The long-awaited, eagerly anticipated, arguably over-hyped Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has arrived, and the question on the minds of kids, adults, fans, and skeptics alike is, "Is it worth the hype?" The answer, luckily, is simple: yep. A magnificent spectacle more than worth the price of admission, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will blow you away. However, given that so much has gone into protecting the secrets of the book (including armored trucks and injunctions), don't expect any spoilers in this review. It's much more fun not knowing what's coming--and in the case of Rowling's delicious sixth book, you don't want to know. Just sit tight, despite the earth-shattering revelations that will have your head in your hands as you hope the words will rearrange themselves into a different story. But take one warning to heart: do not open Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince until you have first found a secluded spot, safe from curious eyes, where you can tuck in for a good long read. Because once you start, you won't stop until you reach the very last page.
A darker book than any in the series thus far with a level of sophistication belying its genre, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince moves the series into murkier waters and marks the arrival of Rowling onto the adult literary scene. While she has long been praised for her cleverness and wit, the strength of Book 6 lies in her subtle development of key characters, as well as her carefully nuanced depiction of a community at war. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, no one and nothing is safe, including preconceived notions of good and evil and of right and wrong. With each book in her increasingly remarkable series, fans have nervously watched J.K. Rowling raise the stakes; gone are the simple delights of butterbeer and enchanted candy, and days when the worst ailment could be cured by a bite of chocolate. A series that began as a colorful lark full of magic and discovery has become a dark and deadly war zone. But this should not come as a shock to loyal readers. Rowling readied fans with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by killing off popular characters and engaging the young students in battle. Still, there is an unexpected bleakness from the start of Book 6 that casts a mean shadow over Quidditch games, silly flirtations, and mountains of homework. Ready or not, the tremendous ending of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will leave stunned fans wondering what great and terrible events await in Book 7 if this sinister darkness is meant to light the way. --Daphne Durham
A Few Words from J.K. Rowling
"I am an extraordinarily lucky person, doing what I love best in the world. I’m sure that I will always be a writer. It was wonderful enough just to be published. The greatest reward is the enthusiasm of the readers." --J.K. Rowling.
Find out more about Harry's creator in our exclusive interview with J.K. Rowling.
Why We Love Harry
Favorite Moments from the Series
There are plenty of reasons to love Rowling's wildly popular series--no doubt you have several dozen of your own. Our list features favorite moments, characters, and artifacts from all five books. And we anticipate yet more to come from the sixth Harry Potter book! Keep in mind that this list is by no means exhaustive (what we love about Harry could fill five books!) and does not include any of the spectacular revelatory moments that would spoil the books for those (few) who have not read them. Enjoy.
The series continues to evolve., July 29, 2005
Reviewer: Doug E. White "Douglas White" (Orlando, Florida) - See all my reviews
As I write this I need to admit that I am pretty exhausted from being up all night reading Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince.
Plain and simple, the book was awesome.
I can understand why some readers have taken a disliking to this book, it being almost like George Lucas' 'Empire Strikes Back' In that it left a few things unresolved and was extremely dark. It's one of those things where either you hate it, or love it... And I think that people who hate it will do so because this book focuses more on the human condition and less on the world surrounding our characters that everyone has come to love and these people find it hard to admit that this world which has been described in very fine detail for the last five books must now be taken somewhat for granted in order to move the humanistic parts of the story along.
I gave this title 4 out of 5 stars because I have a single gripe about this 6th installment that I believe absolutely must be aired in this review and it is this: The ending between Harry and Ginny has been done over and over, it seemed contrived, tired, and in my opinion will leave readers quite agitated. Perhaps J.K. Rowling has watched too many episodes of Friends or perhaps she hasn't watched enough, but just once I would like to see a writer actually sit down and put the two people who care about each other together and leave them together for better or worse.
C'mon Mrs. Rowling, We don't have another 6 books for you to play with Harry and Ginny like you have with Ron and Hermoine.. Most of us have waited since Ginny was introduced to see them both together. For that matter the same goes for Ronald and Hermoine as well. These are the times when people clutch their loved ones closer, not when they push them apart, contrary to popular fiction and the usual Sitcom. This was your only major mistake. Please make an attempt to fix this mistake with the next and supposedly last book in the series.
P.S. Is there anyone else who pretty much believes that Harry is going to have to die in order to free the wizarding world from Voldemort? Or is that just me? heh.