenix.

RATING: 8/10 [Terrific]

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