Title: Harry Potter and the Half -Blood Prince (Book 6 in the Harry Potter Series)
Author: J.K Rowling
Page Count: 607 pages
Synopsis: 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…
Hannah, Have you been living under a rock? | How have you never read this before?
No, I haven’t been living under a rock. I know, I’m kicking myself for never reading this sooner or Deathly Hallows for that matter. I started reading the Harry Potter series I think last year or the year before, now we all know how long Order of the Phoenix is don’t we? Well I finished that one then before I had chance to move on my life got busy again. Uni work crawled back in. So when things died down again I thought I would need to restart the series before I got to these just so I could have them fresh in my mind. This is where the vicious circle starts because then as you can imagine I got 3 books in again and had to put them down. But this time I thought no, i’m going straight for those last two books and now here we are.
As always with my reviews I like to take a moment to talk about the book covers and this one is really interesting because there are so many! I myself have the original Blue one (bottom left hand corner of the top image), this is the UK Hardcover that was first released and I really like it. I love the brightness of it and I love the cover art of the fire with Dumbledore.
Now I want to make this review as spoiler free as possible, so I’m going to try to discuss plot without revealing too much.
The main point I want to bring up about the plot of the book is how it differs from the movie, if you are like me and have watched the movies before reading the books then you will be pleasantly surprised to know that boy are things a bit different. One example which I will mention which isn’t a major plot point is the first meeting and dinner with Slughorn, in the movie this happens in the Castle for the first time however in the book it actually takes place on the Trip to Hogwarts on the express. When I first read it I was like oh this is different and it was very exciting to see what else was altered in the movie.
The plot of Half-Blood Prince is very exciting for a number of reasons, there is action as Dumbledore and Harry set out on a journey, there are shocking moments but also it is filled with the history of Voldemort which I loved. I loved learning more about him, his childhood and why he became the man he is.
Overall the plot may at first seem of a slow pace but there is so much mystery crowded within this story, so much happens that makes you question everything. Having seen the film I thought I knew what was going to happen but as I was reading I felt as if I was experiencing the story for the first time, things were in different places so of course it was easy to assume that position but overall it was the power of J.K Rowling’s words which allowed me to experience the story as if I had never seen it before.
The setting of Half- Blood Prince is very interesting, of course we are transported back to the Hogwarts Express, the Burrow and Hogwarts. All places we adore to be and they are as wonderfully described as all previous books but in this book there are also a series of new places which we get to experience. Because nobody likes a Spoiler Sue, I won’t name them but as Dumbledore and Harry partake in a journey together they go to a series of new places which we haven’t been before and they further develop the magical world into a greater detail. I loved seeing these new places, especially as they are within England. Normally when I read any fantasy books or any books really I like to have them set outside of England and in other places like America, as I find it easier to lose myself however Harry Potter is my exception. I love how it transports London and England as a whole into such a magical place.
Half- Blood Prince, is the book in the series which really allows you to witness character growth and the history of a number of characters from the series. Firstly as mentioned in my plot section, we experience the history and childhood of Voldemort which really transforms his character into a darker figure for me, I loved hearing the stories as to why he became the way he is but also reading of how dark and sinister he was from such a young age placed a darker element on the book for me. The extent of Voldemort’s darkness from early on is really fascinating and something that drew me in.
Another character which develops further in this book is Draco, without revealing major spoilers Draco goes on his own journey in this book. There is mystery surrounding his actions and the beautiful thing about J.K Rowling’s work is you are able to picture his struggle with the decisions he is about to make.
And of course I also have to mention Luna Lovegood. Prior to reading this book I have to be honest that when people told me Luna was there favourite I was always a bit like why? Because whilst I found her charming and fascinating in the movies and of course funny I wasn’t taken to her fully. Half-Blood prince transformed her into one of my favourite characters, you get to see Luna more in Half-Blood prince and we get to hear more of her funny comments. Luna is definitely a character which I am going to be looking out for in Deathly Hallows, in order to see what she gets up to and how she might further develop.
Ah, the Rating stage. I think everybody can guess what I am about to rate… 5 stars of course. For me this book was beautifully crafted and I enjoyed it as much as the other books in the series. This book is 600 pages long and it is truly packed full of detail, the plots packed with mystery, drama and action which is fascinating in itself to me that in the world of magic and the beginning of the war of GOOD VS EVIL, J.K Rowling can throw in relationship problems and it works perfectly without being overcrowded like ‘oh gosh not another plot point’.
I had no problem falling back into the world of Harry Potter and Hogwarts which is another credit to the beauty of J.K Rowling’s work. Despite the time frame you have left from reading the previous book or seeing a movie, you can fall back into the world so easily and be fully embraced. I am so fully immersed into the world now that I think I could pick up any book in the series instead of following the order of them and read it without feeling lost.
As J.K Rowling famously says ‘Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home’. And these words are truly fitting.
I feel such a sense of love, comfort and just an overall sense of home from reading the books. I probably send you, my lovely followers mad with my constant talking about Harry Potter and posting about it but hopefully not because I do love doing so. It’s hard to put into words how something fictional can be such a huge part of my life.
Let me know in the comments your thoughts on Half-Blood Prince. If you have read the book before or what your favourite book in the series is so far. Or feel free to talk to me about anything Harry Potter, trust me you’ll be making my day by doing so! 🙂