Book Review #2: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Book Synopsis

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.

(taken from good reads)

Bec's Rating

Bec's Review

This book opens with a question, just who is the Half Blood Prince? The answer is one that comes much later in the books and for those who haven’t read them, it may not be any of the obvious suspects. It is also the title reference that takes the longest time to be answered, with most others being answered somewhere among the first few chapters, if not the first half of the book. Keep reading, and all will be revealed. Rowling does not answer the question too early, but gives enough hints that, on a reread, you almost hit yourself for missing them.

I remember reading this book in one long session, not sleeping until I finished it, then bawling my eyes out, wondering why she had chosen to write what she had, why she ended it in that way. I do not want to give away spoilers, but you should know that, much with Order of the Phoenix, there is a sad scene at the end of this book that can drive even the most hardened fan to tears.

This book always interested me because, for the first time, all the hints that have been previously been mentioned towards Voldemort, and how he essentially came back from the dead, are answered. You, as a reader, learn of the magic that keeps him alive, and what must be done to finally kill him, as Harry is gifted with a near impossible mission that begins in this book, and doesn’t end until the very end of the next book. More questions are raised, questions that will want you to read the next book immediately to answer. It is clear to see suspense is something J.K Rowling does well, as she leaves you hanging to read the final book, and finish the series.

Keep an eye out for that foreshadowing that Jo uses so skillfully, as plot points and lines from earlier books come back in this book to answer questions only now being posed. Scenes from this book are implied as early as the Chamber of Secrets and even the Philosopher's Stone, and it is this foreshadowing that will have you wanting to reread the series as a whole, to pick up what you missed and get something new from it yet again.

Disclaimer: May not be appropriate for children due to violence.