Here is another installment of my Harry Potter book reviews, still keeping the style a little bit different because it is so hard to review a book that so many people have read and love! Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy: WARNING! THERE MAY BE SPOILERS SO READ ON WITH CAUTION!
About The Book
‘Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince’ by J.K. Rowling
It is the middle of the summer, but there is an unseasonal mist pressing against the windowpanes. Harry Potter is waiting nervously in his bedroom at the Dursleys’ house in Privet Drive for a visit from Professor Dumbledore himself. One of the last times he saw the Headmaster was in a fierce one-to-one duel with Lord Voldemort, and Harry can’t quite believe that Professor Dumbledore will actually appear at the Dursleys’ of all places. Why is the Professor coming to visit him now? What is it that cannot wait until Harry returns to Hogwarts in a few weeks’ time? Harry’s sixth year at Hogwarts has already got off to an unusual start, as the worlds of Muggle and magic start to intertwine…
Setting: The Wizarding World
Plot: After the Ministry’s realisation of Voldemort’s return, both Wizards and Muggles have been warned there are dark times ahead. On return to Hogwarts, and the introduction of Professor Slughorn, the new potions teacher, Harry, Ron and Hermoine knew times were changing, especially as Dumbledore had made the extreme decision to finally give Snape his most wanted position of Defence Against The Dark Arts teacher. As well as the storyline showing the trio’s venture into their NEWT classes, it also showed us a glimpse into Voldemort’s past life through memories Dumbledore had collected over the years. Through private lessons, Harry and Dumbledore explored these memories together and found out more about Voldemort than they had ever imagined was possible.
Favourite Character: I think Dumbledore was a pretty key character in this book, and, like Sirius in the previous installment, I may have become a bit too attached to his character, but I will say a bit more about that later. I loved Ginny in this book, I think her and Harry make a really lovely couple, but she just seems so determined in everything she wants, not just for her but the people around her as well, which is an amicable feature in book characters for me.
Least Favourite Character: Ok, I understand that Snape made the Unbreakable Vow with Narcissa, and he swore he would carry out whatever task the Dark Lord had set Malfoy in the event that Malfoy could not perform it himself, but I still think, after reading the books beforehand, that he is a slimy character. I do also understand that, in the end, he ends up being kind of good through some kind of twist in the story, but at the moment I’m still not a massive fan of his.
Did the characters feel real: Yes- They always seem to be in Rowling’s books, just through her amazing writing technique. There seemed to be a few less characters in this book, which allowed descriptions and storyline developments to improve and get deeper into characterisation. I also think that, even though Voldemort is seen as a soulless creature rather than being a complete and whole human, having the memories and learning about I’m more even gave him a bit more of a background.
Favourite part of the book: The end of the Sectumsempra chapter when Gryffindor win the Quidditch cup and Harry gets together with Ginny was the most uplifting part of the book, it was quite a nice turn around compared to the darker parts that had come before and that were certainly going to follow.
Any particularly well written scenes: The Lightning-Struck Tower chapter, although Draco was attempting to fill his duties for the Dark Lord, Dumbledore remained, as ever, calm and collected. I think this was an interesting comparison with the battle going on below, and also a reflection on how, even though Dumbledore seemed so calm, he was probably battling with himself on the inside, constantly thinking about what to do next, as was expected of Malfoy.
Did you laugh or cry whilst reading the book: The ending positively ripped my soul into seven pieces!! I cried for the last 60 pages of the book, as I saw Dumbledore fall from the Astronomy tower, the grieving process of the teachers and students though the funeral, constantly feeling exactly how Harry must feel. It hurt so much, and I’m not sure I am ready for the next book! Dumbledore’s death is one I am not going to get over for a while!
Was it a page turner: Yup, especially the last half of the book, it definitely started to get interesting with the visits into the Pensive and Dumbledore finally thinking he had found a Horcrux and could destroy a part of Voldemort’s soul.
Did you learn anything: I learnt that Dumbledore’s death caused so much more pain than it did when I watched the film.
Would I recommend it: I would definitely recommend the whole series, I am on the final stretch now, with only 607 pages left of a whopping 3,407 page series and I will be divested when I have finished, but I want everyone else to feel the same way I have done throughout reading the series. I have almost accomplished my goal of completely understanding Harry Potter through and through, which makes me feel so good, because I never thought I would manage it!
My Rating: 5 Muffins out of 5
Where To Buy
If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):
Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)