Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK RowlingTitle: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Author: JK Rowling (Website, Twitter, Facebook)
Series: Harry Potter #6
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Pages: 608
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Format: Paperback
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It is Harry Potter's sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As Voldemort's sinister forces amass and a spirit of blood and fear sweeps the land, it becomes clear to Harry that he will soon have no choice but to confront his destiny. Summary from Back of UK Signature Edition

There are spoilers in this review. Some of these spoilers allude to the events in Deathly Hallows. I simply cannot do this book justice without discussing them. Read at your own risk.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is my third favorite in the series. There is so much that happens in this book that affects the entire series that it can’t not be high up on my favorites list. But, I do have a love/hate relationship with it because of the ending. Dumbledore’s death affected me more than any other death in the series. I knew he’d die. In fact, I had long figured out he would because Harry had to face Voldemort alone. But, I didn’t realize how he’d die and that surprised me to the core.

I love the amount of romance in this book. I love the chaos it creates, even though Ron and Hermione spend a lot of the book pissed off at each other. I love the bond that Ron and Hermione gain from the chaos, though. I also love that Harry and Ginny end up together. It was the happiest moment in the book for me!

Snape stood out the most to me in this book, and for good reason, of course. He’s so involved in so many of the facets of this novel. Not only is he the Half-Blood Prince, he’s the one who kills Dumbledore. I was so angry when I first read it. I couldn’t even fathom that Snape was acting on Dumbledore’s orders. But, after I calmed down and started to form my theories of what would happen in Deathly Hallows, I finally decided that Snape had to be acting on Dumbledore’s orders. (I still didn’t like it, though.) Personally, I think Snape is the most complex, well-written character I’ve ever read. You second guess your feelings for him throughout the entire series, at least I did. You never know his motives until the end. But, knowing his motives now, I can say that I loved how he continued to teach/prepare Harry after Dumbledore’s death. Harry didn’t realize it, of course, but I thought it was a stroke of genius on Rowling’s part.

My favorite thing about this book is the amount of time Harry gets to spend with Dumbledore. I’ve always loved their little chats at the end of each book. And, this book is like one long, giant chat between the two of them. I love the insight we see into Dumbledore’s character. It almost prepared me for his death and what we learn about him in Deathly Hallows.

The Horcruxes are so interesting. I had never read anything like it. (Well, of course, I hadn’t; I wasn’t much of a reader when I first read this book. But, I still haven’t read anything like it.) They explained so much and yet so little (at least before Deathly Hallows). It showed so much of Voldemort’s true character. Before learning about the Horcruxes, you just think he’s this power-hungry wizard willing to do anything to usurp that power. But after, you realize that while he is power-hungry, he’s also quite vulnerable, afraid of death and those around him. You see his weaknesses so much more clearly.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the beginning of the end, in my opinion. You can’t read it without continuing on to Deathly Hallows. Both books are so interrelated to each other. The glimpse you get of how the series is going to end is so subtle and masterfully-crafted.

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Comments

  1. says

    Hey Jenni!
    I loved this one, too. And like you said, I think a big part of it for me was Snape. I just loved his character, though my aunt and I deduced he was good from the start. Rowling did such a great job with him and just this entire series. HP never gets old for me. Great review; I love it!
    Ninja Girl

    • says

      HP never gets old more me too. I’ve loved every minute of this reread. It’s been so fun to revisit the world and reacquaint myself with the characters. :)

  2. says

    I loved every one of these books!! I may do a re-read of the whole series!! :)
    It funny, I read them aloud to my little girls at night (they were 6 and 7 with the first book I read) and now both my little girls drive cars and one leaves for college in 3 months.

    Their whole life has had Harry in it practically! wow that’s weird to think of! :)

    Great review!!

    • says

      I know. It’s so weird to think of all the kids who grew up with Harry Potter are all grown up now. I just love that this series has had as huge of an impact as it has and that it will continue to be that way for future generations.

  3. says

    This one is my second favorite in the series and it has mainly to do with the fact that Harry and Ginny FINALLY get together! I was rooting for them from day one…almost. ;) I strangely trusted Snape the whole series and him killing Dumbledore wasn’t as shocking to me as it was for others. Not that I’m a genius or anything, I just figured out what was going on.

    • says

      Yay! I’m so glad you wanted them to get together from almost day one! So did I! :) Yeah, I figured he was “good” too. I just didn’t want to believe it for a long time, lol.

  4. says

    This book has a different feel from all the other books in the series. I don’t like that she introduced a new character in the first chapter and never talked about him again. I liked trying to figure out everything though, and yes…Dumbledore’s death was a shocker!! Especially how it happened, but I always knew Snape was good!!!!!!!

    • says

      Yeah, that was kind of weird, but I liked it. I liked how it brought an outsider’s perspective to what was happening and going on. But, I have a hard time finding fault with anything Harry Potter. JK Rowling basically walks on water for me, even though I know there are inconsistencies and stuff like that.

  5. says

    Great review! I have to chime in about Snape and agree with you that he is one of the most complex, well-written characters I’ve encountered in my reading. Just when you think you understand him, you don’t. Just when you hate him, you suddenly love him. Rowling is a genius.

    • says

      Thanks for chiming in about Snape! :) Corey says that Snape is his favorite character in the series and that he always knew he was good. But, he didn’t have the books to go off of. He’s only seen the movies.

  6. says

    Great review! I finished listening to it on audio a while ago, and now I’m ready for the last one (which I have already, but am dreading because I remember some of the things that happen in it, and I’m already sad before I even start.) Still, as you said, you can’t get to book number six and not read seven!

  7. says

    Snape is the best. I think as far as writing him goes, Rowling is definitely a genius. (She’s a genius for a lot of reasons, this is just one.) I really love the contrast between Snape and Voldemort in this book. It is a clear illustration that you can be good, and still be a unlikable. Or that you can be likable and still be evil. Am I making sense here?

    • says

      That makes complete sense. Voldemort knew how to schmooze and manipulate, so people really liked him as the young Tom Riddle. Dumbledore was the only one who saw who he really was. Snape, on the other hand, was socially awkward (lol) and couldn’t get past his childhood dislike/rivalry with James and Sirius, so he seemed brutal and awful. Again, only Dumbledore saw who he really was.

  8. says

    I love everything you said! Snape does stand out in this one, and it finally becomes clear that he’s had a lot more to do with Harry’s past (and present) than anyone ever though. And even though I knew that Dumbledore dies, I was so crushed with how it played out. I had no idea exactly how NOBLE his death was! *sigh*

    • says

      I also didn’t realize how noble Dumbledore’s death was. When I read the exact circumstances of his death in Deathly Hallows, I was absolutely amazed!

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