Saturday, April 21, 2007

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

(Originally published on July 17th, 2005.)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)

J.K. Rowling

Date: 2005-07-18 00:16:16   —   $16.99   —   Book

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Fiction, Fantasy

Well, of course I had to pick this up (today) and of course I had to read it.

And just as naturally, most Potter fans would be deeply unhappy were somebody to be providing spoilers at this early point. Not everyone can finish a book in four hours.

So I have some safely generic observations to make:

—This is not a juvenile novel. The dark nature of the previous book is only a lead-in to this one, and I rather suspect the next book will be just as dark.
—Harry has one heck of a temper, though not more than showed up before.
—The Half-Blood Prince was a surprise, though decipherable if you read the clues correctly.
Who is not so much a surprise as how. And, like the previous book, Rowling drops in some near-misses.
—Percy is still a prat.
—Rowling is a sneaky bastard. She knows exactly how her readers are going to react and she plays off of that...
—The end of the novel makes me a lot more interested in what the seventh book is going to be like. It's dangerous to take certain things for granted.

Now that I've managed to obscure the issue a bit, I will say that the way to tell if you are going to like this book is to remember whether you liked the fifth book. The tone of Order of the Phoenix was much darker than even the fourth, and a lot more deliberately disturbing. If you long for the blithe innocence of Sorceror's Stone, go back and read that, and don't sully your memories of Harry young.

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