“Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6)” by J. K. Rowling
Genre: Children’s Fiction, Fantasy
Summary from Goodreads:
The war against Voldemort is not going well; even the 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 with all wars, life goes on. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate—and lose a few eyebrows in the process. 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.
There has always been an overarching storyline to the series but for the most part each of the books until this one have felt a bit episodic. Something bad happens, Harry and company fight to save the day, and by the end of the book things are decently wrapped up. That’s not true with this book. The introduction to the horocruxes informs the reader what is to come in the next installment. Not to mention everything is starting to reach its climax: Voldemort is back, Dumbledore is dead, Harry must kill Voldemort or he dies, the Wizarding world (and probably the rest of the world) is hanging in the balance. This is what the series has been building towards.
I loved getting to know Voldemort better. It’s definitely interesting to see how he got to be the darkest wizard of all time. Much like Harry, he had a pretty rough upbringing so he wasn’t exactly a pleasant person to be around. He was a pretty mean 11 year old. The little snapshots we are given show how progresses more into the dark side.
Oh Dumbledore. There are so many reasons why his death is so hard to handle. The biggest reason is Dumbledore always symbolized “hope” to me. When he dies, it’s almost like hope dies. How on Earth is Harry going to pull this off on his own? This is also the first book where we really get to know him. Yes, he’s in the other books but not much. He’s there for random tidbits of wisdom and to swoop in and save day and fill Harry in on everything that’s been happening. This book we see him more and he’s a decent guide into the world of Voldemort. More of his personality shines though in the talks he has with Harry. Basically, he’s finally starting to feel like a real person and then he’s gone.
The bottom line? A good installment!