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Book Name: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Author: J.K. Rowling

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Overall Rating: (4.47/5) View all reviews (total 316 reviews)
Description

The deluxe edition includes a 32-page insert featuring near scale reproductions of Mary GrandPré's interior art, as well as never-before-seen full-color frontispiece art on special paper. The custom-designed slipcase is foil-stamped and inside is a full cloth case book, blind-stamped on front and back cover, foil stamped on spine. The book includes full-color endpapers with jacket art from theTrade editionand a wraparound jacket featuring exclusive, suitable-for-framing art from Mary GrandPré.Potter News You Can UseJ.K. Rowling has revealed three chapter titles fromHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Princeto be:Chapter Two: "Spinners End"Chapter Six: "Draco's Detour"Chapter Fourteen: "Felix Felicis"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 inour exclusive interview with J.K. Rowling.Why We Love HarryFavorite Moments from the SeriesThere 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. 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.Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's StoneHarry's first trip to the zoo with the Dursleys, when a boa constrictor winks at him.When the Dursleys' house is suddenly besieged by letters for Harry from Hogwarts. Readers learn how much the Dursleys have been keeping from Harry. Rowling does a wonderful job in displaying the lengths to which Uncle Vernon will go to deny that magic exists.Harry's first visit to Diagon Alley with Hagrid. Full of curiosities and rich with magic and marvel, Harry's first trip includes a trip to Gringotts and Ollivanders, where Harry gets his wand (holly and phoenix feather) and discovers yet another connection to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. This moment is the reader's first full introduction to Rowling's world of witchcraft and wizards.Harry's experience with the Sorting Hat.Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsThe de-gnoming of the Weasleys' garden. Harry discovers that even wizards have chores--gnomes must be grabbed (ignoring angry protests "Gerroff me! Gerroff me!"), swung about (to make them too dizzy to come back), and tossed out of the garden--this delightful scene highlights Rowling's clever and witty genius.Harry's first experience with a Howler, sent to Ron by his mother.The Dueling Club battle between Harry and Malfoy. Gilderoy Lockhart starts the Dueling Club to help students practice spells on each other, but he is not prepared for the intensity of the animosity between Harry and Draco. Since they are still young, their minibattle is innocent enough, including tickling and dancing charms.Harry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanRon's attempt to use a telephone to call Harry at the Dursleys'.Harry's first encounter with a Dementor on the train (and just about any other encounter with Dementors). Harry's brush with the Dementors is terrifying and prepares Potter fans for a darker, scarier book.Harry, Ron, and Hermione's behavior in Professor Trelawney's Divination class. Some of the best moments in Rowling's books occur when she reminds us that the wizards-in-training at Hogwarts are, after all, just children. Clearly, even at a school of witchcraft and wizardry, classes can be boring and seem pointless to children.The Boggart lesson in Professor Lupin's classroom.Harry, Ron, and Hermione's knock-down confrontation with Snape.Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireHermione's disgust at the reception for the veela (Bulgarian National Team Mascots) at the Quidditch World Cup. Rowling's fourth book addresses issues about growing up--the dynamic between the boys and girls at Hogwarts starts to change. Nowhere is this more plain than the hilarious scene in which magical cheerleaders nearly convince Harry and Ron to jump from the stands to impress them.Viktor Krum's crush on Hermione--and Ron's objection to it.Malfoy's "Potter Stinks" badge.Hermione's creation of S.P.E.W., the intolerant bigotry of the Death Eaters, and the danger of the Triwizard Tournament. Add in the changing dynamics between girls and boys at Hogwarts, and suddenly Rowling's fourth book has a weight and seriousness not as present in early books in the series. Candy and tickle spells are left behind as the students tackle darker, more serious issues and take on larger responsibilities, including the knowledge of illegal curses.Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixHarry's outburst to his friends at No. 12 Grimmauld Place. A combination of frustration over being kept in the dark and fear that he will be expelled fuels much of Harry's anger, and it all comes out at once, directly aimed at Ron and Hermione. Rowling perfectly portrays Harry's frustration at being too old to shirk responsibility, but too young to be accepted as part of the fight that he knows is coming.Harry's detention with Professor Umbridge. Rowling shows her darker side, leading readers to believe that Hogwarts is no longer a safe haven for young wizards. Dolores represents a bureaucratic tyrant capable of real evil, and Harry is forced to endure their private battle of wills alone.Harry and Cho's painfully awkward interactions. Rowling clearly remembers what it was like to be a teenager.Harry's Occlumency lessons with Snape.Dumbledore's confession to Harry.Begin at the BeginningHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's StoneHardcoverPaperbackHarry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsHardcoverPaperbackHarry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanHardcoverPaperbackHarry Potter and the Goblet of FireHardcoverPaperbackHarry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixHardcoverPaperbackIf You Like J.K. Rowling, You'll Love These Authors…Cornelia FunkeEoin ColferGarth NixNew Novels to Keep You BusyCry of the IcemarkThe Dark Hills DivideSinger of All SongsThe Game of Sunken PlacesChildren of the LampDragon RiderAuthors Younger Potter Fans Should Try…Geronimo StiltonAndy GriffithsDav PilkeyWhile You WaitHot New Series for Potter FansCharlie BoneGuardians of Ga'hooleKeys to the KingdomUnderland ChroniclesDragons of DeltoraA Few Words from Mary GrandPré"When I illustrate a cover or a book, I draw upon what the author tells me; that's how I see my responsibility as an illustrator. J.K. Rowling is very descriptive in her writing--she gives an illustrator a lot to work with. Each story is packed full of rich visual descriptions of the atmosphere, the mood, the setting, and all the different creatures and people. She makes it easy for me. The images just develop as I sketch and retrace until it feels right and matches her vision." Check outmore Harry Potter artfrom illustrator Mary GrandPré.Did You Know?The Little White Horsewas J.K. Rowling's favorite book as a child.Jane Austenis Rowling's favorite author.Roddy Doyleis Rowling's favorite living writer.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Reviews

The Penultimate Harry Potter novel

by A. Arey
(5/5)

The sixth and penultimate book in the series, Harry finds himself joining together with Dumbledore to figure out a way to bring Voldemort down. This book continues to be darker than the one before, with Harry learning more about how Tom Riddle turned into Lord Voldemort.This book is wonderful, without sparing the reader from harsh truths and how life isn't always easy or fair. Rowling writes Harry as a true human being, with faults and flaws as well as courage and bravery. Relationships are even more fleshed out, with love relationships being brought out more than ever before.


A crusty old lover of fantasy and myth reports:

by A Constant Reader
(2/5)

Well, I tried. Perhaps you have to come on these books fresh-faced and dewy. In other words, innocent of all that has come before. And so much has come before. I fully confess the last time I thought my face looked "fresh" was about thirty years ago. And perhaps you have to love words more than many do now. The names of characters, of places, of whole peoples, made me retch. Only slightly, but there was certainly a small gag reflex. Muggles and Quidditch and Dumblebarf, and whatever. Hogwart itself makes me blench. Hogwart? For poetry's sake: why? (Because it makes the little ones giggle?) No, I shall retire from the field. Harry shall never hold any kind of sway in my heart. Tolkien, on the other paw, will ever stand tall. And as for Gormenghast, oh my - now there's a world to enthrall the most untidy soul. And run that name around your tongue. This alone will tell you where you're going before you ever open the book. I imagine if I had not read all the Wizard of Oz books by the age of nine, I should think them badly written. But I shall never think them badly imagined. Plus - they are America's only home-grown fairy tales, and for that must be allowed shelf room in any self respecting bibliophiles homes. But Harry? What Harry shows me is our hunger for magic...at any age. And this is a powerful thing to show people, so hurrah for J.K.Rowling, and for getting folks to read. Me, I already read, and there's so much out there to still devour before I die. So goodbye Harry. To me, you're not worth what's left of my precious reading time. But I _did_ try.And now I shall wait to collect all my "this review did not help me" clicks. I humbly accept my fate.


A powerful, emotional, unbelievable entry into the series

by Adam Craig
(5/5)

It really is amazing to have a series like J.K. Rowling has created with Harry Potter. To have each book get better and build on the stories from previous books is an amazing achievment in writing, and Rowling will go down in history as one of the greatest fantasy writers ever.After reading Order of the Phoenix, I didn't think that Half-Blood Prince could possibly match the importance and complexities of the fifth entry in the series. I still think that Order of the Phoenix is my favorite, but the Half-Blood Prince is probably the most important book in the series (other than the upcoming climax, of course). In reality, most of the Half-Blood Prince is just set up for the final volume. We get to know a lot about Voldemort's past, and how he can be stopped. One of the most satisfying parts of the Half-Blood Prince is the interaction between Harry and Dumbledore. In all previous novels, Dumbledore was an important background character, and he and Harry really only talked if something really bad had happened, mostly at the end of the books when Dumbledore would always be there to offer encouragement and words of wisdom. In this book, however, Harry and Dumbledore speak a lot, since Dumbledore is now giving Harry private lessons to teach him about Voldemort's past, and his weaknesses.The end of this book is emotionally shattering. This is some of the most powerful writing that I have ever read, ever. And, suffice it to say, that Rowling has used this book as an extremely powerful, invigorating setup for the finale to take place. The main characters develop very well in this book, but still their developments as people have to take a side seat to the progress of the war with Voldemort. Let me just say this: I cannot wait for the team of Harry, Ron, and Hermione to finally confront Voldemort. That is a trio of wizards that I would not want to face.


Return to Top Form

by Adam Shah
(5/5)

J.K. Rowling returns at the top of her game in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth and second-to-last book in the series. The story has all the best parts of her previous books. It takes place mainly at Hogwarts. Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore and Snape are by far the main characters. The book combines the wonders of learning magic with the troubles of a normal teenager.As always, the book picks up in the summer after Book 5 ends. We learn that the battle against Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters continues, but is not going well. We learn that Professor Snape, Harry's nemesis is at least a double-agent and maybe a triple agent, working for both Voldemort and Dumbledore. We learn that Harry's other nemesis, Draco Malfoy, is also no good.With the stage set, Harry returns to Hogwarts to begin his advanced classes after doing very well on his exams in all the important classes the previous year. Harry goes on memory trips with Dumbledore to learn of Lord Voldemort's past, which will help him defeat Voldemort in the future. He, Ron, and Hermione all deal with increasing feelings of love, and Harry keeps his eyes on Snape and Malfoy.And to top all this off, the ending is amazing. Run out and buy it if you haven't already.


wow

by adead_poet@hotmail.com "adead_poet@hotmail.com"
(5/5)

You know, I've found that as Rowling's series goes on, it only gets better. As you read the six books, you can see Rowling's evolution as a writer. Her characters get fuller, the plot thicker, and her skills just improve greatly from one novel to the next. I though Order of the Phoenix was great, and that perhaps she had reached her apex as a writer. I was wrong. Book six is a great book, one of the best works of fiction I have read this year (providing, of course, you've read the first five books and have gotten to know and care about the characters--and that is something Rowling does well: makes you really care about these characters and what happens to them). It is by far the best of the series (after reading Phoenix I was ready for the next book, but had no trouble waiting, but I tell you, waiting for the final book is going to be agony, the story has gotten that good). It's also the most mature and darkest of the books, while still being appropriate for younger audiences. But it is a dark book, which I'm sure is one reason why I liked it so much. People say that a book is so good that you can't put it down, but this one that isn't just a saying, it is the truth. Especially the last 150 pages or so. I stayed up later than I had planned to because I couldn't go to sleep until I finished the book. This book is really the capstone of the series. In fact, it's so good, that I recommend reading the Potter series just so you can get to this book and read it with the full impact that is intended.


of all the opinions...

by aekw "Resurgam"
(5/5)

mine will quite possibly be the most important. i know, that sounds supremely cocky, but i don't want to bore you to tears with what i thought of the book and the character development. undoubtably, you'll want to read this book if you've already read the other five. the only thing i have to say that some 1850 reviewers might or might not have said is this --- read the other five before you touch this. or rather, reread it. especially from year 3. but everything on this book hinges on the previous five and unlike her previous five books, rowling doesn't spend the time going over what each spell or idea meant from the previous books. she just bursts right in without any preamble and the book itself starts two weeks from where harry last ended in year 5. i made the silly mistake of reading it without rereading the other five. now i'm going back to reread it to read year 6. not that it's a bad mistake, since i adore the series, but really... do you want to hear my personal opinion on the world's leading fiction of our time about how good or bad it is? or a friendly advice to go read the others before cracking open 6? enjoy!! :)


Frustrating but essential

by A. Hart
(4/5)

My favorite books in the Harry Potter remain 3 and 5, as they both had great stories and answered a lot of questions. The sixth installment is good, really good, but I did find myself wanting to throw this book across the room in frustration when I was done with it.Here's what I like about it: It was fast paced and easy to read. I enjoyed Dumbledore's expanded part; I felt I got to know him better. I liked that the characters all grew up a little. Rowling shows them like real kids with real weaknesses. I was fascinated by the idea of Horcruxes and by the Half-Blood Prince's potion book. I'm also glad we got to learn more about Voldemort as a person, and not just as a mysterious boogeyman. And I must say I was delighted to see Draco Malfoy break down and cry under pressure.This is what I didn't like: The kids treatment of Hagrid was horrible. Even Harry uses him at one point even though Hagrid has been a loyal friend to the kids all along. I'm also getting a little annoyed with Harry. He isn't showing a lot of strength of character these days. He's proved himself to be rash and judgemental. I was also disappointed that so many questions are left unanswered at the end of this. In my opinion, book 7 is going to have to be pretty long in order to fit all the answers in. The dynamic between Snape and Dumbledore is still driving me crazy; I've found myself reading and re-reading passages in search of the tiniest clue to what this all means. It comes down to this: if I thought like Harry did, in terms of black and white, in an overly emotional and impulsive way, book 7 would be really predictable.The number one question seems to be, is the Half-Blood Prince evil? Does he deserve the trust he received from a certain someone who ended up dead? I guess we'll have to wait and see, though I think the answers are pretty obvious once you stop thinking like Harry.I enjoyed this book, but it reminded me a bit of Song of Susannah (Book 6) from Stephen King's Dark Tower series. It was simply a precursor to the final battle. And you will not find many answers in it, so don't look for them. And expect to be frustrated. But if you're like me, that will only make you all the more eager to get your hands on the last book when it finally comes out to find out the truth, and to possibly prove Harry Potter's tragic impulsive behavior and judgement wrong.


Page turner

by Alejandro Contreras
(5/5)

Slightly disappointed with Rowling's saga, after the relatively boring and story-fatigued "Order of the Phoenix" (OTP), I was truly excited to read "The Half-Blood Prince" (HBP). This book is a turnaround to what seemed to be, in my opinion, an ever winding story.In HBP, we find a more mature Harry Potter (which was an interesting but frustraing nuance in OTP) in a story with exciting developments:- Dumbledore's sharing with Harry some "memory snapshots" of Voldemort's past- A Potions class for which Harry ends up using a used book full of alternative formulas and tips, signed by a mysterious and anonymous "Half-Blood Prince"- An open-war between the Death Eaters and the Order of the Phoenix (and Ministry of Magic)- The infamous Draco Malfoy, with less "scenes", but with a mysterious behaviour that obsesses Potter- Some evolutions in the love scene that put some "spice" into the storyI won't get into more details. This is a must, even for those, like myself, that were slightly disappointed with OTP.


Rowling weaves another wonder!!!

by Alice L. Hughes
(5/5)

Lord Voldemort is alive and the wizard community is in an uproar. The Death Eaters evil deeds are spreading beyond the wizard world and threatening the muggle world. Dementors are everywhere, draining all hope and happiness. All the while plots abound (Is Harry really "The Chosen One"?), danger is around every corner (Has Draco become a Death Eater?), and Harry, Ron, and Hermione still have to decide on what course to take for their N.E.W.T's (Nasty Exhausting Wizarding Tests). Ah, life as a 16 year old wizard. Author JK Rowling has once again weaved a riveting adventure that's suspenseful, gripping, and imaginative. A darker book in an increasingly darker series (there's another death of a favorite character that effects Harry deeply). I never imagined it would take the complicated plot twists and turns to arrive here from where it began. Nor did you I'll bet. And that's been the fun of watching this series grow. Adolesence and young adulthood can be a dark and sometimes scary thing as Harry, Ron, and Hermione are finding out. Especially in the wizarding world. Potter fans will undoubtedly read this book (and the others) over and over again while waiting for the grand finale. I know I will. :) ANOTHER BOOK TO TRY: The alien invasion adventure graphic novel "GAAK" by Darryl Hughes. Just like Harry, Ron, and Hermione in the "Harry Potter" series, Zach, Jemmy, Plato, and Chubs will capture your hearts and tickle your funny bones as they try to save their small town of Eden'sVille and the world from kooky alien kreatures. A wonderful adventure for scifi fans of all ages. Give it a try.


I have been enchanted with the Harry Potter series for years now, but are chinks starting to Show?

by Alter-eggo
(5/5)

My favorite Harry Potter book is the "Goblet of Fire." Up to that point the tension and suspense was building pitch perfect. After the fourth book I was slightly disappointed by the "Order of the Phoenix." I secretly, hoped that I was missing the point of the last two books; like Rowling is leading me down another blind alley that will ultimately surprise me, like she's been able to do with the other books. However, I think her writing, pacing, character development and plot has slipped, just a tad. The "Half Blood Prince" doesn't build like the other books and the ending is something that I can't quite accept, reminds of when Gandalf is killed at the end of "The Fellowship of the Ring," I hope. I'll follow J.K. Rowling to the last book but the seven volume series seems to much a strain for even the best fantasy and science fiction writers, like the "Dune" series or Stephen King's "Dark Tower"( boy was that a let down). I have been blown away by the first four books, genuinely suspenseful and charmingly funny, Ron gets a lot of good one-liners. I'm not sure if I should break each critique down and analyze how it seems slightly off; some other reviews brought up the anti-climax with Voldermort and how there is no real show down or action in the "Half Blood Prince." I'll leave it there and hope the Final installment is strong enough to over come some of my slight disappointment - the books are still really great anyway, just not up to the level of the previous books.


Predictable, but great

by Alyssa A. Lappen
(5/5)

While I found the ending of this 6th Harry Potter episode entirely predictable (yes, predictable), I'll confess that I found myself pacing the floor as I read, unable to get enough of it.I love the development of Tonks, and various other members of the Order of the Phoenix. I also love the development of Harry Pottner himself, who shows maturity beyond his age.This like all the Harry Potter stories is another great addition to children's literature. It outlines a huge battle between good and evil, stands on its own, and continues enough exictement to encourage another 1.6 million people ordering the next installment as soon as preorders are available.


enjoyable book in the series

by amanda
(5/5)

this book takes Harry deeper into the wizard and world and answers some questions and raises others to fully understand this book, you need to have at least read the two books before it, or if you enjoy this series, all of the books


Looking into the Pensieve

by Amaranth "music fan"
(3/5)

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" has an interesting blend of strengths and weaknesses.Its highlights are Harry's glimpses in the Pensieve of the young Voldemort,realizing his similarities with the wizard who nearly destroyed him as an infant.It's a fascinating and well-done use of flashbacks.Another highlight is the concept of the Horcrux.Rowling has developed her own mythology,and it's coherent.Finally,there is Dumbledore's death.While it is moving,it also leaves questions for the reader-did Dumbledore REALLY die?Was it someone else?Will he be raised from the dead like Gandalf?Again,the open-ended ending leaves the reader wanting more.At the same time,it has weaknesses.The romance between Harry&Ginny; feels tacked on.It's stuck on the end,as if Rowling suddenly realized,"Oh no!Harry hasn't been dating for most of the book!" It feels like an afterthought,and is unconvincing.What's also interesting is that Rowling makes it clear that Harry&Cho; still have feelings for each other.Who knows?Another weakness is the explanation for the "Half-Blood Prince." Since there's no royalty at Hogwarts...it comes across as a gimmick.Rowling is an original writer,and I look forward to the 7th book.


Unsettling at parts, but marvelous all the same!

by Amazon Customer "book lover"
(5/5)

This book really gets you on all levels of emotion. There's new teachers for potions and defense against the dark arts, lots of surprises from Dumbledore, and a lot of laughs. The ending was a little unsettling, but fantastic all the same. I'll tell you, however, that the half-blood prince's identity will shock and amaze you, you'll get to know a really neat side of Draco Malfoy, even respect him in a way. The one who dies in the end, however, will really wrench at your heart, though. I won't tell you who kills who or who dies, but the half-blood prince has a lot to do with everything. I will admit however I have a hard time believing Snape's actions at the end. It doesn't quite fit entirely with what he did in the fifth book, and maybe even some of the other books.I do have to say, though, enjoy! It's worth every penny and minute you spend reading it. I couldn't even put it down. The only question it leaves me is when is that seventh book coming out?


Loved It!

by Amazon Customer
(5/5)

You know, Rowling gets a lot of flack for not writing great literature, but then when did a great book have to be great literature? Sure, her plotting can get a bit ham-handed, but that doesn't destract from the overall joy of reading this great book. Moreover, Rowling continues to become a better writer with each successive novel, and that's on display in Half-Blood Prince. Granted, you knew who was going to die in the end -- the writing was written boldy on the wall, so to speak -- but getting there is quite a ride. The danger is ratcheted up like never before, someone turns out to be a traitor, and even though any reader would had to have suspected it, once it happens you're just taken aback. One of the great things about these novels has always been how Rowling writes the main characters. She never forgets, even when danger surrounds them, that these young man and women are still kids. Rowling allows them to make the usual teenage mistakes and mature because of it. And yes, as the author warned us, a main character dies, and if any reader isn't emotional at that death there has to be something wrong with him or her. I eagerly await the final novel in this series. Lord Voldemort has some major payback coming to him.


Leaves me with puffy eyes...(might have spoilers)...THIS BOOK IS DARK!!! BUT FANTASTIC!!!

by Amazon Customer
(5/5)

I have to warn you that the sixth book contains the darkest secrets and actions of all Harry Potter books so far. Jo Rowling continue with her pheomonon Harry Potter series with a new twist, where I expect the same cycle in the story to repeat: Harry battling his way away from the Dursleys; returning to the Order of the Phoenix; returning to Hogwarts with some problems on the way; Qudditch incident, always, and Malfoy confrontations. Only the truth about this book is, some those happened. Jo has twisted the whole novel around and actually gave me the feeling that I am reading a different book that just have a character named Harry Potter who happens to be a wizard. The reason this is, is because, I think, Harry Potter and his friends (Ron, Hermione, Luna, Neville, etc.) have matured so much since the incident in the Department of Mysteries.Since the news of Voldemort being at large once again, the Wizarding communities have taken full alert at once. Since there have already been mysterious deaths and disappearance, the novel starts out with a different speed, location, and simply, style; and i have to say that the style of the book, is positive. During the course of the book, the most important point is that Harry is to learn more about Voldemort's young self, Tom Riddle. While his learning this, he discovered a mysterious thing (won't spoil that for you =]) that belong to someone who claims to be, "Half-Blood Prince" (let's say the name was written onto the object) who helped him in a way. Also, a new teacher arrives to take take up an unexpected post by Dumbledore's request. While darkness curtains our world (yes, the muggle world too, since that's the same place), young loves are spouting everywhere, and Mrs. Weasley said that dark times brings people together, knowing that something might happened to them.In this book, the old characters return, though some did not (minor characters, not major, so don't worry!), and don't know why, maybe Jo don't think they are needed in this particular novel. More new characters are introduced, but none as lucky as Luna Lovegood, who became Harry and his friend's close friends.You are warned! The ending of the novel is very unexpected and yes, it leaves my eyes all puffy-red (though, not in a Lord Voldemort way, thank God) and I have cried even harder when Sirius died, who happened to be my first-fave character; therefore, this book is dark. But it is really worth reading because Harry discovers new things and things are going on in a new sort of way, and any Harry Potter fans, cannot miss.Buy it or not? I just gotta say that I can't wait to get my hands onto the SEVENTH BOOK! Wonder when it comes out, seriously. And hope it doesn't have me end it tears, cuz I still can't breathe properly since I read the last page from Chapter 28 to the end of the book; and it is LONG. So imagine that. Oh and did i tell you I still feel miserable and my eyes are filled with tears? Don't worry if you are scared to read it, things can't get anything worst. I hope.


Half-Blood Prince Confounds Expectations

by Amazon Customer
(5/5)

Has Rowling lost her formula? Has she grown into deeper writing? Has she descended into sound and fury, signifying nothing?None of these things. This book is the scene change at the start of the last act of the story. It must be different, unsettling, even jarring. The happy, familiar world of Diagon Alley and Hogwarts is giving way to the "dark days" into which Harry was born. Dumbledore is deliberately -- and belatedly -- changing his relationship with Harry (and just in time). Harry is taking on responsibilities without Dumbledore watching his back. Draco too takes on terrible responsibilities. A Slytherin is wined, shamed, and coached into a noble act. And each step is haunted by Fudge's words from the end of chapter 1: "The other side can do magic, too."On the bright side, the Dursleys get _their_ report card from Dumbledore. The scene is a hoot, but don't be blinded by your pleasure. Look deep into that scene for clues about the Dursleys.The early Harry Potter stories never were children's books, not really. They were books suitable for children, but they were much more than children's books. Anyone who reads one of the clue-and-plot analysis boards will understand this. The last three books continue the story, but Harry's challenges go beyond what a child may be prepared to understand. This is fitting, but it will be a problem in the future when a youngster is ready for the first books, but not the last. I don't see a good answer, except to not have this extraordinary story.I gave _Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince_ five stars, but on a mortgage: if the final book does not resemble a Beethoven Symphony, towering, moving, surprising, satisfying, and _human_ then _Prince_ will be worth no stars at all. JKR has convinced me that she can pull it off. I think she's good for those stars.


Great novel, keep it coming

by Amazon Customer "immortal74205"
(5/5)

The Half Blood Prince is a great follow up to this long running series about Witches and Wizards. I just started reading the series in 2005 after 'Goblet of Fire' came out in theatres, and I loved each of these from start to finish. The Half Blood Prince delivers on many levels. We see Harry with so much anger during the course of this novel. This continues to be a dark story, like Order of the Phoenix, as Harry learns the truth behind Voldemort's past and why it is his destiny to kill him. Dumbledore helps Harry in many ways explore to those truths, all the while Harry must deal with the fact that Professor Snape has finally gotten the Dark Arts job that he's wanted, and uses it to his advantage. This book is definitely a turning point, not only for Harry, but for Professors Dumbledore and Snape, Draco Malfoy, and Ginny Weasley as well. I finished this one in about two weeks. I'm not a fast reader, but this one was just as much fun as the others. I highly recommend this kid-friendly book as a bedtime story. J.K. Rowling does a great job with this one. I can't wait to read the final chapter in this series.


THE SORRIEST EFFORT YET FROM THE SUPPOSED MODERN TOLKEIN

by Amazon Customer "MRD"
(1/5)

THE SORRIEST EFFORT YET FROM THE SUPPOSED MODERN TOLKEINI've thought about this review for days since completing my reading of HARRY POTTER & THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE. Such reviews tend to be "darned if you do, darned if you don't" as books such as this are viewed by readers in an almost black or white sense. You either love 'em or hate 'em. Having said that I will proceed.I have felt for a long time that J. K Rowling was a "one-hit-wonder." This book eloquently proves my point. The original, HARRY POTTER & THE SORCERER'S STONE, was wonderful, introducing the reader to a world of magic with spectacular originality. But with each subsequent "year" Rowling's creativity has seemed to diminish in ways that are equally spectacular to her original brilliance.Now we have before us her latest work. As with HARRY POTTER & THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, HALF-BLOOD PRINCE is, at its very best, disjointed, jumbled and rambling. Nothing fits as Rowling attempts to frantically jam square pegs into round hole after round hole. The resulting read is so slow that I was sure that I was under some weird immobulus hex.The characters were flat and predictable. Professor Slughorn, the latest cameo at Hogwarts, doesn't hold a candle to the likes of past volume guest stars such as Mad Eye Moody or Sirius Black. Even her latest characterizations of Albus Dumbledore left far too much to be desired. It's almost as if, with the unfortunate passing of Richard Harris, she has lost interest in the character. And her references to previous books were terribly distracting. Too much time was wasted telling us what we had already remembered.And what is all of this kissing, or snogging (as it is described in the book), nonsense?! If I hadn't checked the top of each page I was quite sure that I had blundered into a bizarre Hogwarts version of 90210 or THE OC! The book might well have been titled, HARRY POTTER & THE HORMONAL HAZARD! Utter nonsense! Yes, we are talking about individuals entering adolescence. But page after page of such immature and unprofessional writing antics rendered the piece absolutely hilarious if not totally pathetic.Frankly, I was very happy to put this one away. I admit that I stayed with it right to the bitter end, hoping beyond hope that it would somehow redeem itself. And I continue to be baffled by the efforts of some to favorably compare Ms. Rowling to Tolkein. As well might we attempt to positively compare the depth of an ordinary bathtub to Loch Ness or an antique stick horse to Secretariat! That being said, this is the sorriest effort yet from the supposed modern Tolkein.THE HORSEMAN


BooHoo! Only one more book to go!

by Amazon Customer "too many books, too little time"
(4/5)

Four stars for surprising me. I certainly didn't foresee the plot turns, and found the book enjoyable. My only quibble? If you add up everything in the stories, 2 and 2 aren't equalling 4. I don't want to spoil the story, so I will just say that the character that dies (and everyone knows that is going to happen, right? It was all anyone was talking about)did not behave in a manner that was consistent with his/her behavior in previous books. And the lead in to the death was just almost too Deus ex Machina for me. Someone had to die, so someone who should not have been so foolish and helpless became so. But having said that, I'll buy and read the next one.


gift

by A M "Julia"
(5/5)

Got the last 2 HP books they were in excellent condition I like doing business at Amazon


A Transitional Book

by Andrew Cabral "AC"
(5/5)

I have read all the books in the series in order and I have seen how each book grows in maturity. Really the fourth book in the series (Goblet of Fire)was the turning point in the series in terms of how mature the content is. The maturity in the content at this point in the stories plot is very neccessary because of age of the characters and the seriousness of the plot. Why many see this book as not as good as the others, I on the other hand thinked it served its purpose on moving the plot along and setting up the story for the seventh book. The only thing that I felt was the downfall of this book is that it was not as long as I would have liked. The book left me wanting more and I can not wait for the seventh book. I have heard that Rowling is in the process of writing th seventh book right now and could possibly be finished at the end of this year and hopefully it will be released in 2007 because I know the true Harry Potter fans cannot wait for the seventh book.


Marvelous

by Andrew "Radaar"
(5/5)

And then there was war. After the tragic, yet enlightening, trip to the Ministry of Magic that landed many Death Eaters in jail, got one of Harry's closest allies killed, and finally allowed Harry to learn just why Lord Voldemort tried to kill him at such a young age, magical society is beginning to fall apart. Voldemort and his Death Eater followers have brought the Dementors to their side, and have begun mass killings. Things have gotten so bad that the heads of Muggle governments (such as the English Prime Minister and the American President) are being apprised of the situation. Furthermore, Cornelius Fudge has been removed as Minister of Magic.The fighting has taken its toll on even Dumbledore, who has suffered a great injury, but that has not stopped him from continuing to fight as well as run Hogwarts. Meanwhile, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville, Luna, and the rest of the children return to the school. This will be Harry, Ron, and Hermione's sixth year, and they begin to take really advanced courses in preparation to take the graduation exams in the seventh and final year. Harry has narrowed down his class list to just a few choice subjects that are required to become an Auror (Transfiguration, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Potions, Charms). As usual, there is a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, and sadly, once again, the prof is someone that Harry could do without (so far, he has only truly liked on DADA teacher, and that was Lupin; he did like Moody until he figured out that it was an imposter). And for once, Harry excels in Potions class due to the help of a book once owned by the mysterious "Half-Blood Prince".The bonds of friendship are pushed to the breaking point this year due to teenage hormones. Anyone who reads between the lines knows that Ron and Hermione secretly want each other, yet they each have character flaws that keep them apart and in the arms of others, and Harry is forced to be a mediary between the two. Harry also harbors a crush on someone, but he also believes that pursuing the crush would destroy a friendship.This book is much more of a slow-burning story than previous ones. It focuses a lot on Voldemort's past as Tom Riddle, and while there are hints as to foul play by Draco Malfoy througout the book, they are very sparse. Yet everything leads up to a brilliant and heart-breaking ending.I was surprised to see that two of my predictions that I made after reading book 2, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, have come to pass, yet they occured one book early. I was pretty sure that each thing would happen, yet I did not think that they would occur until the final book. However, having them happen now instead of in the seventh book allows for us to truly feel how they affect everything in the seventh book.As usual, this was an excellent book. Rowling has done an amazing job of unravelling a very compelling story. She created the entire backstory before writing the first book, which explains why everything fits so well together, and she continues to impress with fun, interesting characters, beautifully described locations (sometimes hauntingly beautiful), cool magical properties, and a great story. I can't wait to read the next, and last, book, which has a final chapter that has been written and kept under lock and key since before the release of the fifth book.


Harry's most dangerous year yet.

by Andrew W. Johns "ResQgeek"
(5/5)

In "The Order of the Phoenix", the battle against Lord Voldemort burst into the open in spectacular fashion, but now Harry must try to return to what passes as normal in his life and try to focus on his school work. This year, Professor Dumbledore is working one-on-one with Harry, digging into Voldemort's past, looking for clues that will help them defeat the Dark Lord. Meanwhile, Harry is convinced that Malfoy is up to no good at Hogwart's and is determined to prevent him from succeeding in whatever nastiness he's up to. The story builds to a dramatic and unexpected climax (sorry, no spoiler here!), and we're left wondering about the future of Hogwart's and whether Harry will prevail in his mission to stop Voldemort at all costs.


I went at midnight to buy it and wasn't disappointed!

by Anna Banana "AB"
(5/5)

WOW! What a book! What a plot! How does JK Rowling keep track of all the details in her story?? I was cheering, and literally only put this book down to eat meals, and finished it in a day. Halelujah! My brain was begging for more! I am ecstatic for both the next book and the movie!I love the responsibilities that Harry now has, and I love the new relationship between him and Dumbledore. What a twist! Is everyone in this book gonna die?? New bad guy revealed, tons of old ones escape. Once again, how does JK Rowling keep track of it all? Haven't met anyone yet who didn't enjoy it, read it please!


I really loved it . . . but let's be serious for a moment.

by Anonymous Jess
(5/5)

At least in this book SOME good things happen - like him taking the luck potion and learning new spells etc. etc. and we get to see more of the main villain's past - there's a darker psychological aspect too. JK was a lot more creative here - which reminded me a lot of book 3 (my favorite). The best part of book 6 is the cave scenario with all of the zombies in the black lake - I mean c'mon - the book has zombies, curses that split the enemies body in half, and jewelry, and Harry gets two professors really drunk (black out drunk!) - so clever is our little grasshopper!In book 5 we see Harry being immature and he doesn't like to listen to anyone. He kind of annoying with his hormonal teen angst issues. In book 6 we see that Harry is the mature one and no one listens to him (except for his friend Ron), including Dumbledore who ends up getting killed because of it. . . and I didn't cry - yeah, it's sad that an old wise moral wizard died and Harry is alone now, but if anything he really let Harry down and he should've just killed Snape when he had a chance and then bring out the big guns with the main villian - none of this peace treaty nonsene!Proving to us all that the better wizard really is . . . Gandalf.


Suspenseful and thrilling

by Antonio Howell "Antonio R. Howell, M.D."
(5/5)

It is an absolutely thrilling ride from the first page until the last.Voldermort's character is further developed we get to see how he became the Dark Lord. By recalling his beginnings as a orphan boy just like Potter. As a matter of fact the similarities between He-who-must-not-be-named and Harry are so similar they are striking.Voldermort and his den of "Death Eaters", his loyal supporters, deal a deadly blow to the "Order of the Phoenix".It's a must read for all Harry Potter fans.


Great!

by A Reader
(5/5)

I love the Harry Potter books! They are a nice escape from everyday life. I mean this takes place in the wizarding world with magic, where memos fly from one floor to the other, and people get around using floo powder!! Take it for what is meant to be. I spent a couple of weeks reading HBP because I savored every word and even re-read chapters because I wanted it to last and last. It was funny, exciting, and Ginny is my favorite character in this book. She has really evolved into a bright, confident young lady and so funny and to the point!Just my two cents, I don't believe that the death at the end of the book is really a death. We'll have to see in the next book.


deserves a Pulitzer or a Nobel Prize

by Atheen M. Wilson "Atheen"
(5/5)

The newest Harry Potter is quite an achievement. I realize that many will find it less joyful than the earlier books in the collection. Viewed from the perspective of an adult, it doesn't seem like a "children's" book ought to be. What a child thinks on the matter, however, will probably be quite different.Whatever the case, I thought it quite good. It's definitely much less for or about younger children than the earlier ones. You might almost say that the collection are a set of "to grow up with books," each to be read at a different stage of a child's life. They certainly seem to progress in sophistication with respect to the vocabulary, sentence structure, and content from one book to the next.It's amazing really. I can't decide if the author's style is simply maturing, or if she actually intends the progression. It seems to me as though she's writing the books for a specific child or group of children , tailoring each to the concerns of a stage of life defined generally by a year of matriculation. "Sort of a guidebook to growing up."Anyone who has lived with a growing child knows how much they change during a school year. That toddler concerned with keeping siblings out of "his or her" things is suddenly going to school and facing new challenges. The next thing you know they're getting married and you're a grandparent-like when did that happen? They soak up information so quickly that it would put an IBM computer to shame, and their problems are ones that no computer yet built could work out appropriately. Trying to help them navigate the shoals is a major task for any parent, and it's always nice to find books that help them help their youngsters in an entertaining and attention getting way.The most recent Harry deals with a wide variety of teen problems. It delves into the moodiness of friends, boy-girl relationships, sibling relationships, "finding" someone, trying not to be "different" or learning to deal with being so, trying not to be seen as still a "kid" when everyone else is trying to be "grown up," having your best friend "fall" for your sister-of all things-or worrying about falling for your best friend's sister and possibly ruining a long friendship, how friendships change during adolescence as adult roles are assumed, the fact that they will change whether you like it or not, the fact that the world is a hard place that gives little quarter to anyone even the young, that beloved role models can be wrong, that they can die. Well, you get the drift. In short, it may be full of magic and mystery, but it's still about "growing up."The book also takes parents pretty much out of the picture, which I think is the way it really is for teens. We don't all go to a private school; we certainly aren't all learning the art and lifestyle of a witch or wizard, but we're more subject to our peers and what they think and expect, and to our teachers control and influence. We spend more time at school and in after school activities than we do when we are pre-teens. In short after we hit 13, we're more "out in the world." On the surface, Harry Potter is about a young wizard coming of age in a world where magic still exists, but the real theme is becoming an adult.Considering that it's become an international phenomenon, that it is read by "kids" of all ages, and that it deals with real and some very serious issues, I think Rowling deserves a Pulitzer or a Nobel Prize for literature.


Dark and Gloomy

by A. Vegan
(3/5)

Based on the nearly 2500 reviews already written about this book, I'm not going to go into much detail since I'm sure it has been done already.This was a really dark book - I've noticed this trend since #3. To be honest, I didn't really enjoy this one all that much. It has been over two years since she wrote her last one so it was difficult to remember just what happened in the previous book. After waiting so long for the latest book, it finally came and I started reading it with much anticipation. Unfortunately, the anticipation desimated before the end of the book.I'm not saying don't read it... I'm just saying don't set your expectations too high.


Very well read!

by Avid reader
(5/5)

The reader, Jim Dale, does a great job using a different voice for each character. When I listen, I forget that it is just one person reading the book! It is easy to get absorbed in the story.


Plodding, then has a knock-out climax

by Babaylan
(4/5)

Overall, this book is very good effort by JK Rowling, but I have to agree with some of the other reviewers that it isn't her best effort in the series.As with the other books, Rowling has created an outstanding climax, full of action, revealing the key plot twists, and offering the cliffhangers for the final book.Unfortunately, it seems to take a long time to get there. Some of the earlier chapters seem to drag. And I find myself occasionally annoyed when Rowling throws in a trivial bit of an event that happened in a prior book, but the mention of which seems to have little relevance to this book's plot. Like other Harry Potter fans, I find the world that she has created, with its carefully crafted details and clever designs, is fascinating, but I don't see the the need to keep repeating it in this book.I think that tightening up the middle of the book would have gone a long way with improving its pace and making the climb to the climax less of a chore.


"But when I became a man, I put away childish things."

by Beau Yarbrough
(4/5)

In many ways, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is the end of the first half of his saga. This is the conclusion of Harry as an innocent and a young man. No surprises here: The entire series has been leading towards Harry having a final confrontation with Voldemort.The certainty of that confrontation, and the uncertainty of what will result, hangs heavily over "The Half-Blood Prince." Harry's sixth school year is full of preparations for the confrontation. The wizarding world is on high alert, the Death Eaters are murdering those who will not side with them, Harry's rival Draco Malfoy is up to something and Headmaster Dumbledore is preparing Harry with the information he'll need to face Voldemort in the prophesized final battle.An air of tragedy and tension thus overlay the normal interests of 16 year olds, including the opposite sex, sports and the opposite sex. Romance fully blossoms at Hogwarts at last, but it's love during wartime, given less time to bloom than it would in more peaceful times.In many ways, this is J. K. Rowling's "The Empire Strikes Back": There are no real conclusions here -- even the much-hyped death is so wrapped up in mystery that it will inevitably be the focus of much of the final novel -- but merely setting things up for that final conclusion. And as it's always darkest before the dawn, Rowling makes things very, very dark indeed. Any notion that she would be dumbing down this story, or the depiction of evil, for a children's audience is finally ground to dust. Death and other evils are treated in a mature fashion, especially the ramifications for the survivors.Along the way is a great deal of evidence that Rowling has grown up as a writer along with Harry. The structure of the early books is almost entirely gone, and all indications are that the final book will have only a passing resemblance to previous books in terms of structure. Quidditch is here, but it receives its smallest focus to date. Time spent in class is likewise not the focus of the novel, nor is a great deal of time spent with Harry's non-wizarding relatives, the Dursleys. At this point, Rowling rightly assumes anyone reading her novel is aware of the setting and history, and just jumps right into the story itself.But this is ultimately a hard novel to judge, as it really forms the first half of the final novel of the series. Indeed, it looks likely that the first chapter of that book will take place hours, at most, after the final page of "The Half-Blood Prince." It's going to be a heck of a ride, with confrontations with numerous antagonists likely to be going down in surprising ways, if the twists in this novel are any indication.On its own, this isn't the best novel in the series -- that's still "Prisoner of Azkhaban," for my money -- but it's definitely among the best installments to date.Now to climb the walls for two more years waiting for the conclusion of this series ...


complete

by Ben Holcomb
(5/5)

The Half Blood Prince came through in dramatic fashion. The six book in the Potter saga did what was needed by bridging the story to reach the concluding book. Some have called this the dark book in the series and they may have ample reason. Voldermot's dark past is revealed, you get an inside look at the depth of Snape's character and what forces drive him, Draco reaches new lows, and death again hits a beloved character.However, the story also has a fair share of love, friendship, and loyalty. You can't help but feel the tension between the teenagers as they try to figure out this thing called love. The build up is beautifully done between Ron and Herimone and its hard not to root for them to get together as you watch them go through different twists and turns. There is also a chemistry between Harry and a girl that really begins to evolve.Friendship plays a pivotal role in this book. Harry learns to trust those closest to him and whom not to trust. Dealing with his nervousness on the quidditch field, Ron gets help from those around him. And Snape and Malfoy share an apparent beneficial relationship. Who to actually trust is an ongoing question throughout the book and culminates in an exciting dramatic ending.The one thing that continues to impresses me about the whole Potter series is Rowling's attention to detail. She definitely has thought out how each character would act and react. Also she has done a fabulous job following through with plot lines and keeping a logical integrity to the entire story. This book is full of details and information needed to accurately propel the story. A great read.


Harry stews a lot

by bernie "xyzzy"
(5/5)

Looks like this year Harry has mysteriously mastered stewing potions. This bothers Hermione who sets out to find an answer to his lucky find and has her own theory as to the true nature and name of "The Half-Blood Prince."Harry also has a few emotions stewing that need a little taming; he seems to be a tad upset over Jenny's snogging another student. Things get a tad dicey as it looks like you do not know who to trust as Harry and Dumbledore have a mission.I think one of the best points in the book is where Dumbledore shows Harry that his fate in the conflict is not because it is written but what he chooses similar to the line from "Julius Creaser" by Shakespeare where Cassius says to Brutus "Men at some time are masters of their fates:The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves..."This story sometimes has the feel that it is going astray with descriptions; however all things tie together and it is necessary to distract you from the core story so you will forget some details only to be reminded of them later.This is the sixth book in the proposed series of seven and as with the previous books in the series; you will want to purchase the book and the Jim Dale recording. Also, if you are collecting do not forget to get an adult version.Before reading this book, it is time to read "The Power of Myth" by Joseph Campbell. On the other hand, if you are visual or auditory there is a film series and a CD version. After this, you will swear that J.K. Rowling must have read this also before writing the book. You will see the mandatory stages a hero must go through including going through rites of passage such as caves before obtaining adulthood.If we just stopped with this book, it would make a great TV pilot as Harry go on with an endless quest. However, we are promised that all things should wrap-up and many do in this book by the end of the next book.


MIND-BOGGLING ADVENTURES, SCARY CREATURES = ONE FINE READ BY A DYNAMITE AUTHOR!

by Betty L. Dravis "BETTY DRAVIS, author/reviewer"
(5/5)

Not much more can be said about this book, the entire series, about Harry and J.K. Rowling!!If you want a wild ride through the most imaginative adventures that anyone ever had and meet the most frightening, unique creatures in the Universe, you MUST read these books.WOW!


Hang in there, Harry

by Billy Hollis
(4/5)

It helps to read a book like this if one's expectations are properly set. This simply is not a stand-alone book. It is the set-up for the final book in the series. As such, no one should expect it to have a satisfying, uplifting, all-loose-ends-tied-up ending, and it doesn't.What it does have are (1) good continuing character development on the main characters in the book, (2) at least one totally unexpected twist, (3) reasonably brisk pacing, especially compared to Order of the Phoenix, and (4) additional depth on the wizarding world and other aspects of magic.As others have noted, the adolescent romance scenes can put one's teeth on edge, but is that really outlandish? Who among us was suave and smooth during our own first explorations into relationships with the opposite sex? Personally, I don't see where the Ron-Hermione thing come from, but I've seen more inexplicable pairings in real life.You have a couple of strategies to choose from. First, you can read this now and gnaw over the unsettled fates of most of the main characters and the tragedies in this book until book 7 comes out in 12-18 months. But if you just can't stand being in suspense that long, then DON'T READ THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW! Wait until book 7 is released or imminent so that you can read both together.But don't complain that this book leaves you feeling unsatisfied. That's exactly what it's supposed to do. I'm glad I've read it now, because there are many interesting things to think about pending the release of the last book. And, given what I've read about the process Rowling went through in crafting the series, I have confidence the last book will make up for the unsatifying nature of this book's ending.


Well worth the wait!

by Billy J. Hobbs "Bill Hobbs"
(5/5)

At long last--they never appear fast enough--but J.K. Rowling's "too long awaited" sixth installment of the Harry Potter series is, of course, worth the wait. Even worth the wait at Wal-mart's to purchase it! What an exciting "arrival"!And after some 600 pages, my jury is in: "Harry Potter and theHalf-Blood Prince" is an A plus! In fact, my jury says it's Rowling's best written episode. Not only has Harry "matured," but it seems so has Ms Rowling and her incredibly popular style and subject matter.Filled at once with the usual HP mystique, intrigue, humor, intensity, and excellent character development, this book doesn't slow down from the opening page onward. Record-breaking sales aside, "Half-Blood Prince" continues its hold on readers of all ages.Rowling, without missing a beat, picks up from where she interrupted. The narrative doesn't weaken a bit as we find Harry, Ron, Hermione, the whole Hogwarts watch, all matching their wits as He-Whose-Name-Must-Not-Be-Mentioned continues his attack on decent folk (and wizards and their like) everywhere. This time, he's taken his attack front directly to the Muggles and we find a more universal concern. Rowling pulls no punches (but provides quite a few surprises along the way) as her sixteen-year old protagonist works through not only his sixth year at Hogwarts, but another year in his search for his own identity, purpose, and destiny."Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is a book that's just about in everybody's hands already. It's a fever that simply won't go away anytime soon.(Is the seventh installment ready yet, Ms Rowling?)


Book for everyone

by BK BAZHE "writer, poet, & artist."
(5/5)

This book has unexpected turns that make it better than its predecessors.I really love this book. It's great to see how the trio's life goes from children to young adults. It's really descriptive and fun. I cried, laughed, blush, and screamed. It has parts that are romantic, frightining and some pretty violent. This is a great book that EVERYONE must have.


An Outstanding Book!

by Book Fan "Reads a lot"
(5/5)

Several years ago, my daughter read the first Harry Potter book. I'm very lucky, my daughter likes to read, but I noticed that this one grabbed her interest from the start. When she was done, she asked me to read it, and rather than disappoint her, I did, and I have been a fan ever since.Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is an excellent continuation in the series. Harry, Ron and Hermione are now 16 years old and have all the joys, problems and worries that teenagers have. They've passed their O.W.L.S. and must now start thinking seriously about what they would like to do after finishing Hogwarts. They have secret crushes that they have to learn to deal with. J.K. Rowling has always done a great job in aging the characters through the series, and this book is no exception.This story has a lot to do with Harry finding out more about how Lord Voldemort became the evil person that he is. He spends a great deal of time with Dumbledore travelling through the pensieve to see memories. During these travels, Harry sees some similiarities between himself and Voldemort.Lord Voldemort's Death Eaters are creating havoc and danger both in the wizarding world and the Muggle world. Fudge has lost his job and the new Minister of Magic, Scrimgeour, is trying to get a handle on things, but of course, goes about it the wrong way. Since Harry is the "Chosen One," he asks him to make himself seen coming in and out of the Ministry so people will have hope that things will get better. Because of everything that happened in the Ministry in previous books, Harry refuses, stating that he's supporting Dumbledore all the way.The Half-Blood Prince is not an actual "character" in the book, but rather someone that Harry meets through his Potions book. He borrows an old Potions book from his teacher and finds handwritten notes throughout the book that help him do very well in class. This causes some problems between Harry and Hermione who feels he's cheating, but Harry won't give up the book. It was quite a surprise to me to find out who the Half-Blood Prince actually was.Sadly, there is a death in this book. I knew there was before starting it, but who it turned out to be caught me by surprise. I will not ruin it for those who have not read the book, but I thought it would be one of the Weasley's or a teacher. I'm hoping that when the story concludes, Rowling will show that this was all part of the plan to defeat Voldemort and this person will still be alive.I highly recommend this book to everyone. I would have given it more than 5 stars if I could. If you haven't started the series yet, do so now. Let's just hope it won't take 3 years to see the next one!


Prince Proves Perfect

by bookrater "*~*bookrater*~*"
(5/5)

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was one of the best books i have ever read. It really proved to be one of the series. The death was sad of course, but nessicary (yes there is a death, but in some ways its good). Once i started this book i could not put it down! Please go read this book, youll thank yourself. We can only hope that J.K. Rowling will start us with a new series because there is only one more book left of this one. She has a talent for writing that should not be squashed! Once again, very good book, not at all disapointing! Infact Half blood prince does prove perfect!


Great Reading for Adults Too!

by Bookworm Plus "Bill C."
(5/5)

Since my son started the Harry Potter series in the late nineties, I have followed along and have read and enjoyed them all. Now he is a college freshman and we are both enjoying the books as much as ever. For a "juvenile" series there is a lot going on and the plots stay fresh with many surprises. I am especially impressed with how many kids have learned a love of reading from this series. Rowling is certainly not at the level of Tolkien, but these are great stories and much better fantasy than a number of lesser "adult" writers who shall not be named. Just because Harry and his friends are kids (now on the verge of adulthood) does not mean adults should stay away this series. The plots and characters are getting a lot more mature with each book. One appealing feature which keeps the books interesting and alive is there is no assurance that things will turn out all right in the end for a given individual or the group. In The Half Blood Prince, the specter of Voldemort deepens and Harry finds himself deeper and deeper in the battle with strong suspicions of certain students and faculty members. Flashbacks, delivered to the reader by magical means of course, explain a lot of the history for both Harry and the reader. Harry's social and love life take a positive turn, but he also learns that relationships are open to danger from Voldemort along with normal adolescent disappointment and drama. The Half Blood Prince is not the place to start with Harry Potter because one must read the entire series in order to understand the plots and contexts. Since it has been a while since I read # 5, I found synopses online to refresh my memory. It is hard to believe that this series will end with the next book. In fact, the ending contains hints that the remaining story may not end as we have been led to expect. Perhaps the next installment will be something on the order of "Harry Potter and the Quest for Vengeance."


SO-SO

by Boomer49 "Boomer49"
(3/5)

It severly lacked any magic. It had all the earmarks of a book that the publisher demanded to be published now. Entirely lacking in suspense or mystery. Too many big words for kids too.


FANTASTIC

by Brad "Darth Gunner"
(5/5)

Awesome - just when you might think the series would be getting stale, it takes it up a notch....I dunno how the house elves were supposed to be able to apparate into Harry's dorm room when even Dumbledore couldnt apparate into the school...But otherwise the story was great, interesting, and even had me a little choked up.


The Waiting Will Be Awful

by Brett Benner
(5/5)

After finishing this book tonight, all I can say is, in book seven all bets are off. I felt this was a fantastic chapter in the series. For me what made it so wonderful was it didn't feel like it was following the same formula of the previous years/books: The opening with the Dursleys, arriving at the school, and the "new" teacher every year who came with their own quirks and secrets. So much of this book is between Harry and Dumbledore that I found myself enjoying the break from what was becoming a bit routine. Harry has also seemed to mature past the petulant and angry brat he had been in the last novel and has now found a focus for his anger, that allows him to at least have moments with his friends like he used to. The book is darker than any of the previous ones, but it would almost have to be to continue to engage kids who started this series nearly eight years ago and are now transfixed by Xbox and Playstation. That's not to say it's excessively violent, but the violence when it occurs feels right in the context of the story. It certainly will be interesting to see how she wraps it all up. Without giving anything away, she seems to have opened an avenue that can lead Harry and Co., anywhere for the finale.


Another good installment

by Brian Hawkinson
(3/5)

Rowling seems to grow with each book, making the storyline become more and more mature. This could either be because as the series progresses Harry gets older, and thus the story becomes more mature, or she has realized with each book that her audience is becoming more diverse in the ages of its readership. Either way, I think she did a great job with this one. It started out a little slow as we read about the familiar characters, but it picked up and made you want to continue reading.One thing I will say. She leads the readers down a very astute path, making sure that her stories develop fluidly and seem natural. Keeping this in mind, don't put it past her for a few surprises in the last and final seventh book. She has already planted several seeds that will sprout in the seventh book and, for many people, surprise them. So pay attention to the details if you are eager for the next book and perhaps you will gain some insight.I would recommend this book to anyone, no matter their preference. It is too much of a fun read to not give it a go.


A Series in Transition: 3 and a Half Stars

by Brian Markowski
(3/5)

While reading the latest Harry Potter Book, "The Half Blood Prince" I kept getting that nasty feeling of De ja vu. By the end of the book it seemed clear, "The Half Blood Prince" is a book that is in transition. Now before you reach for "This Review was Not Helpful" button allow me to explain my views.The plot of book 6 centers around a mysterious potion book by a mysterious author that Harry and company try to deduce the identity to. All the while people within Hogwarts are being attacked by dark curses. The plot to book 2, "The Chamber of Secrets" centers around a mysterious diary by a mysterious author that Harry and company try to deduce the identity to. All the while people within Hogwarts are being attacked by a dark curse. In book 5, it ends with the death of a popular character. In book 6, it ends with the death of a popular character. The good news is that J.K. Rowling's writing still flows with imagination. In fact most of the book seems like a look back at books 1 through 6 as we're introduced (all be it sometimes briefly) to nearly every past character that Rowling has created. It's as if Rowling is reminding us of all that has happened and who is important for the seventh and finale book.I do and have always enjoyed the development of Harry. In book six he is more mature, a little wiser, and finally gets a girlfriend. Though he is still making some oblivious mistakes that maybe he should of grown out of a year or two ago.SPOILER:The ending makes the book sing but still leaves many questions unanswered. Is Snape really evil, I doubt it. Is Dumbledore really dead, I don't think so. And if I'm right, is book seven going to end up being too predictable?SPOLIER OVER:As an individual book, the story falls short and deserves 3 stars. However, as part of this series, it works quite well and deserves 4 stars. The average of the score falls somewhere in between. So let the negative reviews of this review begin...now.


Great setting. Bad ending?

by Bryan Jacobs
(4/5)

The first two acts of this book are exceptional, but I feel the final act is hampered by Rowling's lack of command of action. Just like the previous books in the series, Rowling is amazing when she's describing the unique environment and the wonderful characters at Hogwarts. In Half-Blood Prince she delves more into the character of Voldemort and his background.Unfortunately the book's inrecdible suspense must playout in the end, and I feel it is quite a disappointment. I never felt Rowling was very good in her action writing, but this ending just seemed like one long plot device to set up the next book.


Great

by bzk123
(5/5)

Captures a kids view and makes you want to read the next chapter.Even has a great end for a series.


Harry's not a child any longer...

by Carolyn Rowe Hill "author of 'The Dead Angel"
(5/5)

J. K. Rowling is a remarkable storyteller with a vivid imagination and the astonishing ability to put her images into words for all of us to enjoy. She is also a well-organized writer. With so much detail to keep track of over six books, she can reach back to the smallest detail and bring it forward to excellent use (I'd share some with you, but you'll discover them for yourself as you read). Rowling also has a way of imparting wisdom through her characters' conversations and her descriptions of events (taking in the wisdom of Dumbledore is a side benefit of the Harry Potter series). Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince also sets up the next book perfectly. It is clear well before the end of this book that Harry has a big job to do before the whole tale is told. The next, and final (?), installment in Harry's world will certainly be exciting.Love, loyalty, adventure, and the worst kind of betrayal are found within the covers of this book. Harry's feelings for Ron's sister, Ginny, take on a life of their own in Half-Prince, while Ron and Hermoine continue to have a love-dislike relationship; but it's clear to us undying romantics what lies behind their often contentious behavior toward one another. Ron even resorts to an outrageous snogging relationship with Lavender Brown to prove himself. If it weren't so true of hormone-raging, image-conscious, teenaged behavior, it would be laughable.We learn much about Lord Voldemort's life and how he came to his evil ways (though one might think Harry could've turned out like him with his own tragic early life; so why didn't he?). We also learn how Voldemort plans to make himself immortal. The wizard world is now under greater threat from the Dark Lord than it has been for a long time. Wizard folks are not safe in their homes or their places of work and play without considerable charms and enchantments. Hogwarts is under grave threat from Death Eaters wanting to get inside, and with a little inside help, they might make it. Who's to be trusted? Who is not? Can one trust too much? Can even a wise wizard place his trust in the wrong person? These are all questions the reader will ask him/herself all the way through Half-Prince, and the answers will not all be comforting ones.Carolyn Rowe Hill


Harry potter is amazing again

by Cassia Maria Reyes
(5/5)

Another wonderful addition to the series. It has action, romance, death, life tragedy, loss, and adventure. J.k. Rowling is an amazing author and this is a good read for anyone.


Perhaps the most important Harry Potter installment yet...

by Cassie W.
(5/5)

The wizarding world is at war. Lord Voldemort, once again risen to power and surrounded by his faithful Death Eaters, is wreaking havoc and causing a world of problems for The Order of the Phoenix. Things are so bad, in fact, that the Minister of Magic must visit the Muggle Prime Minister to warn him of impending danger...And so begins the long-awaited sixth installment of J.K. Rowling's well-loved series, HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE. I'm not going to go into a lot of plot summary, because this is a book that you'll enjoy most if you are able to be surprised. But here are a few things to be prepared for as Harry Potter and his friends enter their sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry: burgeoning romantic relationships; a new professor; an infuriating traitor; a mysterious textbook belonging to the "Half-Blood Prince" that makes Harry a whiz at Potions, much to Hermione's chagrin; more insight into Tom Riddle's past; and yes, the rumors are true...a shocking death that brought tears to this reader's eyes.THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE is a worthy addition to the Harry Potter series, and perhaps Rowling's most important tome to date. In this offering, Harry and his friends have begun to grow up and face increasingly adult situations...This isn't children's literature anymore. The books have grown progressively darker as the series continues, and THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE is the most sinister to date. It is in this pivotal novel that Harry begins to study his enemy and finally realizes what he must do--and becomes determined to do it. More than just a story about witches and wizards, this installment is a tribute to friendship, loyalty, bravery, the choices we make and the actions we take, and the consequences we must accept. While not as vivid as THE GOBLET OF FIRE or as sprawling and intricate as THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE touched me on a profound level, and it's the only novel in the series that's made me cry. There's only one thing I resent: the fact that I'll have to wait another two years for the conclusion of the series. I don't know if I can stand the anticipation!


Thoroughly Enjoyable Read

by Catherine Levin "book mama"
(5/5)

What a wonderful job Ms. Rowling did on this book! After Book 5, I have to admit that I was a little concerned about being unable to sympathize (much less WANT to sympathize) with the grouchy, woe-is-me Harry. But within 20 pages, I was completely relieved of any such concern! This book returns us to the wonderful character that is Harry Potter. I am a mother of three small children, and to find time to read is a real trial -However, for this book - I made the time! A thoroughly delightful, wonderful, enjoyable read. High marks on this one!


Are we done yet?

by Cathy J. Taurine "C.J."
(4/5)

Well amazon is sure trying to stop me from giving a bad rating to Harry Potter. I wonder why? I hope my review of the final book shows up soon that would be swell. In the meantime I just want you all to know that this promotes witchcraft and several kids whose parents of course, do not watch them have already cast spells on each other in various places around the globe. I guess in Honduras some kid was turned into a chicken, and of course he was quickly eaten for lunch by locals. Well I must be moving on now I just wanted to make sure to say hello to all the Zombies out there who think Harry Potter is the second coming. Goodbye Harry sorry i did not get to know you but I am not distraught that you are gone. I get tired of seeing you and hearing about you. Literature is dead and it has been replaced with your books, which have the ugliest dust jackets I have ever seen.


Shocking...and Very Emotional

by C. Cunningham "Cris Cunningham"
(4/5)

This review refers to the audio CD version narrated by the amazingly talented Jim Dale.First off, if you haven't had the pleasure of sitting with Jim Dale as he narrates J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, then you are most assuredly missing out on a very big treat. Dale creates voices...distinctive, animated, and sometimes downright "unusual" voices. He is as masterful at delivering the prose as Rowlings is at writing it. If you have a chance to grab this series from the library tape shelves, then do it! I promise you won't regret it. Listening to Jim Dale is like hearing a Broadway play. His performance is superb!About this latest edition - the only bad thing I can say is that it is too short! There are only 11 or 12 tracks to each CD as compared to 18 or sometimes 20 in the previous editions. The chapters seem short, as most of the storyline involves a look into Voldemort's past. As you begin listening to this it may seem as if Dumbledore is delivering a non-stop, completely irrelevant monologue, but all I can say is HANG ONTO EVERY WORD! The author is deftly laying down a series of events that culminate in a shocking, absorbing finale. This is one very gutsy book - it is very emotional and will stay with you long after it was over. I can't really go into the plot - I don't like giving spoilers even if some other reviewers have done so. Suffice it to say that relationships blossom (with some hysterical antics); new supporting characters are added into the mix; there is a new "Defense Against the Dark Arts" teacher (and it's a shocker); Voldemort's past is revealed (as is someone else's - and it relates to the title), Ron's little sister lets her hair down, and our favorite wizard grows up right before our eyes. This has been a truly gripping experience. Don't miss it.Cris CunninghamPS. I want to add that before Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling, there was a book titled _Wizard's Hall_ by Jane Yolen. It was published eight years before the Potter series and although not as popular, is what I consider the FIRST truly amazing fantasy novel of this kind. Check it out. You;ll be shocked at the similarities.


Excellent Book with Good Story and Character Development!

by CG
(5/5)

I have read all of the books, which is an imperative prerequisite before embarking upon this, the most recent book. The storyline is taken to new heights in this volume, bring back all of your favorite characters, ghosts, and Muggles.I am sure that you have heard that there are serious plot developments in this, Harry's second to last year at Hogwarts, and I will not reveal them in this review. It suffices to say that Rowling has remained faithful in developing her characters, and their connection to the reader is deepened as they grow and mature in this novel.I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the conclusion of the series.


Long in the middle but an exciting finish

by Chad Lawrence
(4/5)

The next to last book in the Harry Potter series has most of the elements that have made the previous books so much fun to read. It includes great characters that come to life and are very well written and distinct. It includes outstanding writing that keeps you turning pages, even when the content isn't your cup of tea. And of course it includes all the magic and mystery of the wizarding world in which Harry Potter lives.What it lacks is the suspense that was prevelant in many of the other books. Throughout the book, you know that Malfoy is on a special mission and that Snape is either helping or spying on him. But this topic takes a back seat for a majority of the book, as the middle turns into a teen romance novel. It seems that more time was spent on Harry and Ron's love life than the main elements of the story. While this may be interesting for some readers, it was not for me. There was also a lot fewer quidditch descriptions, which I missed sorely.However, it's worth getting through in order to get to the end. The climactic battle at the end of this book packs the same punch as the last battle in "The Order of the Phoenix", and its conclusion will leave you stunned. Whatever is lacking in the middle of the book is more than made up for by its final chapters.As usual, Rowling's writing style is outstanding, and you will quickly be fully engrossed in the story. There is a great balance between drama and humor. The characters are well written and memorable, and it's a shame to know there is only one more book left.


The best book of the series. Absolutely fantastic writing.

by Chris
(5/5)

I absolutely loved this book. Her writing is just fantastic. Even as a young adult, I couldn't stop reading.


Another great Potter book

by clifford "akitonmyers"
(4/5)

Starting this book, I have to admit that I found myself wondering if this series was starting to run out of steam. It seems that every Harry Potter book has the same first one hundred pages before it gets going. The usual start at the Muggle's house where Potter's extended family is made to eat crow once again. The visit to the Diagon alley in London where wizard's and witches buy their wares, the short stay at the Weasley's where Potter always finds a small period of happiness, and then the voyage to school where he is late as all-ways. I was almost ready to put the book down here, because I felt like I had read it five times before and was a little insulted as a reader over having been passed this paltry re-used fare.However, it would be good to have faith in the author Rowling. Even though this might all in all be the least inspired of her series to date, it is still very much worth reading once it starts to take hold. It's interesting to watch Potter, Hermione, Ron, and Ginny find love and grow as characters. This book is very much more internal than the others are in that it deals overly with Potter's conflicting jealousies and anger over being overlooked by the adults in his life. In my opinion Rowling has the honor of being the grand master of fantasy (along with George RR Martin). Rowling and Martin have taken this genre beyond anywhere that Tolkein or other predecessors had envisioned and have added enormous amounts of personality and life to a once stagnant corner of fiction.If you are a little older you will really enjoy the many times more involved Martin series that I mentioned.


Well it sure kept me interested but for what?

by Cloud "..."
(4/5)

I'm not going to lie to you, I finished Half Blood Prince in one day. Started at 5 in the afternoon and finished around 11:30 at night. Maybe it was the boredom of nothing else to do, having finished Killer 7. Or movies, where I had nothing to watch. So I just started reading, and read some more. By the end of it, I kind of went "oh okay" and put it away. It was like 6 and a half hours and nothing really struck me. Still an engaging read though.Year 6 starts with Harry at the Dursleys again only saddened by the death of his godfather Sirius. Pretty much typical stuff until Dumbledore shows up and takes Harry under his wing for a bit until Hogwarts starts. Harry finds out that Malfoy is a possible Death Eater, servant of Lord Voldemort. We also get into backstory on Voldemort before he became Voldemort.At Hogwarts, it's pretty much 3 things that happen throughout the entire book: Harry's obsession with Malfoy's secret mission, his history lessons using the Pensieve with Dumbledore and Harry's book which contains shortcuts to potions which delights the new Potions teacher.There's not a lot of really interesting things that happen, that is until the very end where we get a big battle scene and a major death. Having been spoiled by someone on who it is already, it didn't hit me that hard. Granted even in movies, deaths never do either. One interesting although somewhat pointless thing that happens is the kids start up some romance: with "Won-Won"'s dating of a Gryffindor girl and Harry's choosing of someone that personally, was a bit too sudden.This book does what it was meant to do: set up Book 7, the last one. If you walk in and read with that frame of mind, you'll be fine. Some plot things and backstory are some good reads but they're not really engaging.


Good, but I expected more

by C. Montgomery Burns
(3/5)

Without giving anything away (or too much, anyway), this book is the "Empire Strikes Back" of the Harry Potter series. The brilliance and creativity of the storytelling are enough to make you overlook the obviousness of the plotline, but somehow I expected more out of this book. What I got was something that read more like a screenplay than a novel, lacking a lot of the creative side and backstories found in previous books. The one good thing I can say for it is that it does set up some very interesting plotlines for the upcoming final Book 7.Also, while this book is shorter than its predecssor, it still suffers from a lack of editing. I've accepted that J.K. Rowling is an incredibly taletented, creative, but not incredibly skilled writer. I've even looked the other way in the past at some of the places where her editor clearly fell asleep. Unfortunately, it appears that she had no editor for this effort. The shear number of semicolons (many of which are misused, and the rest are overused) in this book is enough to make me want to tinker with Rowling's keyboard before she starts writing Book 7.Ultimately, this is not a bad book, but it is also far from a great one. It certainly falls well short of Rowling's two best efforts, Prisoner of Azkaban and Order of the Phoenix. All told, though, I was happy to read it and can say that any fan of the series will at least give it credit for moving the story along and setting up a fascinating final chapter.


Not as good as some of the others

by Cowabunga
(4/5)

Don't get me wrong, this is an excellent book and is well worth the read. But it seems to fall just short of the high standards we have come to expect of Rowling. She fails to create the mystery that usually surrounds Harry throughout the year. Even Harry's character to me seems less lifelike than in past books. However, she does create very realistically the emotions and feelings that come from being teenagers. Several previously important characters are scarcely mentioned. The new Defense against the Dark Arts teacher is a shocker. So overall, while most of the characters are written realistically, there just doesn't seem to be much plot. And when a major character dies, it seems like its only to surprise us and serves no real purpose. As for the Half-blood Prince, he is not nearly what he could be, and his effects on Harry are not shown enough. A well written novel with little plot.


Rowling is back to top form

by Craig MACKINNON
(5/5)

It is Year 6 for Harry Potter at Hogwarts. At the beginning of this book he will learn the results of his O.W.L. (Ordinary Wizarding Level) exams, which will determine what courses he can take in his last two years. Of course, his schoolwork is the least of his worries as the return of "He Who Must Not Be Named" has the wizarding world quaking in fear, not to mention the fact that Harry has been named Captain of his house's Quidditch team.As we come to expect from Rowling, she expands and deepens the universe she's created. Her greatest invention of this book is the "Horacrux" - without giving away any plot points, it is the key to understanding and defeating Voldemort. As Harry and Prof. Dumbledore piece together the clues they need to start taking the battle to Voldemort, Harry also gathers information about a plot he suspects is being hatched by fellow student Draco Malfoy, whose father has already been sent to Azkaban Prison for attacking Harry at the end of Book 5. There are, of course, many other subplots, as Ron finally finds a girlfriend (much to the irritation of Hermione), Harry forgets about Cho Chang and instead fixes his affection on another, and Hagrid mourns the loss of the Queen of the Spiders (who once ordered that Harry and Ron be eaten by her minions).I, for one, was a little disappointed in Book 5, in which Harry was simply not likeable - he brooded and sulked his way through the book, abusing Cho and his Griffindor friends alike. Year 6 Harry is back to his old self - sure he's frustrated that no one believes the "evidence" he's gathered implicating Malfoy and Prof. Snape in nefariousness, but life is otherwise pretty good for our hero. Many reviewers have commented on how much darker this book is than previous books, but that is untrue. Book 5 is much darker - Harry doesn't have to torture himself in this book, for example. Finally, the suspense is kept at a high level throughout the book, especially after learning in Book 5 that Rowling is not afraid to kill off an important character. Who will be next?For my money, Book 4 (Goblet of Fire) is still the best of the series. However, The Half-Blood Prince is a close second, and a great read.


Da Do Won-Won-Won, Da Do Won-Won

by Craobh Rua "Craobh Rua"
(4/5)

Orphaned as a baby and subsequently raised (in the loosest possible terms) by his Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia, Harry's early years were thoroughly miserable. Although he had been told his parents had been killed in a car crash, in reality they were murdered by an evil wizard called Voldemort. Harry, however, somehow survived this attack and Voldemort subsequently disappeared for many years. Tracked down by an apparent giant called Hagrid on his eleventh birthday, Harry discovered he was a wizard and has since been attending Hogwarts - a very prestigious school for training young witches and wizards. The school's headmaster Albus Dumbledore, considered by many to be the greatest wizard of modern times, has become something of a role model to Harry. His time has Hogwarts has provided also him with some of the happiest moments of his life : he has made friends for the first time (Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger and Hagrid being the most notable) and has become the Seeker on Gryffindor's Quidditch team. (Gryffindor is Harry's house, while Quidditch is the most popular wizard sport). Unfortunately, it has also become apparent that Voldemort's disappearance was only temporary, and his desire to kill Harry has not lessened. Furthermore, some of his key followers are also at Hogwarts. Professor Snape, the Potions teacher who has picked on Harry from the day he arrived, was a noted Death Eater. Draco Malfoy, Harry's arch-nemesis among the student body, is the son of another noted Death Eater...who, thanks to Harry, is now in prison.The Order of the Phoenix is a secret society formed by Dumbledore to lead the fight against Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Snape, despite being a former Death Eater, has also been admitted - although Harry believes this is a mistake, Dumbledore is convinced Snape has fully turned his back on his former master. However, as "The Half-Blood Prince" opens it appears that Harry's fears may be correct. Snape meets with Draco Malfoy's mother, Narcissa, and aunt, Bellatrix - both Death Eaters - in a small and dirty house in London. Although he may be working undercover for Dumbledore, the details of this meeting suggest he may actually be working undercover for Voldemort. It also becomes apparent that Voldemort, angry that Lucius failed in his mission at the end of "The Order of the Phoenix", has given Draco a very dangerous assignment.Harry's ambition after leaving school is to be an Auror and, to be selected for this position, he needs to have done well at NEWT Level in Defence Against the Dark Arts and Potions. While Harry has always excelled in Defence Against the Dark Arts, Snape has made it clear he will not accept anyone into his NEWT-level Potions class who hasn't achieved the top grade at OWL Level. When Harry's OWL results come through, it seems his dream is over : while he's done well in Potions, he hasn't achieved the top grade. However, on returning to Hogwarts, he finds that Snape has been appointed the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher while the new Potions teacher, Horace Slughorn is more than happy to accept him into the Potions class. Since he hadn't bought any books for the Potions course in Diagon Alley, Slughorn lends Harry an old copy of the textbook from the classroom's store. It puts Harry at an immediate advantage over his classmates, thanks to some very helpful notes made by its previous owner...someone who called himself the 'Half-Blood Prince'.Dumbledore has decided to give Harry some additional 'classes' this year, where he learns more about Voldemort's past. However, they're not very regular as Dumbledore seems to be spending a lot of time away from Hogwarts. Furthermore, Dumbledore seems to have had a difficult summer as he arrives back at school with a very badly burned hand. He also has in his possession a ring that once belonged to Salazar Slytherin and his heir - Lord Voldemort.With "The Half-Blood Prince", J.K Rowling has written another excellent book - although quite dark in places, it's very enjoyable and is very easily read. I was particularly looking forward to seeing how Harry's rivalry with Malfoy would intensify and I wasn't let down. What did surprise me, though, was how Draco coped with his task - and I'm now very curious to see what he'll get up to in the next book. (The same goes for Snape - for some reason, I'm not entirely sure he's all he appears to be - and I have a feeling that Mundungus Fletcher's brief appearance in this book might yet prove significant). The only disappointment was that Luna and Neville didn't feature more. If you're new to Harry Potter, I would recommend reading the series in order - this is the sixth book in the series and it picks up on certain events from the previous instalments. However, that shouldn't be too much of a burden, as the previous books are also very enjoyable !


Fantastic book, I loved it!

by Crystal @ I Totally Paused! "Crystal @ I Tota...
(5/5)

What a fabulous book! Can you believe this series is on the banned books list? I was curious about why that's the case, so I did a bit of googling and found a site which goes into more detail about the ban.My favorite reason? That people believe witchcraft is real (did we not learn from burning "witches" in the old timey days?), and further, that the Harry Potter series is going to convince children that witchcraft is fun instead of evil.Have these people read the series? It very clearly takes place in a secret world. Believe me, there have been plenty of times that I've wished I could just grab a broom and fly away, or stupefy someone into shutting up. But uh, I'm pretty sure it doesn't work that way. Or, if we're really going to talk about literature I wish was real...I have a replica of The One Ring from the LOTR series. I wear it every day. Sadly, it has never made me invisible.Anyway, all that nonsense aside, I was completely blown away by this book. I've seen the movie a ton, but I was pleasantly surprised at all the other details that existed in this book. For example, I felt like the relationships were much more developed and we got significantly better background on them in the book - whereas in the movie, it was like BAM! Harry and Ginny kiss once!Obviously one of the most important plot points we read is about horcruxes. Anyone who knows anything about this series understands the significance of that word. If you don't, please go to the beginning and start reading this series, because you are totally going to kick yourself for not doing it sooner.This book transports me to the center of the wizarding world, a place I'm very much in love with, although it unfortunately does not spend enough time with my beloved Snape. I'd love an entire series just written about Snape, actually...I can't really find anything wrong with this book that I haven't mention in previous books, so it was nearly flawless in my opinion. The kids are, naturally, more grown up, and I love seeing them having to face more realistic problems, make decisions that actually affect the world, and take those further steps down the paths that lead to their destinies. This was a touching story, I dare you to read it without crying, and I'm dying to pick the last one up very soon.


An Excellent Novel: Suspenseful and Dark

by C. Stephans
(5/5)

The Half-Blood Prince book in the Harry Potter series highlights again the severity of the evil and darkness in the wizarding world of Harry Potter. Rowling, like Shakespeare, guarantees no victory or happy ending for the good guys. We don't know if scenes will result in comedy or tragedy. I continue to be impressed with Rowling's skill as a storyteller, wordsmith and developer of characters. The level of thematic and character integrity within this series is amazing, as is the story itself.


What can i say, that hasn't been said

by C. Tyndall "solitary pagan"
(5/5)

This is the most moving and crucial book in the series. Do you know how it is to read with tears in your eyes? Or how it feels to mourn the loss of a ficitonal character? if you don't, then this book and it's predecessors are not for you. J.K is a wonderful author and knows how to tug at the heartstring, as well as tickle one's fancy and fill one with glee. i'm a 23 year old librarian and i am also a die-hard Harry fan waiting for it all to come full circle.Please, J.K., make it a happy ending.......


Building up to the end...

by Cynthia K. Robertson
(4/5)

When taking a long car trip, there are no better audio books to listen to than the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is no exception.Book six starts with Harry and his friends getting ready for the new semester at Hogwart's School. Harry, Ron and Hermione are excited about the coming year and Harry has been named captain of the Gryffindor Quiddich team. But within the wizard community, unrest is rampant as Voldemort continues to strengthen and his Death Eaters threaten the community. Security at Hogwart's is tightened and Dumbledore decides that the time has come to personally provide private lessons for Harry. There are also some disturbing developments at Hogwart's as thedreaded Professor Snape has been appointed instructor of Defense Against the Dark Arts. Draco Malfoy is scheming about something, and Harry suspects that he might be working for Voldemort.Along with all the "important" happenings, the Hogwart's crew is also acting very high-schoolish. Romances are budding, jealousy is raging and spats are breaking out. Unrest and discontent also break out over Quiddich team tryouts.Throughout Half-Blood Prince, Rowling is not just providing the reader with a riveting story, but is also setting us up for what will be the 7th and final book. Many loose ends are tied up, but many more are left hanging. She also gives us more background into Voldemort's past than in any previous book. Much has been made about the death of a major character, but I didn't find it much of a shock.What enhances Half-Blood Prince and makes it even more fun is the reading by Jim Dale. The accents and voices that he creates for each character make it so enjoyable. His talent is just awesome, and it's no wonder that he has won so many awards. I heard somewhere that he created over 100 voices for the Harry Potter series.I have listened to all six Potter books on tape, and they have just increased in plot and scope. The first one was eight hours, while this last one lasted 17. I can think of no better way to make a twelve hour car trip fly by than to listen to a Rowling's tale. I'll be sorry when she next publishes the last book.


Bleedin' Insanity!

by Dai-keag-ity
(4/5)

Question: Is the horrifically terrible let-down of an ending to what had looked to be the best book in the Harry Potter series explainable by the possibility that Ms. Rowling left her sanity at the door?Loved the first 4/5ths; the last 1/5 made me wanna scream at J.K. Rowling. St. Basil on a flagpole, but what on earth was the woman thinking when she ended HPATHBP like that?May Peeves take up lodging under your bed for this, J.K. Rowling.PS Okay, okay, it was STILL a pretty good book.


Way to go

by Danae M. McShane
(5/5)

Saw the movie before reading the book, bad mistake now but still an awesome book. Found myself skipping & having to go back but all in all awesome


Simply devastating.

by Daniel A. Scott "Just honest!"
(4/5)

Like Harry, I can't believe he's truly dead. Is he really? Maybe he'll come back in the last book. I just can't imagine it. Surely snape isn't what they say he is? Oh the questions upon questions. Thank goodness I've started reading these after the last book has been published. I'll soon know the end of it all!


Will change the way you look at the entire series

by Daniel Jolley "darkgenius"
(5/5)

The only bad thing about Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the fact that I will never be able to look at the previous books the same way again. The concluding events of Book Six really change everything - no longer can I talk about Harry Potter and begin sentences with the words "I'll bet..." or "I wouldn't be surprised if..." Some of my hopes and intuitions would seem to be thoroughly dashed now. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but this book left me both eaten up inside and horribly empty at the same time. My suspicions were correct in some regards, but I was thoroughly shocked in places. The ending is just heart-breaking, seemingly ensuring that the seventh and final book will be extremely dark.A large part of the book sort of takes you back to the good old days, though. There are even stretches where Voldemort's shadow seems to fade completely away momentarily. There's a new teacher to get to know, a new dimension to the studies of our sixth year heroes, and, of course, Quidditch matches to be played. The half-blood prince worked out much differently than I had envisioned, adding yet another air of mystery over the year's proceedings. Then there's Malfoy, whose changed manner and mysterious doings harbor no good whatsoever - he's no longer the Malfoy we've known before now. Then there is, of course, that whole teenaged thing, as the relationships in this book take center stage. Ron and Hermione, of course, argue a lot - but it goes much further than ever before this year. As for Harry's burgeoning love life, things finally go in the direction I always wanted them to go (and I loved the subtle way in which Rowling nursed it along) - but, of course, all bets are off with the momentous changes that take place in the end.I just have so many questions now, as it seems hard to believe that what happened did actually happen in the way it happened, and it seems like it should never have happened at all. Alas, I can not go into more detail here, though. Book Seven will be unlike any that have come before (and this book itself was quite different in that Harry doesn't even appear until page 38). Enjoy the first 550 pages of this one, as these pages feature the last days of anything approaching innocence in this magical world we all love so much. The ending may well leave you in tears; you may not even feel like the same person after you finish it. I don't consider Book Six quite as strong as Book Five, but, at the same time, I think it proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that J.K. Rowling is the best writer of our generation.


Pleasantly surprised!

by Daniel T. Ferry
(5/5)

It's been difficult for me to get into the Harry Potter books, having already seen all of the movies to this point. However, when the theatrical release of this film was pushed back into 2009, I thought now was a good time to try again with this one. THAN GOODNESS I DID! I've even started going backwards in the series.What a great read. Rowling's writing is quite good. The scenes are very well described, and the character development is exactly where it needs to be. Rowling really makes you care about the characters all throughout this book (as well as previous installments).I found the climax to be rewarding, and quite descriptive. I really cannot wait to see the new ideas in the book brought to life in the movie.For those who've found the books difficult to get into, and have seen the movies, this one is a GREAT read while waiting for the "Half-Blood Prince" to debut in the theatre.


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: The Best of the Series so Far

by Dao Lam
(5/5)

I spent about 5 hours last night and 4 hours today reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. It is a good book and there is no doubt about it. I like the way J.K Rowling developed her character from an 11 year old to a 16 year old teenager. Harry Potter has become braver and more grown up. He lost his temper tantrum that he developed in year 5. He is more independent and as a 16 y/o teenager, he starts to develop the admiration in the opposite sex. Ron and Hermione as always are his trustworthy and loyal friends. They both grow up nicely and do things that normal 16 year old teenagers would do: fall in love for the wrong person at the wrong reason.There is a new character in this book and instead of the tradiontial plot that a new teacher would fill the Dark Art position, this professor teaches Potion. So Snape got promoted to another position. Draco Malfoy became more involved in the dark side and the relationship between Harry and Malfoy was a rocky one. Meanwhile the Weasley twins were doing fine in their joke shop business at Zonko's.Although the half blood Prince did not directly involve in the story, his background is kind of a surprise and a big twist in the story. From this book one thing I can learn for sure is you'll never know how a kid will become when he or she grows up. Take Lord Voldermort as an example. He has a wicked trait since he was a kid and grew up to be You-Know-Who. On the other hand, the half blood Prince was kind of a good person who at the end turned bad. The result all came from their mind tortures of trying to be pure blood wizards. All the spells that the half-blood Prince used backfired on him as Harry Potter got the book and learned about them. Some spells are very dark and almost lethal.This book also marked the returns of many characters from book 4 and 5: professor Lupin, Tonks, Fleur Delacour, Bellatrix Lestrange, and Narcissa Malfoy. Also there is a new Minister of Magic who in a sense is worse than the old one.The ending was very sad because the one very important character died. I suspected it would happen before I read the book and boy oh boy I was right. After his dead I think Harry Potter will be more matured and eventually destroy Voldermort in book 7. He knew Voldermort childhood and secrets but it will be an adventurous journey for Harry Potter to fulfill his destiny.Book 6 is unbelievably good, the best of all of the Harry Potter series so far in my opinion. J.K Rowling did not use profanities in this book, a big difference from book 5. I'm looking forward to reading book 7 and I guess it will be about 1000 pages total because it will content a lot of events.


An Stunning story for the Series

by Darah Lace
(5/5)

I have read several of the Harry Potter books and I have enjoyed all of them. Some have their strengths and weakness, but for a consistent series these books are right at the top of my list. The author should be proud of herself to be able to maintain such excellence in the stories, well-written plots and characters. For me, Half Blood Prince was just a wonderful read and maybe in my opinion almost as good as Goblet Of Fire. Young or old, this book will keep you turning page after page as you try to determine what will happen next. I'd gladly recommend this book to all my friends. Don't miss this one.


the begining of lord voldmort is revealed.

by David "Black Widow 2014"
(5/5)

this harry potter book takes you way backm to lord voldmorts beginning. see how true evil is created in this awesome harry potter book, and also see how true evil can be destroyed. this book is awesome. i recomend it to everyone.


Who Is the Half-Blood Prince? Uh...Who Cares? (Theory/Spoiler Attached)

by David Cady
(3/5)

OK, that's a little harsh. But I'm not really sure that the identity -- let alone the existence -- of the Half-Blood Prince has ANYTHING to do with...well, anything. Rowling could have exised the whole sub-plot of the Prince and the story would not have changed one iota. I was expecting the identity of the Prince to be a mystery that, when revealed, would unlock the key to Book 6. Instead, it comes quickly at the end, not from Harry figuring anything out, but by the Prince simply exposing himself. And, unfortunately, it was pretty obvious who he was going to turn out to be anyway. I miss the mysteries and events that have propelled previous books: Who's trying to steal the Sorcerer's Stone?; What is the Chamber of Secrets, and who has opened it?; Sirius Black's escape from Azkaban; The Tri-Wizard Tournament. There was no prevailing "event" to Book 5, which, as far as I'm concerned, should have been called "Harry Potter and the Lost Prophecy" in keeping with what the book was actually about. And there is certainly no prevailing "event" to Book 6, which should have been called "Harry Potter and the --" Well, I don't know, cause I'm not sure WHAT it's about.That's not to say there aren't some wonderful moments in the book. Rowling's characters and vibrant imagination are always pleasurable company, even as things in her world have become much, much darker. Chapter One is vintage Rowling (very amusing), and there's a revelation about the Defense Against the Dark Arts position that will send chills down your spine. The scene in which Harry obtains Slughorn's true memory is poignantly bittersweet, and the "horcrux" is a thrilling new invention and challenge for Harry. But I cannot wrap my head around the book's finale. Not the shocking death, which was probably inevitable, but Snape's betrayal. Having set it up in Chapter 2, I was sure Rowling would have spun it somehow NOT to be true.My theory is this: That it was Dumbledore (having taken Polyjuice Potion) that made the Unbreakable Vow with Narcissa Malfoy. (Hence the burnt hand he tells Harry he received while locating a horcrux.) And in agreeing to fulfill Draco's task should he be unable to do so, Dumbledore is, in a sense, agreeing to commit suicide. So this is what Hagrid overhears Snape and Dumbledore arguing about: Dumbledore (being a marked man either way) has enlisted Snape to kill him should he convince Draco not to -- and that's exactly what takes place on top of the astronomy tower.


Rowling thrills you, chills you, in this involving tale

by David Evans
(4/5)

This installment returns from the more annoying Harry of Book 5 to the likeable (if not always as bright as the reader) Harry of previous volumes. Rowling opens well, establishing three interesting subplots in the first three chapters. And she keeps up the exciting pace throughout.The book really drew me in: at various points, I felt myself empathizing with the characters, whether in cheesy joy or in tense anticipation.Certain subplots and characters featured in other volumes have largely dropped from view: Hermione's battle for elf rights is absent except for a couple of allusions, the Dursleys get very little time, and Neville Longbottom gets much less time than usual. Another shift is that the romance which has largely boiled in the background to this point comes front and center; warning: this book has quite a bit of snogging.This book answers many questions, but it also leaves me waiting with baited breath for the final volume. (That'll be years of baited breath; great.) But it was a great read!


We go back, and we go forward

by David Hood
(4/5)

3.5 stars. Maybe the weakest entry in the series, but still quite good.After the very impressive Order of the Phoenix, things lighten up for most of the book here with school, romances and Quidditch being as important in the minds of Harry and his friends as Voldemort is. Unlike the relentless pace of Order of the Phoenix, this book harkens back to Chamber of Secrets where bad things are happening, but in general the students are untouched by the war and not in any terrible danger.The bulk of the book, despite the title, is not about the Half-Blood Prince, but about Voldemort's secret origin. Through a series of stored memories Harry and Dumbledore see Voldemort's parents, both the dysfunctional wizard side and his non-magical father. We see him grow up, go to Hogwarts and become what he is.The rest of the book, could just as well be books one or two, with the three main characters back in class, back playing Quidditch and inter-relating with each other. This is definitely a step-back as Order of the Phoenix was particularly strong due to the development of the Weasley twins, Neville and the introduction of Luna Lovegood. In this book they are all just given bit parts. Which is a real shame as the expanded role of the minor characters had revitalized the series.It is a tribute to Rowling's skills that she can keep you reading the book even though there really isn't that much happening, and much of it is the mundanities of school life already seen throughout the first three books.Then the ending comes. No matter how well prepared you may be, no matter what side you believe every character is on, it is like being kicked in the gut, hard, and repeatedly. I am still feeling the emotions today after finishing last night. Still thinking, "No, it can't be, it isn't so." By lightening the tone of this book, the dark ending is made more intense by the contrast. Nothing bad was happening, nothing really bad that is, and then all of a sudden it gets worse than you could believe.As I mentioned there were a few problems, minor characters were pushed aside, the book is just a very long, but entertaining, set-up for the last few chapters. Lots of plot-threads left dangling such as the potions text still being stored in the hiding room. It is going to be a real achievement to be able to address all the issues left hanging here in just one book. There are many enemies to defeat, many objects to find, and closure for the relationships of our major and minor characters.It wouldn't surprise me if this needed more than book 7, or if book 7 were on the order of 1000 pages.


Sensational! Wonderful!! And the audio is great, too!!

by David J. Huber "Addicted to books!"
(5/5)

So many reviews here, so no use going into details, but this is Rowling's best installment yet! Sure, I miss the whimsy and the fun of the first book - but that was with a 10 year old Harry.Harry is now 16, close to 17, and this book is more appropriately tuned to his age. As all the Potter books have done, being more maturely written with mature themes as Harry himself matures and grows.I think Rowling is a master of writing, and esp. of plotting and story-telling. The tapestry of characters, events, and history that she is putting together is positively brilliant.I can't wait to see how she ties everything together in book 7! Get to writing, JK! We want it next summer!!!And now, for the review of the CDs:Jim Dale does another near-perfect reading of a Harry Potter book. As in all the other recordings, Dale hits everything spot on, is clear in enunciation (except just a coupld spots) and brings the text to life.My only complaint is his breathy, whiny Hermione.But EVERYTHING else is spot-on in all his recordings.


A worthy addition to a popular series

by David Zampino "21st Century Hobbit"
(4/5)

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is a worthy addition to a very popular series. I purchased my copy on Saturday morning, and had completed my reading my Sunday afternoon.It is my intent to provide some commentary on this book, without accidentally "spoiling the plot" for those who have yet to read.There are quite a few positives to this book.* The book is tightly written, much more so than volumes 4 and 5 which, at least in the mind of this reviewer, suffered from a lack of editing.* The plot is appropriately "moved along". A difficulty with a popular series is the tendency to get "bogged down" in a story-line and lose focus. J.K. Rowling avoids that here.* The story includes several of the humorous conventions we've come to expect in the "Harry Potter" stories. An example is the amusing scene with the Durselys in the beginning of the book. In the opinion of this reviewer, such a humorous interlude is something most readers have come to expect. Similar humorous episodes help keep the tension from becoming overwhelming.* In spite of the previous point, the tension in this book certainly mounts. There are times in which the plot is rather dark. In this, the volume certainly has more in common with volumes 4 and 5, than with the first three. I'm probably going to put off letting my 10-year-old read the book for a little while.* Again, like the previous two volumes, there is a death. No plot spoiler here, though!* Again, without spoiling anything, I felt that J.K. Rowling was particularly effective at casting serious doubts upon the reliability of one of main characters -- a character she has been building upon for the previous five volumes.A few minor quibbles:* In volumes four and five, quite a few interesting characters were introduced. With a few exceptions (Tonks being the most obvious) these characters were largely relegated to the background. (I would have thoroughly enjoyed some more "Mad-Eye Moody")!* Harry ENJOYS Quiddich. One begins to be tired of him missing every important match!* The ending, while satisfying in its own way, makes one wonder how J.K. Rowling will be able to "wrap things up". If Harry truly does not return to school, the entire "each book equals one year at school" theme rather disappears. Or is Ms. Rowling leaving the door open for more books?Overall, a very solid effort -- one of the better books in the series. Enjoy!Four very solid stars.


Dark, Dreary, the Best of the Series, yet questionable for the younger readers

by Deacon Brodie
(5/5)

Forgive me if I do not give much plot summary. I don't want to give anything away.The Sixth installment of Rowling's wizarding series opens up with two prologue-type chapters that will blow Potter fans away, particularly the second chapter. The pace and intrigue thus set from the beginning, the Sixth Year at Hogwarts is filled with twists and turns and surprises, some of which we had always sort of suspected.Harry begins his sixth year by trying to put the horrible death of Sirius behind him and come to face the prophecy given at the end of the last school year. We meet in this installment the most matured and confident Harry yet (he is,after all 16). In fact, all of the main characters, nearing the end of their seven-year run at the wizarding school, are much less the children they once were. They have love interests, infatuation, break-ups, "snogging" (British term for making out) jealousies, and ambitions. One wonders how the nine through twelve-year olds will take all of this budding adulthood. They even fret over the wizarding world's equivalent of driving lessons: apparition lessons, licenses for which may be given only after one has turned seventeen.Another reason to question the 9-12 set: There is blood aplenty, as well as floating corpses in a very scary scene. There is one scene in which a character is sliced open, causing blood to come pouring out, very vividly described by Rowling. Attention Movie Moguls: Good Luck getting a PG rating on this one.All in all, it's a fantastically mature book that proves Rowling had much of this planned out way before she finished number one. With each book, it becomes increasingly obvious that this series could have worked well as one complete book. Additional warning: books six and seven tie together more than any other books in the series. Translation: diehard fans will be awaiting the last book more than any other in the series.


Further adventures in Rowling's universe

by Debra Hamel
(5/5)

It's Harry Potter's penultimate year at Hogwarts and things in the wizarding world--and the world of Muggles, for that matter--are not looking good. Voldemort is back and the Death Eaters, the dark wizard's evil minions, have begun claiming victims. Meanwhile, in the relatively safe haven that is Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher has been installed, the sixth DADA instructor in as many years. And Hogwarts's newest faculty member, a certain Horace Slughorn, seeks to gather Harry--"The Chosen One," as the Daily Prophet is now calling him--into his flock of favorites. Harry, however, is spending his time instead in the company of Hogwarts's headmaster: he and Dumbledore clamber about in other people's memories throughout much of the book--a trick achieved with the use of Dumbledore's handy pensieve. Ron and Hermione, not privy to these adventures, pass their time instead simmering at a slightly higher temperature than usual. The book simmers as well, building slowly, almost quietly, as Rowling plays with readers, making us wonder repeatedly whether we know for certain where her characters' allegiances lie. We find out for certain--or so we must think, anyway--in the dramatic events that unfold toward the book's end, when the identity of the Half-Blood Prince of the book's title is revealed and Rowling's latest read becomes--fans will not be surprised--nearly unputdownable.One can criticize J.K. Rowling's sixth book on a few counts. The author does not throw out very many life preservers to those of us who have not recently read or reread the earlier books in the series, frequently alluding to characters and events from previous installments without reminding us of their significance, which can be confusing. The identity of the Half-Blood Prince, too, once revealed, is not as important as readers are led to expect. And the final chapter of the book, while some of its material is necessary to complete the story, is over-long and makes for an unfortunately dull conclusion. But these are relatively small complaints. After many thousands of pages, Rowling's prose continues very much the same--a kind of straightforward, unaffected writing that gets the story across without slowing things down, a style that has proved unusually accessible to a vast readership. In the six volumes of her oeuvre Rowling has carefully and vividly brought to life a complex, fully realized world, plucked from her imagination, one that will stand on its own and continue to engage the imagination of audiences long after Rowling herself is able to oversee it (much like the universe of Gene Rodenberry's Star Trek in this respect). Her creation of this alternate world, so real to her readers, is, I believe, a remarkable achievement.Reviewed by Debra Hamel, author of Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece


Exciting, But Sad

by Debra Surbrook
(4/5)

I really liked this book, but I hated the ending.DUMBLEDORE DIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The greatest wizard ever died!!!!! I had to grit my teeth to keep from crying! Finally, I broke down sobbing. It shows how obsessed I am with HP. Curse Snape!!!!


Good read

by Dizzie Blonde
(5/5)

What to say...finally reading series....love these books.So many details left out of movies...but films very well done.Now off to read last book.


Intriguing!

by Dizziey
(4/5)

In J. K. Rowling's sixth book "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," Harry returned to Hogwarts with his friends, Ron and Hermione to discover that they have a new Potions as well as Defense of the Dark Arts teachers. At the same time, there were fear in people as there were killings which the Ministry believed were the doings of Lord Voldemort's Death Eaters. I n general, it caused chaos in both the Muggles and the Magical worlds.The sixth book is in my opinion, one of the "darker" books in this series. In this book (spoilers alert!), we learned more about Lord Voldemort's background; his family, personality, friends and more importantly his ambitions. At the same time, there were relationship developments among the main characters. This was not the most exciting Harry Potter book for me and I was also surprised to find that there were no "twists" at the end, as compared to the other books. However, I feel that in this book, Rowling provided more background information which will prepare her readers for the ultimate showdown between Harry and Voldemort in her seventh book.


No spoilers here - but it is a dark tale ...

by doc peterson
(5/5)

_The Half-Blood Prince_ was well worth the wait for its publication, yet it (frustratingly) also raises questions for what the next book in the series will be. I will not attempt to add much to what has already been written by previous reviewers, as a detailed plot summary would spoil a great story.In the broadest of terms, the conflict between the Death Eaters (and "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named") and Harry Potter becomes more sinister and more serious. As the stakes are raised in the struggle between good and evil, so are the casualties of war.The character development resonated most with me - there is a perceptible shift from adolescence into adulthood here, especially with Harry. Rowling also gives readers much background information about Tom Riddle, along with frequent references and tie-ins to the previous 5 books.This is the darkest book of the series by far, but it is a fantastic read - you will not be disappointed.


Taking a Deep Breath

by DonAthos
(5/5)

The storm is coming. We know it.This penultimate chapter in the Harry Potter story feels in the main like a wonderful prelude to what will certainly be a thrilling finale. The plot, normally the focus of a Harry Potter novel, takes a back seat here to character development and the relationships between the characters (Harry and Dumbledore, Ron and Hermione, etc.). Normally, I wouldn't like the shift in focus--I'm a plot-oriented kind of guy--but Rowling has certainly earned it with her wonderful series, and in the end I'm glad to have had some down time with the characters I know and love, rather than just see them racing around. And, really, there's a lot of plot obviously coming in book seven. A lot.Ultimately, this novel felt like a swimmer's taking a deep breath before the long plunge. I think Harry realizes that too, given his final reflection on the last page. After this book, with its focus on personality, relationship and backstory, I expect a rollercoaster finish, wall to wall with spills and chills.This book rates five of five stars because it is a fine entry in a five star series, and because it is enjoyable from cover to cover. Rowling in the first six books of this series has given me absolutely no reason to doubt her ability to deliver in the seventh.I can't wait.


Another Great Book

by Dottie Randazzo "Reader of Everything"
(5/5)

J.K. Rowling is very consistent with her excellent writing. I felt this book was a bit more cheerful than the last. Even though a pretty bad thing happens in the end... Rowling has a way of making it doable and not devasting. Highly recommended.


Still Magical

by drebbles
(5/5)

In this book, one of the best books in the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling begins to tie together events in the previous books, as well as building the groundwork for the final book in the series. She's a master storyteller and readers will marvel at how seemingly innocuous scenes and characters in the earlier books prove to be meaningful after all.One of the best things about this series is how the characters mature through the course of the books. Harry has thankfully matured since Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and is far less angry and far more thoughtful. Romance is in the air now that Harry, Ron, and Hermione are older, but romance isn't just for the young as we get glimpses of the enduring love between Arthur and Molly Weasley, the engagement of Fleur and bill, and another romance between the adults that put a smile on my face. But there are different types of love, and this book, even more than the others, shows how important the friendship and love between Harry and his friends (and teachers) is, and will, I suspect, play an even bigger part in the last book.In between romantic interludes, there is, of course, school lessons, but outside of Potions lessons and Harry's private lessons with Dumbledore, the book doesn't focus much on them. Even Hermione seems a bit more relaxed about schoolwork. Quidditch too, while still important to Ron and Harry, seems to be less consuming to them as it once was.I'm puzzled as to why critics continue to refer to these as children's books as the series ceased to be just for children several books ago. Younger, children, in fact, may have a hard time dealing with certain events in this book.This continues to be an outstanding series. Rowling answers many questions in this book, yet creates even more questions that leave the reader hungry for the next book. I can't wait!


The magic continues.

by E. Bukowsky "booklover10"
(5/5)

J. K. Rowling's sixth Harry Potter book is one of the best in the series. "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is engrossing, humorous, fast-paced, and filled with the delightful wizardry that has made Harry one of the most popular characters in children's literature.Harry and his friends, Ron and Hermione, are now sixth year students. The Wizarding community is nervously protecting itself against a potential threat from Lord Voldemort's Death Eaters, and Albus Dumbledore meets with Harry surreptitiously to give the young man further insight into the Dark Lord's mysterious past. Harry is on high alert, because he has a suspicion that his fellow student, Draco Malfoy, is up to no good. However, Harry's friends think that he is becoming too obsessive and paranoid because of his loathing for Malfoy. Meanwhile, the Hogwarts routine continues, with Harry and his friends attending classes, playing Quidditch, and getting into assorted mischief.Rowling's brilliance shines through in "The Half-Blood Prince." This book has it all: suspense and intrigue, a varied cast of fascinating characters, romantic triangles involving Harry and his friends, and a provocative ending that prepares the reader for the final installment in the series. Rowling's writing style is intelligent, imaginative, often hilarious, and always engaging. Harry Potter's world is magical, not just because it is inhabited by unusual people and assorted creatures who can perform amazing feats, but because the author populates her universe with individuals who display the whole spectrum of human emotions, from envy and selfishness to altruism and deep compassion. "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is a worthy successor to the five books that preceded it, and I look forward to the long-awaited conclusion of the Harry Potter saga.


A Darker Shade of Pale Pervades Admirable Epic-Length Addition

by Ed Uyeshima
(4/5)

Similar to the anticipation that greeted "The Empire Strikes Back" or "The Two Towers", it seems unenviable to write a book that really provides the set-up for the much-awaited finale of the Harry Potter series. There is a no-win aspect to a penultimate contribution to a stratospherically popular series because you know much of the book will be devoted to whetting your appetite for the conclusion. At the same time, J.K. Rowling is savvy enough to write an epic-length story that stands on its own and exhibits her considerable narrative powers. Thankfully, she limits all the catching up to the first chapter and then goes on flights of fancy that revolve quite a bit around potions and liquids - a dark lake, the liquid mists of memories in Dumbledore's Pensieve and of course, blood and poisons. But she still spends plenty of time showing how Harry and his friends have grown up since the last book.Personally, I like the extensive back-story behind the evil Lord Voldemort and his poor mother, even though it takes about 200 pages before Harry meets the Half-Blood Prince of the title. The wait is worth it, as Rowling fully embodies her magical world like no other except Tolkien. This time, she brings a darker tone to the proceedings, not surprising as the previous books have given inklings of this trend for some time. Where Rowling succeeds is not letting the atmosphere dampen the action. Much of the plot has to do with Harry's efforts in convincing Ron and Hermione, as well as the adult wizards, that Harry's primary nemesis Draco Malfoy and Professor Snape, Hogwarts' Potions Master and Head of Slytherin house, are not what they appear. Sharing any more than that would be criminal to die-hard fans of the series. It's enough to say that a truly spectacular conclusion awaits you at the end and of course, inevitable tragedy, and more importantly, a dramatically effective transitional point to the final book. Enjoy.


This one may tease more than it will please...

by eeoyrefan
(4/5)

Book 6 of the Harry Potter series tantalizes more than it satisfies, and that may well be the entire point. Fans that have waited on tenterhooks for the Half-Blood Prince volume to hit bookstore shelves may be vaguely disappointed at this latest offering, clearly designed as a launchpad for quintessential volume 7.Though Rowling gets an "O"utstanding for creativity in the series overall, in HBP the reader still has to slog through familiar phrases (Crookshanks the ginger cushion; Hermione and her bushy hair; Harry and his mother's eyes; Lupin with his patched, shabby robes and greying hair, etc.), reiterative scenes (late to Hogwarts, Harry is dragged inside by Snape; Hagrid's inebriated weeping as he seeks sympathy from Harry, Ron & Hermione in the ailment of one of his beloved but repugnant creatures; the trio of friends fighting with another obnoxious plant in Sprout's greenhouse; Harry tumbling from his broom during Quiddich, etc.) and niggling hasn't-that-been-done-somewhere-before references reflecting the heavy influence the literature read in her youth must have had on Rowling {Aragog (Shelob); Kreacher (Gollum); Dumbledore (Gandalf); caves with submerged treasure (Monte Cristo); lakes with dead people (Dead Marshes); Hagrid (Giant Rumblebuffin); Cedric Diggory (Digory Kirke), etc.}.None of these things prove overly burdensome to the reader thanks to Rowling's other astute characterizations, her incredible devotion to detail and her engaging writing style. The grasp she has and conveys of the characters at each age is nothing short of astounding, as is the progression of each from book to book. In HBP, Harry has not lost all of the irritability and frustration of his on-the-cusp-of-adulthood age that we got a sometimes bitter taste of in Order of the Phoenix, yet in HBP he shoulders responsibility more admirably, generally with a world-weary resignation reminiscent of Sirius or Lupin, but occasionally with more than a hint of the blind youthful overzealousness that threatened to be his downfall in previous adventures. All the Hogwarts sixth years demonstrate the curious resilience of their age, one moment searching the Daily Prophet anxiously for news of another fallen comrade, the next gossiping about Quiddich or who's "snogging" who! And there are a lot of all of those activities going on from chapter to chapter. Rowling skillfully glides through what could have been the most awkward and difficult scenes of the book--student romantic encounters--applying just enough flippancy to keep them real as well as to prevent from overpowering the story. But it's not all fun and games: lying, cheating, abuse, disfigurement and death are also to be found in HBP, and receive the same deft handling as the lighter topics, keeping the reader flipping anxiously from one page to the next.The major complaint this reader (and apparently others) had was the sudden, accelerated pace of the last few chapters, with a good deal crammed in, and a good deal left out (what's Mad-Eye been up to? or Voldemort for that matter?) or glazed over (Narcissa, Bellatrix, Malfoy), as though Rowling was forced to meet a "number of pages" cutoff.There is something in HBP for everyone, alas, even nitpickers from all avenues. Some will decry Harry's motives and integrity; still more will scoff at ostensibly foolish decisions made by once-revered characters; and others will seize the opportunity to take swipes at HBP's glimpses into dark or daring subject matter such as animal cruelty, child abuse, alcoholism, underage drinking, teen-age relations and even interracial dating. In HBP, new sympathies emerge; old hatreds rekindle; friendships falter and are reborn stronger than before. The battle of good and evil continues, but Rowling never detours from the bottom line: as in life, it is all about choice. Bad choices have consequences, including forgiveness--if the trespasser would only ask. And friendship, love and loyalty, while they may not always conquer all, definitely rule!


Can you add a few more stars???

by ellen "ellen in atlanta"
(5/5)

The wait for this book was worth it - Prince is the best in the series across the board - writing, plot, continuity, etc.Although young folks love this series, this has gotten to be a more adult read in terms of violence -In terms of plot, the major event is breathtaking and who was involved in it was devastating.The 'final' installment of HP should be a spellbinder - can we sign up for it now, Amazon?Hope Rowling reconsiders and writes about an adult HP, providing of course, Harry survives book 7 - with all we go through in Prince, you never can tell.


Wonderful and sad.

by Ellis Bell
(4/5)

I agree with other people when they say that this book was not as good as the other books in the series. This book would probably not do well to stand on its own, though I believe that Rowling gives us a very good introduction to what will occur in the seventh book. Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts is a little less emotionally-charged than his fifth year was; there are no outbursts here.Hogwarts has a new Potions master, Snape having gone over to teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts. Profesor Slughorn has just come out of returement, and knew Harry's parents when they were at Hogwarts. Although Harry never signed up for Potions, he commences to take NEWT level Potions with Slughorn, who loans him one of his textbooks. Inside, Harry finds the answer to many of his Potions exercises, created by the unknown "Half Blood Prince." At the end of the book, the Prince will be revealed to us, and the revelations will make you think, "duh, I should have figured it out a long time ago!"We get more of Draco Malfoy, who Harry thinks has become a Death Eater after his father was sent to Azkaban. Malfoy is no longer the harmless bully he once was, and has a much darker side to him. We also get more and more character development in Snape, who in the fifth book appeared to be not so bad after all. But Snape is a completely different person in Half Blood Prince, changing sides continually.A favorite element of this book were the two romances, once of which Rowling claims has existed since the third book in the series.We get a long, introspective look into the early life of Lord Voldemort, or Tom Riddle as he once was. Voldemort split his soul into many different parts, and hid them in various different inanimate objects. I believe that Harry will soend his seventh year looking for the remaining objects so that he can destroy Voldemort once and for all. The ending will be shocking, I guarantee you that. Nobody who has a heart will not be saddened by the ending. The loss of a major person in Harry's life will play a major role in the seventh book in the series, I think.


bracing and bittersweet

by E. M. Bristol "bibliophile"
(4/5)

I read this book almost straight through, beginning to end, and was quite impressed.The protagonists are dealing with their OWL tests, Apparition classes (wizard equivalent of driving), hormones and as always, the threat of danger. Voldemort has preoccupied Harry since the events of the last book, and he is even more determined to take revenge, especially, as it seems like his archenemy Draco is going over to the dark side.Much of the book is backstory on Voldemort's life and how the prophecy came about. There's also a new wacky teacher to puzzle out, heightened Hogwarts' security, Quidditch, and a harrowing journey in order to retrieve a curse.The excess of adverbs that plagued the fifth book is gone, and Harry grows into a considerably more mature adolescent by the end of the book: he puts away "childish things," and makes decisions as an adult would. I had to admit, I was disappointed that Neville played such a minor role, especially after his heroism and backstory in book five.One thing that has always irked me, bugged me here: If Dumbledore is really a superior headmaster, why does he constantly overlook the most minor evil-doings and neglect to put a stop to them before they escalate. Some of it is that Harry doesn't confide in him, but here he's aware of it on hisown and chooses to do nothing. But I guess there wouldn't be much suspense and intrigue otherwise.


Love the book, hate the quality of the "library binding"

by Em
(3/5)

5 stars to the book, but 1 star to the "library binding." The book itself, which should have been better quality than a hard cover, was a poor quality paperback covered in a hard cover. Not the size of the original hard cover Harry Potter books, but much smaller. Will be returning it. Very disappointed, feel as if the quality was misrepresented by labeling it "library binding."


Just keeps Getting Better!

by Emily Braun "hmouse101"
(5/5)

I have about 100 pages left to read but I had to write a review. I can not put this book down. I hope she has started on the 7th book and I hope she writes more after that. I won't reveil any spoilers for those who haven't read it yet but just be assured you won't be dissapointed.


Harried for Harry! Potty (a Britishism) for Potter!

by E. R. Bird "Ramseelbird"
(5/5)

Harry Potter books are very personal to me. I sincerely believe that were it not for Harry, I wouldn't be a children's librarian today. I first discovered him in England in 1999, just before he hit mainstream America and become a Yankee "phenomenon". Before anyone else in the U.S. had heard of Harry, his books felt like something I couldn't imagine sharing with strangers. I think that there are millions of people out there who feel the same way too. When a new Harry Potter book comes out we all go out and buy it and read it as quickly as possible because we can't stand the thought that someone else in the world (aside from Ms. Rowling herself) knows what's going to happen. Due to certain reviewers and spoilers, I had a vague idea of what the big finish of this tale was going to be. What I could never have counted on was how exciting the ride was getting there. Rowling's back, babies. And her latest Harry Potter is the best since "Prisoner of Azkaban".Like most wars on terror, the one currently being waged against not-dead-anymore-Lord-Voldemort isn't going too smoothly. Remember Cornelius Fudge? Well he's been sacked. There are random deaths appearing everywhere, the Dementors have joined Voldemort, the giants are on his side, and even the werewolves are going for the evil new leader. Harry, on the other hand, is in heaven. After less than a month with the Dursleys he's been spirited away (by Dumbledore personally) to live with the Weasleys and enjoy himself. He's even met the new Potions teacher at Hogwarts (Snape having finally moved up in the world to the job he's always dreamed of - Defense Against the Dark Arts). Things might be smooth this year at Hogwarts, but Harry is quickly becoming obsessed with what Malfoy's up to. And then Harry is given an Advanced Potions book once belonging to someone called the Half Blood Prince that offers him fabulous potion and spell-casting advice at all times. It is undoubtedly going to be a year he never forgets.I'm not so mature that I didn't feel a little pleased to have figured out who the Half-Blood Prince was by clues left in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix". Certain kids will definitely be just as delighted as well when they figure it out. Unlike the last two Harry books (which, no matter how much you enjoyed them, definitely dragged) "Half-Blood Prince" is tightly written and Rowling at her best. She juggles perfectly her humor (Fred and George's gag shop is not only an inventive hit but a hilarious one as well) with some truly meaningful moments between Harry and Dumbledore. There's even a flashback to Voldemort's mother that appears to be almost identical to a scene in "Oliver Twist". With Voldemort in the role of Oliver. Romance fans will finally see a little action occurring between certain characters (some you'd never suspect it of). Best of all, however, are the down times. Rowling is a genius at making you want to pack your bags and go to Hogwarts to be friends with Harry and his crew. Though certain authors like to put-down Rowling for not being a "real" author, no one who pens as perfect a sense of camaraderie as she does can be called anything but a genius with her words.But it is dark. Very very very dark. Oh it doesn't seem so at first. Then you get to the last 100 pages and there's a scene (which I shall not describe because I found it truly horrific in every sense of the word) that will leave children under the age of 10 huddled under their bedsheets whimpering. Normally I'm a fan of listening to all the Harry Potter books on CD as read by Jim Dale. Because of this scene, I think I'll be eschewing Dale's rendition this time.The book does raise more questions than it answers, true. There are certainly tons of details out there that we need to know more about. But I remain confident that Rowling is a wonderful enough writer to be fully up to the task. "Half-Blood Prince" will leave you feeling as though you've been through as many trials and tribulations as Harry. The only thing you'll be regretting by the story's end is the fact that now you've only one more book in the series to look forward to in the future. A crushing thought indeed.


Great set-up for the final installment

by Eric Aderhold
(5/5)

This book was a fun (albeit dark) read. It is a fitting transition from the teenage angst of Book 5 to the culmination of the series in Book 7. Harry and the other characters live in a magical world full of turmoil, with Death Eaters gaining power and striking fear into the hearts of witches and wizards the world over. While this is going on, the main characters are still at Hogwarts, studying upper-level magical skills, and maturing as people. Dumbledore arms Harry with some knowledge about Lord Voldemort that he will need in the inevitable battle, and the story ends with a flurry of twists and turns that leave the reader wanting to move right into the next book to see how the saga ends.


Extraordinary!

by Erika Benton
(5/5)

BEST Series ever!I had seen the movies and decided I was going to read the series. I have read them all once and plan to start them all again soon. Just an excellent series for all! I'm a HP addict!


Possibly the Best Book Thus Far In the Series

by Erika Sorocco
(5/5)

It's usually hard to see why people would wait in line overnight to purchase a particular book, when the bookstore is filled with novels that can be purchased at anytime. But when you take a look at J.K. Rowling's HARRY POTTER series, you can quickly understand why the fuss occurs. And, after waiting years for the release of HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE. I, an avid Potter reader, was upon those in line.The legendary wizard, Harry Potter, is now 16-years-old, and embarking on his sixth year at Hogwarts' School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The wizarding community is now in a royal uproar due to the fact that it is now known - with full-proof - that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named - also known as Lord Voldemort - is very much alive, and harboring a crew of dangerous followers who will do anything that he says. Cornelius Fudge, the person who has held the position of Minister of Magic for all these years has lost his job, only to be replaced by an Auror named Rufus Scrimgeour, whom, hopefully, can protect the wizarding community from the evil of the Dark Lord himself. As for our harried hero, and his pals - Harry, Hermione, and Ron - are eagerly awaiting the results of their O.W.L.s (Ordinary Wizardry Levels), and busy trying to decide what classes they would like to take for their N.E.W.T.s (Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests), classes that will define their future careers in the wizarding world.As in each of the previous novels, there is a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, and a wonderful explanation as to why Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers never last more than one year in the position - always finding themselves either dead, or misplaced from the job. There is also a new Potions teacher who is quite peculiar in his own way. Readers are also treated to trips back in time that explain various different...curiosities that have popped up throughout the series, that will help to clear some confusions up. There is also a death - as usual with this series - that involves both the Half-Blood Prince, and a very important character in the series.Also, as the main characters are now getting older - Harry is 16, Hermione and Ron are 17, and Ginny is 15 - the situations that they are involved in are a bit more advanced. Characters are beginning to make romantic connections with other characters - both large and small characters, to be exact. Kissing is now seen regularly throughout the book, as well as love potions. And, readers are also treated to a fascinating look at what the troublemaker twins, Fred and George are up to since they left Hogwarts.Overall, HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE has exceeded my expectations - if that is even possible. J.K. Rowling has once again impressed me with her remarkable writing talent, and has me on the edge of my seat waiting for the next, and final, installment of Harry's life. It is obvious from the various revelations that came forth in this installment that Rowling is slowly drawing the series to a close, which saddens me greatly, as Harry has been a huge part of my life since HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE, but I suppose that Rowling feels that it is time to end his adventures. I can only hope that the next installment of Harry's life will be as fabulous as HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - which has become my favorite book thus far in the series. And, given Rowling's track record, the next installment is sure to be a marvelous must read as well. For now, all those who have not yet had the pleasure of reading HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE, I suggest that you do so right now, as it is unlikely that you will experience such wonderful reading pleasure as you will by reading this wonderful new installment in Rowling's HARRY POTTER series.Erika SoroccoBook Review Columnist for The Community Bugle Newspaper


You know you love Harry Potter, you don't need me to tell you.

by E. S. Charpentier
(5/5)

Two impressions, as there are several hundred reviews of this book and I don't wish to reiterate:**Reading this for the third time, I am struck by how much I did not remember was in here, as well as what I thought happened in this volume, but it must be in the next. The history of the Half-Blood Prince not being revealed, for one.**The supreme length of this book makes me wonder what more marvelous things could have been revealed to us had the first two books of the series been as extensive.


An incredible novel

by Evan Wearne
(5/5)

With every Harry Potter installment, I find myself saying the new installment is my favorite of the series so far. Book 6 is no exception, and I think it is a credit to the author. The hopelessness and despair have increased in order for the readers to feel the plight of the characters. Starting with this book and continuing into the next, the reader feels the despair that afflicts the good wizard community. It has some similarities to World War II Germany. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, even if it was a bit gloomy.


Harry Mania

by Fantasy Junkie "Marty"
(5/5)

J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter has captured the imagination of children and adult alike using fresh ideas when stories were running dry. She injected the kind of originality missing for so long in children's fantasy novels. She created a whole new world so complete and detailed that you suspend you disbelief and get immersed immediately.


Wonderful

by Felicia Williams
(5/5)

This series just gets better. I found it hard to put this, one down. It was well paced and I found myself laughing out loudat some parts. If you are a fan of the series, you will not be disappointed.


Better than 5 for sure! Good JKR

by F.Faulkner "F.F."
(4/5)

The author redeems herself in my eyes with this sixth installment. It had some very good red herrings, or at least a good mystery throughout.What I didn't like about 6 is what I didn't like about 5 - the nothing happening, going on forever, no action-first 3/4 of the novel.I missed the something special at the beginning, and I missed the interesting things that used to happen to these kids in classes throughout the year.One feels as we continue through the series, that ORDER OF THE PHOENIX and HALF-BLOOD PRINCE were nothing until the reader gets to the ending. Ah well, still 75% better than anything out there!!!!! Still keeps me turning the pages, running outside at lunch to read it in my car, and looking forward to Book 7.My favorites are still PRISONER OF AZKABAN and GOBLET OF FIRE with 4 being slightly ahead. That one just kept you on the edge of your seat throughout.


Perhaps The Best Yet!

by Fitzgerald Fan
(5/5)

I'm surprised at some of the reviews that deem this book predictable and boring. The subject matter of this novel is markedly darker than the preceding five books but is true to the characters. Being that Harry and his friends are sixteen and seventeen years old, I think that Rowling did a wonderful job depicting their coming of age.Furthermore, this book reveals much more about the childhood of Voldemort and how he came to be what he is as a true villain. This book like the others is very adventurous, but exceeds the previous books in that it deals with catastrophe of proportions that Harry Potter and his friends have not seen to this point.As usual, this was a fast and entertaining read and I believe it to be a perfect lead-in to what is sure to be a spectacular grand finale.


Riddled With Riddles About Riddle

by Franklin the Mouse
(5/5)

Ms. Rowling has created another well-crafted adventure/mystery to the Harry Potter series. The reader will come to understand why and how Lord Voldemort became the evil, obsessed antagonist of the wizardry world. The author did a fine job of depicting the main teenage characters in an age-appropriate manner. Just like many 16-year-olds of this difficult age, some of Harry's, Ron's, and Hermoine's decisions are completely self-serving, unethical and, dare I say, meanspirited. Also, their puerile mood swings are very convincing and believable. A few new colorful characters are introduced as well as the enmity between Potter/Snape grows deeper and darker. There are smatterings of happy and funny moments, but for the most this book is pretty gloomy. Ms. Rowling has crafted a cliffhanger that easily will propel me into reading the last installment.


JK Rowling knows her stuff!

by frfubar8 "joe reader"
(5/5)

'Half Blood Prince' was well worth the wait. For those of us who read HP from the beginning, we are seeing the series progress as the author wanted them to. Some questions are answered, more questions are raised and in all cases the reader WANTS the answers. *what IS going to happen w/Lupin?*I enjoyed the book very much! Having said that, I think that the author may lose some of the younger fans *kids who really are too young to be reading the series* as structurally the story differs a bit from the others. This is not a book for eight year olds...sorry, just my opinion. For those who say it and the previous 2 books were "too dark", remember that they are designed to age with their readers. Harry's sixteen now, put 2 and 2 together!! Older kids & adult HP fans will enjoy this book very much.


Deeper, darker & more grown-up

by frumiousb "frumiousb"
(4/5)

I actually like that the prose seems to mature as the characters do, but I can understand why some of the younger Harry Potter readers feel left behind. I was late on board the Harry Potter train, but have read each book with increasing enthusiasm.Nearing the end of their school years, it becomes clear to Harry Potter and friends that they are increasingly forced to act as adults in their own right. A theme about the inability to rely on grown-up authority figures has been building through the last few books, and reaches its climax in the Half-Blood Prince. I expect that Rowling will move us through this cycle soon, but it has been interesting and daring. The claustrophobia and inability to trust (while still desiring mentoring) are areas of being a teenager that most YA authors do not dare touch.I am starting to need more resolution from each installment, I prefer series entries that are more stand alone novels in their own right-- this ends with too much of a cliffhanger for that. Cliffhangers will work in a shorter series, but I somehow have the feeling that we have several more books to go before we are done with Harry Potter.


almost but not quite

by Furio
(3/5)

After her rather dissaisfyingly written fifth volume, Ms Rowling apparently felt the need to reconsider her writing.This sixth episode closely recalls the second one: once again she uses a fairy tale approach, rich in descriptions of everyday magical life at school to tell a gloom story of death and insanity.It worked very well in the Chamber of Secrets but does not really work here: the story holds of course, Hogwarts is alive and keeps the reader's imagination alive too, but the plot is lacking in suspence and even, strange to say, in her author's usual sense of humour.I could not really worry about Malfoy's machinations nor could I really relate with the characters' love troubles because they never really came to life to me; a sort of detachment filters through the lines as if Ms Rowling were a little tired of her novels.The whole conclusion, soon after the final battle, felt rhetorical and unconvincing, not to mention the fact that it is hard to understand how Harry keeps on surviving deadly foes being after all an average wizard.I really hope the soon to be published seventh book will make up for all these flaws so that we shall not have to complain about an excellent story gone to waste.


Great Series

by gade04
(5/5)

Everyone should read the Harry Potter series. Even if you've seen the films, the books are great entertainment for children and adults.


Darker and more frightening as we move to the end game

by Gary Selikow
(5/5)

The darkest and most detailed yet of the Harry Potter series, it seems that it is part of the plot by JK Rowling that each installment is darker than the one before and takes us closer to the enchanting end game.As Voldermort and his followers grow in power, frightening and mysterious things are happening in both the wizarding and muggle world.There is a meeting between the Minister of Magic and the Prime Minister and Severus Snape secretly consorts with Narissa Malfoy and her particularly evil sister Bellatrix LeStrange, where he swears allegiance to Voldemort and makes an unbreakable vow to Narcissa to protect her son Draco, and to do all in hos power to make sure Draco succeeds in his quest.Harry Potter is removed from the nasty Dursleys mercifully for a final time by Dumbledore, and on his return to Hogwarts it is announced that Snape will be the new Defence Against the Dark arts teacher, a most coveted prize at Hogwarts. Few of the previous Defence Against the Dark Arts teachers has survived their full year of teaching!There are teenage romances at Hogwarts and the usual sorting out of emotional turmoil associated with mid adolescenceHarry Potter's feelings for Ron's lovely flame haired sister Ginny is growing, and Ron himself is dating Lavender Brown (somewhat 'air headed' and silly but I've always has a soft spot for Lavender) which causes tension between Ron and Hermione.Harry shows his admirable and strong character in small ways as well as ones of greater portent.On the train to Hogwarts, Harry is in a carriage with the awkward Neville Longbottom and the eccentric Luna Lovegood and Romilda Vane asks Harry to join her and her her friends in her carriage, adding "You don't have to sit with them'. Harry tells her in no uncertain terms that 'They're friends of mine'It is the small acts of heroism as well as the momentous ones that define Harry Potter.There are several center pieces of the bulk of the book is the journey Professor Dumbeldoreguides Harry on, on the history of the life of Voldermort, formerly Tom RiddleWhile it is difficult to sympathize with the thoroughly evil Voldmort, who shows a penchant for murder from the beginning, I certainly felt sad for his mother Merope Gaunt, brutally ill treated by her father and brother, and abandoned by her muggle husband, dying hours after giving birth to Tom (the future Voldemort).Also Harry Potter comes into ownership on a book on potions that was once owned by a mysterious 'half blood prince' which gives his powerful and vast knowledge, invaluable to his magical education and growth of his powers.Meanwhile a series of evil attacks in which Katie Bell is seriously hurt by a mysterious necklace and Ron is poisoned occur, and all signs point to Draco Malfoy, who Harry has reason to believe has joined Voldemorts's followers as a death eater.The wisdom of Dubledore lead to some wry wisdom from him, which add to the subtle philosophical element of the series.But it is the earth shattering climax that will really enthrall and shock you, I am lucky enough to have the final book in the series on hand having just read this one and it's predecessor and can only imagine the frustration of Potter fans having to wait two years for the Deathly Hallows after the events of this blockbuster leave you wondering what the finale will bring.


A horrid piece of tripe

by GatoRat
(1/5)

This is the worse book in an increasingly stupid series. Why, despite having had his life threatened every year and seeing a friend die, Harry Potter fails to take his education seriously is completely beyond me. I also fail to see how Voldemort is evil; he's more a petty thug with a bunch of incompetent, fawning sycophants. They have a chance to wipe out a significant portion of Hogwarts, including Harry Potter and many, if not all, of those he holds dear and completely fails to do so. Huh?


The most unbalanced book of the series

by Geert Daelemans
(3/5)

Now that Cornelius Fudge has been forced to resign from the Ministry of Magic it seems that the whole world is finally supporting Harry Potter. But nothing is farther from the truth: the dark forces surrounding the sinister Lord Voldemort are preparing themselves for the big fight and Harry Potter feels this very strongly. Harry never really trusted Draco, son of known Death Eater Lucius Malfoy who finally got captured and put in Azkaban Prison, but when Harry spots him at Borgin and Burkes he knows that Draco is up to no good. Harry is convinced that Draco is actually becoming a Death Eater like his father and will do everything to prove this. But his closest friends Hermione and Ron think that he is seeing ghosts. Even Professor Dumbledore does not buy the warnings that Harry is proclaiming. Again Harry feels that he has to fight this battle on his own.Finally J.K. Rowling did it: she completely lost the balance between story and exposition. Whereas in the previous books she tended to overdo only slightly these side stories, in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince she completely goes beyond. Even the way she weaves the background stories into her narrative is becoming tedious. Again and again the Pensive is used to shed some more light on the main characters. The exclamation "Oh, not again!" truly must have been on the lips of many people that read this sixth episode of the Potters series. Even the extra character of Professor Horace Slughorn pales in comparison to the previous Defence Against the Dark Arts teachers and must succumb to the big monster of exposition. True. For most of the fans this background information is useful and interesting, but the author could also have put this in a separate Harry Potter companion or even an appendix. Many parts of the book suffer from this flagrant imbalance and more often than not I did feel compelled to skip chapters.Amazingly enough, it turns out that Rowling did somehow realize that she was loosing the attention of the reader and decided to completely turn the rudder in the final chapters. Out of the blue the pace of the story is boosted and suddenly the book becomes quite a thriller. Maybe the final chapters of the Half-Blood Prince are to be listed as some of the best of the series so far. To say more than this would indeed ruin the experience. So my advice: gather (quite) some courage to get through the main part of the book and you will be awarded!


I have to admit it was good

by General Pete
(5/5)

I have never been a Harry Potter fanatic don't consider myself a huge fan of the books but I do enjoy the movies. Maybe it's the British humor that I can never get the hang of I don't know. "Pete what did you think of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince if you were so unmoved by the rest of the books?Well I liked the book a whole lot as it happened especially the ending which I will not give away. Ms. Rowling this time has turned out a book that can hold its own against all others of its kind (that's juvenile fantasy you understand not adult fantasy). All the things that make a book good can be found here and I have to say in terms of the plot and narrative flow the book just jives better then any of the others.Overall-The author finally has my convinced she can write a good book and I feel that I will be swept away on the wave of hype next time around. This book is good trust the word of a former skeptic please. This is the best Harry Potter book yet.


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Soul

by George R Dekle "Bob Dekle"
(4/5)

Nothing much has changed around Hogwarts: They have a new professor and a new Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor. Hagrid is still playing with his blast-ended screwts. Dobby is as loyal to Harry as ever, and Kreacher is as big a pain as ever. Harry is still the star Seeker on his house's team, and Ron is still having a crisis of confidence as the team's Keeper. Malfoy is still malevolent, Harry still suspects Professor Snape of treachery, and Professor Dumbledore still trusts Snape completely.Everything has changed around Hogwarts. Harry has fewer childish escapades. His conflict with Malfoy takes a sinister direction. With the help of the Half Blood Prince, Harry begins to excel at Potions. Student mishaps around Hogwarts become more common and more deadly. The world grows darker as Lord Voldemort waxes stronger and stronger and kills more and more witches and wizards. Dumbledore, who's beginning to show his age, starts giving Harry private lessons. Bertie Botts' Every Flavor Beans are nowhere to be found."The Order of the Phoenix" revealed that Harry was destined to meet Voldemort in a conflict which only one of them could survive. In "The Half Blood Prince" Harry begins to learn what he must do in order to have any hope of winning."The Sorcerer's Stone" was a light-hearted romp. The saga took a somewhat sinister turn in "The Chamber of Secrets," and in "The Prisoner of Azkaban" it became downright gloomy. Each succeeding installment of the saga has been darker than its predecessor, and "The Half Blood Prince" is darkest of all. You might even say that "Half Blood Prince" is to the Potter saga what "The Empire Strikes Back" was to the Star Wars saga. Dedicated Potter fan will come away from the book impatient for the final installment to wash away the gloom of the penultimate installment.I haven't given more than passing consideration to Rowling's sources, but I think the discerning reader can see some indebtedness to previous writers of fantasy. The names of the characters put one in mind of Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress." Although Rowling isn't quite as heavy-handed as Bunyan in naming her characters, the names often give us insight into who the characters are. E.g. Deloris Umbridge takes great umbrage at the lest infraction of the rules. Professor Lupin is a werewolf. The Malfoy family is certainly malevolent. Harry is sure that Professor Snape is a Snake. The name-fits-personality pattern does not apply to all the characters. Only one of the Weasleys is a weasel. The wizard school has already been done in at least two fantasy series: "A Wizard of Earthsea" and "The Black Cauldron." Harry struggles to get piecemeal clues about his identity and his fate much as Corwin does in the "Chronicles of Amber." Children thrown into an unfamiliar magical world has already been done in "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Chronicles of Narnia." Finally, Voldemort bears a more than passing resemblance to Sauron of "The Lord of the Rings," while Dumbledore looks more and more like Gandalf with each succeeding book.Rowling has nicely set up the final installment, and her legion of fans will await it with bated breath and more than a little trepidation as to whether the good guys can win. In most of the fantasy series I've mentioned, readers never waver in their conviction that good will triumph. The way things have been going in the last three books, I have grave doubt about how happy an ending Rowling will craft.


Bridge over Troubled Potions

by Giordano Bruno
(1/5)

There's not much magic in the writing of Harry Potter 6 -- just an inconvenient school year to grind through without too much conclusiveness to obviate HP 7. The firts chapter, the confrontation between the Muggle Prime Minister and the Minister of Magic, is the funniest and best in the book; thereafter, it's all plot exposition and foreshadowing of the "final solution" we will all have to pay hard earnings for in a couple of years.I want to go on record: there will be a final shoot-out between Snape (who will redeem himself by a final repentance) and Voldemort, thus saving Harry from the onus of killing.Postscript: Months later, I've reread this review, and I find that my opinion hasn't changed much. There's a rumor afloat that Rowling's is considering "bumping off" Harry himself in the last volume. Well, I double-dare her! The Grand Ayatolless of Wicca would put a bounty on her head. On the whole, however she chooses to conclude her profitable serial, Rowling has still not managed to equal the Bible in incoherence or implausibility.


Good story, but...

by glo "glo"
(3/5)

So I expected a huge twist. I really hoped that Snape would come out the underdog...made into a true three dimensional character (like in book 5 when Rowling attempts to humanize Snape's character). Instead, he reverts back into the Snape we all hate from the first 4 books making the plot entirely predictable. I knew who the half-blood prince was from the very beginning and then it turns out that Harry's theory about Malfoy and Snape was correct the entire time. *yawn*...Give me more depth like was shown in the fifth book. That didn't bother me so much as what the ending revealed, which I won't say for those who haven't read the book. I was hoping that Rowling would've expanded on the development of Snape's character from the fifth book but she took the easy route and decided to simplify good vs. evil plainly into black vs. white. Also, parts in the book didn't flow and just killed the tone. Such as in the last chapter which is supposed to be somber, relationships get brought up again which I thought were completely irrelevant to the plot to begin with (i.e. Tonks' sullen appearance, Bill and Fleur's marriage). I understand this storyline is really setting up the plot for the last book, but it does not hold up on its own like the first five do. Still an enjoyable read however.April 28, 2009 Edit: I just finished Book 7. I will add another star for Book 6. Yes, like other reviewers have mentioned, Book 6 does not stand on its own. Book 6 is really part 1 of the ending, and book 7 is part 2. I loved how the series ended and now in retrospect Book 6 deserves more credit. After finishing I want to read the entire series all over again.


Better than Book 5 by at least 1 star

by G. Powell
(5/5)

Looks like JK got herself a decent editor this time. Book 5 just wandered all over the place. An easy 100 pages could have been cut and the story line would have been tighter and the plot just fine.This time the book just flows. It's really a middle book as it has set up book 7 and now of course I can hardly wait the 2 years until it comes out. The plot here is believable, there are few logic holes, the characters continue to fit their assigned roles set in book one. I envy the folks who will have all 7 books to read in one long sitting, because this is series is really just one giant book with installments.JK Rowling has promised that book 7 will be the end. So I'm hoping that as the story line finishes out that she doesn't break all our hearts to guarantee that its the final book. Surely she won't have to write again for reasons of cash, but if the story is somehow left open the fans will always call for book 8.So if by now you haven't read it, borrow a copy from one of your die hard friends, they've read it 3 to 5 times already and should be ready for a short break. And don't whatever you do, read any advance notes on the plot. You can find out for yourself what happens and it will be better that way.


Harry grows up

by Gregory Baird
(5/5)

'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' is the best of the series so far. Harry has come out of the angry funk he was mired in during 'Order of the Phoenix' and is, for the first time, truly ready to begin facing his destiny against Lord Voldemort. He begins receiving private lessons from Professor Dumbledore to explore Voldemort's past and, hopefully, uncover the weakness that will allow him to be defeated. There are none of the pacing problems that plagued 'Order of the Phoenix', and Rowling has clearly come into her own as a writer. With this book she elevates her already classic series to the level of such greats as the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It is truly amazing how she manages to make each book more mature and timeless as Harry grows up and learns to see the world for what it truly is. Having said that, I will warn parents that Harry Potter is no longer safe territory for the younger set, as Harry experiences the full extent of Voldemort's power in this book, and the finale will most likely be traumatizing to any fan below the young adult level (even more-so than the end of 'Goblet of Fire'). 'Half-Blood Prince' sets itself as the 'Empire Strikes Back' of the Harry Potter series, and stands out as the best because it is not afraid to allow the bad guys to win.A lot of criticism has been bestowed upon this book because it avoids getting tangled up in the front lines of the war on Lord Voldemort. I thought this was very wise on J.K. Rowling's part, and actually lent credence to the plotline. Harry is a teenager, and Chosen One or not his business is at Hogwarts as a student. It is very truthful, because even in times of war life does go on, and I suspect that 'Half-Blood Prince' is merely illustrating that point. Certainly all of us at home can attest to that in times like these. We go to work or school every day, then catch up on the news in Afghanistan (or, more recently, London) in the newspaper or on the television. That is where Rowling's series excels: that, even in a fantastic and improbable setting like Hogwarts, she captures the truth of the real world.


Growing Up has Complications Even Magic Can't Solve

by Greg Robertson
(5/5)

Don't let all the talk about Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince being "darker" than all the rest stop you - or your child - from reading this great book. It's just as funny, just as heartwarming, and just as clever as any of the others in the series. But the simple fact is that, like all children, Harry, Ron, Hermione, and the rest are growing up - a fact that saddens some readers. And growing up always means things get more complicated, even to those who aren't muggles.Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince does a terrific job of letting us see Harry become more of a real adult, with adult pains and adult responsibilities, while still giving us the incredible magical world we often wish we could have grown up in. And, even more important, it shows younger readers that one can grow into adulthood without losing a proper sense of hope for, wonder of, and excitement about whatever world is around them.In this book, J.K. Rowling provides not only a wonderful story about a beloved group of characters, but also a pathway that many a young person can follow in successfully reaching their own young adulthood. Yes, it's different from the others, but it's also the same. And it's a terrific launching point to what awaits beyond for fans...and friends...of Harry Potter.


Dark. Sad. Fantastic.

by Gypsi Phillips Bates "bilbiophile"
(5/5)

In Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts, we find the world a darker place. Voldemort's power is growing and his Death Eaters are attacking not only the magic community, but the Muggle world as well. Hermione reads the paper every day looking for the answer to Ron's also daily question, "Anybody we know?".Dumbledore takes Harry aside for special "lessons" and together they delve into memories in search of Voldemort's past, in search of any little clue that would help defeat him. Otherwise, things go much the same at Hogwarts as always. . . new teachers, misunderstandings between friends, homework, crushes, Quidditch, and deadly peril.Rowling's latest is another exceptionally good work from the first page to the last. I'll not give any spoilers, but will only say that the final chapters were so intense and emotional that I've thought of little else since I finished reading it two days ago! Much of it is open to debate, hopeful re-interpretation and speculation-and I expect we'll see a lot of it as we wait for the final installment. Rowling will have a lot to answer in the book seven, as the Half Blood Prince asked more questions than it answered and ended with many loose ends to be tied. In the meantime, this book 1s well worth at least one more read for it's funny lines, awesome adventure and exceptional writing. My admiration for its author deepens, as does my love and concern for its characters.


Darker, Scarier, Better. Ms. Rowling Keeps The Suspense (And More) Going. Great Set-Up For No. VII, The Final Novel.

by HAMLET
(5/5)

J.K. Rowling keeps the suspense going in Episode VI of this excellent series. I finished reading it last night-read it in 3 days. It's a hell of a read. Those who love the series will not be disappointed. To avoid saying too much about this-the most intense and thematically involving episode in the series, I'll say one more thing: this is the darkest yet in the series, leading up to all hell breaking loose. If you're looking for a big twist, you'll be surprised. Thi time, there isn't one. There are TWO...and if I told you what they are, I'd have to feed you to the dementors. Get ready for the most intense episode in the "Harry Potter" saga yet. Rated PG-13 for intense thematic elements, mild sensuality and some strong violence.


The Story Gets Better and Darker Each Time

by Happy Chappy "An Avid Reader."
(5/5)

I have recently gotten into providing reviews for books I have read on Borders.Com & Amazon.com. It has dawned on me that I have not gotten around to reviewing any books from this marvelous series. I am going to change that all by commenting on the sixth book in this series: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It amazes me that with the level of sophistication involved in these stories that some people still mistakenly believe that they are kids books. Although children and adults of all ages love the books, I find them a very rich and rewarding read, every bit as enthralling as anything else available at any given time. In this book the Wizard War continues as various factions take hold. The story continues to evolve and that may cause some to long for the days when Harry was just making new friends and learning about his powers. However, this very enjoyable read has set the table for what promises to be a fantastic conclusion to the series. As much as I am looking forward to book seven, I am secretly dreading its arrival as that will mean this wonderful ride from the Brilliant Ms. Rowling will have ended.


Dying for the finale!

by H. Cassell
(5/5)

"Half-Blood Prince" doesn't answer nearly as many questions as it raises, and it isn't like its predecessors in a number of ways. One that will immediately jump out at you is that the book does not begin at No. 4 Privet Drive with the Dursleys. Instead of the usual hilarity and chaos that ensue at the Dursleys' home in the first chapter of the other five books, "Prince" begins with strife and death (a bridge collapse and hurricane) in the Muggle world: the work of the Dark Arts. This subdued beginning is the first clue that things are now different and sets the tone for the rest of the book, which is much darker than the other novels in the series.Harry is sixteen now, in his penultimate year at Hogwarts, and his future is weighing heavily on his mind. Harry's infamous anger found in "Order of the Phoenix" has ebbed, but it's never far from the surface. He has grown bolder, saying and doing things that surprise even himself. He is no longer terrified of detention or of having house points taken away; since his godfather's death in "Phoenix," Harry has come to realize that the world is bigger than his life at Hogwarts. At 16, our hero has had to deal with more death and responsibility than many of us will ever know, and as a result, his thoughts in "Prince" are deeper, more morose, and less confused. Author J.K. Rowling has done a great job with the overt coming-of-age theme that flows through the series. Harry's thoughts and actions are almost always age-appropriate. In the sixth book, friendships grow more intense but confused, romance ensnares all of the main characters, and through private lessons with Dumbledore, Harry begins to know Lord Voldermort when he was still Tom Riddle. The trust Dumbledore (finally and deservingly) instills in Harry by taking him into his confidence is a very important turning point, maybe the most significant in the series so far. The torch is being passed. Understanding Lord Voldermort is the key to defeating him, an arduous task the younger Harry was unprepared for, and one which heretofore Dumbledore tried to shield him from.The final scene finds Harry making huge decisions that will change the series as we know it.It's hard to be left the way we are: in mourning and worried about Harry. Though some readers will complain about the lack of resolution and action, Rowling has set the table for an unbelievable finale. Here's to hoping it won't be another two years to find out what becomes of our beloved characters!


Not the strongest...

by H. Coffill "reckless-abandon"
(3/5)

...but still a good read. You really are left with the impression that this book is just setting up for a big conclusion. I hope Rowling still has some surprises in store for #7.


Best so far - OK for ALL ages!

by Holly Lewis "Free-Range Librarian"
(5/5)

What can I say that hasn't been said? I just finished book 6 and found it wonderful, sad and stirring.As a Children's Librarian I can say now that this book IS appropriate for anyone who has read and enjoyed the first 5 books - don't listen to the doom & gloom crowd.


Better than I expected

by Hortensia "Sunshine"
(5/5)

I really enjoyed this book - more than some of the others. In fact, reading a summary of Goblet of Fire, I suspect I never even finished that book! The Half-Blood Prince starts out rather slowly, and the interaction with the Muggle Prime Minister is pointless as the Prime Minister is introduced but is never brought into the rest of the story. That could have been omitted entirely without hurting the rest of the book, and probably should have been.If the author plans to kill off someone in the next book, I hope she doesn't give any suggestion about it beforehand. I wasn't surprised at who was killed, rather expected it since we had been warned someone significant would die. Also, I thought the identity of the Half-blood Prince should have involved more than just a pun on the name Prince. That revelation was something of an anticlimax.Otherwise, what a good story - a pity I have finished it and don't have it to look forward to any more.


Adds New Emotional Depth to the Series

by Ian Fowler
(5/5)

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is unique among the "Harry Potter" series. While the whole of the series has been at its core a coming-of-age tale, it has been set in a world of fantasy, with J.K Rowling emphasizing the fantasy element. "The Half-Blood Prince" is a reversal, concentrating on Harry, Ron, and Hermione as they find themselves on the cusp of 17, the age of majority in the wizard-world. The plot of the novel is tailored more toward growing pains than toward the war against Lord Voldemort. However, Rowling never lets the reader forget that the pain Harry endures is directly tied to fighting the good fight.At the beginning of the novel, set just weeks after the end of "The Order of the Phoenix," Harry is still struggling with the death of Sirius Black, his godfather, while aware of the war that has begun in earnest in the wizard world, a war that has spilled over into the Muggle world. However, Harry soon learns he has little time to grieve, as he is quickly collected by Dumbledore, discovers he passed many of his OWLs, is appointed captain of Gryffindor's quidditch team, and begins certain lessons with Dumbledore himself. He also discovers an old textbook in his Potions class, full of spells and charms written by a previous owner simply known as "The Half-Blood Prince," and quickly gains a great deal of skill in Potions.On the personal level, it becomes clear to Harry (as it has been clear to the reader since about book 3) that Ron and Hermione have feelings for each other, as Ron begins a relationship with a fellow student, much to Hermione's chagrin and to Harry's discomfort as he's caught in the middle. However, Harry himself soon realizes that his feelings for Ron's sister, Ginny, may be more that of a surrogate older brother. Complicating things further, Harry is suspicious of the behavior of Draco Malfoy, his old enemy, suspicions shared by few. But most importantly, during his studies with Dumbledore, Harry finally learns the origins of Lord Voldemort, and why he and Voldemort are locked in a death-course that only one can survive.Rowling has substantially progressed as a writer. While all the books have been enjoyable and involving, there is a great-deal of emotional depth here. For example, the reader is hit with the sudden realization that we have effectively watched Harry grow up, and that at the end of this novel, Harry is effectively an adult. Ron and Hermione have begun to figure out that their feel more than mere friendship for each other, and it makes the reader smile. Most surprisingly, Rowling actually brings a level of sympathy to her series most overt villains, Draco Malfoy. Malfoy, the snotty little bigoted aristocrat child, is in many ways a pawn, bread to be a snot, and forced into a destiny that he has no real heart to fulfill.The main emotional impact of this novel is the death of an important character to the series. It's an open secret by now, I'm sure, but I won't say the name. I should add that the circumstances of that character's death are such that Rowling could undo it quite plausibly.The overall story arc of the conflict between Harry and Voldemort is advanced very little. We have Voldemort's back story, and the means by which Harry will (presumably) destroy Voldemort in the next book. Indeed, a better title for this novel would have been "Harry Potter and the Legend of Voldemort" or something like that. The identity of the Half-Blood Prince is never particularly tantalizing, and the revelation of that figure's real identity is basically an anticlimax. It may be resolved in a more satisfactory way in the next book.My initial worry when reading this book is that Rowling was simply killing time before bringing the series to its conclusion. But, as I was reading, I came to suspect that Rowling was deliberately taking a break from her overall story. In doing so, she brought a new depth of character and emotion to the series, and has created a greater tension for the final novel, wherein Harry, Ron, and Hermione have more than their lives to lose. Thus, Rowling has done something perhaps more adult than she has done before, and the series will greatly benefit from it.


Simply Amazing!!!

by Jackie "fallen_moon"
(5/5)

I had waited since the announcement of the publication on pins and needles. I could not wait to read it. When I finally began reading _Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince_ I was immediately transported to Hogwarts. I felt as though I had a "pensive" and Harry Potter allowed me to enter his memory. WOW... simply incredible.Answered in this novel are the following: Who Harry falls in love with? Who Ron truly loves? Who Ron dates and snogs? Who are the true members of the Order of Phoenix? Who are the true Dark Eaters? Someone one doesn't suspect dies? Someone lives? But in the end Love prevails tho evil still exists. Who are the real "Pure-bloods" ? Who are the "Half-Bloods"? The "Muggle-born" wizards?If I were to describe this novel in one word --"AMAZING"! By far this is J.K Rowling's "BEST WORK". I dread to see the series end... tho I'm curious to see what lies in Book 7. If I were to rank the books by "greatness"... 6, 1, 3,2, 5, 4Happy Reading!!~FallenMoon


Wild about Harry -- Still

by JACK "Listening and Reading"
(4/5)

The first rule of any battle: Know your enemy.In this vein, the background on how Harry's arch nemesis, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, became who and what he is, will yield the means by which Harry may defeat him. I've always found the backstory on characters to be fascinating. While delving into the past may not advance the present story swiftly enough to suit some readers, it does provide tints of character and motivations that aid in a fuller understanding of the elusive question "why."In all, this novel provides a vital piece to the Harry Potter mystery. One thing I am grateful for is there is only a passing mention of Quidditch. I thought the episodes of matches in past novels did tend to drag.


Cruel author who is going to kill Harry Potter

by Jacques COULARDEAU "A soul doctor, so to say"
(5/5)

The sixth volume of the saga is coming of age. The boys and the girls are finally growing into their late teens and starting to have a real life of love and (in)stability. They are also getting over school work and entering the field of more mature questions. Harry Potter himself is led into this new maturity by Dumbledore who makes him discover and explore all he knows about Voldemort, in reality Tom Riddle. The book is tragic since it leads to the death of Dumbledore, dramatic since it leads to the sending of Harry Potter alone on the road that will lead him to Voldemort. But the book is also comic by the fact that Harry Potter had known more than Dumbledore about Snape and Malfoy. Dumbledore, in his great age, did not trust Harry Potter's juvenile intuition and was defeated because of that and it is this defeat that enables Harry Potter to be born to adulhood like a phoenix out of its own ashes. This volume ends with a victory for Voldemort, a victory that will lead to the final chase and battle, but it is Voldemort who will be chased and no longer Harry Potter. This is the good news of the book. When a demon is haunting you, you'd better go after him rather than let him get the hell out of you. This leaves us with one more volume to go to read the announced end of the saga. How can the author be that cruel and pretend that in one year Harry Potter will come to an end, not the book but the character ? To succeed in doing this she will have to be a great magician. Conan Doyle killed Sherlock Holmes. He was forced to ressuscitate him. Stephen King closed the seventh volume of the Dark Tower with a last page which is the very first page of the first volume, everything starting all over again. Lucas shot the last three episodes of Star Wars before the first three, the sequel of the last film shot has already been shot. Will she dare to kill Harry Potter as well as Voldemort in one of these Hollywoodian epic duels ? Will she dare make him lose his powers and become a muggle ? Will she defy logic and make him drop his witchcraft for the sake of a beautiful love affair ? How cruel authors can be with their audiences.Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, Université Paris Dauphine, Université Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne


One of Rowling's best yet!

by J. Adatto
(5/5)

I must say that I am surprised by all the negative reviews this book has been getting. I think it comes down to the fact that everyone has such high expectations for Ms. Rowling that if they are disappointed in any way it makes the book terrible. Even if one doesn't think that this was the best in the series (I liked # 4 the best), one must admit that this book rates at minimum 4 stars in comparison to almost any other work of fiction.That being said, I still think that this is one of the best books in the series yet. There is a wonderful dark tone throughout and the plot thickens as the book progresses. The individual who dies should not come as much of a surprise but the manner in which it happens will leave your mouth hanging open. Many of the hidden aspects of the series are revealed and we are given a powerful setup for the next book. If you haven't read any Harry Potter books, start now and you won't regret it.


One of J.K. Rowling's best

by James Hiller
(5/5)

After spending all day reading this book, I have to say that the latest installment of the Harry Potter series is one of Rowling's best works. Whereas the last book, "Order of Phoenix" seemed to be too long and drawn out in some places, "Half-blood Prince" is better paced and shorter. Also gone, thankfully, is the screaming upset Harry Potter that we were subject to in 5. Harry has matured a bit, dealing with his destiny as well as being a teenager.Moments of light comedy are interspersed with moments of intense drama. It is clear that Rowling feels comfortable within her characters to take great risks with them, which pays off with a thrilling, riveting story, and setting up things well for the last book.J.K. Rowling has affording children and adults everywhere a compelling story and storyline, and opened the world of fantasy fiction to many people who would normally eschew such a genre. Perhaps Rowling herself is magic.... and if not, at least her writing is!


The Half-Blood Prince ain't half-bad

by James Tepper ""Are we there yet""
(4/5)

The first Harry Potter book was very clearly a children's book, or charitably, something in the realm of "juvenile fiction". It was very short, something less than half the size of the subsequent entries in the series, and it was written in very broad strokes, almost as a pastiche of a work about sorcerers, witches and magic. It was undeniably charming, and gave us our first glimpse of a brand new world that has been growing richer and more complex with each new book. The sophistication and style of the writing has grown concomitantly, and while it is still true that HP and the Half-Blood Prince is suitable for juveniles, it is most certainly not a children's book.The Half-Blood Prince starts out oh so slowly and I despaired during the first 100 or 150 pages that at least for me, perhaps the magic of Harry Potter had finally worn off. The basic formula that had worked so well for the previous 5 books was not much in evidence - the Dursleys barely appeared at all- and there was no new mystery and/or challenge like the TriWizard Tournament, the Chamber of Secrets or the escape from Azkaban to focus on. This, in part, gives the early part of the book a sort of unfocused feel. More so than with any book in the series that has come before, the reader needs to be part of the HP club, and to remember well many details of the preceding 2 or 3 volumes to really understand what is going on.All that being said, as other reviewers have noted, the character development is good. As our heroes and heroines get older (they are approaching 17 years of age by book's end) they get more mature and complex, there are age-appropriate loves requited and unrequited and the relationship among Ron, Hermione and Harry develop. The Harry- Draco feud intensifies, forcing a showdown or two, and Malfoy's malignity grows in a delightful way and becomes better incorporated into the grand scheme of things.Finally, the focus of the story resolves itself into the search for Voldemort and the means to defeat him once and for all. Much of the book is actually a backstory, told to Harry by Dumbledore and the pensieve, of the origin of Voldemort and his early days. Some of this comes as a surprise, some not. But as the Half-Blood Prince enters its final 150 pages, things start to heat up - considerably. The final 75 pages or so are a no-holds barred, can't-put-it-down page-turner that ranks among the best of the sections that Rowling has written so far. A widely rumored death occurs, but I bet it is not who you think it is, and for me, I remember that in the land of Hogwarts and magic, all is not always as it seems, what with Polyjuice Potions and shape-shifters and so on. In any event, the final pages provide a great set-up for the 7th and presumably final volume that I predict will feature a thrilling and satisfactory conclusion. Way to go JK! I'm looking forward to number 7.


My least-favorite book of the series so far.

by James Yanni
(3/5)

Perhaps I should wait until after I've read book seven of the series before reviewing this one; there are things that could possibly happen in that book that would raise my rating of this one to four stars. But in the end, the book needs to stand or fail on its own merits, as has every other book in the series, and on its own merits, it's only passable.Granted, the writing is still very good, and the overall plotline (the one spanning all the books) is compelling. But unlike the first five books of the series, there was no separate plot that belonged to this book alone that was successfully navigated by Harry and his friends; what little plot it had other than its part in the main overview ended badly. Which brings me to my next complaint: it is just depressing. Granted, if one is telling a classical tale of heroic conflict, it is a weakness to have a superior "Merlin" type to aid the hero unless he is severely limited, so it was eventually going to be necessary to explain why Dumbledore couldn't have done anything that Harry could in order to defeat Voldemort. But we had a good groundwork for explaining that; the whole scar-on-the forehead thing, indicating that Harry was somewhat proof against Voldemort, might have been justification enough. In any case, even if it WAS a necessary plot device, that doesn't mean I have to like it.But what's more (and REALLY a legitimate complaint) is that, if something isn't done in book seven to ameliorate the effect, what we have just seen is the absolute, total undercutting of the main message of the series so far, as told by Dumbledore to Harry: if Dumbledore's message to Harry (and to all appearances, Rowlings' to the reader) is that the power of love (and trust) will defeat the powers of darkness, then Dumbledore, by being done in by his trust of Snape has proven that his message is flawed. As I say, it is possible that this complaint will be cancelled out by events in the next book, but until I see that, I have to mark this book down for that apparent flaw.Also, just for the sake of quibbling over minor flaws, I really HATED the "Spider-Man breaks up with Mary Jane" scene at the end of the book in which Peter (oops, sorry, Harry) trys to break off with all of his friends in order to keep them safe from his powerful enemy. PLEASE. So long as he cares about them, they aren't safe, so he may as well show them the courtesy of allowing them the choice of whether to cower under their beds or try to help him.


Excellent addition

by Jared Garrett
(5/5)

Make no mistake, Rowling is at the top of her form. She understands that writing a good story requires well-drawn and realistic characters. Harry and friends are so clearly teenagers, with their angst, anger and easy mood swings. Rowling knows that you need tension, boy howdy does she know it! This book starts tense, bleak and promising and ends with such a perfect suprise/twist that readers are knocked physically back. Rowling also knows that a good story requires a place for the action to occur. She has expanded her world with each successive novel, adding realism and substance to the wizarding world and its intricacies.Granted, the book is enormous, but given the size of the print and the excellent pacing of a story that involved Harry actually doing well in Potions, it is still a quick read.


Harry Potter and the Half-Arsed Plot

by Jarod Wilson
(3/5)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (year 6 at Hogwarts) is, unfortunately, the low-point of the series in my opinion. It pains me to say so, as there are some important developments in the story, but it is definitely the weakest book overall. Some reasons why:First of all, the content of the story can basically be broken down into three main parts: exploring Voldemort's past, introducing the horcrux concept, and the ending sequence involving Dumbledore, Draco Malfoy, and Snape (with a couple of events leading up to it). Besides that, it's mostly Harry "cheating" using a marked-up potions manual, and a whole lot of "romantic" shenanigans between the students. The whole "Half-blood Prince" storyline is both unnecessary and distracting, as is the issue of the new teacher, Slughorn. A lot of the book feels like an ill-advised attempt to make *something* happen in the sixth year, just so that the overall series would fit into the "obligatory" seven-year time line; it could all have happened in a few weeks just as easily as an entire year.So, laying aside the fact that the whole book is mostly a "set up" for book 7, rather than a story unto itself, there are a couple of things about it that I really like. Both revolve around the development of ambiguously evil characters. First, and most prominently, is the development of Severus Snape, who has always been one of Harry's least favorite people. He also happens to be, in my opinion, one of the most intriguing characters in the entire series. From the beginning of the book (well, the second chapter), we are already faced with the question of where Snape's true loyalties lie, and by the end, we have some drastic "surprises" that illuminate the issue. Although his story is not fully told until book 7, this story is where his character really starts coming to the forefront.The other part of the story that I really like is the story of Draco Malfoy. Throughout the series, he has been little more than the snotty, prejudiced bully who irritates Harry and his friends, but I always suspected and hoped that he would have an important role to play in the end. This book is really when we learn what Draco Malfoy is all about, although it does take a little reading between the lines at times. His scene with Dumbledore at the top of the astronomy tower is the finest moment in the book, and it is rather sad to me that this is, for all practical purposes, the end of Draco's story (his involvement in book 7 is largely perfunctory). I think that J.K. Rowling missed a fantastic opportunity by not giving Draco a larger role in the conclusion of the story. More on this in my review of book 7.Overall, as I've said, this is definitely the weakest book in the Harry Potter series. You could read only from Chapter 23 to the end and not miss out on anything critical, and get the best of the book besides. Well... Chapter 1 is a good bit of fun, but the middle of the book is mostly a load of waffle, worth reading if you (like me) don't want to miss out on any of the details, but irrelevant to the outcome of the story as a whole.


The darkest and most intriguing Potter book I've read yet

by J. C. Amos
(5/5)

As I've only just begun book seven, I'll count Half-Blood Prince as my favorite in this series thus far. I figured that I would wait until I've finished the entire series and do a review on the series as a whole, but Rowling truly outdid herself with this volume, so I thought I'd put in my two cents.When book 7 came out a couple months back, I decided I needed to catch up, having only read up to book 3 (and I didn't want to take the easy route and just go by the movies, which are good, but not to be replacements for Rowling's fine prose.) I gobbled up book 4, which was amazing. Order of the Phoenix, while a good book, took me a bit longer to trudge through, and not just because of its sheer immensity. It seemed to be on a bit of an off-note in comparison to the other Potter books. Dolores Umbridge was a horrendously annoying character, and while she may have been essential to the story, she seemed to be in every other scene and her constant nagging of every single character really started to get on my nerves. Book 5 had plenty of action and detail into the wizarding world, but the "fun" -at least in some ways- seemed to be sucked out of it."Prince" gives the series the shock to the heart that it needed, bringing the fun back while managing to still get progressively darker. I found to my delight that this book has some seriously twisted stuff. There were times reading "Prince" that I began to wonder at how young kids must react to some of the goings-on here. I won't give much away, but we have elements such as Harry trying out a spell that turns out to be borderline mutilation, animated corpses that George Romero would envy, and as most have surely had spoiled for them, the death of a very major character. The latter, while I indeed had spoiled for me beforehand, still came as quite a shock and the child in me found myself in denial that it even happened. Her unpredictability in killing off essential characters makes her writing suspenseful in a way that I haven't found in fantasy since George R.R. Martin (sorry kids, he's an author for adults only. At least wait until high school for him.)We also have a subject new to this book: Horcruxes. Bravo, Rowling; this is brilliant. Not only do Horcruxes explain a good deal about past books and prove yet again that she has her material planned well in advance, but it is a genius plot device. Harry and Dumbledore's investigations into this subject provide a very entertaining plot thread.So, for anyone like me whose faith in the Potter series might have waned a little with book 5, Half-Blood Prince is well worth the wait. It brings back the mystery and wonder of the series that we found all the way back to the first book. While I haven't finished the series yet, I do believe that Rowling has earned herself a place next to CS Lewis and even J.R.R. Tolkien in creating a series that will be timeless for generations, that both children can love and perhaps adults can love even more.


Things continue to get darker...

by J. Carroll "Jack"
(4/5)

In the penultimate chapter of Rowling's epic things continue to go from bad to worse. Harry is taken under Dumbledore's wing and given the whole truth about Voldemort, betrayals occur and deaths proliferate and the series takes an even darker turn. Rowling stays true to her vision here and other than some unfortunate "snogging" scenes which are, of course, an example of life goes on in spite of the horror, but they are poorly written, serving as an afterthought and lacking in real emotion. That being said this book stands with the best of the series and properly prepares the reader for what the last book must be, Harry's final reckoning with Voldemort.


Another spellbinding masterpiece!

by Jean E. Pouliot
(5/5)

Harry is 16, and his lot is not getting any easier. Luckily, he has access to friends and mentors who takehim seriously and want to help. Unfortunately, he also has enemies, including a mortal one. You-Know-Who is still on the loose and getting stronger. The Ministry of Magic, which should be on Harry's side, is terminally and dangerously incompetent, busily arresting innocents on the charge of being Death Eaters. Meanwhile, Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts is about to begin, holding within it the promise of more responsibility and more extreme danger. There is the ever-present lure of the Dark Arts, useful to enemies and forbidden to Harry. And then there's the inconvenient triumph and trauma of falling in love.Such is the setting for the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth of J. K. Rowling's fanciful and fabulous Potter series. The book lives up to the series' reputation, providing new magic an more mature problems for Harry and his friends to grapple with. The book is also darker than many, with the threat of death or injury being constant companions to the main characters. As the series wears on, Harry is becoming more and more alone, having to rely on his wit, cunning and special abilities. His choices are becoming harder; his path more lonely. Rowling's genius is to make all of this trouble entertaining.The book includes all of the Hogwarts favorites: Hermione, the Weasleys , Dumbledore, Snape, McGonnagal and Hagrid. Book Six will have you speculating endlessly about the impossible tasks being set up for Harry in Book Seven. Can't wait!


dark tale of evil, betrayal and priceless treasure of love!!!

by jeanne-scott
(5/5)

In the story of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince it appears that evil has begun it's insidious invasion, even the muggles feel that unsettled feeling that Harry has been aware of for so long.Harry begins to seek out the story of young Voldemort, hoping that he will discover something that will help overcome the force of evil that threatens to destroy all they hold dear.It seems at first that the two opposing sides, good and evil, have clearly drawn loyalties but as the story progresses it becomes difficult to distinguish who is on which side and why they may have made their choice.As Harry seeks out the truth concerning the early days of Voldemort he makes some uncomfortable discoveries about his father's boyhood behavior which leave him confused and questioning his own beliefs.This is a wondrous and dark tale of coming of age, of overcoming evil and of learning the hard lessons in life about betrayal and true friendship and the priceless treasure of love.


WOW! Totally worth the wait

by Jeanne Tassotto
(5/5)

I ordered this book months ago, waited to get into line for 3 hours, stood in line for another 30 minutes to pick up my copy and then stood in line to pay for it long enough to read most of ths first chapter. Even though I was old enough to be the parent (or even grandparent) of some of the others in line I felt it was worth it all!I just finished reading and dried my tears...which is all the spoiler you'll get here! This is wonderful, darker than the earlier books and definitely not for some of the youngest fans. This one would definitely also be best appreciated by those who had read all of the earlier books.The action starts in a very lighthearted manner as the Muggle and Magical Worlds leaders meet to cope with the turmoil caused by He Who Must Not Be Named. This is an absolutely hysterical scene (and one I hope makes it into the movie). From there we get a glimpse of how the Dark side is progressing and then on to Privet Drive. Harry is hoping to be released early this year from his visit 'home'. Dumbledore arrives and proceeds to very politely bully the Dursleys into submission (another scene that I hope makes it into the movie).We are then treated to visits to the Burrow, Diagon and Knock Turn Alleys before returning to Hogwarts. Many characters from previous books return, friend and foe alike. We are also given more information into the backgrounds of Voldemort and company. On a happier note, romance blooms, though of course not without a few bumps along the way. There is also plenty of action, including violence, some rather mature themes (again not for the youngest fans) and questions are left to, hopefully, be resolved in the next one....JK write faster!


Like it or hate it, this is GREAT literature...

by Jeff Edwards "RadioJeff"
(5/5)

I am rather surprised at the seemingly large number of reviewers who are giving the Half-Blood Prince anything less than a full 5 stars. I have long believed that we as a society sell our children short, way short. I really have no idea why, either. Certainly the Order of the Phoenix and this installment are darker and written more on the level of an adult rather than a 12 year old, but both of my children who are quite young have both picked Phoenix as their favorite novel thus far (this was before reading Prince). Why do we constantly under-estimate children so much that we fail to realize they are way more perceptive than we understand? The same is true for the half-witted Ultra-Conservative's who believe that reading Harry Potter will endanger our children into believing that witchcraft is real enough that one day they will be jumping off cliffs with a broom, crashing and then wondering why it did not work. I have yet to meet up with a single child who is old enough to read and comprehend these books that CANNOT discern between fantasy and reality. Whatever can get our children to read in the quantities that Harry Potter has managed MUST be good.Back to the story. I heard recently that Mrs. Rowling has had the first chapter to Half-Blood floating around her head for going on near 13 years. It's a good chapter which helps us to better understand the Uproar over Voldemort and his Return and how it has begun to affect the Muggles. Too many people have been loading their reviews with spoilers (which without *warning* are uncalled for and totally tasteless) and I refuse to mess with that. Suffice it to say that I have enjoyed literally every second I have spent in Harry's World. As it is I have been enormously stubborn in getting INTO that world from the very beginning because I am an adult and I simply do NOT read children's novels (other than to my kids). I can't say exactly why I chose to delve into these books, but I have been VERY happy I did so.Many have picked on Harry in the last book because of how he complained too much -- but if one can properly suspend your disbelief in order to accept a fantasy world where Wizards and Witches live side-by-side, is it SO hard to imagine a 15 year old boy who is facing the pressures of life the way Harry has done and done so well? I know if NO teenager that DOESN'T complain...just imagine the moaning and complaining you could hear if they experienced the pressure of life as Harry is living it? 'Nuff said. Harry IS growing up and with the Half-Blood Prince we see him maturing even more and slowly but surely accepting his role as the Chosen One. He is definitely growing up as he discovers that his destiny, although not written yet, is unavoidably connected with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. A showdown is definitely in the works, and I am incredibly anxious to see just how the series will wrap up in volume 7, due sometime just past the end of my patience...While Dumbledore was remarkably absent from a great deal of Phoenix, he returns in fine form here in Prince and his connection with Harry as well as the amazingly detailed back-story regarding Tom Riddle and his eventual down-turn into Lord Voldemort was absolutely facinating. I could tell you a LOT that would make you WANT to read this story more than you probably already do, but I don't wish to spoil any of it for you. There ARE some pretty big surprises here and there and while I never really came close to crying at the *Death* everyone seems to be referring to, it DID hit me quite a bit more than the loss of Sirius Black (to be honest, I am still not all that convinced he is gone forever anyway...). For those who say this book is NOT for children, I will agree -- only to an extent. I believe if the child is old enough to read and really comprehend this series, Half-Blood Prince is NOT too graphic or dark for them...however if you are a parent who will be reading this to a child under the age of 7 or so, you may wish to pre-read the chapters in advance so you can know when and where to do some careful editing. You'll know when and where when you get there. All in all this is another triumph for the fans of this amazingly creative stories of Harry and his life at Hogwarts and the world as a whole re-imagined in a way nobody but J.K. Rowling could tell it. Highly recommended.


OMG a wonderful shocker

by Jennifer A. Riley "Happy mother and grad student"
(5/5)

Okay, if you thought that the last book (book 5) was dark this one is even darker. And just plain shocking at the end. Though some of it is expected. This is not a kid's book! But a fantastic read!


Simply Amazing

by Jennifer Lichtenfeld
(5/5)

Book 6 brings us the most well rounded of the stories. It is a good balance between magic, adventure, romance, friendship, and everyday Hogwarts life. Harry returns to school while the wizarding world is in chaos. Everyone has been forced to admit that Harry was right and Voldemort is again alive and powerful. But there are other evil powers at work doing The Dark Lord's bidding. Harry is faced with the responsibility he has to the prophesy as well as thwarting the dangers that are right under his nose at school.This book brings Dumbledore's relationship with Harry to all new levels. Finally Harry sees himself as more of an equal than he has before. This book is also an excellent bridge to the culmination of the series. It is this installment that makes you feel as though you are truly a part of these characters lives and that you have known them your entire life.No one review will be able to properly capture the essence of this book, nor will anyone be able to properly sum up the plot without either writing entirely too much or too little. But in the end, no fan of the Harry Potter series will be able to read this book and not take away a feeling of pure enjoyment.


The definitive story of the 9/11 Generation

by Jennifer M
(4/5)

I am hereby assured that, if any intellectuals were actually taking my reviews the least bit seriously, they wouldn't be anymore. I think the intelligentsia is simply wrong about Rowling. Her publisher-induced superstar success and the disturbing unwholesomeness of "Pottermania" (a phenomenon that has led 50-year-old women to write schlocky, erotic fan-fiction about Snape) have blinded Harry's detractors from seeing that, underneath the phallic aura of billion-dollar film contracts, Rowling has passion and imagination. The writing is mediocre and, as each successive tome gets longer, someone needs to muzzle her editor, but Harry's story is the definitive story of the of the 9/11 Generation. In Rowling's wizarding world, the government is too corrupt and self-indulgent to stop the return of a totalitarian evil wizard and the children are morally compelled to rebel against authority and think for themselves. The tales are whimsically postmodern with a slight whiff of faith in the face of our era's cynicism and mindless conformity.


Reading with Tequila

by Jennifer Sicurella
(5/5)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince takes the series even darker, even more heart-wrenching, and still manages to work in a couple romantic entanglements. These kids are seriously growing up. When Dumbledore told Harry he wanted to take a "greater hand in your education," we knew this was going to be Dumbledore's book. Although he was absent for half the story, the his presence is always felt. As Harry first proclaims that he's "Dumbledore's man through and through," we felt a surge of pride in the loyalty Harry has always shown. Towards the end as Dumbledore states "I am not worried, Harry, I am with you," the crying began (even during my rereading) and didn't let up until the bitter end. The Harry/Dumbledore relationship was a huge part of the foundation of the entire series. The faith they constantly showed in each other was a powerful thing.Sadly, I never got to experience the shock that I should have upon the ending of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. As many know, this book was spoiled early and often. Seeing how I've reacted to it even seeing it coming, the added surprise element probably would have left me inconsolable. I seriously envy anyone who hasn't read it yet and actually doesn't know what to expect (if such a person even exists in the world by this point).The main characters all get involved in love triangles in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. As the characters couple up, jealousy ensues. The Harry/Ginny/Dean triangle and the Hermoine/Ron/Lavender triangles actually surprised me during my first reading. I don't know where I was getting the idea Harry was going to end up with Hermoine, but I believed that and when that wasn't even one of the possible scenarios, I was shocked. Re-reading many years later, its clearly obvious that the couples formed in Half-Blood Prince were inevitable. I particularly loved Hermoine's crazed jealousy as she's usually so level-headed, and Harry's guilt when he realizes his feelings for Ginny.Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is easily one of my favorites of the series. A constant mix of elation and devastation, the book invokes amazing feeling as it messed with my emotions. I'm actually dreading moving on to the next and final book as it will mark the ending of the series and my last chance to immerse myself in this world.


One of the best books in the in the collection

by Jeremy Micheal
(5/5)

One of rowlings best books , not much i can say that hasnt already been said you wont be dissappointed , especialy if your already a fan


Three stars well-earned

by Jerika
(3/5)

I'm glad to see a few other reviews have broken the you-must-only-say-fantastic-things-about-this-book curse. HPHBP (like most of the rest in the series) is good kids' literature. Very descriptive, believable characters, an interesting premise. But the cult of HP has kind of cloaked the fact that they are not *great* books. There is a lot of repetition throughout the series, which is fine; kids like repetition, and most young lit (even fairy tales) repeat certain narrative patterns. But everyone at the beginning of every HP book seems to have amnesia--no long-term memory of who turned out to be right/wrong, trustworthy/not, no lessons learned, no growth undergone. And that's what children's/adolescent lit is supposed to be about: growth and change. All three young protagonists seem virtually identical to the characters they were 6 years ago. If anything, they seem to be getting less mature. I know this can happen in real life, but I'm particularly surprised and disappointed by Hermione--I would have expected more from her. It's also been clear from Book 1 that Hermione and Ron are moving toward some sort of relationship, though it becomes less clear with each book just *why* these two would be interested in one another. A good title for the 7th book would be, "Harry Potter and the Endless Exposition." Rowling always takes FOREVER to wrap it up, with villains laying out every last detail of their diabolical plan and heroes explaining what just happened for 700 pages and why for the hero's/reader's benefit. This may have worked for Holmes and Watson, but a skilled 21st century writer should really be able to come up with something better. (I was glad to see Harry is a bit tired of it too.)It's still a good read--makes a few deviations from the (frankly boring and predictable) pattern of the last several Potter books. [SPOILER--skip if you haven't finished] One of the biggest flaws in this overall good book was the lack of any depiction of the relationship between Harry and Ginny. After all that buildup, not even one scene of them alone together, talking or being worried or happy or whatever. When he breaks it off, I feel like I'm supposed to feel some great sense of loss and irony, but all I felt was, "Oh, were you two ever together?"


Good, but my least favorite in the series.

by Jerry Hart
(3/5)

For a long time, Order of the Phoenix was my least favorite book, but over the years, that book has grown on me. Half-Blood Prince still has problems. It doesn't have as many interesting locations as Book 5, and not much happens in this one. The book is by no means boring, but it could have used more stuff. Why else would the filmmakers add so many significant things to the film version (more than the other films)? Because the book was lacking, of course.


A good book but...

by Jessica L. Lawrence
(5/5)

I give this book 5 stars because it is my favorite in the series. It does a great deal of explaining past occurences, particularly with Tom Riddle. It actually made me cry at the end, and any book that does that deserves 5 stars. However, I found the first bit completely useless in plot advancement, and it nearly ruined the book for me. The first chapter is not relevant to anything other than introducing a new character, and it's not particularly good at that. A couple of things in this book make me wonder about its acurateness since they are the opposite of what you would have thought based on previous books, but that could be easily explained in book 7, so I withold judgement on that aspect for the moment. It was a good read, anyone who reads Harry Potter obviously HAS to read it, but after preordering it in March and nearly trampling the delivery man to get it, I was disappointed in the beginning. Just ignore the first chapter or so, and after that, the book is great.


Brilliant and Very CRUEL!

by J.H.
(5/5)

WOW, she really did a great job of getting everyone fired up for book 7. The ending was torture. I don't know if that makes me happy or really angry. I find myself continually amazed at how she created all this in her head and if she knew how things would turn out from the very start.


The Darkest but still magical with some romance on the side

by Jim "Pimmy"
(5/5)

I'm surprised how quick I finished reading this book. I finished with-in 4 1/2 days. Once I started I just couldn't put the book down. No tv, no internet, just non-stop reading. I guess it has been like that for me with every Harry Potter book I've read. Once you start, you don't want to stop until you are done. The books get darker and more mature as Harry gets older and his 6th year at Hogwarts is the darkest so far.Harry has a new potions teacher named professor Slughorn. When Dumbledore first introduces them, Harry thinks he will teach Defense Against the Dark Arts. To Harry's horror though, Snape is the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Anyway Harry didn't expect to take potions again so since he decided after he already got his books at Diagon Alley. Slugorn gives him a second hand Potions book. Harry finds that everything is crossed out and rewritten in the book by the former student. The student goes by the nickname of the Half Blood Prince. Harry finds that everyone else in the class that goes by the books, get the potions wrong. Going by the Half Blood Prince's potions makes Harry's potions come out the best. Which makes him Slughorn's favorite student, well next to Hermione of course. Well which makes Hermione annoyed and has her calling Harry a cheater.Among everything Harry is more obsessed with Malfroy than ever. He knows he's up to something but neither Ron, Hermione or Dumbledore will listen. He also expects Snape is up to no good and that he's helping Malfroy. But no one will listen to that either and think Snape is loyal to Dumbledore. Speaking of Dumbeldore. He starts giving Harry secret lessons which will help Harry know how to defeat Lord Voldermort. Also love is in the air and Harry starts to get feelings for someone. It may surprise you who. So I won't spoil that and say who. Also Ron starts dating and Hermione is jealous. Plus the Weasleys are gonna have a new member of the family soon. Fleau from Goblet of Fire is marrying Bill Weasly and Ginny and her mother can't stand her. Among all that, many other things happen that I won't get into.This book is full of different engaging plots and the end is when it really comes to life. The end is even more shocking than Sirius' death in Order of the Phoenix. As always it ends wishing that the next book was out already. Hopefully J.K. Rowling will have the book released before Danial Radcliffe is in his 20's and too old to play Harry. Myself and other Potter fans won't be able to wait that long though. So hopefully book seven will be released when Order of the Phoenix or Half Blood Prince are in theatres.


The magic grows darker...

by JLind555
(5/5)

At the end of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix", J. K. Rowling left so many plot threads dangling that there was endless speculation about the next book. Who would be Voldemort's next victim? Would Harry get back together with Cho Chang or were they history? What about Ron and Hermione? Suspense enough to sustain interest at a fever pitch up to publication of the next book. Now that "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" has finally been released to hype unseen in this reviewer's memory, we've found out that Rowling has not only tied up a lot of the dangling threads in OOP, but lets the reader know exactly where she's taking us in the final book, which may or may not be Harry's seventh year at Hogwarts.HPB opens on an unusually chill summer day which reflects the chill that has crept upon England's usually green and pleasant land. People are disappearing, presumed murdered. Unlikely "hurricanes" have taken a toll on the landscape. And one cold night in July, after Harry has been only two weeks back with the Dursleys, Albus Dumbledore, Hogwart's Headmaster, appears on the Dursley's doorstep to spirit Harry away to The Burrow to spend the rest of the summer with the Weasley family. Dumbledore isn't at all happy with the way the Dursleys have treated Harry all these years and he lets them know it in no uncertain terms. Just one more summer, he tells them, and Harry's out of there for good. It's hard to say who's more delighted by this news, Harry or the Dursleys.The chill over Muggledom is also evident in the wizarding world, even in the Weasleys' own home. Mrs. Weasley jumps at every strange noise in the night. The Weasleys' clock, with its nine hands representing family members indicating their location, always seem to be pointing at "mortal peril". And there have been changes in Diagon Alley as well. Florian Fortescue's ice cream parlor is boarded up because Fortescue has disappeared, along with old Ollivander the wand-maker. But the Weasley twins' joke shop is doing a booming business and the twins are raking in the Galleons by the bucketful. They even have their eye on expanding into Hogsmeade, right outside Hogwarts. And there's a new Minister of Magic as well; the bumbling Cornelius Fudge has been sacked. But the new Minister isn't much of an improvement; he's arresting innocent wizards right and left and throwing them into Azkaban prison, just for the sake of appearing to be making headway against Voldemort's followers. He also wants Harry to liaise with the ministry, but Harry isn't having it; he remembers all too well how the Ministry tried to slander him the year before and he isn't about to become their poster boy. He tells the Minister to his face to stuff it.Back at Hogwarts, there's a new staff member in the person of Professor Slughorn, a former Head of Slytherin House who has spent the past year in retirement and on the run from Voldemort who wants to recruit him into the infernal ranks of the Death Eaters. To everyone's shock, it's announced that Slughorn will be the new Potions master, replacing Snape, who has finally landed the plum job he's always coveted, the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Is this Dumbledore's way of rewarding Snape for his loyalty over the past few years? Harry doesn't trust Snape around a glass corner and doesn't think he deserves it. But wait up -- the DADA appointment could be a very left-handed gift since no DADA professor has managed to keep the job for more than a year. Is this a set-up or what?Besides being immersed in classes, Harry is also meeting privately with Dumbledore, who tells him the entire history of Voldemort, his birth to a mother who is one of the last direct descendents of Salazar Slytherin now living in abject filth and poverty, and the handsome young local aristocrat who falls victim to her love potion; fatally, his mother, wanting his father to love her for herself alone, stopped giving him the potion and once his eyes and head cleared, he abandoned not only her but their unborn child as well. Recruited into Hogwarts by Dumbledore himself, honing his skills in magic and the dark arts, and feeding his propensities for cruelty, power and domination, Voldemort graduates from Hogwarts to seek revenge on the father who abandoned him by killing not only him but his paternal grandparents as well. And from there he becomes the Dark Lord, gathering adherents who are too fascinated or too terrified to resist his powers; among them, the Malfoy clan.Dumbledore tells Harry they must find the location of four of Voldemort's Horcruxes, objects that have been infused with the soul of their possessor. Voldemort is so evil and so obsessed with gaining immortality that he has split his soul into seven pieces, transferring six of them to six different objects and retaining the seventh piece inside his own body. Two of the Horcruxes have already been destroyed: one by Harry in the second book (Tom Riddle's diary), and another by Dumbledore, a black stone ring. Once they find and destroy the other four Horcruxes, they will be able to deal with Voldemort. But all kinds of things transpire in between.Harry is not only up to his ears in classes, he's also been named Quidditch captain for Gryffindor House, and he's fighting off hordes of girls who are fascinated by his hero status. The kids are growing up and flirtation and romance take up a significant part of this book. We always knew Ron and Hermione would finally become an item, but Hermione has to spend the better part of the year feeling jealous and shunted aside while Ron detours with a possessive airhead named Lavender Brown who has an infuriating habit of calling him "Won-Won" while sending him an outsize gold chain for Christmas that says "My Sweetheart". The more Ron tries to dump her, the tighter she holds on (going out with her is like dating the Giant Squid, he muses to Harry). There's a delightful interlude when Ron falls head over heels in love with one of Harry's groupies after drinking a love potion meant for Harry, with hilarious results. And almost too late, Harry finally wakes up to the fact that Ron's little sister Ginny has become a very desirable young lady, but not before Ginny has become entangled with Dean Thomas. Things get sorted out, and Harry and Ginny have a precious few weeks together until the darkness engulfs all of them and everything comes crashing down.It's Harry and Dumbledore's quest for the Horcruxes that triggers the tragedy that marks the last few chapters of the book. We know somebody very close to Harry is going to get killed but it's like a kick in the stomach when it actually happens. There's no safe place in the world for Harry any more, not even at Hogwarts. And there's no parent or parent figure to protect him any longer. He'll have to face Voldemort on his own. And he won't endanger Ginny by continuing a relationship with her; Voldemort gets to his enemies through the people they love best. He's completely alone. Well, maybe not completely; Ron and Hermione tell him they'll be with him no matter what happens. Maybe that's one of Harry's advantages over Voldemort; whereas Voldemort only has followers, Harry has friends.Harry has not only grown older, he's a lot more mature in this book. In OOP he was a querulous fifteen-year-old, touchy and irritable, resenting the bad hand life has dealt him; he didn't ask to be any hero and he didn't ask to have a homicidal wizard on his case. But in HBP he's moved through resentment to resignation to acceptance, and finally to readiness to accept his destiny. He's grown from boyhood to manhood and he's ready to shoulder a man's responsibility. He's going to find and destroy the Horcruxes and Voldemort as well. And anybody who gets in his way, as he intimates about the Half-Blood Prince, better watch out.Just has Harry has gone through some significant character development, so has his opposite number, Draco Malfoy. We don't see much of Draco in HBP; he's disappearing from the scene for nefarious reasons of his own. At the start of the year he brags to his cohorts that he's moving on to bigger and better things; who needs Hogwarts any more? But Draco has bitten off considerably more than he can chew in selling his soul to Voldemort; we almost feel sorry for this scared kid who realizes with growing terror that he is in Voldemort's thrall for the rest of his life, immersed in evil he can't control, and that refusing or inability to do Voldemort's bidding will cost his parents their lives. And as we see Harry and Draco developing in different ways, we also see Dumbledore growing older and weaker, fatally undone by his own sense of goodness and decency and his misplaced trust in his nemesis, the Half-Blood Prince.So who is the Half-Blood Prince? Suffice to say it's someone with Voldemort's own background, hating and hiding his Muggle blood, biding his time for the ultimate act of betrayal. At the book's end, he's on the run, along with Draco Malfoy. But we have a feeling the Half-Blood Prince may be living on borrowed time; he'll get what's coming to him in Book 7.Unlike the end of OOP, where speculation about where the series was going abounded, by the end of HBP we pretty much know what's in store in Book 7. Harry, possibly with the help of Ron and Hermione, will go on a quest for the Horcruxes, and once they are destroyed, it will be a fight to the finish between Harry and Voldemort. Neither can live, we've been told, while the other survives. We can't know yet which will survive, or if Harry will realize his dream of becoming an Auror, or if he will finally settle down to find happiness with Ginny. All we know is that J. K. Rowling will wrap up one of the most fascinating and successful adventure series ever written.


Tied for my Favorite Potter Book!

by J. L. White
(5/5)

I honestly didn't know what to expect when I opened up this chapter in the series. Leaving off where we did in Book 5 which seemed to be mostly a filler for me, I just wasn't sure where she was going to go with the story and how the half blood prince would play into it. Now Book 6 is also somewhat of a filler, but it had more adventure in it and seemed to go back and forth with reality in the book a little better then 5. The book does a good job evolving the characters while providing more of a backstory. I enjoyed seeing the memories of Voldemort in the pensieve the most I think. Even though it answered a lot of questions, I think it opened up even more. I am really curious to see where this is all going! The last few chapters were intense and I was shocked to find out what happened in them. Well I don't want to spoil the book much more, but I encourage you all to read it. It is a very fast read because you never really want to put it down. This is due to Rowling putting more chapter ending cliffhangers in this book then any other. It also might have to do with the fact that I was so intrigued with the stories of Harry and Voldemort's past. This is tied as my favorite book in the series with Goblet of Fire now!


Rowling's "Necessary Evil"

by JM from South Carolina
(3/5)

Can I state that this book is not on the level of the others in the series and still convey utmost respect for Rowling? After all, she has created an amazing world I have willingly returned to time and again. So, I say with all due respect that this book is the one she had to write in order to get to the last one. Rowling is a brilliant and gifted storyteller; Book 6 sets up the changes she knows must occur if the story is to continue to charm her readers. Read it, and take pleasure in once again hanging around with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Go home to Hogwarts, like a college student home on break, and realize that, while there is comfort in familiarity, you are outgrowing the place. Be prepared for shocks both small and large, for the compassion you will feel for someone you have always despised, for the unwillingness to believe bad things of someone who, against your better judgement, you have come to believe might not be all bad. Be prepared to shout, "Say it isn't so!" Read the last chapter and admire Rowling's writing; it shines there like no other place in the book.I place this book squarely in the middle of the series. I can best support my 3-star rating by using the terms of love affairs. After "dating" the first two books, PRISONER OF AZKABAN is the one I fell for, my first love, and it will, therefore, always hold a special place in my heart. GOBLET OF FIRE, while different and exciting in its own way, was my rebound book. ORDER OF THE PHOENIX reignited the fire initially lit by AZKABAN and took it to new levels; the book moved beyond the sweetness and nostalgia I felt for AZKABAN and stirred up new emotions. I was in love again! In comparison to PHOENIX, THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE has left me unsatisfied. In fact, had I not experienced the great "relationships" with AZKABAN and PHOENIX, I might be tempted to give up on love. But, the memories of these two books give me hope, and so I eagerly await Book 7 and hope it turns out to be the one I want to marry.


Best yet!

by Jody
(5/5)

By now, everyone should realize that one of the HP trademarks is that nothing is as it seems. I don't always like the plot twists, but the hidden motives and many facets of the characters make them real, unpredictable and fascinating, and I want to know the whole story.Reading the last three books in the series is like looking at a large painting in a dark room, with spotlights slowly switching on, illuminating more and more of the details, in the expectation that ultimately the whole picture will be revealed. I am confident that eventually the whole HP story will be told and I trust J. K. Rowling to tell it in her own way and in her own time. Those who object to this should write their own books.


I was Disappointed

by John
(3/5)

Note that the following review has spoilers.Introduction:And so I bring you another one of my reviews on the Harry Potter books. This book served it's purpose: it will get us to book 7. The book was extremely well-written (such as the attention to detail and very good character development), but the storyline was not as good to me. I thought that most of the book felt rushed and was kind of in it's own league away from the other books. It didn't seem like JK was writing this book at all.Plot Summary: *SERIOUS SPOILERS*The sixth installment of the series starts out with Narcissa Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange visiting Snape, who we are to believe is now working for the Dark Lord. Narcissa makes an unbreakable vow (break the vow and die) to Snape that he will keep a watch over Draco, who has been sent to do a task for Voldemort. Then Dumbledore visits Harry, takes him with him to do some teacher-hunting. Harry goes to the Burrow and hangs out with Ron and Hermione. Then on the train to Hogwarts Harry is attacked by Draco and is rescued by Tonks. The rest basically is how Harry finds a great potions book that helps with him potions. The person helping him is the Half-Blood Prince. All the while, romance sparks between Ron and Hermione, Ron and Lavender and Harry and Ginny. Then we learn about Horcruxes, which is where Voldemort stores part of his soul and that is how he stays alive all of the time. We also learn a lot about Voldemort's past. In the end Harry and Dumbledore set off to destroy one of these Horcruxes. In the end Dumbledore is killed by Snape, who turns out to be the Half-Blood Prince. Harry and Ginny break up and Ron and Hermione are still questioning their relationship.Overall- 6/10:I enjoyed guessing who the Half-Blood Prince was throughout the book, but that was about it. I thought that Harry being obsessed with Draco and what he was up to was frustrating, annoying, and I think stupid since I, and I think others, knew what he was up to by Chapter 2. I thought that romance was too much of a factor of the book and I think it took over a little too much. I also did not like the way that turned out (I was a Harry/Hermione shipper). But, all in all, I thought the book felt rushed and not Rowling's style. I hope book 7 will be better.


No spoilers here

by Johnny Heering "trivia buff"
(4/5)

I'd like to discuss this book in some detail, but I don't want to spoil it for anybody. I will say that it's a very good book, and it continues in the darker direction established in the last book. That's all I need to say. If you read all the previous books, you're going to read this one, no matter what I say.


Can't Wait for the Finish

by John P Bernat
(5/5)

I wanted to savor this read, so many others here got through this one before I did. It was absolutely wonderful, if a bit sad and sobering. Coming of age is at once a wonderful and sad thing...Anyway, I disagree with the "Spider Man" analogies. From this book it's pretty clear that Harry is destined for something way above superhero status...I can't wait for the final installment. This series has been one of the most fun, engaging and yet literate shared experiences of the last generation.We all owe J.K. such a great debt.


The Darkness Before the Dawn

by John Sollami
(5/5)

There can be little doubt that this goldmine series is stacked with imaginative wonders and an epic struggle between good and evil matching Beowulf, The Lord of the Rings, and King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. You might want to throw the Three Musketeers into that list too, in the form of Harry, Ron, and Hermione. True to her word, J.K. Rowling has evolved her characters as they age, and in this installment, she has carefully and realistically detailed the struggles and pains of adolescence in the midst of the mighty battle between love and hate, good and evil, and Harry and Voldemort. We learn much more of Voldemort, and I personally greedily sopped up every background detail as the pages skipped by with ease. Emerging from this book is the author's overall structure of the entire series. It's clear Rowling planned the whole wonderful thing out from the very first word. Now we can see how Voldemort came to be and why he is "evil." We can see what Harry must do as the "chosen one." We can understand what the next book will bring. But I bet Rowling has a bunch of tricks and unexpected turns up her magical sleeves. Perhaps those who are upset with the ending of this one may have their frowns turned to smiles in the end. And the darkness in this book may be the darkness before the dawn. Hooray for Harry and for bringing the joy of storytelling and of reading back into the lives of millions of children and adults.


Less Suspense, Unless You Count Waiting for the Next Book

by John W. Oliver
(4/5)

After being out a week, I found the time to read the book. Like the previous Harry Potter books, The Half-Blood Prince was a quick read. As I was reading it, I found I was missing much of the suspense that was present in the previous novels. I kept on wondering when the crisis was going to happen. It is not until the last 100 pages or so does the crisis occur.I am not saying that nothing happens in the book. Much time is spent developing the characters further, but the most important role of this novel is the development of the plots running through the entire Harry Potter series. You learn more about Voldemort. Snape and Malfoy are developed further. Romances blossom.However, I would have to say that of all of the Harry Potter books, this one suffers the most of being a middle book. The end does not resolve much other than Harry, Hermoine and Ron are going off to hunt down Voldemort. The sense of completion the other books had is not present in Half-Blood Prince. Even the situations with Dumbledore and Snape are up to debate, and you will not know until the next book.The book was well-written. The characters interesting. The plotting was just different. I would recommend reading it. If you do not have the time though, wait until the next book is about to come out, that way you do not have to suffer the suspense of waiting for the end of the story, cause you are not going to get it here.


Questions answeres, surprises galore

by Jonathan Appleseed
(5/5)

I must implore with those considering writing a review for this book: GIVE NOTHING AWAY! No hints, no slight asides - NOTHING! More secrets are revealed in this book than in the previous three, and some of the events that occur are, to be a bit melodramatic, earth shattering. They will leave you numb.But you won't hear anything about them from me. If I did, I would be cheating you of a magnificent experience. If reviewers had given away the ending of The Sixth Sense of Million Dollar Baby (not that I'm saying that the ending in this book is similar to those movies, mind you), both movies would have lost their "oomph" factor. So it is here. To breathe a whisper would be similar to breaking a blood oath.I will simply say that this was the most satisfying book in this marvelous series to date.Rowlings doesn't waste any time getting started. She immediately tosses us a giant bone on which to nibble, and we do, all the way to the end. And in between she weaves, as usual, her brilliant webs. Her superb combination of mystery and magic are on full display here. Moreover, her writing is more confident, improved. All writers worth a grain of salt get better the more they write, and this is certainly the case with J.K. Rowlings.I'll leave you with this: enjoy! You will devour this book, and immediately yearn for the next.


Excellent job

by Jorge Frid
(5/5)

I can write and babble on and on about this book but that'll be lost time. So I'll get to the limelight of my review:1 This book deserves SIX stars.2 What does Hermione has to do to get Ron's attention?P.S. One more to go


The movies are wonderful, but I'm really glad I'm getting into the books now

by Joseph P. Menta, Jr.
(5/5)

After watching and enjoying the fifth "Harry Potter" movie, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix", I decided that I didn't want the whole "Harry Potter" phenomenon to go by without exploring the books, too. So, I decided I was going to immediately listen to the sixth book, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" on unabridged audio, then read the final book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows", in its current hardback form.Well, I just finished all 17 CD's of "Half-Blood Prince" (over the course of three weeks, listening to them in the car during my commute to and from work, and during errands on weekends) and I have to say it was a terrific story. With its emphasis on Harry and Dumbledore's investigation of Voldemort's past (via magically transporting into various characters' old memories) rather than big action scenes, the story is particularly creepy and involving.But, fear not, there's also action and banter and the usual amusing internal politics at Hogwart's (all the stuff that's in the movies and, I imagine, even more so in the previous books), so it's not all dark moods and grim doings. And there's all kinds of cleverness, too, cleverness that might not make it into the eventual movie because of time limitations. For example, the book opens with the Prime Minister of England receiving one of his periodic updates on the wizarding world by the new Minister of Magic, with the reader also learning the amusing history of how these updates started and were initially received by a (you can imagine) shocked prime minister. It would be fun if these scenes made it into the film, but they probably won't, as they don't strictly move the story forward. But it's really a great opening to the book: a re-cap, but a re-cap done in a really imaginative way.So, yes, it was great fun experiencing J.K. Rowling's version of this story before the eventual movie adaptation. I had no trouble getting into it, meaning that the first five movies were apparently close enough to the books to give a good grounding in the literary version of Harry's world. One small caveat to this observation, however: as was soon apparent in "Half-Blood Prince", quite a bit more about the Harry/Voldemort prophecy was revealed in the book version of "Order of the Phoenix" than in the movie version, making me sneak a peek at a closing chapter or two of "Phoenix" soon after starting book six on audio. But I didn't absolutely need to do this; it just made the further discussion of the prophecy in "Half-Blood Prince" more enjoyable.Oh, as I experienced "Half-Blood Prince" on audio, I should say something about the narration. Jim Dale, who has read all the "Harry Potter" audios, does a wonderful job here. He is gritty and dark when such things are called for, and light, funny, and whimsical when those qualities are needed. He's also great at creating distinct and memorable voices for all the different characters. The actors in the films must also agree... Mr. Dale has been doing these voices from about the beginning of the current decade, well before many of the stories' characters appeared in movie form; yet, in example after example, a movie actor's interpretation of a character sounds remarkably close to Mr. Dale's version. Interesting, is it not?Well, I'm off now to get my new hardback of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows". It'll be interesting to see how quickly I get through it. Though I sometimes can knock out a book fairly quickly, I don't know if I can read a long book in only two or three days, apparently all the time that most "Harry Potter" fans need to get through an installment of this series, no matter how big it is. All I can say for sure is, I'm ready to be immersed and engrossed.


A Great Improvement

by Joshua Lake
(4/5)

To J. K. Rowling's credit, the Harry Potter series improves as it goes on. This sixth book, The Half-Blood Prince, is my favorite so far, narrowly surpassing the fourth. I wrote previously that I had qualms with the first book and found most of the middle books mediocre (the fourth book, The Goblet of Fire, notwithstanding).I wrote in my review of the first book, "I struggle to remind myself that Rowling is writing to a child audience at this point. I've been told her writing matured as her audience did." That perception has proven true, and Rowling has grown remarkably in what were previously weak areas in her writing.Harry Potter and the other characters have blossomed, showing more depth and complexity. Potter's teenage, angst-filled, passion-driven reasoning at the end of this book vividly reflects his growth as a character, and that passage mirrors well the troubled thought life of teenage males driven by emotion.In another improvement, Rowling now shows more skill in developing intriguing plot devices, and her writing on horcruxes shows particular growth from the early books. Rather than tossing out clever ideas and leaving them to shrivel on the vine, Rowling spends some time giving life to those concepts. Horcruxes haunt the reader's imagination, not merely as vague ideas, but as terrifying objects to be feared, largely because several pages are devoted to their history.This, The Half-Blood Prince, left me wanting, but unlike the previous books I was not longing for more depth in what I'd read; instead, I threw down this book ready to pick up the seventh.


LOVED book 6!!

by J. Resnick
(4/5)

I know I'm behind the times since I've just finished reading Book 6 and it was great! Loved all the Harry/Dumbledore interaction, further focus on Ginny, Ron/Hermoine, and without gtting into spoiler territory for those 3 people who still haven't read this book...lots of great twists and turns!!I started reading Book 7 last night. Sad this series will be over :(


Totally thrilling! One not to miss!

by Judge "Judge Edward Singleton"
(5/5)

This is an excellent story and right in line with the other books in the series. I recommend it to all who enjoyed the previous books. It let's you get away into a world of fantasy and away from your own problems for awhile.


Rowling Does It Again

by Judy Nichols "The Soccer Mom With A Taste For...
(4/5)

I just finished this book and I feel as if I've eaten an entire box of Chocolate Frogs. An immensely enjoyable experience to be sure, but you feel a bit bloated when you're done and more than a bit sad that the candy's all gone now. It's even worse knowing that there's only one more book left in the series. After that one, there will be no more Harry Potter books.J.K. Rowling is an amazingly gifted story teller. She was what Stephen King calls "the gotta." As in you just gotta keep reading to find out what happens next. It's that guilty pleasure of staying up late with a book that you can't put down.I'd say Rowling has more of the gotta than any writer in history, but her writing style is not the greatest. Since I've read the books so many times out loud to my daughter, I find her overuse of the word "muttered" instead of the word "said" irritating. And she has an annoying habit of describing how every character says each sentence- Hagrid said gruffly. Harry said loudly. Ron said brusquely. Hermione said uncertainly. Dumbledore said calmly (Those were all found at random in Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire, by the way.)There's a cardinal rule for writers -if you find an adverb, kill it. The idea is that the reader should be able to tell how the character said the sentence by the words themselves. "I know what you've been up to, Malfoy, you sleazy dark wizard!" he said. See? You already know he said it menacingly or icily, or forcefully or whatever.Of course, with that kind of success Rowling has had, she can use all the adverbs she wants. And I'll read them, superfluous adverbs and all.


Just Kept me reading page after page

by Julia Bond "Julia"
(5/5)

For a Young Adult market, I thought this book held its own for the adults also, and I thoroughly enjoyed Half Blood Prince. I'm normally a mystery, women's fiction reader, historical novels once in awhile, but I heard so much about Harry Potter that I decided to buy one of the books and satisfy my curiosity. We were on vacation and I read it off and on while I was spending time with my parents and friends. Once I got into the story I couldn't put it down. The author has an excellent way of bringing you into the story and before you know it you just want to find out what is going to happen next. Overall, it was a terrific book and I'm sure I'll be reading more about Harry Potter and his friends.


Lacking in "zest" and humor of the previous novels

by Julia Rose
(3/5)

Harry Potter. We all love him. From the minute I picked up the first book I was hooked on JK Rowling's delicious style of writing--the humor, the fabulous adventure, and a character we could all relate to. For me,it was Hermoine who is basically myself with a British accent.I could hardly wait. It felt like Christmas morning and opening the long anticipated gift that I wanted for two and half years.The first chapters were great. I was laughing and remembering why I love Harry and his friends so much.Then, it all came crashing down.There were significant gaps and for the first time, I finished a Harry Potter book feeling let down. I didn't know if I wanted to cry or scream.It seems as JK Rowling feels slightly deflated and is almost getting tired. The passion and the sparkle of her characters is almost completely gone. At times, you can see it flicker through but they have almost become characatures.Luna was hardly in the book; not to mention Neville who at the end of book five was foreshadowed to have a front and center role after the prophecy.Harry...the most evil wizard of all time is back and all he cares about is trite garbage that if I was interested in, I would read Sweet Valley High.And Hermoine. My role model. The one strong female character who is smart, witty, and her own person. This book scared my image of her for life. Sulking about boys and pretending to date someone just to make Ron jealous. Who are you and what have you done with the Hermoine I know and love?Which brings me to the grand finale of my rant. "Won-Won". I believe that I almost threw up a little in my mouth. "The monster in Harry's chest." Kissing Ginny in front of the whole common room when he was just embarassed to peck Cho on the cheek. For the first time, Rowling has placed "the love triangle" front and center. It is fine when it is only a side dish, but the "Won-Won" and Hermoine's sniffles were overkill.There were moments that I laughed out loud, and the things about Voldemort's past were interesting. I was dissapointed that I did not get to learn more about James, Lily, and Sirius but I will overlook that and hope for more in book 7.This book is not all bad, but there is something missing. The vivacity and drive is now stagnant and the plot was probably the most vapid out of all of them.If you want some amazing Potter reading, stick with the first three, especially Prisoner of Azkaban. If you want a fast beach read, have fun taking in some sun with the half blood prince and the troubles of "Won-Won" and "Lav-Lav".And...if you are not a die-hard Potter fan wait for the paperback edition.


Decent addition to HP series

by Julie "Writer, chemistry teacher, reviewer, C...
(4/5)

Occasionally the dialogue was mediocre, but overall, the book moved well and developed the characters nicely. I'm looking forward to the next one, er whenever that is.And in light of some other stuff I've been reading, this one's pure bliss to read.


Chilling, Gripping, & Positively RIPping

by kaduzy
(5/5)

In this installment of Harry Potter, loyal readers had been promised that more answers would be provided than questions. This is not the case for those of us who have spent the last two years compiling such an expansive list of questions that little short of a full appendix similar to Tolkien's for Lord of the Rings would satiate us now. Still in the unanswered category: What did Harry's parents do for a living? How exactly does Neville play into the phrophesy, if at all, and is he suffering from an overdose of memory charms? How exactly does a witch or wizard turn themselves into a ghost? And perhaps the most pressing, now, of all: Who is R.A.B. and what did he do with the Horcrux? I know who most of you will be thinking of, but I think we're all in for a surprise with this one . . . I don't think Jo would be so obvious . . .But questions that ARE answered include: How can Harry Potter *possibly* defeat the darkest wizard of all time? Whose side is Snape *really* on? And, of course, who is the Half-Blood Prince?I will not say what those answers are, because I'm sure intrepid readers will want to discover that for themselves. What I WILL say is that these aforementioned intrepid readers should be over the age of eight (if not ten) because this book contains one of the most frightening and most chilling scenes I have ever read in any book, and I am 22. Also there are no typos in my title. This book contains the tragic, stunning, heart-wrenching death of a *major* character. I will not say who, but even those of us who have seen this one coming since Book IV could not have been prepared for this, nor for the treachery that causes it.This book is wonderful, but once again we are left with questions, riddles, and unsolved mysteries. There is no way of knowing right now what will become of Draco Malfoy, Harry Potter or Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But the speculation will commence shortly, and we'll all be waiting with baited breath for the final installment of this beyond-magical series.


Pace is a little too hurried.

by Kaleidocherry
(3/5)

A quick read from Rowling which was satisfactorily cliffhanging in preparation for Book 7. This book took all of three hours for me to read (rather a disappointment when you consider how long we've all been waiting for it). There were many plot points throughout that were annoying (notably the Malfoy side plot, which involved very little of Draco but a lot of Harry thinking about what possible evil Draco could be up to...this was excessive, IMHO). Neither Dumbledore nor Tonks rang true as characters, leading me to think they were somehow under the control of the Dark Side.Some solutions were presented to leftover Book 5 plot points but generally the overall tone of the book felt like a long, weak diary entry Harry might make: he crashes around in a fog most of the time; there is some hormonal/romantic stuff going on; some Quidditch; then there is the fight scene obligato at the end. The real Voldemort-related stuff is very minimal (Voldemort himself does not appear in Harry's world, only in flashbacks), and most of Harry's internal questions about the Dark Side remain unanswered.Having come this far I'll definitely buy book 7 but only to find out about what happened to Draco and Snape. I seem to be liking them much better than Harry, Ron and Hermione these days, perhaps because we are *not* privy to their every thought and emotion.


Harry Farter again?

by Kareef Arzadon "arzadon28"
(2/5)

I have read the first Harry Farter book because I could no longer stand the hype surrounding it. I won't say it is very bad. . . just good enough to spend the time while waiting for a root canal. And then, of course, came this Half Blood Prince thing and I rushed yesterday to Borders here in Singapore. I need not go past ten pages to realize nothing much has changed in Rowling's writing.In short, I will never understand the big fuss people are heaping on this gigantic heap of trash. Flat, wooden characters, predictable scenes, unabashed copying of Tolkien. People, grow up! Why make do with leftover gruel when there is a perfectly digestible amount of cereals other than this?Sorry to shout about the Empress' new clothes. I just hate people blindlessly cajoled by multi-million dollar book contracts when there are more better written books out there. Start with your local newspaper.


Loved it

by Karusichan "Karusichan"
(5/5)

I enjoyed the sixth book immensely. It was a bit of fresh air after the intensity of the fourth and the fifth books. There is still a dark edge to the books, but it is not as harsh as it was in the previous two. As such this book reads much more like the first three books. The story is much more simple than the previous two books as well, and Rowling injects what has become a very bleak outlook on Harry's potential life with games of quidditch, a touch of mystery, and romantic intrigue to lighten the load... yes, the romance has all finally been addressed in some new and unexpected directions as well.I simply adored this addition to the Harry Potter world. Many of my favorite characters performed just how I wanted them to, but I feel that Rowling may have another surprise or two in store for us all in book 7. I feel that this book gets overlooked alot in the series. I urge you not to disregard this book. I feel like it is an important stepping stone for 7, and as suck should not be counted out.


Not the best, but a decent prelude to the final book in the series..

by Kate
(4/5)

While the text is riddled with repetition, the action is slow-moving and contained within the last fifty pages, the work is a decent prelude to the final book.It is darker and more adult than the last, but undoubtedly much better. Rowling has benefited from shortening her tale, although this book felt too much like a conclusion of Book 5 and the opening of Book 7 to be constructed as a work in itself. Similarly, the series undoubtedly draws on other texts like 'Lord of the Rings' etc, and this becomes increasingly evident within Book 6.Furthermore, it holds an odd space as an adult text that has cornered a child/teenage market, and the writing is a weird mixture of complex ideas (i.e. spliting the soul) and childlike writing. I cannot possibly fathom why parents would consider reading this to their young children or why it is not considered an entirely adult work, when it so clearly is.Thankfully, Rowling has not fallen into the trap of making her text predictable, although the ideas come far too late, as does the introduction of the Half-Blood Prince. Dumbledore's revelations should have started earlier to really make the work as gripping as Rowling's earlier pieces.


Hidden secrets. . .

by Kat
(5/5)

I like this book because we get into the background of both Snape (a bit)and more on Lord Voldemort, but I have always thought that Dumbledoreshould have told Harry some of this sooner during the fourth or fifth books.I thought that Dumbledore kept too much to himself, but he maybe didn'tthink Harry was not ready to hear his secrets (I sense some regret as bothhe and Harry speak). He sort of reminds me of Witch Mother Citrina fromthe DC comic Amythest: Princess of Gemworld series. Both had good intentionsat the time that they kept the secrets. Still this is a great book as events unfoldedand it left you wondering what was going to happen in the seventh book! Must read.


Ending Didn't Feel Right

by Kathleen
(3/5)

I am a confirmed Harry Potter fan. I've purchased all the books and reread most of them. Since I teach Special Ed at the high school level, I've found that my students enjoy Harry Potter. I can actually get them to read the Potter books and "get into them."I enjoyed this book up until the end. The ending felt artificial and totally unnecessary. Without spoiling the book for anyone, the death of this character didn't add up to how the character is portrayed in the previous books.Also, I have a feeling Rowling wants to extend Harry Potter beyond the seven books once promised. She seems to be sending Harry on an extended quest to pursue Voldemort for maybe ten years.Although I enjoyed reading about the characters I've grown to love--Harry, Ron, Hermione, the Weasleys--I felt this story was a bit contrived and not up to standard.Sorry, J.K.


Not the best, but a must.

by Katie Cooper "Cookie Monster"
(3/5)

So far, the best of the Harry Potter series has been the third (or so I believe), followed by five and four. This book, the sixth, is certainly not the best, but it is essential to the whole Harry Potter series.The GOOD points:1. Harry Potter learns about Voldemort's past, which is intriguing. But Rowling drags the story in this part, so the readers have to read many words to get just a tiny bit of information.2. Readers get excited (or at least I did) about the mysterious Half-blood prince. However, this is disappointing in the end.3. The characters grow up. Though the change is subtle, readers can sense how the characters that were once children in book one are now grown up.Now are the BAD points (SPOILER WARNING):1. Snape's sudden change of character, and his betrayal. From an exceptionally interesting character that was ambiguous, Snape turns to Voldemort's most favored servant. Not to mention the fact that he practically says, "By the way, I'm the Half-Blood Prince!" at the end.2. Dumbledore's death. Albus Dumbledore, who is supposedly the greatest wizard in the world, is defeated first by Draco Malfoy and then killed by Severus Snape. Before he dies, he pleads to Snape...so he wasn't sure, after all, that Snape was really on the good side.3. Dumbledore's stupidity. How could he just believe that Snape was good? Snape was the one who actually helped Voldemort kill Harry's parents and he said "I'm sorry, I'll be a good boy now" to Dumbledore. And Dumbledore BELIEVED him??4. There is also the romance, which isn't very necessary not to mention extremely childish, and Quidditch, which has become really boring by now. And there is Harry's irritating suspicions about Malfoy and Snape, which turn out to be true, which is all the more irritating.Overall the book was disappointing, but since it was necessary for the series (I guess) and it gave me genuine satisfaction (before I opened the book, that is), I give it three stars.


Spoiler-Free Review

by Kelly (Fantasy Literature)
(5/5)

I don't want to spoil the plot, as there are many twists lurking within this book, so I'll just say this:This is the best one yet.Books 1 and 2 were occasionally intense, but mostly I liked them because they were hilarious. Book 3 was the one that really sucked me in, with its tightly woven, ever-twisting plot. Book 4 sprawled a bit too much but brought lots of romance and character development. Book 5, too, meandered far too much and lacked the comic relief that lightened earlier books, but resonated with deep tragedy.Here, Rowling presents a Book 6 that is as tight as Book 3, has as much romance and character development as Book 4, involves a tragedy as profound as that of book 5 (or maybe more so, as I'm not convinced that the character who died in book 5 is really dead), and is sprinkled throughout by moments as funny as the best ones from books 1 and 2.She has set up so much interesting stuff, I have no idea how she's going to fit it all into one final book.Overall: Whoa.


Mixed Feelings About the Ending, but Still Excellent!

by Kelly Houser
(5/5)

In this installment of the Harry Potter series, we pick up the tale fairly close to where book 5 ended. Harry is on Privet Drive for the summer, when Dumbledore appears to take him to the Burrow to spend the remainder of the summer with the Weasleys. Everyone is on edge now that Voldemorte's returned and his followers, the Death Eaters, are back in full swing. In order to prepare Harry for whatever is to come, Dumbledore tells Harry that this school year, they will begin to have private lessons.As the school year progresses, Harry is sure that Draco Malfoy is up to absolutely no good, after seeing him in a dark magic shop in Diagon Alley. Harry is convinced that Voldemorte has put Malfoy on a special mission, but no one seems to believe him. The situation becomes even more suspicious when Harry overhears a conversation that leads him to believe that Snape is helping Malfoy achieve his goal.This book was excellent! I was so completely enthralled by it. I was worried that we might become bogged down in Harry's emotions, as we did in book 5, but Rowling has put together another terrific work.I was a disappointed with the ending of the novel. I don't want to spoil it for anyone else, so I will just say this: I never expected it to happen like that and I found it to be anticlimactic. The ending had a surreal quality about it that led me to believe it might be a joke or a ruse, but apparently that is not the case.Overall, an totally fabulous novel. I highly recommend it.


The Wizard Formerly Known As The Half-Blood Prince.

by Kevin J. Loria
(5/5)

This review is spoiler-free!"There are some injuries you can't cure...old curses ...and there are poisons without antidotes" Hermione tells Harry this during the first feast of the school year, setting the table for the course to come. The mood: at times Somber- but so many of the elements that made the other books work are so perfectly balanced in this one , that, dare I say it: THIS MAY BE THE BEST POTTER BOOK YET! I know that is the mantra of so many beloved books, in so many beloved series including this one, but I have always held my personal favorite to be book 3 ( Prisoner of Azkaban) with props to 4 and 5 for being great stories, very cinematic, so much so that I feel they will make for the best film adaptations. But, the last two were more in need of the sort of editing that writers lose do to the sheer magnitude of their celebrity. Half-Blood Prince is well edited and well-constructed, at a mere 652 pages, even the multiple trips down memory lane via the Pensieve, are nicely packaged. J.K. Rowling is a wonderful storyteller; the novel's finale is as agonizing as earlier pages are touching.As always Rowling has placed enough clues, for fans or readers familiar with classic archetypes, to predict the climax. Also, chapter one "The Other Minister" has one of the best devices for speedy exposition I've ever seen. It smoothly initiates new readers as the muggle Minister reflects. In years to come, this book will be "a sign of the post-911 times" The mood progressively darker, while the characters still continue to grow, Harry and company, more than not, sound like 16 year olds. Their relationships to others and one another continue to grow more complex. It is this change from book to book that makes Rowling's work unlike any other series, any genre.


HPatHBP

by kevin mccormick
(5/5)

LUV it it does not get better than this i can not even stop when watching one of my favorite movies


The Stage Is Set

by K. Fontenot "Prairie Cajun Regenerated!"
(5/5)

At the risk of sounding like a broken record I must admit that J.K. Rowling has done it again. With "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," not only has Rowling taken the tale of "the boy who lived" in an entirely new direction, she's managed to do it without sacrificing style or substance. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and the rest of the youngsters at Hogwarts are now full-fledged teenagers. With "Goblet of Fire" and "Order of the Phoenix," Rowling got the jitters of puberty out of the way for the most part. Now, all of the major characters have settled into their respective attitudes and mannerisms quite comfortably. They have also developed their magical skills as well.**Potential Spoilers**In this tale, Harry receives a very special text book from the new Potions teacher, Slughorn. The book contains "liner notes" (for lack of a better term) that dramatically improve his performance in his Potions class. Expecting him to be the new Defense Against The Dark Arts teacher, Harry helps Dumbledore coax Slughorn out of retirement. Instead, a familiar, yet somehow still mysterious, face pops up in that position: Severus Snape. Yep, ol' Snape's dreams of being the D.A.D.A. teacher finally come true in this tale.As the tale unfolds, Harry tries to figure out who the Half-Blood Prince is. He also begins taking private lessons with Dumbledore in which we get to learn of the sinister childhood of Lord Voldemort. Harry also must figure out why Draco Malfoy seems to be up to something, where Dumbledore wanders off to for weeks at a time, who should be on the house Quidditch team that he now captains, AND how to break some news to one of his friends about feelings he has for someone very close to them. We also get to catch up with characters like Lupin, the Weasley clan (even Percy), Fleur, Tonks, the always reliable Hagrid and a slew of other old characters both loved and hated. A few new characters are also thrown into the fray for good measure.**End of Spoilers**It's all done with typical J.K. Rowling flair, and she leaves plenty of gates wide open on the end of this novel that only make the reader hungry for more. There's plenty of action and suspense as was found in "GoF" and OotP," but Rowling leans more toward the mysteriousness of who the Prince really is and what Dumbledore's up to. The action is present, but takes more of a back seat until the climactic finale. As I'm sure many are already aware, there are a couple of BIG surprises at the end of this book that may leave some shaking their heads and others saying that they knew it all along. Either way, Rowling has set the stage marvelously for the conclusion to the story of "the boy who lived."Highly recommended.


Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful!

by K
(5/5)

I don't want to spoil too much, but in Book 6, JK Rowling really ties up loose ends and starts to spell out everything in store for Harry in Book 7 from the Horcruxes to the initials of RAB, from the Half-Blood Prince to the death of someone very close and very important to him. We get to learn more about Voldemort, more about Snape, more about Dumbledore, and even more about what Harry needs to do to defeat Voldemort.We learn where Voldemort came from and how he came to be the way he was. Rowling doesn't tell us why he was so mean to start with, but perhaps he was just born mean.Snape's character is even more developed in this book than the last. He helps Harry and he brings the wizarding world to its knees.Dumbledore is revealed to us as a man who makes mistakes. Harry has always idolized and worshipped Dumbledore, but now Harry starts to realize that Dumbledore might be the greatest wizard, but he's not perfect. Dumbledore also reveals to Harry how much Dumbledore worships and idolizes Harry! It's an unbelievably moving scene.Finally, we come to Draco Malfoy. I have hopes for him in Book 7, but I'm not holding my breath. Draco is given a choice, yet he hesitates for so long, Snape makes the decision for him. Will this hesitation save him from going to the dark side or is it irrelevant?We get more of the Ron and Hermione relationship tease. Harry and Ginny finally get together, but once again, Harry is too noble to remain in the relationship.Harry is self-confident and capable. Rowling writes his character so well, it's as if she is following a real boy growing up. Harry smarts off, overthinks, and believes he's invincible. But, with age, Harry learns that death is very real and that he needs to do what is right versus what is easy. Harry has truly developed into a young man. He still is lacking the wisdom of older age, but he has finally come into his own.


The darkest and most complex novel in the series

by KidsReads
(5/5)

J.K. Rowling has kept her promise --- that each of Harry Potter's years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry will be darker and more difficult than the one before. This sixth installment is the darkest and most complex of the books yet. But just in case you have any doubt, Harry is proving well up to the tasks at hand --- and his magical world seems more vivid and real than ever.Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts is off to a rocky if exciting start. The Wizarding world is at war after the violent showdown at the end of Book Five that saw the death, injury or arrest of several key characters --- and the clear return of evil Lord Voldemort/ He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Mysterious murders and magically triggered disasters continue, and there has been a mass breakout from Azkaban, the wizard community's prison. Even Muggles are starting to notice, including the Prime Minister. Families of students heading back to school on the Hogwarts Express are on high alert, but reassured that new security measures are in place along with a tough new Minister of Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour.Meanwhile, Harry has received an unusual summer visit from Hogwarts headmaster Professor Dumbledore during which the trusted mentor explains just how different Harry's upcoming school year will be. Among other things, it will include private study sessions with Dumbledore where the elder wizard will shed more light on the prophecy about Harry laid out in Book Five and help Harry discover --- through memories viewed via Dumbledore's magical Pensieve ---Lord Voldemort's heritage and just what makes him tick, including the dark magic that has rendered him seemingly immortal.Now 16, Harry and his pals Ron and Hermione have received their O.W.L. exam results and must buckle down in their studies to focus on the more specialized N.E.W.T. level. As in years past, there is a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher; this time a most surprising candidate fills the post. All this means piles of homework and ever-more-challenging classroom projects. It's a good thing that Harry has discovered a used potions textbook filled with helpful --- and sometimes dangerous --- spells and hints scribbled in the margins. The book says it was once property of the Half-Blood Prince, a mystery that Harry and company are determined to solve. And sneering bully Draco Malfoy continues to be an annoyance and more as he sorts out where his own loyalties lie and tries to master more complicated magic.The little free time Harry has is spent captaining the Gryffindor Quidditch team, and readers who love the high-flying action of the game won't be disappointed. Social lives are not completely put on hold either, as Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny Weasley are among those contemplating their fluttery romantic feelings (sometimes for each other). And Fred and George Weasley's joke shop is doing booming business, which accounts for some of the good bits of humor throughout.As spring arrives and the end of the school year nears, Harry accompanies Dumbledore on a secret and perilous mission that at its heart contains a key to Voldemort's undoing. The two brave wizards could not know, however, that their actions would help trigger a high stakes battle back at Hogwarts pitting Death Eaters (Voldemort's henchmen) and yes, vicious traitors to Hogwarts, against the good guys. When the blood and the Dark Mark in the sky are cleared, not everyone survives.When it comes to the clever weaving of plot threads all the way back to the sorcerer's stone and Chamber of Secrets, Rowling is at the top of her game. She keeps a broad roster of familiar faces in the fore and reminds us of past characters and events and how they play perfectly into her ultimate plan for Harry. She also writes in a slightly more sophisticated style than the earlier books, with a richer emotional tone that matches Harry's developing maturity.Away from all the action of his latest story, Harry is indeed growing into a young man. He is still grieving over losses experienced during his fifth year but knows he must move on. He's learning to be more comfortable in his own skin, even if it means accepting being "The Chosen One" singled out by Voldemort and a subject of constant scrutiny and curiosity to classmates, teachers and the public at large. It's the kind of stuff that makes a guy really appreciate who his true friends are, and Harry has some gems in Ron and Hermione.By the end of HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE, Harry emerges as a calmer, more psychologically deep teenager who seems to have lived lifetimes far beyond his 16 years. He is now fully confident about his life's calling --- to defeat Voldemort at any cost --- and has developed a steely resolve, bolstered by great emotional pain, to carry it out. Whatever the wait for a final battle-to-the-death in Book Seven, it will be too long.--- Reviewed by Shannon Maughan


Good story and excellent audio version

by Kona
(5/5)

The story concerns the sixth year of wizard school for Harry Potter, who is now sixteen. He realizes he is the only one who can defeat Lord Voldemort, and spends much time with Professor Dumbledore gaining insight into the Dark Lord's early life. Harry also finds time for Quidditch and a girlfriend, while often sparing with his old enemies, Professor Snape and Draco Malfoy. Although the book is filled with overlong speeches, Jim Dale's clever voices more than hold your attention.The audio cassette edition is excellent. Versatile actor Jim Dale does more than just read the book; he performs it, using a unique voice for every character, so it's like listening to a movie. His voice is very easy on the ear; he reads at just the right speed and makes each page exciting.This 12-cassette, 19-hour edition is fun anytime, but would be especially entertaining while commuting or on a long car trip. I heartily recommend it to fans of the Harry Potter series.Kona


Cold and Dark - Stir the Cauldron

by K. Sozaeva "Obsessive bibliophile"
(5/5)

The Half-Blood Prince is a very dark book - Hogwarts is open, but keeping it open is hanging by a thread now that everyone is aware of the threat of Voldemort hanging over their heads. The students are jumpy and many blame Harry for Voldemort's return.To everyone's surprise, there is a new Potions teacher; Harry had planned to skip potions, but with a new teacher, he decides to go ahead and stay in the class (the professor insists - saying that Harry's mother Lily was a natural and with the right help Harry could possibly be as well). Harry had not bought the books, so the professor finds an extra in the cupboards for Harry. Interestingly enough, the book has a lot of notes written in the margins and covers, including a note that claims the book as the property of "the half-blood prince." Following the instructions in the notes, rather than the text (which are often conflicting), Harry quickly outstrips everyone in the class in Potions, creating a good deal of dismay among the students and delighting his teacher.This is one of the sub-plots of the story, of course. We also have Voldemort out in the world, making a mess out of things in both the magical and Muggle world. The Prime Minister of Magic has to contact the Muggle Prime Minister and notify him of the problem because it has become so bad. This scene, taking place early on in the book, is actually quite amusing.Our characters continue to grow and change. There are a lot of deaths in this book - it continues the darker path broken in the past couple of books. This series, in the way it has developed, is not really for the younger set unless they have been well-tutored in the matter of the Circle of Life and Death. It is all part of the story and necessary, but it is very difficult to bear at times, and I suppose that is the point. Very well done and well-written. Bravo.I look forward to getting my hands on the final book (as soon as my husband finishes it!)


J.K. Rowling sets up the end game for Harry Potter

by Lawrance M. Bernabo
(5/5)

While we do not have the advantage of full hindsight, once we have put the rest of our lives on hold and have finished "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" we can see how J.K. Rowling has set up the end game that will be played out in the seventh and final volume. In his first two years at Hogwarts, Harry Potter learned not only that he was still a target for Lord Voldemort (I think refusing to say his name only serves to give him more power in the minds of the weak minded and faint of heart) but also that he could fight back. In his third year he learned that he was not alone in this fight, while in his fourth year he found that people could end up dead because of the coming war. "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" becomes for me the pivotal novel in the series, not because the war claims another life dear to Harry's heart, but rather because at long last the war is out in the open. Now everybody in the Wizarding world knows that Voldemort is back. The time for subtle plans is coming to an end and the likes of Draco Malfoy, Severus Snape, and Horace Slughorn and going to have to decide what they are willing and are not willing to do because of the Dark Lord's attempt to return to full life and absolute power.I am convinced that Harry Potter will have to deal with Draco Malfoy once and (hopefully) for all before he can face Voldemort for the big finale, and this novel does much to confirm such suspicions (as well as allow for key elements of doubt that call the predictability of the outcome into question). In the second chapter of this book, before we once again find Harry enduring life at Number Four Privet Drive, Snape makes an Unbreakable Vow that has major consequences for not only the climax of "The Half-Blood Prince," but for the end game in the next novel. Horace Slughorn is the new professor at Hogwarts for this sixth book, and the big twist is that he is NOT going to be teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts. Snape will be teaching that class (presumably for one year), while Slughorn will be taking over Potions. That Harry becomes the top student in Potions, much to the disgust of Hermione, because of the help of the book's titular character becomes one of the primary driving forces of the narrative.The other is the private sessions that Harry has from time to time with Albus Dumbledore. This becomes of prime importance because we learn Voldemort's darkest secret, and in that knowledge are the means to destroy the Dark Lord once and for all. We should not be surprised to discover as well that Harry has already taken steps along that path, and reconsidering what has happened in the past in terms of what it portends for the future will help endure the long wait for Rowling's final novel, especially if you go back and read the first six books again to test your various hypotheses against the accumulated facts. For example, I think we should be paying more attention to the activities of Mundungus Fletcher as touched upon in this novel, but we shall see on that score and every other one as well. While I would not presume to say that Rowling has playing all of her cards, I think there is every reason to believe she has dealt out most of them and thus we can engage in rampant speculation.This is the most emotional of the Harry Potter books to date because it ends, in the grand tradition of penultimate tales, at the nadir of the series. You want to say that things can only go up from the end of this one, but that ending makes it clear to readers, young and old alike, that there is no guarantee in that regard. Love might be the greatest power, but death is a stark reality. I subscribe to the idea that the target audience Rowling has been writing for is one that has been growing up along with the characters in the books, so reading this sixth novel will be hard for younger readers (i.e., those too young to be admitted to their first year at Hogwarts), while those of the same age as Harry, Ron and Hermione will be better able to deal with the more adult elements contained herein. When I was halfway through "The Half-Blood Prince" I was thinking this was the weakest of the series (I think "The Order of the Phoenix" is my favorite at this point), but the ending changed my mind on that score. However, I think it is not until we read the final volume that we will really know the true worth of this set up.One of the things that "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" underscores is that the battle to the death between Harry and Voldemort is the all-consuming fact of his life. Even when Harry finds that he has taken notice of one of the wannabe witches at Hogwarts and actually does something about it, such romance must take a back seat to that purpose. If that does not prove Harry Potter has been forced to grow up fast because of the life he lives, then nothing will. If only he can learn that being half-right also means you are half-wrong, because Harry has a stubborn streak that is his Achilles heel. Meanwhile, although Ron gets as many passing marks on his O.W.L.S. as Harry, he can entertain the idea he can be a good Quidditch Keeper but cannot allow himself to think for a moment that he is smart enough for Hermoine to ever think about him the way he obviously thinks about her. So there are other happily ever afters that we can hope will be lived after the series ends besides that of Harry Potter.


the Harry Potter saga continues to entertain...

by lazza
(4/5)

'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' is the latest installment of wizardry mischief by J.K. Rowling. While like all Harry Potter books the story is hard to explain in just a few words (without divulging spoilers), let's just say this book has the most drama and violence of all the books ... purely a battle of good versus evil. The last third of the book has all the action. Unfortunately the first two-thirds is rather dull. But not to worry, the author has set up a nice segue for her next installment. And yes, I will most definitely read it.Bottom line: of course Harry Potter fans will read '..Half-Blood Prince' no matter what. Not the best in the series, nor the worst.


A Five-Star Potter Book Again!

by L. Chapin
(5/5)

While a bit disappointed with the last book, "Order of the Phoenix," I was delighted with this penultimate Potter volume.Leaner, better-organized, a combination of flashback, exposition, and scene-setter, the book is truly enjoyable, and I read it through very quickly. As usual, Rowling does her best to provide a few intriguing foreshadowings at the beginning, then lulls us a bit with the daily life of Hogwarts before setting us on the roller-coaster ride of the climactic chapters. It's a familiar pace, never more so in this book which brings back practically everyone and everything from the first 5 books, and yet it's executed more masterfully than ever.Some may feel the teenage angst and romance is overblown, particularly the younger and older readers (I'm one of the latter!), but all in all I think it's merely an honest account of the characters, given their ages and circumstances. What else would you expect at a co-educational wizarding school, after all? Love potions, crushes, making out, raging hormones...I think Rowling handles it very well. It's not as if it could leave these matters out and still be true-to-life, after all.I'm not going to spoil the ending for those who still haven't read it (why HAVEN'T you??), but the climax was powerful, somewhat unexpected, logical, and baffling, all at the same time. Not so much the final act, as it were, but the person who performs it. Whew! Didn't see that one coming.Like everyone, I'm looking forward to the finale, and not only another terrific story, but the tying up of many, many loose ends. Will Harry triumph? And if so, how? And what happens after that?Hey, I'm a fan, I'm waiting for it just like the rest of you. All the more so after this strong entry in the series. Way to go, J.K.!


Harry Potter #6: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

by Leeanna Chetsko
(5/5)

Harry Potter #6: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J. K. RowlingThe first time I read "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," I don't remember liking it all that much. After "Order of the Phoenix," it just seemed less complex, shorter, and...I can't quite remember. But for me, "Half-Blood Prince," like "Order of the Phoenix," is a book that gets better and better each time I read it.I've also read online that J. K. Rowling considers "Half-Blood Prince" and "Deathly Hallows" as two parts of the same book, and when I keep that in mind, I like "Half-Blood Prince" even more.The Ministry of Magic has finally been forced to acknowledge that Voldemort is back. Harry, Ron, and Hermione scan The Daily Prophet for names of his newest victims, and even Muggles are starting to notice mysterious deaths and weird disasters.Professor Dumbledore takes Harry under his wing, finally answering some of the questions Harry has had for years. In private lessons, Dumbledore recounts Voldemort's history as Tom Riddle and his rise as a Dark wizard. Harry learns about Horcruxes, magical objects that are the key to Voldemort's immortality. Finding and destroying Horcruxes becomes the main focus of this and the last book in the series.In their sixth year at Hogwarts, the gang balances the fear of Voldemort's return, a new Potions teacher, and put up with Snape as the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Harry's hormones start to kick in, and while he realizes he likes Ginny Weasley, he's hesitant to date her as her brother is his best friend. And with the help of an old Potions textbook, Harry becomes a superstar in a subject he once hated.For me the best part of "Half-Blood Prince" is learning Voldemort's backstory, as well as the shift of the series into a more adult tone. There is a lot going on in this book (as in all Harry Potter books), and a few more questions posed. Make sure you can readily get "Deathly Hallows," because you'll be rushing for it after finishing "Half-Blood Prince."5/5.


Better & Better

by Lee Armstrong
(5/5)

"Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince" was a tremendously satisfying reading experience. Rowling sets up the adventure; and I sat up night after night trying to read just one more chapter before turning out the light and heading to bed. I think when I started dreaming Harry Potter, I realized how involved with the book I became. I think this is an excellent puzzle novel. It's different from the first five because Harry never does anything here that makes him the center of adulation. The Quidditch team wins without him. He seeks an answer to Draco Malfoy's secret, only to find out when it's too late. While his presumptions about Snape and Malfoy prove more accurate than Dumbledore's, Harry is never congratulated for these. The entire adventure with Dumbledore at the lake occurs without Harry releasing the details or receiving acclaim as a result. In the final fight at Hogwarts, he defeats a Death Eater, but is not credited. This is different from the first five books in which each of Harry's escapades brings him notoriety. I found this book thoroughly gripping and well written. Rowling and the Harry Potter series is getting better and better with each book. Amazing! Bravo!


Spoilers below: dont read this review if u dont want 2 know wut happened

by Liz Z
(4/5)

OK, it could have definitely been worse, but certainly could have been better.when i finished the book, i thought of the certain things that annoyed me. like, no doubt from the pressure of fans who wanted ginny and harry 2 b together, harry develops some certain passionate feelings about ginny in the sixth enstallment of harry potter. that and that some fifty of these pages are of teenagers "snogging" or in other terms, lip-locking. i feel that too many of these pages have people making out. ron especially, after a nasty arguement with ginny in which he accuses her after he catches her kissing dean thomas in public and her shouting that ron was plain jealous because he had never kissed anybody in his life, which sets him off. but u can clearly tell that ron and hermione like each other, turning jealous and making each other jealous.anyhow, the story sets off fast-paced. the setting is very grim. voldemort's latest victims are one of the order of the phoenix (dont worry, no one that important) and none other than Amelia Bones herself, who had been so fair to harry at his trial in the fifth book. fudge has resigned after the wizarding community expressed their pure outrage at him. rufus scrimgeour is the new prime minister.meanwhile, harry, ron and hermione revieved their OWLs, hermione of course outstanding and harry and ron pretty good. they go 2 diagon alley, snoop on malfoy, who harry suspects for a death eater (so will the reader, for some very good reasons which i wont reveal) visit fred and george's shop, talks about bill and fleur delacour's engagement, and head back 2 hogwarts. to their horror, snape is the new defense against the dark arts. their new potions master is the retired, friendly, jolly, but connection-seeking professor Slughorn, whom harry helped dumbledore convince 2 teach again at hogwarts. (oh, and ron and harry still take potions, as they both got E's on their potion OWLs and thats all Slughorn requires, so harry can still become an Auror!while hermione and ron have their little jealousy/love arguments, harry has private lessons with dumbledore. the two go into the pensieve everytime, wallowing in memories that show what the teen voldemort was like, even before he was born (his mother, grandfather, etc) in a hope to find out his weakness. they do , after extracting a memory from reluctant Slughorn.the end was action-packed, andBEWARE. I AM TELLING U WHO DIES. SO STOP READING IF U DONT WANT TO KNOW.i was horrifed when dumbledore died! more at the way he died than the fact he died. 2 think that snape would kill dumbledore! and that dumbledore pleaded, wandless, powerless, and greatly weakened from a potion he had drank. i always thought that if dumbledore should die, it would be with nobleness and serenity, like Dumbledore sacrificing himself for harry during a face-off with voldemort. i mean, if anyone should kill dumbledore, if should be voldemort during a violent struggle, not the sneaky and traitorous snape while dumbledore stands, sapped of his strengh and pleading. what kind of ending is that for the greatest wizard that ever lived! puh-lease!and its wierd to digest that draco malfoy is actually working for voldemort now. u can tell, from one scene in the book that hes dead scared. (he has an actual breakdown!)i mean, in the past harry and malfoy, just kids really, jinxing each other and playing pranks, but it was never really serious. kid stuff. like when james potter and snape. they always have hated each other, but now, malfoy is a full-fledged enemy, as shown at the end, someone who the order of the phoenix might track down or spy on, someone who could be considered an actual death eater. its kind of scary. malfoy's only sixteen, still in the middle of adolenscence, but already voldemorts shoving him under his wing.oh, i really didnt like tonks falling 4 lupin. oh blah, teen love is barely tolerable without adults sobbing and getting depressed from lovesickness.but hey, i rated four stars. because this book was still very good, except for these few details. rowling has kept her witty humor and refreshing lines. i think the funniest was ron accidentally swallowing some love potion and falling madly in love (with no one important, not hermione!).oh yes. the half blood prince. obviously i cant tell who it is, only its not who i expected at all. rowling already told us it wasnt harry, but i was still taken aback when i found out who it was. its a he, of course, he's living, and he unexpectedly gave harry some help when he found one of the half-blood prince' textbooks, full of handwritten tips and spells, helpful hints that make harry out perform even hermione in a certain subject (i wont tell which subject, it'll give the prince away) which arouses hermione's irritation and suspicions. oh, and the prince really of course isnt royal or descended from gryffindor or slytherin or anything.


Very sad

by L. J. Roberts
(4/5)

included a large amount of expository information on Valdemort that slowed the pace but was important to the story. I did cry at the end and am already anxious for the final book. It will be sad when it's over.


This is my favorite Harry Potter book yet.

by Loran
(5/5)

I absolutely loved this book. I read it the second it came out. It is such an amazing book filled with horcruxes, the death of a main character, and an even more evil Malfoy. I loved this book, but I cried when that main character died. I cannot believe he died. I hope it was planned for that person to kill him. There are so many theories on this book that it's hard to not become overwhelmed. I'm just going to stop thinking about the theories and wait until amazon delivers the 7th book to me to find the answers.thank you for your time,Loran


A Profound narrative that is imaginative and truly astonishing, which had me reading frenziedly and feverishly for hours!

by Lucinda
(5/5)

In the sixth installment within the Harry Potter series one encounters the merging together of magic and `real' as Voldemort and his Death Eaters break through that divide between the muggle world and their secret - which up until now no one had ever considered would come to pass!As I waited restlessly for JK Rowling's next book to be released I can remember as I caught sight of the emerald cover, how Harry Potter had impacted my own life as this fictional character had woven itself into my mind for eternity. Reading in a fervent frenzied passion for many hours, I gleefully lost myself once more in Harry's exciting world where danger was heightened and Voldemorts threat even more potent as he attacked non-magical folk. This significant act was an acute warning message to all, thus reminding Harry and other wizarding folk of what the dark lord is capable of and how no one is safe (not even muggles). I connected with this book even more than the other's previously, as the enemy seemed deadlier than ever and something to be frightened of - for I now loved Harry's world & Hogwarts and would be devastated for it to all be lost. You find yourself fighting his corner and willing on the members of the Order & Dumbledore's Army to try and stand firm against this darkness that threatens to engulf all below it in shadow & hatred, but you also realize that Harry is quite ALONE in this fight- for he is the only one who can defeat `you know who'.The story begins with Dumbledore actually appearing for the first time ever before the start of term and who takes Harry to see Horace Slughorn whom he wants persuaded to take up the post as this year Potions master. As always there is a reason behind Dumbledore's actions as too is there behind other characters, such as Severus Snape who performs the Unbreakable Vow; his life in exchange for Draco Malfoy's so that the young boy may do Voldemorts bidding. Dark times lie ahead as Harry starts a new year at school and one that is fraught with danger at every turn, including Draco Malfoy who is using the `Room of Requirement' to conceal something very important and which will help the Death Eaters to finally break into the school!! As Dumbledore takes Harry aside and shows him memories from the past, including ones regarding the young Tom Riddle as how he changed from being a naughty orphan boy into one of the most deadly and dangerous Wizards alive. Full of darkness and mystery, secrets and of course the odd teenage love amidst all the danger this story is totally captivating and a book that I just could not put down. We also meet new and interesting characters such as Luna Lovegood who is certainly `different' then there is Ron's attempt at Quidditch and his girlfriend Lavender Brown, and poor Hermione who has to endure the unwelcome advances of McClaggen whilst Harry and Ginny become closer.As Dumbledore and Harry try to retrieve the next Horcrux, Harry must summon all of his inner strength to do the impossible as he watches his hero and `father figure' die before him. Voldemort is coming...Full of suspense and electric tension that sends chills down your spine Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the most spectacular and remarkable read EVER!!! I am once again astonished by JK Rowling's writing and how she makes everything much darker and sinister in this book, which certainly will appeal to the older reader as Harry becomes a man. Finding out more about Snape and also more about Draco Malfoy is a real treat, as within this part of the series other characters are brought to the forefront and we gain a better perspective on the `bigger picture'. As Voldemort is not just one being intent on killing a half-blood boy, no, his followers intend to destroy all that is good not only within this world but within the muggle world too - it is on such an epic scale now that the seriousness of this tale really hits you...spectacular!


Worth the Wait

by lydiadeetz
(5/5)

Fantastic! Harry, Ron and Hermione are all growing up, and Rowling does such a great job of presenting them as teenagers. The story does not disappoint. As always, the characters are well-developed, and the writing is good. Can't wait for Book 7!


I loved the entire series

by Lynn B. Schornick "Eclectic Explorer"
(5/5)

J. K. Rowling's tales of Harry Potter are so vivid, so fun and dark that they are, at least for me, a great read. I think most people who have read the series agree. Rowling's characters and story-telling are superb! Highly Recommended!!


Dark, mature and more fun than ever

by Lynn Harnett
(5/5)

Are you one of those adult readers who was somewhat disenchanted by Harry Potter Five and its one-note adolescent crankiness? Did you decide to hold off on reading the latest until the lines of Muggles at the bookstore dwindled?Well, prepare to be re-enchanted and find yourself a book before some overexcited fan gives away the ending in your presence. This is a distinct hazard as the ending raises many more questions than it answers. The day I finished the book a young friend eagerly demanded my views. My theories and interpretations being different than hers we were soon engaged in a lively debate. When called to join the rest of the company, she balked, saying, "I've been waiting DAYS to discuss this with someone who's read the book."Wow, I thought, it's a long time since I thought of a book in quite that way. Never, really. When I was a kid, the only books we all read were those assigned by a teacher and discussed in class. Not exactly occasions of great excitement. My young friend is an adult now, but she wasn't when the first book was published here in 1998 and all her friends were caught up in the phenomenon.And this is a series that has grown up with its fans. Rowling has long said that each book will grow darker as Harry matures and his archenemy, the evil Lord Voldemort, grows stronger. Voldemort has now gathered his old followers, the Death Eaters, and is inflicting mayhem and murder on the magical - and Muggle - world. Wizards and witches are dying and disappearing daily and the Ministry is kept busy modifying Muggles' memories to make attacks by marauding giants appear to be out-of-season hurricanes. There's no disguising death, however.Hogwarts, protected by powerful enchantments, is a sea of calm in all this. Potter is now 16, and while he's as stubborn as ever, he's learned to weigh consequences, at least in personal relationships. Girls are a major concern, but he worries about how a romance between his best friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley will affect their friendship, particularly if they break up. And he struggles against his own interest in Ron's younger sister, Ginny: "He would not risk his friendship with Ron for anything."Harry's magic has improved, but he is not above cribbing from an old, borrowed potions book. Its previous owner, the "half-blood prince," has scribbled improved potions recipes and antidotes in the margins, along with ingenious hexes and counter hexes, most, but not all, harmless and amusing. Thanks to the book Harry is tops in his potions class. He harbors hopes that the mysterious "prince" is actually his dead father, James.But while youthful crushes, Quidditch rivalries and failed attempts to apparate from one place to another without leaving behind a limb preoccupy most of the students at Hogwarts, including Harry, a dark plot is hatching within the school and Harry seems to be the only one taking it seriously.We know from the preface that Harry is right about his nasty classmate, Draco Malfoy. Lord Voldemort has given Draco an assignment. It's a task beyond his years and his mother is so frightened she has extracted an unbreakable vow from Professor Snape to protect her son.Despite his wise headmaster's inexplicable trust in Snape, a supposedly reformed Voldemort follower, Harry has always suspected him of being a secret Death Eater. With Draco sneaking around Hogwarts at all hours, often disappearing off the marauder's map (this map shows everyone's movements and is visible by saying, "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good"), Harry is more certain than ever that Snape is helping him.But when he tries to tell Professor Dumbledore, the headmaster refuses to hear him. Harry is spending more time with Dumbledore this year, getting private lessons to aid him against Voldemort in the coming struggle. Most of these consist of memories viewed in the pensieve. This marvelously named object is a basin in which the user can relive other people's memories as an observer. The memories concern pivotal moments in Voldemort's past: his unhappy birth, isolated childhood, and scheming schooldays at Hogwarts. The chilling portrait that emerges is the evil antithesis of Harry's own orphaned past.But as Rowling builds toward the great struggle between Harry Potter and the evil Voldemort, she does not neglect the humor and delightful detail that make these books such a magical world. As usual, it's many of the inconsequential moments that make the atmosphere sparkle.A crotchety old headmaster portrait in Dumbledore's office, for instance, is grumbling about Dumbledore's too-lenient treatment of Harry, when he hears about Harry's encounter with a thief in possession of objects from Harry's late godfather's Grimmauld Place house. " `That mangy old half-blood has been stealing Black heirlooms?' said Phineas Nigellus, incensed; and he stalked out of his frame, undoubtedly to visit his portrait in number twelve, Grimmauld Place."And Ron, in potion class, during his prolonged falling out with Hermione: "Ron was sitting beside Harry with his mouth half open, doodling absently on his new copy of Advanced Potion-Making. Ron kept forgetting that he could no longer rely on Hermione to help him out of trouble when he failed to grasp what was going on."Much is revealed in "The Half Blood Prince," and much remains to be revealed. More complex and layered than previous books, I'd say this was the best so far, except that the first book, which set up the amazing wizarding world, was such a magical marvel. Fans will be impatient to get their hands on the next and last Harry Potter adventure, though a little fear and doubt will accompany the eagerness. Rowling doesn't necessarily guarantee that all will turn out for the best.-- Portsmouth Herald


Best book

by Mahmoud@AWS
(5/5)

This book takes you on a wild adventure through the wizard's worled and More. I would recommend reading the books in order so you understand the book.


It's Always Darkest Just Before Things Fall Apart

by Marc Ruby™ "The Noh Hare™"
(5/5)

I apologize for taking a year to get around to reading and reviewing this book, but the flood of early spoilers was so overwhelming that I decided to wait until I had forgotten most of them. And I was hoping that the satanic conspiracy folks would either wear themselves out or give up and join covens and let those of us who love fantasy get on with our lives. The Half Blood Prince has causes of it's own, but none of them include worshipping the devil or corrupting children. Much like Tolkein's efforts, these books have a strong, underlying ethos. We could do a lot worse than live in a world filled with Harrys, Hermiones, and Rons.No doubt about it, to me this is a wonderful book -- But then, I am yet another wizard-loving liberal. Like all the other books in this series, it does what it sets out to do - fascinate, charm, and even alarm. What sets Rowling apart for adults is the tremendous compassion she shows for her characters. We laugh at their antics and choke up at their worst misfortunes. Delicately, slowly, Rowling has taken us out from a light-filled world of wizard children, and now we come up close and personal with the dark forces that threaten everyone. The Half-Blood Prince has few light moments as Harry starts to learn the truths that have been kept from him and begins his quest for the means to stop Voldemort permanently.For us, this is a last look at Hogwarts as we have come to love it. As Voldemort's strength builds the school will become the scene of increasing and climactic conflict - not a safe haven. I can't say that these were ever simply children's books, but these last are written for those who can accept tragedy and loss - the battle for wizardry will have many more casualties than broken wands. Rowland manages this so well that the hardest lessons are easily absorbed. All of us, child and adult, take up the same courage that Harry and his friends display, knowing that, if we persevere all will be well again, some day.One has to ask why these books have enjoyed the tremendous success that they have. I believe it's something much deeper than a fascinating story with good characters. Magic offers the opportunity for empowerment. Something that is often lacking in our lives, especially in the lives of children. The answer to the arbitrary world of the powerful is the ability to impose our own order on things. Magic, for us, is the great leveler. Harry's quest is to stand firm against self-centered evil and reinstate a just world. This is an appealing goal, and one that Rowland carries forth without excesses of language or plot. In the end we have a better sense of what good is all about and how far we have to travel in order to get there.


Why Yes, There Is Another One Coming. Why Do You Ask?

by Mark Baker
(4/5)

Things keep turning darker around Harry Potter. Now that there is a new Minister of Magic, everyone finally believes Harry's claim that You Know Who is back. But that doesn't necessarily make life any easier.The fight against the Dark Lord is progressing poorly. Death is a common occurrence and is affecting many of the students at Hogwarts. Harry is still trying to deal with the pain of loosing his godfather.But life goes on. With the results of their OWLs back, Harry, Ron, and Hermione face a less full schedule but more homework. Harry has been made Quidditch caption for the Gryffindor House. Romantic entanglements are in the air. And they start learning to Apparate.Harry gets a boost in his studies from someone called the Half Blood Prince. The notes he's found in this old textbook are making him the star student.But, as always, trouble is lurking beneath the surface. Dumbledore has requested special lessons with Harry. What will Harry learn? And Harry is sure that Draco is up to something sinister, but he can't get anyone to take him seriously. Is Harry right?While the first chapter or two offer some recap, this book assumes you are familiar with the universe already. It really is best to start at the beginning before you dive into this book.The characters continue to develop here, although some of the minor characters don't have as much to do as in previous books. The story moves better then the last book with fewer repetitious scenes.My problem with this book is the fact that it doesn't really resolve much. It advances the overall story very well. But you can feel the "To be continued" at the end even if it isn't actually written there. That always frustrates me.The book will please fans and I'm sure it will prove very important in the final book. It just lacked a resolution to anything in the book.


A Magical Allegory of the War on Terror

by Mark R. Whittington
(5/5)

As the trio of wizards that tens of millions of children (and many adults) have enjoyed these oast few years have started to grow up, J. K. Rowling has turned her considerable story telling talents to darker, more adult themes. The full blown war of Voldermort and his Death Eater minions to take over the wizarding world has begun, a magical parallel of the real world War on Terror. Wizards whom Voldermort considers enemies are disappered and even killed in acts of terror that Osama bin Laden might have carried out were he an evil magus.Meanwhile, the enterwined destinies of Harry Potter and his friends are speeding toward the climax that will surely occur in Book 7. Secrets are revealed. A well beloved charecter falls. Enemies make themselves known. Love is found and lost.An magical epic for our age.--Mark R. Whittington (...)


Wonderful...

by Matthew Watt
(5/5)

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling continues the thrilling series that has set the world on fire. Her wonderfully well written books have inspired many disgusted with reading to pick up the book and not stop reading until the last page. Each one in the series has had this ability and The Half Blood Prince is no different.Harry Potter has returned to Hogwarts for his 6th year. After receiving his O.W.L.s, Harry is finally able to pursue the career he has desired as an Auror, fighting against Voldemort and the Dark Arts. With Quidditch, Voldemort's childhood, the romances and mysteries, and a depressing death looming throughout this book, The Half Blood Prince could not have succeeded more in quenching the thirst of Harry Potter fans and leading to the conclusion of the series.With the theme of friendship used thoroughly in The Order of the Phoenix, it was time for Harry to begin his journey and growth from the "boy that survived" to the "man that must face Voldemort" in The Half Blood Prince. His anger has calmed down and his outbursts are nearly something of the past, which keep the reader from cringing as much as they did during The Order of the Phoenix. Harry finally takes leaps and bounds in his character development from an angry teen to a confident man.Ron and Hermione, along with a few of the other characters from the last book like Ginny, Neville, and Luna, take a back seat to Harry in The Half Blood Prince. It's sad to see them left out so much, but I feel they will make a thrilling comeback in the final installment of the series, as per the conclusion.I have never come across a better author than J.K. Rowling at writing cliffhangers. From one chapter the next, from one book to the next, it just comes so natural to her writing style. The reader is left sitting on the edge of his or her seat and ends up willing themselves to continue on despite sleep deprivation, hunger, thirst, or all of the above.Through The Half Blood Prince, we are finally given insight to the last journey Harry must take on his way to his last fight with Voldemort. Who is R.A.B.? Where are the Horcruxes? Who will be the one left standing? I can't wait for the last installment of the series and would recommend this series to any and every one that hates or loves to read. It doesn't matter. My sister hated to read before she got her hands on Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone. Now I rarely see her without a book. Everyone enjoy!


My Favorite Harry Potter Book

by Maureen M. Mcleod
(5/5)

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince happens to be my favorite of the Seven Books. What I like best is the insight it gives into the character of Snape, and the fact that we we learn something about his childhood, and what he was like as a student at Hogswart. It also outlines some crucial plot details and explains many unanswered questions from the previous books.


Best in the Series

by M. Chey "imagine-chick"
(5/5)

As much as I enjoyed all the books, Book 6 is one of my favorites! I think I was attracted to the darker themes in the novel and it certainly kept up to my expectations. The introduction of the Horcruxes was the most interesting in the series and J.K. Rowling is on point! She introduced certain themes very smoothly and you can imagine the events in your mind as you read. I never ever got bored with Harry Potter since I read the first book. The movies have been amazing and I was very sad that the series came to an end. You learn a lot from Harry Potter and what he goes through and the people he meets. There are a number of life lessons that everyone goes through and in Harry Potter, it not only entertains you, but it TEACHES you!


interesting book

by M "Delicious Strawberry"
(4/5)

This title really could have benefitted from a different title. I was thinking that Half Blood Prince would refer to Voldemort, but the revelation was rather disappointing. It was interesting to learn more about the world of wizards and witches, and Snape's backstory did a bit in helping to explain why he was the way he was. However, it was lacking, and though I did like this book, it simply was not as good as the preceding book because some things could have been done better.


so far the best in the series

by Melanie Edwards "book worm"
(5/5)

i'v waited since january 1, have read the series over and over again, have edured blistering heat and freezing cold, climbed to the highest room of the highest tower, battled so many buyers but finally...i got it. this is really the best in the series with a great begining chapter, a extremly big cliffhanger, and heartbreaking moments. the year starts with harry attending another year at hogwarts with a new DADA teacher, the past of voldamort revealed, and harry recives help from the mysteriuos half-blood prince. i finishe this book four days after i got it and now eagerly awating the final (sniff) book. lets see only three more years to go...yipee. let me tell you all its going to be a looooooooooonnnnng three years.


J.K. - You Did Good, Girl!

by Melissa McCauley
(5/5)

This entry in the Harry Potter series kept me interested from beginning to end, and unlike book number five (which had numerous mistakes and contained 300-400 unnecessary pages in my opinion), this book appears to have had a competent editor. I was really mad at the ending, but then pleased that the author could manage to make me mad at a book - something which has not happened in a long time. Besides, it's not my story to tell. I am happy that she did not succumb to pressure from fans and tack on a Scooby Doo ending like those of the first few books (I would've come back to rule the world, too, if not for you meddling kids). Way to go Jo! I'm waiting expectantly to see how it all ends.


Heartbreaking and fabulous

by Melissa Niksic
(5/5)

What an incredible book!I don't know where to begin. Let's begin at the beginning, shall we? "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" opens with an amusing scene with the "Other Minister," who is actually the Prime Minister of England, being visited by the new Minister of Magic. I just pictured Tony Blair the entire time, especially when he was lamenting over an impending phone call from that "wretched" man who was the president of a powerful yet unnamed country...J.K. Rowling certainly has a sense of humor!Let's get back to the main story. Lord Voldemort's followers are gaining power, and people everywhere (wizards and Muggles alike) are in danger. In order to help Harry learn as much as possible about the history of the Dark Lord, Professor Dumbledore enlists in the help of his pensieve to take Harry back in time to the days when Tom Riddle was just a young man. Harry eventually embarks on a journey to help his professor find four missing Horcruxes, which are magical objects in which He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named has extracted parts of his soul in order to secure immortality.There are many additional developments in this novel, too. The sixth-year students all receive the results of their O.W.L.S. over the summer, and they become more focused on the intensive classes that will prepare them for their N.E.W.T. exams the following year. Harry comes across a mysterious potions textbook that is marked as the property of the Half-Blood Prince. The book contains a bunch of shortcuts that make potion-making a breeze for Harry, but the identity of its previous owner remains a mystery, and Harry eventually gets more than he bargained for when one of the Prince's spells goes awry.Hogwarts students receive a new Potions instructor when Professor Snape takes over as the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher...a move that has Harry and his best friends, Ron and Hermione, absolutely befuddled. Draco Malfoy, Harry's nemesis, has been acting very strange all year. Harry believes that Draco has joined legions with the Death Eaters and is planning some sort of attack on the school, but there's no real evidence to support that theory, and Harry has a hard time getting anyone to believe him. There is also romance in the air at Hogwarts...love potions become very popular, and new couples are formed, some of which are better pairings than others. Harry finally chooses the girl that he was meant to be with from day one, but Ron makes an arse out of himself for the majority of the book, which is painful but also quite humorous (I know he'll set things right in Book Seven!).The novel becomes darker and more somber as it progresses. There are many more deaths in "Half-Blood Prince" than any of the previous Potter novels...and that's saying a lot! Someone is bewitching objects and launching attacks on Hogwarts students...one of the most popular characters becomes gravely ill as a result of drinking a poisoned beverage. When Dumbledore and Harry set off on their climactic quest at the end of the book, the horrors they encounter are too gruesome to put in words. Young readers will ultimately be disturbed by what they read. (I'm a 25-year-old reader, and I'll probably be having nightmares for weeks! Seriously, when it comes time for "Order of the Phoenix" and "Half-Blood Prince" to be made into movies, I don't see how Warner Brothers will manage to avoid "R" ratings.)Ultimately, the end of this novel is the most tragic and heartbreaking of any book in the series so far. It was also the most shocking. Personally, I had a feeling that I knew which character was going to die...it made sense to me that Harry would need to go into Book Seven as utterly alone as possible, and Rowling set it up so that's exactly what will happen. However, I was absolutely stunned when the final death took place, and that's all because of the second chapter of the book, when Snape meets with Bellatrix and Narcissa and pledges an Unbreakable Vow. Now, I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Snape. (I think it's partially because I adore Alan Rickman, but I see now that my logic was incredibly stupid...this is a book, not a movie!) I always thought that there was something very important about Snape that readers were not privy to, and that the information would somehow redeem him. I also thought that since Dumbledore was such a great wizard, he was right in placing so much trust in Snape. I always thought that Snape really was a loyal member of the Order, and that he was putting himself at great risk by maintaining ties with the Death Eaters.When Snape pledged the Unbreakable Vow to Narcissa, I had a feeling that he had majorly done himself in, and that he would be totally screwed over in the end, especially since it is revealed later in the book that people who break Unbreakable Vows die. Well...I don't want to spoil things by saying more than I already have, but things did not work out exactly as I had thought. Regardless of what I have ever thought about Snape, I never expected that he would behave the way he did at the end of the book. I was absolutely stunned. BUT...it will be interesting to see what happens in Book Seven. The reason Dumbledore finally gives for trusting Snape is incredibly flimsy...perhaps there's something more to it than meets the eye...maybe Snape actually proved himself to be the most loyal member of the Order by carrying out Dumbledore's orders at the end! I have no idea how that theory will play out, but it's just an idea...with J.K. Rowling, anything is possible. We will see!The end of the book is unbelievably sad and depressing. It made me cry even though I saw the whole thing coming. I don't think I've been that sad since the spider died at the end of "Charlotte's Web"."Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is amazing. It is mature and moving and is by far the best book in the series so far. There are a lot of open-ended questions that are leading up to Book Seven...will Harry and his friends return to Hogwarts for their final year? Will there even be a Hogwarts to go back to? How on earth will Harry manage the impossible task that lies ahead of him? One thing's for certain...I can't wait to find out!


Not like the movie

by Mercedes
(5/5)

It's been a long time since I first read this book. But I have seen the movie about a trillon times. After just finishing the book, I realized the movie is missing alot of what was in the book and there a couple things in the movie I didn't find in the book. This doesn't mean the movie isn't good, it was excellent, but after re-reading the book I realized it could have much better.Some of the differences I discovered was the scene where the Death Eaters burn down the Weasley house. Unless I splet through this part of the book I didn't read it. Another difference was the final battle, Bellatrix wasn't in Hogwarts as the movie showed. This was a bit of a disappointment as I do like her character. Another scene was the Room of Requirement. In the book, Ginny did not take Harry to hide potions book.These were just a few diffences I found, however, if you are looking for a great book and great movie, this is it. Be warned though, it is a tear jerker and leaves you in the end saying....no this can't be happening.


Can't Wait for # 7

by Michael Dea
(4/5)

Another outstanding entry in the series, with a very interesting story and a shattering climax. It's sets up one doozy of a final book.


This Harry Potter sure isn't half-hearted

by Michael Griswold "Michael Griswold"
(5/5)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the perfect warm up for the finale of the Harry Potter series. The lines between good and evil become even more clouded and blurry and the Muggle world becomes increasingly threatened by an increasingly brazen Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters.Rather than being deterred the prophecy seems to have strengthened Voldemort in his quest to destroy Harry Potter. Harry gets his hands of the mysterious book by the Half-Blood Prince and becomes something of a potions master.Meanwhile, Dumbledore begins mysterious meetings with Harry in an effort to better equip Harry for the final battle. There isn't a line between good and evil and you never know who to trust. This is borne out in the final scenes as an iconic figure of Hogwarts falls.Harry Potter has always just seized the reader and never let go until the very last page and leaves the reader clamoring for more. It's as though this spirit slips into your soul and takes control for hours at a time. The mark of a great book is whether you can lose yourself in the main characters or the storyline and drift away from reality.Somehow, Rowling makes the reader believe that Harry Potter and this mysterious world of Hogwarts exists somewhere deep inside them and that's why I believe that the entire Harry Potter franchise has succeeded. I dove into the 7th book with both feet.


Harry Potter doesn't disappoint!

by Michael Meredith "e-Mike"
(5/5)

J.K. Rowling continues to amaze me! Many good writers are capable of producing an excellent trilogy based on the same complete set of characters, however after book three their output tends to be uneven at best (think Frank Herbert with the Dune series, or even Arthur C. Clark with his Rama novels). But Rowling not only sustains the story line, her writing seems to improve with each effort.Harry and his friends are back at Hogwarts for their sixth year, 16 years old and suffering from all the usual teen agonies. There are relationships to maintain, both romantic and platonic; academic tribulations, issues of trust, politics and more. Through it all, you find yourself hurrying from page to page because you're curious about what happens next or because you just care about Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore and everyone else. There are no cheap tricks here, you might expect that given the whole wizarding theme of the series, that one or more situation might be resolved by just a casual, unexplained flick of the wand, but no. Harry can be as tenacious as one of Scott Turow's lawyers. Hermione does her research in the library, sans Internet (not that there is anything wrong with the Internet of course... ).As far as the plot goes, the threat posed by Voldemort is growing, with Harry and other students imperiled by his Death Eater followers. Thankfully for Harry (and us readers) Quidditch is once again being contested, providing a great diversion as well as more and more insight into the various relationships that complicate the lives of the teenage protagonists. Beyond that, events unfold that drive the story to the end of the Hogwarts' school year, setting things up quite nicely for the final book in the series. Now, you don't really want me to divulge any more detail than that do you?As always, the story of Harry and his friends will satisfy young readers (or listeners being read to by parents or siblings). Or if you are an adult looking for additional depth and thematic elements, you might discover plenty of references to the global war on terror, journalistic and academic ethics, corporate corruption and the politics of personality. Is that pithy enough for you?Oh... yes, there is a new teacher at Hogwarts, a name dropping self promoter that might give Gilderoy Lockhart a run for his money; Professor Dumbledore still reveals his secrets only when he's ready, and Severus Snape is just as ambiguously evil as ever.I'd be tempted to beg Ms. Rowling to publish her next book as soon as possible, but given the quality of the first six, I can almost, almost be content waiting for her to release it only when she's ready. Please... please... Ms. Rowling, be ready soon!


A gripping, tense thriller comes alive in an outstanding audio treatment

by Midwest Book Review
(5/5)

Jim Dale provides a riveting performance in this latest Harry Potter book, appearing unabridged on 17 compact discs for maximum impact and losing nothing in translation. Jim Dale's is the voice of all the characters in the audio series: the continuity of the same award-winning voice enhances this latest story of Harry's continuing maturity. Harry's search for the boy who became the dreaded Lord Voldemort offers keys to his own personality and dangers in this latest fantasy of war and survival. A gripping, tense thriller comes alive in an outstanding audio treatment.


The Star Wars Episode I Equivalent of the Harry Potter novels.

by Mike London "MAC"
(3/5)

While the proceeding five novels of the Harry Potter sequence had interesting stories in their own right, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", much like Star Wars Episode IStar Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition), felt much more like a trailer to upcoming events than an interesting story in its own right.While "Star Wars: Episide I - The Phantom Menance" was undeniably a train wreck, especially with that travesty of Jar Jar Binks, the movie introduced all the key characters of the new trilogy. "Star Wars: Episide I - The Phantom Menance"'s principal function was this introduction, and setting into motion the events that would lead the characters to their ultimate destiny. In this regard, "Star Wars: Episide I - The Phantom Menance" and the sixth Harry Potter are remarkably similar.Of course, the real difference is Rowling had five full novels before hand, whereas Lucas had only one movie to introduce his new set of characters. While the other books in the series always advanced the overall story's arc, Rowling always managed to have succinct, stand-alone novels that stood remarkably well on their own right. HALF BLOOD PRINCE is very much the exception to the rule in this regard. "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is so exposition heavy, setting all the foundation work for the seventh book, that it relegates its own plotline as largely secondary. Let me elaborate.In the proceeding five novels, each title drove the book's overall plot. In "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone", the principal mystery was what was the stone and how to protect it. In the second book, the chamber had been reopened and there was a dangerous basilisk on the prowl. The third (and in my opinion the best), Azkaban's escaped prisoner was the fuel driving the events of that novel. Just as much as "Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire" was about the Triwizard Tournament and "Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix" about the resistance to Voldemort, one would expect this trend to continue with "Half-Blood Prince".To this book's detriment, that is not the case. While there is certainly some mystery to who this prince is, and who ultimately figures in heavily with the book's climax, "Half-Blood Prince" is much more about the seventh book than anything else. In the American cover art, you have Dumbledore and Harry looking at the Pevensie, which turns out to be the real meat of the book anyway. "Half-Blood Prince" is far more about laying the seventh book's final outcome than having anything to do with some half-blood prince.It is disheartening to say that you could actually excise the entire "Half-Blood Prince" subplot (a subplot is really all it is), and still have largely the same novel. The same could not be said of any of Rowling's previous work. Of course, the irony in all this is once Harry figures out who the "Half-Blood Prince" is, he does figure very heavily in the plot, but not because he is a half blood prince. Actually, Harry doesn't even really figure out who he is, but now we're getting into spoiler territory so I will say no more.As far as the death goes (there are two deaths, but the first no one will care about), it is both devastating and shocking. Without revealing to much, it is both tremendously sad and incredibly strange that she would write out such an important and humanizing character. But following the Joseph Campbell mythological plot line that the hero must face his ultimate nemesis alone, without guidance, the death makes sense.As for the people saying Rowling was stealing from Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" with some of the events in this book, I'd say "Yeah, and? What do you think the dementors are? They're just ring-wraiths tweaked a little bit." Without giving to much away, I think Rowling did quite an interesting job with Voldemort's method to immortality.Ultimately, all "Half-Blood Prince" does is build up for the final confrontation with Voldemort in Book VII. No other book in this series is anywhere near as exposition heavy as this installment. While Rowling needs to set up the events for the last book, it would have been nice to have a more self-contained novel than this is, which is what the others are.Overall, I give the book three stars, but that is only for this weakness in the plot of the book itself. I must confess I enjoyed this much more than "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix". I remember buying that two years ago, anxious to return to Hogwarts to see familiar faces, old friends, and exciting times. Unfortunately, Harry was extremely moody and pretty much a flat out ass to everyone, and I felt like why did I want to come back to see such petty bickering? I was thrilled to see "Half-Blood Prince" did not continue this trend, even if it forget to have its own, more-or-less self contained plot.


Kind of disappointing, really

by Mike Smith
(3/5)

As someone who's read and (to varying degrees) enjoyed every book in this series, seen the movies, and talked with young geeks and nerds of every age about what might happen next in this series, I really hoped that this book would be great.I hoped it would pick up where the Book Five left off--with the whole world of magic and wizardry aware that the evil Lord Voldemort--archenemy of this series' young boy wizard hero, Harry Potter--is officially back to resume his reign of terror. I hoped it would plunge into action, into a world in which good and evil are finally fully aware of each other and ready to fight. I hoped the series' typical setting of yet another year at the same magical school would be lessened because of the intensity and danger of the wizarding world's current events. I hoped it would have as fast a pace as Book Four and move the series ahead just as much as that one did.But... Instead, I found this to be a very long book in which very little happens. The book dishes out an even larger than usual serving of daily life at a magic school, a couple of juvenille romance stories sure to put off most adult readers, a lot of tedious adolescent bickering, and not a single appearance (other than in flashbacks) of the series' evil Lord Voldemort. Overall, this feels like a plateau in the story of the series. In the fourth book, the Dark Lord, Lord Voldemort, returns. In the fifth book, the world comes to know of his return. And in this book...um...well, there's this magic school...and all these kids go to it! Wow!No, that's entirely fair: this book does contain some really cool flashbacks into the history of the evil Lord Voldemort, some cool revelations regarding the nature and quasi-immortality of that same villain...the death of a major character, and a very big decision made by the three main characters.But the bad guy's just not bad enough. If everyone's so scared of him, it seems like he should be just massacring tons of people, not just hanging around. DO something evil, goshdangit. And the story's not too compelling either. In fact, this is the first of the books where I thought, "You know, maybe this IS just a bunch of hype," because it just feels so fluffy and insubstantial.I'll still buy and read the seventh book when it comes out--because I want to know what happens next--but I'm not as excited about it as I used to be.


Awsome Book!

by Miller
(5/5)

This book is awesome!!!! This book is also sad. I can't believe that Dumbledore dies!! I cried for a long time after I read it but it is still a very good book!!!


Closing In on a Resolution, but Character Writing is Weak.

by mirasreviews
(4/5)

As Harry, Ron, and Hermione's 6th year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry approaches, the magical world is in turmoil. Wizard authorities are engaged in open warfare with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Death Eaters and dementors are wreaking havoc on the magical and Muggle worlds alike. Cornelius Fudge has been replaced as Minister of Magic by the more public relations-savvy Rufus Scrimgeour. And Horace Slughorn, an old acquaintance of Albus Dumbledore's, is to be the new professor at Hogwart's. The school is under heavier than ever security, but students and teachers get on with their activities as normally as possible. Students carry on romances, social intrigues, and the usual stuff while Headmaster Dumbledore tries to impart crucial knowledge to Harry that he will need if he is to fight Lord Voldemort. And Draco Malfoy is little seen, as he has been entrusted with a sinister mission which he carries out in secret.In keeping with tradition, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" reveals a little more of the mysterious past and of Harry's destiny. This time, the past that is revealed is not Harry's, but Voldemort's. It strikes me that the characters in this book can be divided into three sets, each of which J.K. Rowling develops differently: Voldemort becomes more of a real character than in previous books, as we learn about his beginnings. Albus Dumbledore continues in the vein started in Book 5, where he began to appear vulnerable. But Dumbledore has completely reversed his tendency to keep information from Harry. Now he wants to reveal all that he knows with some urgency.The third set of characters is the students, who have become a character development problem. We see in Harry, Ron, and Hermione -perhaps for the first time- that these books truly are intended for children. The trio of 16-year-olds simply hasn't grown up. It might also be said that the adults' feelings and grudges in Rowling's books don't change, but stagnation is plausible in adults. The problem is most evident in the dialogue, where bright, adventurous young adults are made to speak like 12-year-olds. Maybe this is inevitable in a series of childrens' books which follow young characters over time. And children may not notice the implausibility of the characters' manner. But older readers can't help but notice that behavior that was precocious on 11-year-olds in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" is remedial on 16-year-olds. Harry has become oddly passive, as well, which I can't say is an improvement. It's as if Rowling hasn't figured out how to write mature characters for a young audience.Like its immediate predecessor, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix", "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is needlessly long and verbose. The book is very readable, but the first two-thirds is burdened by extraneous scenes and descriptions. The last third picks up the pace considerably, but the book should have been much tighter. For all the exposition, this seems more like a segway between Book 5 and the finale than a novel in itself, as very little happens. In spite of problems with editing and character development, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is fun. And that's a great credit to J.K. Rowling, considering that her formula is getting tired at this point. "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is the weakest in the series so far. It utterly lacks the clever humor and vivid imagery that enchanted children and adults alike in the first 3 books. I wish I could say that was replaced by character development, but it was only replaced by verbiage. Nevertheless, fans will be pleased to learn more about the mysterious Lord Voldemort, and they will be entertained by the story despite its flaws.


Nothing spoils this book.

by Miss Grimke
(4/5)

My sons read it first and were happy to tell me who died and whether Harry and Ginny got together. That didn't spoil the story in the least. This is the best Potter book I've read. I read the others largely to keep up with the kids and culture, but skipped a lot of what I thought were tedious parts showing off Rowling's ability to dream up new magical stuff. I didn't skip a word of the Half-Blood Prince. None of the magic is gratuitous. The novel is mature and well-plotted. I finished with a shiver of dread about what awaits Harry in the final book, similar to the sliver of dread that threaded through the excitement I felt about approaching adulthood. Harry Potter still ranks behind His Dark Materials and Narnia, but that's fine company.


Of Freud and Horcruxes

by M. L. Asselin
(5/5)

At this point, I've already seen both parts of the movie version of the last book, but in my quest to read all seven volumes of Harry Potter aloud to my daughter before she begins college--I think she was eight when we started--this intrepid reader and critic soldiers on. I wouldn't miss that experience for the world. To paraphrase "Casablanca," we'll always have Hogwarts. (Even if, as is the case, she's read all the books herself many times over, and readily offers trenchant criticism of my oral interpretation.)The sixth and penultimate volume of the series, HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE (HPTHBP), follows the trend set by the preceding volumes in being more serious and sombre than what's come before. Although some of this is due to tragic plot outcomes, a large part of the darkening mood is occasioned by the psychological examination of the series' villain Voldemort. This is accomplished through visits to the past by the Hogwarts Headmaster, Professor Dumbledore, and the hero, Harry Potter, through the use of the magical television of personal memories, the Pensieve, which was introduced in earlier books. (Another way to look at it is as the holodeck on "Star Trek.") In effect what you have, then, is an psychological biography of Voldemort's early years, and J.K. Rowling does a commendable job eliciting pathos and disgust in her readers towards Voldemort's earlier circumstances and acts of violence. A related thread in this book is Harry's attempt to capture a particular memory from Slughorn, a returned professor whom Dumbledore knows is suppressing recollection of what he once taught Voldemort. It takes more than a penny for his thoughts.Most of the action and tragedy is reserved for the book's final pages. By then, one has long been ready for the plot's amusement part ride, and J.K. Rowling does not disappoint. The reader who has managed to avoid the books and movies until now will be the only one who will be surprised at the ending. However that may be, the author paints the scene and its aftermath to move even the aware reader. One aspect that doesn't seem to ring completely true, though, is the way the main characters, gathered in the infirmary after the book's climactic battle, get sidelined by a discussion about marriage. Really? Now? After all that had just happened?All in all, HPTHBP is to my mind the best written volume in this series thus far. It may not be as much fun as HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE, with its varied contests, but in this story we get deeply into what makes Voldemort the villain (in a word, Freud) and why it will be so difficult to destroy him (horcruxes). This sets us up for the final battle to come in volume seven.


Truly magical

by MLPlayfair
(5/5)

When I was a little girl, I thought authors just had to be magical -- to be able to dream up grand adventures, to infuse believable characters with life and set them in a specific place and time. Just look at unforgettable places like Oz created by L. Frank Baum, J.M. Barrie's Neverland, J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth, C.S. Lewis's Narnia, and characters as different as Willy Wonka, Don Quixote, Scarlett O'Hara, and Long John Silver.Add to these the place a lot of us have been inhabiting since our long-awaited book finally hit the stores: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. And to the best-loved characters of all time we must add a name that has already become an archetype in modern literature: Harry Potter.The sixth installment in the remarkable seven-part work of J.K. Rowling is "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," featuring Rowling's wunderkind and his best friends, Ron and Hermione. The characters are now 16 and in their sixth year at Hogwarts, where staircases change their mind and the figures in paintings speak to passersby, where owls deliver the mail and the school sport is played on flying broomsticks. As Rowling ages the children naturally, she seamlessly reintroduces characters and ideas from the past and moves everything forward.The plot, basically good vs. evil, gets more and more intense with each book, and in this go-round we get a lot more back story about He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, the ultimate evil sorcerer. This time, though, the plot feels a little more serious, more focused -- maybe because Harry is older and he's looking for revenge. Now termed "The Chosen One" -- chosen to save the world from the evil ones -- Harry must carry a lot of weight on his slender shoulders, and he bears it gracefully, taking care of those he loves and getting himself ready for the final battle, set for book seven. Those of us who have watched Harry grow up are not disappointed in him.The long wait for this book was worth it. If possible, it's even better than the last. I can see where the extra time was spent, making the book more streamlined. And even with the seriousness of the subject matter, Rowling's trademark comic relief still pops in at unexpected moments. Will I tell you what happens in the book? Oh, no -- that would spoil the surprises in store, both good and bad.If you're new to the series, be sure to start with book one. It introduces the reader to all the wonderful details in the world of Wizards and Muggles that you'll need to know later. Then, read them in order. Because of the ongoing storyline, you really can't start with book six and expect to understand what's going on. Personally, I fell in love with the whole gang in book one when they were riding on the train --the Hogwarts Express -- on their way to the school. I don't ever want to get over that feeling. To me, these books are pure joy.Rowling is absolutely amazing. I can't say enough good things about her writing. I've studied mythology and symbology and I'm telling you, she has, too. She incorporates the classic hero myth with a modern storyline and mixes genuine literary allusions with her own ideas to give even the most mundane of objects and creatures -- from jellybeans to mirrors, from a snow-white owl to a flame-colored phoenix -- special meaning and a colorful history. My favorite thing about her writing may be the way she plays with words, coming up with colorful names like Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Azcaban, Dumblefore, and Diagon Alley.This book's arrival marks the largest first printing of any book, ever; the publisher ordered 10.8 million copies, and Rowling is now the best-selling author on Amazon.com. Analysts are scrambling to interpret the "hidden meaning" in the books, hinting that the sacrifices indicate spirit ual allegory or that the shadows of terrorism mirror what's happening in our world today.Why is Rowling so successful? Kids WANT to read these books. Did I say "read" them? Make that memorize them, scrutinize them, devour them. The books are incredibly fun. No wonder children jump up and down in anticipation of the newest glimpse into that special world. But adults love the books, too, and I believe an injustice was done when the decision was made to take the Potter books off the general bestseller lists and put them only on the children's lists. In fact, this is definitely not a bedtime story to read to 6-year-olds. The situations are often complex and can be downright scary.I enjoyed every word of the 652-page tome. I laughed. Igasped. I cried. But then, I'm a fan. There are people I know and respect who aren't thrilled with the Harry Potter books. I also know people who don't like chocolate. Or baby animals. Or rainbows. Go figure.So it turns out I was right all along -- great writers ARE magical. They can create a whole new world, even a whole new vocabulary, and, along the way, change the way the reader sees the world. They can turn bored children into eager, excited readers. They can transform grown-ups into children again. They can set a spark to a dormant imagination and make it burst into a mind full of wonder. They make people want to read more, think more, feel more. They perform perhaps the most powerful magic of all: they change the world for the better.


Great series,

by M. Mellen "macdadtexas"
(5/5)

I am a literary snob. Yes, I hate to admit that, but I like to think I know more about and have better taste than most people when it comes to literature. Most avid readers believe the same thing, and it's really just an igonorant conciet, but I really do love poo-poo-ing (how about that for vocabulary stretching) on the latest novel as not worthy of it's over the top editorial praise. With that character flaw admitted let me talk about JK Rowling. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.I bought the first book to read to my daughters a few years ago, once again believing that such books were beneath MY literary taste, but was duly impressed with it as children's literature.As a family we enjoyed the second book even more than the first, and quickly moved on to the Prisoner of Azkaban, and something marvelous happened; JK Rowling got better. Not just a little better or a complete change, but her style and confidence grew immensely, and tone of the books turned darker and more mature. Not inaccessable for children, but themes more easily grasped by children who were the same age as Harry in the books.As her style and ability has grown Ms. Rowling has evolved into one of the finest writers of her time, and though I am loathe to admit it in public I look forward to her Potter books more than any other published material. Her plot lines, character developement and prose style are peerless. I actually liken her to a more succint version of Umberto Eco, and that to me is the highest praise I can give.I will be sorry to see Harry go, but I cannot wait to see what brilliance and genius Ms Rowling has in store for us post-Potter.


Great book!

by moose
(5/5)

I love the entire series of Harry Potter books, yet I don't believe that my years of devotion to the series has clouded my judgement when I say that this is a terrific book.Harry is now returning to Hogwarts to begin his sixth year. The wizarding community is now aware of Voldemorts return and terror is beginning to reign. Harry is a marked man and every thing now feels as if it is leading up to the final comfrontation between himself and Voldemort. We learn a lot of new things about Voldemort.This summary is very hard to write as I don't want to spoil anything as I know I would be furious if someone spoiled the story for me...Things of great importance take place and we learn something new that adds to and intensifies the burden already placed on Harry's shoulders.I don't want to say anything more but this wa sa very good addition to the series. If there is someone out there like a few friends I have who have tried the books and been put off by the rather slow start of the first book and been discouraged from reading them ever since I encourage you to try again. You are missing out on some really great books, and they can be hard to come across, hidden amongest some of the forgettable books I read to satisfy my thirst for a book.This is a great book. Any Harry Potter fan has to read it and any one who isn't a Potter fan by now, I encourage to give the books a chance.


Part of history

by morganyossarian
(5/5)

It's a bit like reading Dickens's Hard Times, serialised in 1854. It's exciting to be a part of something that is massive and happening. It's also a great read, with or without the hype.When I'm even older than I am now, I'll tell my grand kids that I queued up in some back water market town at midnight, surrounded by friendly abusive drunks and had the book read out loud to me and everybody else by my eldest daughter as I drove us all home. We wound our way very slowly home, until her torch batteries failed and then I put the foot down, so that we could read it in the kitchen while we had hot cocoa. And that is as good a description of the content of this book as you are going to get. It's exciting.It's a great adventure, with all of our old friends. Great fun.


Almost done with the series!

by M. Palasik
(5/5)

Not much more that can be said about this book that hasn't already been said. I cried a little at the end. It still doesn't seem real...or fictional :)This book wasn't quite as engaging or exciting as 4 or 5, but still a good book. Can't wait to read the last one!


Different - but still Great

by Mr. J. M. Haines
(5/5)

As someone very very disappointed with Order of the Phoenix, I was glad when this was eventually published, as the tale, and the writing, and the plot, put right so much damage done in the previous book, at least in my view; you may not agree and that's fine.The opener involving someone very like a very real British PM is delightful.The lighter delivery of JKs once Harry was back with his pals at school is also, or let's say, was, a huge relief. Quidditch is back on the menu and provides much of the lighter moments; Luna is someone so enchanting that I think all would wish she had been around sooner, (before Phoenix, even). New teacher Horace Slughorn is also a delight, and shows us that we must not think that all of Slytherin are evil to the last boy / girl - man / woman - difficult to do of course but something to muse on.But of course, underneath all this slapstick are things ominous, and Harry even begins to bore his friends with tales of same brought about by the suspicious movements of Draco in Diagon Alley. Harry is also closeted with Dumbledore throughout, on a series of special tasks. I'd best not throw spoilers in here, but it has to be mentioned that JK did so so well with her Dickensesque pastiche - gin loving Cockney matron of an orphanage - you'd swear it was Kathleen Harrison or someone like here, from the old black and white Dickens films. Actually, time wise, I think it's perhaps set just at the tail end of the Edwardian era, maybe between the wars even, but no matter, think of it as a homage (with French accent which I can never find on me keyboard) to 'the old days', then such distinctions don't matter.But all comes out in the wash, very dramatically so as the tale nears the end.One of the best reads for kids or adults ever, in my opinion.


Good, but does not stand alone

by mrliteral
(4/5)

While the sixth Harry Potter book is a fun read consistent in quality with its five predecessors, it is also the most dissatisfying. This has less to do with what happens in the book as what doesn't happen: we don't get a real resolution.As Book Six opens, Harry is mourning the loss of his godfather Sirius Black, Voldemort is beginning to strike more boldly at his adversaries and Severus Snape is making a promise to protect Draco Malfoy as Harry's adversary is recruited to do some malicious task for Voldemort's Death Eaters. Dumbledore, a significant yet secondary character, finally emerges fully from the background as he begins to assist in Harry's education.While a lot happens in this novel, it is not a "complete" book with a real conclusion. Instead, this book seems to serve as an extended prologue to the seventh book; everything within seems to build toward that concluding volume, one which I would guess would be the longest in the set. While nearly as good as the other books, there are times when Rowling is definitely off her game; in particular, the mystery of the Half-Blood Prince is rather anticlimactic when solved.On the other hand, for those irritated with Harry's behavior in the previous book (wherein he often acts like a sullen teenager), we get an improved Harry in this volume, by no means perfect but generally more confident and mature. However, while the other five books would rate five stars, I can only give this one four. Consider this grade an "Incomplete"; when we see the final result next book, maybe this one will seem better as it fits into the entire saga.


Did Rowling Play Fair?

by Mrs. Garside "Reader and Writer"
(4/5)

I've just read through some of these reviews. Thank goodness I'm not alone in feeling that something was a bit...off.In the book's favor, I like the shorter length. The previous two were waaay too long. The only drawback to a shorter book is, some favorite regulars are turned into day-players. We need more Professer McGonagall! (Particularly since she's the new Headmistress). I like the bouncing hormones, which we can expect in abook that is about teenagers. And it's about time that somebody said out loud that the Dursleys are lousy parents, and not just because they've always mistreated Harry.On the debit side (SPOILERS). I could have sworn that the 'Half-Blood Prince' was Voldemort. We've known about his mixed-blood since the second book (or is it the third?) When it turned out to be Snape, it felt like a bait-and-switch. And when did Snape turn so flat-out EVIL? He's always been unpleasant. I always thought this was because of guilt, and knowing he'd been stupid when he backed Voldemort before. Again, this came out of nowhere. It only works if we accept that Dumbledore is a complete idiot, which I don't. Unless, of course, this whole thing with Dumbledore was a charade for Voldemort's benefit, to make him think...never mind. We must wait for the next book.And why aren't all those nasty little Slytherins under close watch? I know-Draco wouldn't be able the smuggle the D-E's into Hogwart's if he were. This is another case of people action's serving the plot. It's supposed to be the other way around (I think that Draco should have expelled at the end of Book Four)I'm glad that Ron seems to end up with Hermione. He's been sweet on her since Book Three.Just my comments. I hope that Rowling will iron out the problems before the next one.And yes, I think that RAB is Regulus Black. Interesting Developement


"[Snape] agreed ter do it an' that was all there was to it." ADULT REVIEWER

by Nathan Crabtree "singer"
(5/5)

Obviously Hagrid is the character I quoted in my review title. I think the big question of this book in regard to the eventual outcome for the whole series is, what did Snape agree to do? There are many possible answers, and some obvious ones beginning in Chapter 2, but I think after we read Book 7, we will be surprised to find out Snape's true nature. Book 6 is certainly one of the best of the series, my second favorite after Book 3. For all the zealots who cry foul about these books, one can read into parts of it some amazing parallels to significant Christian theology (See Luke 22:42 in reference to Chapter 26, "The Cave".) Rowling also gives us an array of emotions: quite a bit of humor, exhilarating and exasperating love interests, and profound sadness. It's apparent from the way I started this review that Book 6 does a lot to set us up for the end of the series. The final battle is prepared.


Mediocre Start, Superb Ending...Mature Subject Matter

by N. Bilmes "bookaholic"
(4/5)

First, let me say that this was an entertaining book. The final 200 pages of this make for a great read with secrets revealed, action aplenty, and a great set-up for what will be the final book in the septology. The first 450 pages were entertaining, and filled with lots of characterization and romance, but were sorely lacking in thrills and action.NOTE:My 9-year old son devoured the first five books in the series earlier this year. He started to read this book and lost interest before finishing the first four chapters. "Dad, is there any fighting?" he asked. I also think the death of _______________ and the other characters' reactions to the situation would have gone right over his head. When he picks up the book again in five years to reread it, I am hopeful he will more fully appreciate Rowling's excellent handling of the characters and situations.


Wax On, Wax Off

by Neal J. Pollock
(5/5)

This book is part of a series (presumably of 7) books making it difficult to adequately review separately. The entire series is chronological. In this book, Harry is approaching his 17th birthday-the time of wizard adulthood. The characters reflect their ages, and thus their maturing processes, during the series. Up to now, Harry has been a child growing into adolescence. Thus, he's been protected in many ways though he's also had extreme trials. But now he's poised to enter adulthood in which he is no longer under another's wings. This book prepares him for that development. It also shows him how his arch enemy developed into "maturity" in a dark manner-unlike his own. Such information may prove invaluable in his future, predicted conflict with Voldemort. As usual, Ms. Rowling laces her novel with humor (I often laughed out loud), mystery (who is the Prince? Who's side is Snape really on?). While her series depicts the archetypal conflict between good and evil, she is far more subtle as well-producing a many-layered tapestry of prose. Even the Dark Lord and Draco Malfoy are shown to have shades of gray - and so does Harry. Things are not as simple as they seem. One wonders if a certain wizard had something special up his sleeve before his "untimely" departure-which doesn't at all seem untimely to me. This was necessary for Harry's development as a protagonist. Is this the Harcrux of the matter?It will be interesting to see how Rowling resolves the dichotomies in book 7 which may or may not be the end of the Harry Potter saga. I suspect from her obvious talents that it will be synergistic rather than merely climax. To my mind the most complex and interesting character is Snape. Finally, we got a bit of his history as well as Tom Riddle's. Snape is enigma incarnate. We also got a better look at Ginny who fills a void in both Harry's life and in the cast-providing teenage girls with a very different paradigm than Hermione. As with the characters, this book is a revelation of the past maturing into the present...as with adolescence, there is a marked qualitative difference in development from that of the past-which is absolutely necessary to achieve adulthood. Ms. Rowling has moved from a great storyteller into a writer of literature-though of a particular niche. But, whether you treasure this development or not, as with the prior HP books, it's a great read. Enjoy!


How can this story be wrapped up in only one more book??

by Nico1908 "NTF"
(3/5)

Just a few random thoughts on the subject:I love all the Harry Potter books and I hated the author for killing off another wonderful lead character. Without this character's help, I don't see how Harry could possibly become proficient enough in magic to destroy Lord Voldemort, even if he weakens him by destroying all his horcruxes - especially if he drops out of Hogwarts! But I guess the author will come up with some more lucky twists of wizardry and witchcraft to save Harry's neck...I would really like to know what Dumbledore's reason was for trusting Snape. Was it a mistake? Or were Snape's actions part of Dumbledore's plan?How come that in the final battle Snape could read Harry's mind without Harry noticing?And why did Dumbledore stupefy Harry? Was this also part of the plan?As I said, just some random thoughts...


I cried for some time. (possible spoiler)

by Nina Matthews
(5/5)

I just finished reading this book and I am now thoroughly depressed. I suppose I understand the reason for the death. It would be familiar to say Star Wars fans, the teacher dying so that the student will be forced to manage on his own, in doing so becoming more powerful, but I still dont like it.I did like, however, the information we have on Voldemort, although some reviewers here obviously thought it not important. Harry has to find out about Voldemort's past and what drives him to do what he does if he is going to find his weaknesses and a way to defeat him.That said, the ending is really the best part of the book. This book is not as good as the last 2, it is, as everyone keeps saying, a way to go from book 5 to book 7. I think the problem is that Harry really hasnt got that much to deal with at school. No Sorcerer's Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prizoner of Azkaban, Tri-Wizard Tasks, Rita Skeeter, Grawp, ministry hearings, DA meetings, or Umbridge to worry him this year. The only thing that would kind of fit in that category is his obsession with what Malfoy is doing, but that isnt too important until the end, and perhaps his need to capture a memory from the new Potions master. But that is really it. I suppose it can be said that this year was just less eventful than the other 5, which I suppose could happen.The other issue is the romance sprinkled throughout the book. I understand the Harry-Ginny thing I guess. I always thought that Harry should have liked her anyway. I just wonder why it happened so suddenly. I thought she might have been using a love potion because of her flowery smell that Harry rememebered from the Potions classroom, but there was nothing mentioned of that.And of course Ronermione (ron and herione ala bennifer for those who didnt get the bad joke.) I dont know why they just cant say what they are thinking, its getting to be irratating, especially since Im nearly certain one of them is going to die in the last book, they had better get a move on.Aside from that there is the Lupin-Tonks saga, sort of thrown in at the end. I dont quite know why, maybe to support the idea of love being important, but it didnt really fit. I also didnt like how they were discussing it right after finding out about Dumbledore, I thought they should have been more upset. Maybe people were starting to think that Lupin wasn't interested in women so Rowling decided to address that.My last problem, I suppose, is at the very end. Harry says he will not go back to school next year even if it is open. I guess thats not really a story problem, I just dont like the idea of him leaving school before he has taken his N.E.W.T.S. What are they going to do, wonder around searching for Horcruxes all year? That doesnt sound very promising for book 7, no Dumbledore, of course, but then no Hogwarts, or Hagrid or anything??In conclusion, although it has its pitfalls, this is a great book by most standards and it should not be passed up. I cant believe that anyone would think it is boring because, like all of the other books, I had a hard time putting it down. I am dying to know what will happen next.


Thoroughly enjoyable.

by Nina M. Osier
(5/5)

The wizarding world's turmoil is spilling over into the Muggle universe as this sixth book in the Harry Potter series opens. Sixteen-year-old Harry and his friends return to Hogwarts nevertheless, with their OWL exams behind them and their sixth year of schooling ahead. They're old enough for romance, and Harry is old enough in Dumbledore's eyes to learn some truths that the headmaster has kept from him until now. That's fortunate, because Harry soon realizes that Dumbledore - the last parent-surrogate in the orphan wizard's young life - isn't a well man. Is it old age, which comes even to wizards some day? Or is Dumbledore's clandestine role in the war against He Who Must Not Be Named exacting a terrible toll?Dark fantasy relieved by frequent jolts of Rowling humor. A bit of an overdose of adolescents making fools of themselves where the opposite gender's concerned (although I was pleased by Harry's choice of partner). A traumatic death, a dramatic betrayal, and lots of opportunities to spend time with characters we've come to love. While this book is more a setup for the final volume than a complete story by itself, I found it thoroughly enjoyable. My one complaint is that the closing pages - oddly enough - dragged. Instead of an attempt at denouement, I'd have preferred a simple: TO BE CONTINUED.Four and a half stars rounded up to five. Dare I admit that I've read it twice already?


Excellent

by Norman Strojny "retired tech-person"
(5/5)

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is the sixth book of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Harry is a more mature character in this book and spends the most time with Dumbledore that he has in any other book. Harry and Dumbledore make progress against Voldemort, but, at the same time, Voldemort seems to be gathering forces and gaining more power. Meanwhile, Harry has other things happening in his life. There are lessons to learn at Hogwarts. The Weasleys become ever more important to Harry's story. There is an interesting change of who is teaching what at Hogwarts. Quidditch continues to be a part of Harry's life. And, personal relationships develop. Meanwhile, However, Harry begins to learn more of Voldemort's past. And, Harry has yet another dangerous adventure. Unfortunately, we then come to the darkest part of the HP stories.Sorry, that is enough of that. We have left the children's stories behind. Harry must, now, be an adult as he continues to work against Voldemort.This is an excellent book. However, if you have a young person reading this, be sure to prepare your young person for the possibility of difficulties and dark times for Harry. Personally, I doubt if anyone under 16 should be reading this episode of the Harry Potter series of stories.


Time spent with old friends on a summer evening- fighting Death Eaters!

by OAKSHAMAN "oakshaman"
(5/5)

_There are few more enjoyable ways to spend a summer evening than reading the latest Harry Potter. I know that it made my summer. Of course I knew it would, since I had read the previous five volumes since nearly the very beginning of the series and had never been disappointed once._I found this installment to be as fresh and interesting as ever. However, the wonderful, unique atmosphere that we associate with Hogwarts is still there. So are all of our old, old friends. Moreover, I was worried that I would have to dig through the rest of the series to refresh my memory on certain references, but the author does a good job of jogging your memory without resorting to footnotes or repetitious retellings._Plus, there was also at least one good "twist" where she got me- I was absolutely certain that I had figured out who the "Half-Blood Prince" was- and I was wrong. However, unless she has "got" me again I think I know what the last Horcrux is....


Yeah, It's the Best One...

by Oddsfish
(5/5)

I didn't think any of the books in the series could top Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Then, I read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This first reading took place at a feverish pace, easily within the confines of a day, and upon finishing, I shut the book, shocked quite senseless. The intensity of the book had just rather numbed me. I stared at the ceiling for an hour. Then, I realized that Rowling had done it. She had (1) rebounded from the so-so fifth book, and she had (2) bested all of the other books in the series while she was at it. This sixth novel isn't plagued by the little problems that have occurred previously in the series. Harry is Harry this time. And the writing is taught. There's a good bit of it, but it's all necessary. And it's riveting. Riveting. Something's coming that's big, and the novel builds there beautifully. And the end doesn't disappoint at all. Rowling has set the bar and has set the stage. I, like just about everyone else, can't wait for the final book of the series.


Wonderful

by Packrat
(5/5)

Great audio of Ms. Rowling's work. The story kept my interest and the narration was, as always, superb. Recommed highly.


"We must try not to sink beneath our anguish, Harry, but battle on."

by Pat Shand "Pat Shand"
(5/5)

"Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" was exciting, and even more of a page-turner then the other books in the Harry Potter series. The feeling of suspense never dies, and Quidditch is at a minimum, which is always good. The climax is nerve-wracking and dream-like, but never confusing. Every douse of excitement injected into this story was executed masterfully, proving beyond any reasonable doubt that J. K. Rowling is the Queen of fiction.This book is touching--every little storyline intricately woven into this tale creates within the reader a deep care for even the lesser characters, and a undying friendship with the bigger characters. The love stories in this book are not overboard, as some people say, but tasteful and no where near overkill. Sadly, we also knew that a death was coming--the most tragic one yet. The death of this character (whom I will not mention) is the biggest tear jerker of the series, and I wouldn't be surprised if my copy of Half Blood Prince is now as tear stained as a letter from the weeping Hagrid.J. K. Rowling has also created three classic characters, other then the perfect trio of Harry, Ron, and Hermione:Dumbledore is classic, original, and the greatest "old, wise wizard" character of all time. He speaks with wisdom, light-heartedness, and sincerity above all the other characters.Snape is rude, tortured, and the most complex character of the entire series. We STILL don't know what motivates him, and where his true loyalty lies.Voldemort is the direct opposite of Dumbledore, and serves as the most fear-enticing villain I've ever read.Simply, no other current series can compare to Harry Potter, and this is the best book of the series. Believe the hype.10/10 Classic.


a prince of a story

by Patti "PattisPages"
(4/5)

The movie based on the sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, is coming out this year. Start with this book if you've already seen the other movies and don't want to read the first five. This is the penultimate in J. K. Rowling's series, and it continues with some of the same themes as the previous volumes as it builds to the conclusion in the seventh book. As she says, seven is a magical number, and it also figures into the plot of Half-Blood Prince, named for the unknown former owner of Harry's Potions textbook. The Prince's handwritten margin notes help Harry out on more than one occasion and not just in his school work. Half-Blood Prince answers a few nagging questions, such as why Voldemort thinks he's immortal and why the Defense Against the Dark Arts teaching position is a revolving door. It also seems to settle the matter of Snape's allegiance, but I'm reserving judgment until I've completed the series.


Bar none the best book of the series.

by Paul A. Wunderlich "Tread softly..."
(5/5)

This is the book I enjoyed the most of the series. The action this book offers is vivid, intense, and gripping. When comparing this book to the others I read from the series, this was the most appealing to my interest regarding action and adventure. The whole plot is very intriguing and surely, kept me turning the pages. The whole series is amazing, I just happened to enjoy this one the most.


An Uncanny Mirroring of the Muggle World

by Paul
(5/5)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ( hereafter HBP) is a book which arrives with startling, unintentional, ironic timing: Terrorists are attacking the Wizarding world, just as terrorists are in our world. Those on both sides of the political debate will find succor: Liberals will point to those who are kept prisoner for morale purposes; Conservatives will point to the repeatedly stressed need to defeat evil despite the losses which might be sustained.Ms. Rowling takes neither side, marching forward with a message of honesty in standing up to evil, the potential for redemption and the powerful magic called love.HBP spans 652 pages of print, in 30 chapters of danger, darkness, comedy, love and excitement. Far and away the most adult of her books, she continues to successfully age her characters: 16-year olds can be snarky at times, and she shows it here. Darker by far than even "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" we are treated to a number of revelations, masterful literary slight-of-hand and a tale which ends in death, treason, tragedy, yet with a maturation of character and a growth of determination and resolve.There's more than enough here to warrant several readings to fully ensure that the reader has unpeeled all the layers Ms. Rowling has created in her story:We start off in a place we've yet to see: The office of the Prime Minister of the Muggles.There's a new Minister of Magic. Harry quickly departs from the Dursley residence, and gains an unwanted inheritance.The Wizarding World now knows that Harry was telling the truth all this time and there's an impact upon him as such. There's a new captain for Gryffindor's Quidditch team. Harry receives unknowing aid from someone known as "The Half-Blood Prince" who was once at Hogwarts. Another year, and another new instructor, in this case an interesting person by the name of Professor Slughorn. Harry and Draco's enmity reaches new levels, with Harry convinced that Draco is up to something.There are romantic resolutions (with one book left to go, the end fate of those resolutions is yet to be determined) for Harry, Hermione and Ron, as well as a surprise or two for other characters.And, yes, a major character dies (along with some minor characters we've met before, not necessarily at the same time.Some familiar faces from prior books will reappear: Lupin, Luna, Ginny, Neville, Mundungus, Fudge, Percy, Fleur, and Tonks, to say nothing of the usual mob of Weasley's, a family which will have its share of adventures this year, including some they'd rather not have had.Reading this book, I can't help but feel that Ms. Rowling had an eye out for the fanfiction writers, giving them plenty of new material to take and run with on their own.This is a book which answers a lot of questions, yet leaves us with at least as many questions as at the end of Book 5. Further, questions which we think may have been answered might yet turn out to be trick questions, or at least far more complicated than they appear, for Ms. Rowling is a master of misdirection. And the new questions are simply huge in significance.The dark tone of this book might be difficult on some of the youngest fans of the Potter series, so parents should keep that in mind; this isn't the same level of danger that Harry faced in Book 1. Bad things happen to good people, some of it "on camera" as it were, other incidents which are merely referenced( news story of a 9-year old who attempts to kill his grandparents; parents and family members of students dying, includoing one as young as 5).Still, the darker tone is appropriate, (we are talking about a series which starts with the attempted murder of a 1-year old) and recalls the needed transition in other series, including C.S. Lewis's Narnia saga, and, of course, The Lord of The Rings, naming just a few. It is to Ms. Rowling's credit that she has, again successfully met the challenge of writing for the age group, and above, which Harry belongs to for each of her novels. This is a great book, one which doesn't pull its punches. Yet despite all the darkness in this book, there's a message that life, humor and love, do go on.There is just one unsatisfying issue I have with this book: The wait until the release of Book 7.


Building up to fantastic finale

by Phome "phome"
(4/5)

What struck me most about this sixth volume of Harry Potter was its ending (I won't give it away here, don't worry). As Harry gets older, and Voldemort gets stronger, each book in the series has become a bit more dark. We are no closer to solving the mystery, but we get a few more clues and a bit more insight into the things Harry Potter just couldn't possibly know. Harry's growth through his teens is linked to his growing understanding of the issues at hand, and its serious implications for both the Wizard and Muggle worlds.Rowling paints a complex picture. In each book, more elements come into play and this one is no exception. Some characters seem to be getting what they want most out of life - Professor Snape finally gets to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts. We ask ourselves why Dumbledore would allow this after resisting Snape's request to teach this class for so many years. What has changed Dumbledore's mind?And Harry does not learn most of his new tricks and magic in the DADA class this year. Instead, the new Potions professor unwittingly hands him a precious treasure and a deadly weapon. The question is, does Harry really know what he's getting into?Even Draco is not entirely himself this year. Always up to no good, he seems to have lost his enthusiasm for school and is moving towards bigger (but perhaps not better) things. It's to be expected that Draco would be a bit weird - after all, his father is in Azkaban.Of course, some things never change. The Weasley twins have made an enterprise out of their passion for sick jokes. Ron and Hermione still pretend they don't care for each other. And Harry's responsibilities towards Quidditch are now tremendous. With all that's going on around them, it's surprising the teenagers have time to live a normal life.Rowling's talent for writing, and her skill at combining a multi-layered mystery with fantasy are more evident than ever in this book. It would be difficult not to finish *The Half Blood Prince* in one sitting.


Three and a half-stars, actually!

by P. M Simon "El Simon Asombroso"
(4/5)

Fans of the Harry Potter series, whether rabid or mild, will have to go out and get this latest installment and enjoy it! I pre-ordered from our friends here at Amazon and had the book in my mailbox on the morning of the 16th instead of waiting at midnight in an icy rain as one reviewer did. I don't think that dimished my appreciation of this, the best of the series thus far.The Half-Blood Prince is the most sophisticated and dark of the series to date. As Harry, Ron, Hermione and other characters grow up, the plots get longer and a lot of the youthful wonder is replaced with brooding atmosphere and dark plot twists. For instance, one notable character dies in this volume.This installment misses a bit of charming youthful allure, but the more powerful plot lines make up for it. Starting off with a harassed Tony Blair interacting with a harassed Cornelius Fudge, the book is full of omens and portents. But, of course, it still centers on Harry and Hogwart's and, as ever, progresses through the academic year and introduces a new "defense against the dark arts" teacher.A star and a half off-the top because the plot is a bit predictable and the book is just too long. It's cumbersome and has grown to a length that should be reserved for classics like Atlas Shrugged or War and Peace. Otherwise, it's not a bad summer reading selection and is more adult than the previous volumes.


Enticing and exciting

by PolarisDiB "dibness"
(5/5)

Harry Potter, as it were, is a series best described by having its "up and downs." If J.K. Rowling can be praised for anything, it's that she is capable of bringing along her audience into the exact same mood as Harry's in, which overall makes us relate, and then care about the adventures contained therein.Still, I found the previous two books, The Cauldron of Fire and The Order of Phoenix, to be relatively lacking as compared to what had been previously set into motion with my since-favorite part of the series, The Prisoner of Azkaban. The only thing that held my interest, in fact, through the next too books was the slowly steadying grip of darkness that I was proud a public-considered "Children's" author didn't hesitate to include. However, with the death of Sirius Black in the previous book, and the ever-deepening feeling of a sort of repeated structure to all the books, I feared the last two upcoming books in the series would not be worth the time.However, J.K. Rowling has changed a few things about her style in this new addition, and overall I'm pleased. First of all, Harry no longer seems innocent, and doesn't waste time being amazed by the new world around him. Rowling has also included a new sort of political allegory to her series which really helps strengthen her world and makes the book interesting and significant. And finally, the audience is introduced to Lord Voldemort in a much better and illustrative way, changing him from a shadow largely too abstract to a more concrete reality: a man with a history, and a history that matters to know. These additions change enough of the structure to make the book fresh, and overall, more intimate... which also causes it to be darker, as a lot of readers have now seen.Also, the end of the book holds a lot more promise than the previous books. In all the previous books, Harry goes back to the Dursleys and it's to be the next year starting all over again. With the ending of this book, the uncertainty is such that no longer do we depend on the same return to beginning that we've had in all the previous books (a situation that largely was starting to make me feel the series was getting tedious). Now, the next book can take us anywhere... and since it's to be the last, it's all the more exciting for the new ground that's been opened up to cover.Overall, I'm very happy with the widening world this book begins to touch on, and promises to explore. For once I feel enthusiastic about the next book in the series. Finally, I'm glad to have realized that now I actually have to debate with myself what's the best book in the series... this, or my long-term champion, Prisoner. The debate won't be satisfied until the end of the series.--PolarisDiB


Another slightly disappointed adult fan...

by PonyExpress
(3/5)

I'm not in the least "ashamed" of reading a book that absolutely IS written for the children's section(unlike some others, including the author herself, I can't agree that--even if I can and do enjoy the HP books--these are NOT written with no particular age group in mind-rubbish. They're obviously based on a very old and formulaic model, the british school series a la "Malory Towers", etc., albeit with magic thrown in-and what magic! Best things about all of them. They are not anything like as deep or age-spanning as the Narnian Books, or Lloyd Alexander's, or Ursula LeGuin's, or E. Nesbit's).But the fact is that Rowling's talent lies in her invention, not, alas, in her character development and plotting. It's a rather big failing that she hasn't perhaps had proper time to address in the last several years of fast writing. As a result, the little things that were just eye-rollers in books 1-5 become more annoying in 6: Ron & Hermoine's sniping, Snape's and Malfoy's outrageously horrible behaviour towards other students, the name-dropping of various characters and places and catchphrases that every kid and most adults on earth have become overfamiliar with, etc.etc.--all these have become a rather largish pain the arse. For instance I counted no less than 3 times where Ron and/or Harry "choked" on their food(stuffed in their mouths in a way I'd buy in an 11 year old, NOT a 16 year old!)because Hermoine read aloud a seemingly "alarming" squib in the Daily Prophet to them(don't these boys ever read??); Way, WAY too much "telling/not showing" as in people saying things "angrily", "furiously" etc. etc. amongst other incredibly redundant devices...the weirdly creepy way she chose to make metaphorical Harry's crush on a girl as a "roaring beast" in his chest(!)...the fact, noticed by many others here, that Harry is a frankly lousy wizard compared to Hermoine and others; Harry's continued insistence that HE knows the TRUTH, and of course even though he's been through untold adventures with his friends, who've seen Draco try to KILL him on a couple of occasions--suddenly, for the purposes of PLOT--they don't believe him for a minute...and on and on. I also felt, strangely but strongly, that for a female writer Rowling really writes as though she were a fusty old male misogynist. She actually has as many negative, stupid images of "silly", stereotyped girls and horrible, evil decadent witches in her writing as C.S. Lewis, a man born in 1900 who was a famous old chauvinist...come ON! There's just loads of things that unfortunately show up how hollow the character development and plotting is in this series. The best parts--imho the things that set her apart and make her work memorable--is her descriptive imagination, not her writing ability. There's less of the former on show here, resulting in a less satisfying read.


Magical!

by P. Robinson "Relic113"
(5/5)

I am really impressed with this series. Usually i read "Grown up" fantasy books like Jordan, Goodkind and GRR Martin - but Harry Potter has certainly been an appreciated diversion. Its been so long sine I was a child and believed in magic but J.K. Rowlings brings me back to that more innocent time. I am not going to review the plot - there are over 1500 reviews for that - I just wanted to Thank Mrs. Rowling's for doing something that should have been done a long time ago. It may sound kind of strange - but i almost feel like i have attended Hogwarts. As i read these books i was in a new city away from my friends and going to law school. I know its not quite the same... but anyone who has ever studied law knows that there is a lot of strange words [usually Latin] and scary professors galore. I swear my administrative law professor is the spitting image of professor Umbridge, and my contracts prof. is Snape re-incarnated... Maybe its just how great of storyteller Rowlings is that makes me believe...Thankfully, soon I will be done law school, but sadly, someday, this series will come to an end.I highly suggest reading it - the first book is almost a children's book, but they grow darker as time goes on. [not unlike real life]Anyone who reads fantasy and does not read these books is a disgrace to the genre. I place this series with Tolkien, Dragonlance, and the Song of Ice and Fire.Thanks Mrs. Rowlings! And Thanks Harry!Relic113


The best-written of the HP books

by Rachel
(5/5)

(Contains spoilers from earlier books in series)The Ministry of Magic has finally admitted that Voldemort has returned, and Dumbledore has returned as Hogwarts Headmaster. Furthermore, Dumbledore has realized that it was a huge mistake to leave Harry in the dark for so long. He and Harry become much closer in Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts, as Dumbledore reveals much of what he knows of Voldemort's history and motivations to Harry. Harry is also kept busy with his new obsession that Draco Malfoy is up to new levels of "no good." Ron and Hermione poo-poo his suspicions and keep themselves busy with escalating romantic tension.Altogether, this book has a LOT going on, yet it's more compact than the previous two books. Overall, I think this is Rowling's best written book in the series, even if my favorites are the first four. I really enjoyed this re-read of the 6th book in the Harry Potter series - it's only my second time reading this book, and I had forgotten a lot of it. The romantic tension between Ron and Hermione is my favorite part of the book, since it'd been building for SO long and was finally let loose terrifically.Jim Dale's reading, as usual, is excellent. It took some getting used to, but after the first or second book it really grew on me. I know all his voices for the characters, and that really ads to my enjoyment of the story.


The unexpected end.

by Randy Cook
(4/5)

The world of Harry Potter was thrown into disarray in 'The Order of the Pheonix', when the Ministry is attacked and a character close to Harry is lost. Now the plot grows thicker as more questions arise about the true loyalty of Professor Snape.This books continues to the exciting adventures of Harry Potter and his friends as they try to deal with Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Since the battle in the Ministry the wizarding world has acknowledged that the Dark Lord has returned and everyone is worried for their safety. At Hogwarts security has been tightened and there is a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher and Potions teacher to deal with. Harry must also handle the relationship as he and his friends are growing up.Harry learns more and more about Tom Riddle through private lessons with Dunbledore and the reader sees the plots thickening and converging. The books leaves the reader hanging with a shocking ending that leaves Harry's world upside down.I found this installment of the series to be very good and gripping. Events that took place in the preceding five books are picked up in this story and with only one book remaining it will be interesting to see how Rowling completes this wonderful tale.If you have been reading the Harry Potter series this book will not let you down.


Harry The Teenager ..

by rannoon
(4/5)

I have to say that Rowling has great imagination and what started with an 11 year old wizard with all the fun that magic can bring has matured and is ready to face the unavoidable! You see Harry more developed as a character, a wizard trying to become the leader and face his destiny, a teenager with mixed and confusing feelings.The book is the thread that weaves together all the pieces from all 5 books, the truth behind Harry Potter and Tom Riddle. It is definitely darker and more mysterious than the others. It also reveals how immature Rowling, the writer, is. It is told with the same style of an actual story -telling. You proabbly won't feel that because of the uncanny events and revelations throughout the book.I definitely enjoyed the story, some parts were really dark and evil. Rowling somehow prepares you to that darker side of the story and while reading you anticipate something sad and evil to happen which leads to that climatic end where Harry is once again lavished with love and strength.


Only one word is needed...

by RCM "beckahi"
(5/5)

...and that is excellent, but I'll say more. The sixth installment of the Harry Potter series is perhaps the best in the series by far. Readers will encounter an older and more mature Harry than they glimpsed in the fifth book. Truly, one is left wondering where Rowling can go after reading "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince".Returning to Hogwarts for his sixth year, Harry and his friends are constantly aware of the outside world. War against the Dark Lord is raging; it is even disturbing the Muggle world. Harry has been christened the 'Chosen One' and must once again endure the stares and taunts that greeted him as a first year at Hogwarts. He is also still reeling from the death of his godfather at the hands of the Death Eaters. As if that weren't enough, he must deal with fights amongst his closest friends, learn how to Apparate and try to figure out what Draco Malfoy is really up to when he disappears for great lengths of time. Nothing can be taken for granted anymore, and Harry receives extra help from Albus Dumbledore as they search through Lord Voldemort's past to try to find out the secrets (and perhaps the vulnerabilities) of his power."Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is extremely well-written (as all of the Potter novels have been) and flows effortlessly from beginning to end. Readers are taken on a sometimes wild and often heart-breaking ride through Harry's triumphs and turmoils as the times grow darker all around him. Rowling has once again done a superb job in creating a cliffhanger of an ending, leaving the reader thirsting for more, even if that means that everything will end once it arrives. However, no one will ever truly be able to leave the world of Harry Potter behind once his tale has come to a close.


HARRY POTTER IS MY LIFE!!!

by ReadingIsMyLife
(5/5)

YES, HARRY POTTER IS MY LIFE. FAVORITE BOOK, FAVORITE MOVIE, FAVORITE STORY. Enough said. I have read them quite a long time ago, I just never had a chance to write a review about them so here it is.


So far, So Great! Short and Sweet Review.

by Renfield "Up the Irons"
(5/5)

I got the book today, which FIRST OF ALL is the day that this book came out. And I'm Only halfway through but this book is a GREAT addition to the series!STORY: It is a misty day in Privet Drive. And HP is waiting in his bedroom for Proffesser (Mind my spelling) Albus Dumbleore. Then he gets off to a weird start in Hogwarts.THOUGHTS: EXCELLENT! I'm Only half way thru but I am loving this book. It's all graet!So I suggest you buy this book! NOW! Don't just sit there staring at computer screen expecting for more!


Mysteries a-plenty -- maybe a few too many

by Rich Stoehr "Idle Rich"
(4/5)

This is the sixth volume of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, and for those who've read the previous five books, both her strengths and weaknesses as an author should be familiar territory. In general terms, not much is different about this book, so diehard fans will likely be pleased while critics will still have much to say against it.I find myself somewhere in the middle. Though I think "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" was my favorite, I've enjoyed each of the Harry Potter books, including this one. I really appreciate how Rowling creates characters that you can identify with and feel for. Most of her characters aren't cardboard cutouts, but careful portraits with depth and a sense of someone who could almost leap off the page. Her stories are increasingly intricate, involving more and more of the world outside Hogwarts (though she did seem to pull back from that a little in this book) and sub-plots abound. Her sense of humour is as present here as it ever was, with lots of little details that, while not adding much to the overall story, are very amusing in themselves. And her imagination, as always, is in high evidence here, suffusing the book with a sense of wonder that's good for all ages.Oddly enough, some of these strengths also lead to the weaknesses, when overplayed or used poorly. Her usually-strong characters make it easier to see the ones she has put there just to cast away again...these are the people who we don't get to know as well, whose motivations don't matter because they won't be around for too long, for one reason or another. The intricacy of the story has led to a lot of dead ends, and this is the case more and more as the series continues. If it's intentional, then it means Rowling is throwing out a lot of red herrings, and if it's not, it means she's going down a lot of blind alleys and we're following blithely along, the blind leading the blind. I started feeling this way about the fourth book, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," where the plots started to feel a bit too thick, the sidetracks many and without much point. The fifth book had even more times like this, whole chapters it seemed, so much so that I had a hard time getting through the book. And the same is true of this book. There are 200 pages or so right in the middle where some things are happening, but much of it is repititious of what has come before and not at all needed to further the story. Rowling still hasn't learned the lesson that, often, less is more. Quite the opposite, she seems to be packing each succeeding volume with more and more needless detail, while I'd rather she skipped the third or fourth description of two characters snogging in the common room and moved on with the story. It's funny, but it does get tiresome, and it doesn't serve the overall plot thread at all.Still, there's much here to enjoy, and the last 200 pages (where everything starts to happen in all of her books) make me want to keep reading. In this book, Harry learns a lot more about Voldemort, as he and Dumbledore join forces more than they ever have to get to the bottom of the Dark Lord's rise to power and to try to discover a weakness. Mysteries abound; a new and surprising Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is chosen, Harry learns the effect of strange new spells like Sectumsempra and Levicorpus, the discovery of what a Horcrux is leads Dumbledore and Harry closer to Voldemort's nature, and of course, the identity of the Half-Blood Prince is sought. By the end of this book, some things are resolved but much work remains for Harry, the future of Hogwarts is hazy, and clearly things are drawing to a close, one way or another.Another thing Rowling does well: she really knows how to leave her readers wanting more. At the end of each book, I am anxious to read the next one, and "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is no exception. Obviously, much of the sixth book exists to set things up for the seventh, and final, book in ther series. It should be, to say the least, interesting.


Darkly, Richly Satisfying

by Ricky Hunter
(5/5)

The only trouble with the Harry Potter series is the long wait between books and that problem will be magnified between Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and the seventh and final book. J.K. Rowling has ended this newest book in such an exciting and dramatic fashion that it is both richly satisfying while still leaving many unanswered questions. The new characters are interesting as always if not quite up to the level of the previous books. The romance quotient is bumped up a notch for many of the characters, which is appropriate and handled well. But the best thing about the newest Potter book is the driving speed of the narrative and the creeping sensation of darkness overwhelming everything. Rowling keeps up this sense in clever ways even during what would have been ostensibly brighter moments. A real treat.


Political allegory in fantasy fiction. Welllllll.........

by R. L. MILLER
(3/5)

...it's like this. All politics are by their very nature ephemeral. The issues they address pass with time until they disappear altogether. Are people going to even know what you're alluding to once a few generations have passed? And there's some very heavy politcal struggles going on here. In the wizarding world, the last book ("Order Of the Phoenix") saw as head of the Sorcery State one of those smug head-in-the-sand types who was a political opponent of Albus Dumbledore (who preferred being an educator over politics anyway). Now thar's a new sheriff in town in the form of Rufus Scrimgeour, who tries to lock up everybody he sees as being Death-Eaters, whether or not there's prima facie evidence against them, kind of like Joe McCarthy with a magic wand. And he can't stand Dumbledore either--in his first man-to-man talk with Harry, he accuses him of allying himself with Dumbledore and Harry doesn't deny it. This book gets its title from when Hogwarts whips a surprise course on Harry that he hasn't even had time to pick up the textbooks for. No matter--sez Dumbledore--we've got some used ones kicking around. And so Harry gets this book that has some very helpful notes in the margins from a previous owner who calls himself the Half Blood Prince. One other political strain that has run over several volumes is the prejudice "full blooded" witches and wizards have against those who aren't. They call the mongrel-types and the "nouveau-magique" like Hermione, who's the first known member of her family to have magical powers. The term the purists use is "mudblood", which sounds suspiciously like the way neo-nazis use the term "mud-people" here in America.But like I said earlier, if you're going to toss in a lot of sly social commentary, you'd better make sure it's not too central to your story, or people who read your book a long time after you're dead and gone won't know what you are talking about. When I was little, I didn't know that Winnie the Pooh's name was based on his creator's low opinion of Churchill. We just thought the word "poo", which was a staple of babytalk profanity, and we giggled. When I read the book "Black Beauty", there was a passage about a little girl coming home in tears from being bullied and called a "blue ragamuffin". Much later, I found that it was a reference to a political party in England that existed when the book was written. I hadn't known that when I read it--I thought that was the color of the dress the little girl was wearing.That's the problem with putting any political commentary based on contemporary issues in your book--if people are going to read it several generations hence, who's gonna know what you're talking about?


A worthy continuation....

by Robert Busko
(5/5)

Having read the series to this point I was worried that J. K. Rowling would lose her way in book 6 and book 7. Based on what I read in The Half-Blood Prince (book 6) my worry and concern was wasted. Rowling does a masterful job in moving the storyline along. She continues to weave the story and characters into a spell binding story, and sets us up for book 7 which I believe will be a worthy capstone to this record breaking series. Rowling has truly set a high mark not just for children's literature, but for the craft of storytelling in general.Harry is older, wiser, and less troublesome than he was in book 5. Hermione, Ron, Ginny, and the rest of the cast are present. There have been some changes but you'll see those for yourselves if you invest the time to read the book. At 652 pages, The Half-Blood Prince will take a while to read, but the time you invest will be well worth it. I'm still in awe of the world Rowling has created. The small details of that world that she shares with the reader are still amazing to me.The only negative I can see, and this is a weak one, is that book 6 is not a stand alone read. There are constant references to previous books in the series. I can't help but feel that any reader who picks up this book before reading the first 5 will be somewhat lost. At the very least the references to previous events will be lost on the newcomer.The Half-Blood Prince is a terrific read. Get a copy and enjoy.


Amazing!

by romevi
(5/5)

Without providing any spoilers, writing a review for this book might prove difficult considering all the new information this latest edition provides.But continuing with the series, Rowling seems to break and make her audience with this book, but makes it all the more interesting. Remaining with her great writing skills and captivating moments, the author does a great job moving the story along. Great read from beginning to end.But if you haven't read any of the books before, do NOT start with this one! Begin from the first, working your way to the last. Every word and time taken is worth the wait to the last page of this book! Highly recommended!


Want another treat? Listen to the CD

by R S Cobblestone
(5/5)

Enough said about the storyline. This is a quick review of the CD. If you've read the book, treat yourself to listening to the CD. Read by Jim Dale, you will be entertained by the voices of all your favorite characters. Jim Dale really has a talent for coming up with different accents to match the characters.It is like reading another book!Here is a caution, however. If listening when you are driving, you may find yourself sitting in the driveway, just listening. Warn your family that you are not avoiding them!


Good, but not up to the rest of the series

by R. Stone
(3/5)

B. Capossere wrote: "At the least, book six in the Harry Potter series does what it needs to: it moves the characters along in their personal and magical development; it fills in some previous gaps of knowledge; especially with regard to Voldemort's past; it continues to raise the level of urgency and danger as previous books have, it adds a few more mysteries/cliffhangers; and it ends with a clear pointing toward a final climactic battle. The problem, though, is that the book does the least one would expect and no more."I have to agree with that assessment 100%. The book was uninspired and felt rushed. I would rather Ms. Rowling take her time and craft the story to perfection, as she did with the earlier books (particularly books 4 and 5), than meet her production deadline with a mediocre manuscript.


Yes!

by Ryanne
(4/5)

Harry Potter #6, though possibly better than other books in the series, this book didn't quite make my favorite's list. The plot was exciting, however less engaging and the emotional struggles were less moving than one might expect them to have been.Rowling gives readers a better look at many changes in characters, but most of these glimpses I found disappointing.I’ve had six books now to build up these complaints, so please don’t read too much into it. I still love the series, I enjoyed this book and I’ve already started on book seven. The plot and character dramas were interesting and exciting and it is definitely a series that I would recommend!


Just some random thoughts

by Sam Harper
(2/5)

This book really has no plot. There's nothing through the body of the book that reaches any climax. There are no surprises. The climax includes Dumbledore and Harry going to find one of seven pieces of Tom Riddle's soul, then coming back and having Dumbledore be killed by Snape. That was weak, because Harry had already destroyed one, and Dumbledore destroyed another which is not narrated. How can destroying one more out of seven possibly be the climax of a whole book, especially when the body of the book hardly builds up to it?I have a hard time believing Dumbledore to be so inept a wizard as he was in his final minutes, even if he was sick. He told Malfoy he was completely defenseless, because he had no wand. Does Dumbledore, the greatest wizard alive, really need a wand to do magic? Both Harry Potter and Voldemort were doing magic before they even knew they were wizards, much less had wands!The whole thing is too predictable. The title is called "Half Blood Prince." Snape is the main character in the first chapter. Snape has been the potions master for years. Harry gets to borrow a teacher's copy of his potions book, and it's full of notes from "The Half Blood Prince." The only reason I thought it was NOT Snape is because that would've been too obvious. But it WAS Snape! Good grief!I did not cry when Dumbledore was killed. I cried when Cedric Diggory died. I cried when Harry saw his parents come out of Voldemort's wand. I even got a little choked up when Serius Black was killed. I should've cried when Dumbledore died. He was much more significant than all these other people.I entertained the idea that Dumbledore had faked his death with the help of Snape. The death just seemed too pointless and anticlimactic otherwise. Also, Dumbledore being hurled in the air made no sense. Dumbledore freezing Harry made no sense either. There's a couple of holes in the theory, though. First, several people saw Dumbledore's body. Second, and more importantly, Fawkes seemed to think Dumbledore was dead. If Dumbledore faked his death, do you really think Fawkes was fooled, too?I think the only reason several people have thought Dumbledore faked is death is because we just can't believe that Rowling did that bad of a job with this book. We're forced to dream up a more interesting plot behind the book, because Rowling failed to provide one herself.Unlike most reviewers, I found some of the boy/girl stuff to be the best stuff in the book. I especially found Harry's inner thoughts about Ginny and Ron to be good, most especially because I could relate so well with it. Those are exactly the same kinds of thoughts I have in similar situations, and Rowling articulated them much better than I could have. Of course I wasn't that impressed with how Harry and Ginny finally ended up together, but Ron's reaction was pretty realistic.Despite the fact that this was the worst book of the series so far, I still very much enjoyed it. I'm hoping Rowling doesn't dissapoint us with the seventh book.


Customer review #3,485

by S. A. W.
(5/5)

The Wizarding world may be at war, but within the safety of Hogwarts, the students enjoy a life of peaceful safety where their biggest worries are homework and hormones. After the drama and trauma of Books 4 and 5, The Half Blood Prince provides a bit of welcome respite. There is time for Harry and Dumbledore to explore Voldemort's backstory, time for Harry to fall in love and enjoy one last (relatively) carefree year. But, like the calm in the hurricane's eye, the peace is short-lived and soon the fierce winds of evil and betrayal strike at the very heart of Hogwarts.I found this to be, without question, the best book in the series so far. Despite its 650+ pages, it is a fast read, and it does an excellent job in setting the stage for the final showdown between Voldemort and Harry. The first chapter of the book, which shows the intersection of the Wizard and Muggle worlds at the political level, is sheer brilliance.


Like a fine wine...

by scott89119 "scott89119"
(4/5)

...the Harry Potter books have grown, matured, and heightened in complexity. While the first three books did a good job at setting up the epic story of Harry Potter's adventures in Hogwarts, from book four on the story took a dramatic shift, and has since become a much richer reading experience full of subplots, deception, speculations, and death. This is never more apparent than in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," the last installment of the series that propels it from a children's series to bona-fide fine literature. It is actually quiet a complex read; you have to have a healthy knowledge of the previous stories to understand the character's motivations, desires, and the overall nuances that allude to the events in prior books. As a stand-alone book, HPatHBP isn't as strong as Goblet of Fire; like Lord of the Rings' "The Two Towers" this is very much a middle book, wholly written to set up the myriad of pieces that will be explained by the next (assuredly) mammoth book. And like TTT it ends on a very dark, mysterious note. Rowling does a great job here though, and keeps the series going on all four cylinders as our time at Hogwarts nears its end. There are no clear answers here, only an excellent continuation of the increasingly absorbing story that is bound to get a lot worse for little Harry before it gets better.


Another great novel in the Harry Potter series

by Scott
(5/5)

I waited a few months after this came out before reading it, and after finishing it, couldn't believe I had waited so long. I was left with that feeling I always have after finishing a Harry Potter book, one of longing until the next one comes out and trying to get my hands on every bit of Harry Potter information I could."The Half-Blood Prince" is an excellent book, however if I had to grade it against the other Harry Potter books, I probably would have given it four stars. The book simply lacks much of the excitement and suspense of the previous novels, such as "Goblet of Fire." The book starts off a bit slow, and it's not until the last 75 pages or so that Rowling really takes off and starts to create some suspense. Between then we're left with the usual Harry Potter fare: Draco hates Harry, Snape hates Harry, Harry doesn't trust Snape, Hermione goes to the library a lot, etc etc. When this book is made into a film, I can see the first half of it being rather boring. However in terms of the Harry Potter series, much of this is necessary because the majority of what happens in the book is providing background and setting the reader up for the final novel in the series. The reader is given a LOT of information on the characters that we didn't know more, especially Voldemort's past.As a stand-alone book, "Half-Blood Prince" could have used a little more action. Although I didn't find myself gasping out loud or staying up late because I couldn't stop reading it like I did with previous books, it was a great story and provides useful information for what's sure to be an incredible climax to Ms. Rowling's adventures with Harry. Potter fans shouldn't be disappointed.


The Maturation of Harry Potter and a Looming Destiny

by Scott Schiefelbein
(5/5)

J.K. Rowling's sixth entry in the beloved Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," is hard-edged, somber, and a perfect set-up for the climactic Book 7.Book Six is a novel of major transitions for Harry as he rapidly approaches his seventeenth birthday, 17 being the age of adulthood in the wizarding world. Harry has largely outgrown his earlier passions of Quidditch (even though he's team Captain), and the question of who wins the House Cup isn't even an afterthought. True, Harry struggles to master his inner "beast," which rages every time he spies Ginny Weasley holding hands with her boyfriend Dean, but even the trials and tribulations of young love can't distract Harry for long . . .For Voldemort is waiting.The wizarding world has been forced to acknowledge that the Dark Lord has returned, and that Harry was right all along in Book 5. Magical war has erupted, and even Muggles are being killed -- giving Rowling the opportunity to write one of her best chapters ever, where the Muggle Prime Minister of England has an unexpected meeting with Minister Fudge.In this time of war, Dumbledore steps up his pursuit of Voldemort, and he enlists Harry as his right hand. Through several flashbacks using the Pensieve, Dumbledore and Harry learn more and more about how the young Tom Riddle evolved into the evil master he became, and the dark, evil steps he took to ensure his immortality. Although the flashbacks aren't the most dramatic scenes ever (after all, nothing *new* is going to happen), they do impart a bunch of important information that makes the entire storyline much deeper and richer. Just as "The Empire Strikes Back" was vital to the "Star Wars" series by explaining Darth Vader's relationship with Luke, "The Half-Blood Prince" is essential for explaining just who this dastardly villain is and where he came from, and how he and Dumbledore came to hate each other so fiercely.Still, Harry is a student and must go to class. He receives unexpected help from the titular "Half-Blood Prince," through an old potions book. Harry's academic success is a wee problem for Hermione Granger, as her spot atop the academic pedestal is challenged for the first time . . . and Hermione is already on edge, what with Ron Weasley "snogging" another gal with alarming frequency.And just what is that spoiled prat Malfoy up to anyway? No good, to be sure . . .As you can see, Rowling has a lot of balls up in the air with this novel, and she keeps them flying fast and furious. Avoid all spoilers -- the twists and turns of this book may not be entirely unexpected, but you should let Rowling spin her tale for you rather than getting a cheap summary from somewhere else.Fans of Harry Potter have probably already read this novel (more than once). If you're late to the Harry Potter series, rest assured that the light-hearted kids' books have matured into darker fare, and if you're over 30 you won't feel quite so silly reading a "kid's book" if you're caught with this one on the Stairmaster at the gym. (Of course, these books do not stand alone - you must read the other five first. Trust me, it ain't a chore!)Rowling has done something amazing by spinning this series out over so many books and keeping it fresh and vibrant. Here's to Book 7 and the final battle of good versus evil! Long live Harry!


the best of the series.

by Sean
(5/5)

In my opinion The Half Blood Prince is the best Harry Potter book. The way JK crafts Dumbledore's dreams in the pensieve are engrossing and vivid to the point of perfection. The glimpses of Voldemorts childhood and subsequent rise to power are a stand out memory from the entire series. I make that statement as someone who has not read any of the books in years. Also it is the only volume where Dumbledore is not just presented as the wise-old-man-who-can-solove-anything character.


I heart Harry Potter

by Skippy McGee
(5/5)

I admit it. I love Harry Potter. Every four years or so I suddenly go into Harry Potter mode and lock myself up for a day so I can devour the latest book. And I was not disappointed. These aren't kids books anymore folks. The latest Harry Potter is the darkest and most emotional of all. I was hooked from word one. After getting it at the Borders late night, I was up for three hours. Then I told everyone not to disturb me in the car until I had finished as we began our family vacation. If you're looking for a well written easy read, Harry Potter is a good choice. The characters are well developed, the plot has plenty of twists and turns, and happily, Harry has managed to leave his teeange angst in the 5th book. Also: look forward to Ron being a total douche. Anyway, if you haven't read it yet, you ought to soon or someone will spoil the ending for you!


An Entertaining Installment in the Potter Series

by S. Peek
(4/5)

Volume Six in the Harry Potter series is an entertaining read for fans of the series. Those who have read the previous Potter books will likely enjoy this one.It is not as well done as some of the other books. There are some plot lines that are nonsensical. For instance: Dumbledore, who is supposed to be so wise and discerning fails to see what any semi astute reader or character in the series should be able to see about one of the darker characters. To avoid spoiling the plot, I won't go further on this point. Suffice it to say, it will be crystal clear to readers well before the end of this book and was probably evident somewhere in book one.Although it is a pleasant read for those who have read the series from the beginning, it is not done well enough to be a stand alone volume. Those who have not read the previous installments will be lost by the lack of explanations of events.The best thing about 'The Half Blood Prince' is the setup for the next book. There are certainly several plots left open for follow up in book seven.Readers who have enjoyed the whole series up to this point will likely enjoy this. Those who have not read the others should start at the beginning and not jump right into this one.


Still good, but needs a summary of previous books.

by sporkdude "sporkdude"
(5/5)

I read about twenty books between this Harry Potter and the last one, so previous details are not fresh in my memory. I would have wished they included a summary of the previous books. I'm not a hard core Harry Potter fan. I'm a casual reader of all books, so I kind of need to be reminded about certain details.However, this book is immensely readable for a book this size. In a strange note, I think this is the first book where the number pages did not increase over the last one. Anyway, I was easily able to finish it a mere weekend, which speaks volumes about the fluidity of such a book. Rowling delves into Voldermert's past, brings about treachery, and does so much more.So yeah, it's a great book. Even though J.K. Rowling can buy and sell me at her will, I will still contribute to her ever growing empire when the next book comes out.


The Turning Point

by Spy Groove "Ravenna"
(5/5)

This is the most emotional book of HP so far. In the first till third, you got adventure, and it got darken to terror; then in the fourth, you got a hell of competitions and a friend's death; with the fifth, the gathering and a tragic, shocking end while in this sixth, it got indeed very dark and emotional with more tragic death than the last one and the turning point of Harry's battle with Voldemort. This whole thing made it hard to guess what will the seventh book bring.Many questions about Voldemort's parents answered and the suspected would reveal himself, cold hearted. And the Half-Blood Prince? Read and be astounded.It was so exhalarating, surprising and moving. Worth the time and the effort to carry the heavy book everywhere I went :)


Another great book in the Harry Potter series

by S. Schultz
(4/5)

I whizzed through the book in a couple of days and thought it was good overall. Saying that, I did feel that the end was rushed and a bit disappointing and Harry's romance was a bit sudden to be overly interesting. Like most people, I was left wanting to know the ending of this wonderful adventure more than ever and cannot believe we have to wait so long for the conclusion!! Oh well.One reviewer deemed Harry Potter was good but not destined to be a classic..I am dumbfounded how someone could nake such a bold statement when considering the facts. What makes a classic? A book that grabs hold of a large number of people over a long period of time? No one can know the future but I think its a pretty sure bet that Harry Potter will still be read by children and adults alike for a long time to come. It is not often that you see adult after adult reading a childrens book in public without any embarrassment! Reading this series has been a treat!


Strong set-up for the big concluding volume

by S. Silverman "ReaderGeode"
(4/5)

This, the sixth of seven Potter books, as universally acknowledged, is darker than the preceding five, with the pervasive great evil hovering above all other actions, mundane, romantic, sinister, playful, and so on. Harry, Ron, and Hermione have reached age sixteen and their penultimate year at Hogwarts. There's little room for the mischief in many of the earlier books, although romance and jealousy normal for that age transpire. Are any of the three heroes involved? You betcha! But the supremely evil Dark Lord (this generation's Darth Vader to Harry's Luke Skywalker) has reared his ugly head, even including Muggles, non-wizards, in his malicious doings. The usual separation of who is a good guy and who is a bad guy continues with more specifics, with the glaring exception of one who may be good or evil depending upon which character is discussing that one. Many earlier threads influence what's going on here and many are referred to. The book can stand alone, but some of the references to events of the earlier books would be missed. There are the good fun things, quiddich matches and bizarre animals, but more hexes and spells and potions that often come to play in contexts other than the classroom. Scary things happen regularly and more than one character gets hurt or worse. The long and short, Rowling sets up book seven and the conclusion with terrific foreshadowing and character situations. As good as any of the others and worth reading - Rowling conjures a most wonderful spell upon her readers..


Good read

by S. Stockdale "Steve-o"
(5/5)

another great installment of Harry Potter and his friends. An easy read that keeps you moving on to the next chapter.


Do regroup here before the final installment!

by StdPudel
(4/5)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is great refresher reading beforeHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7). The Harry Potter saga is replete with a growing cast of characters, spells, and magical items and creatures. Most aren't germane to the plot of the following book, but some are, and it's good to get caught up before launching into the final volume.Harry is a full-fledged adolescent in this book. He has moved beyond his crush on Cho Chang that went awry to deeper hormonal surges. Having his classmates "snogging" all around him doesn't help. Harry continues to suffer from speaking before thinking, and this gets him into deeper trouble than in the past. Like a typical confused teenager, he pushes away the people who care the most for him and ends up being miserable.Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince continues the theme of loss that permeates the series. The first people close to Harry to die were of course his parents, prior to the beginning of the series. As the series progressed, Hogwarts students die, then Harry's newfound godfather Sirius Black inHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5).The question the reader has coming into the book is: "Who is the Half Blood Prince"? Leaving the book, and mentally preparing for the sequel, and last volume in the series, I wondered, "Does Harry have extraordinary magic powers, or does he have average magic powers coupled with persistence, leadership, and teamwork and passion?"


Book 6 nicely fits into place in the series.

by Stefanie "smathew212"
(5/5)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince shows Rowling back to the great form she had in my two favorites of the series, The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Goblet of Fire. I was disappointed with book 5, which I thought was bloated and took too long to get to any action that furthered the series.Well, book 6 is all about wrapping up details from the previous books and setting the stage for Harry's final battle with You-Know-Who. I loved being able to watch the development of Voldemort as the most evil wizard who ever lived, and I really enjoyed the romance and jealousy occurring between the teenagers in this round. I'm very curious to see what happens with our young heroes when the story ends.It's not giving anything away to say that I knew which major character was going to die before even cracking the book open, because I agree with Rowling that it makes sense for the overall story arc, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn the identity of the Half-Blood Prince.Like so many other entries into the pop culture arena in the past year or so, this book very much exists of this time, when foreign policy and the war on terror have created a very different mindset for all of us. The paranoia, anxieties, and secrecy that the Wizards are experiencing are not that hard for us to relate to. Rowling is definitely making allusions to current policies -- you can simply substitute "Guantanamo" for "Azkaban" in any number of places. I'm not sure younger readers will get much out of the political subtext, but I'm glad Rowling included it for those of us long out of school.All in all, I really enjoyed this entry, and I feel it created a steam train of momentum that we'll all continue to ride through Harry's final adventures.


Not my favorite Potter Book

by Stefan Yates
(4/5)

My significant other read this one before me, so we were discussing parts of the book as I read it. During the course of these discussions, we have renamed the book, "Harry Potter and the Year that Nothing Much Happens...until the END!"Don't get me wrong, this latest installment in the Harry Potter series is still a well written and engaging novel. It's just that the story does not move along with the same energy as most of the earlier novels. The characters are still well developed and the history that we are presented with in this volume is very interesting as well. I just feel that I could have done with a lot less snogging and lot more actual events.I'm not going to ruin any of the twists in this book by going into too much detail, but suffice it to say that I did feel that this was a decent book, it just left me feeling a bit cheated and wanting for a bit more out of it.Oh well, not everything can be a home-run!


Harry growing up

by Stephen McLin
(5/5)

What an enchanting series. I'm 58 years old and I think it is great. The reader Mr. Dale, has a wonderful range.Best to start at the beginnining of the series, but gets better as Harry goes on.


Great Addition to the Potter Series

by Stephen Taylor
(4/5)

Harry Potter number 6 fits the series really well. It has the darkest Potter plot yet, but manages not to take itself too seriously. The plot is a great mix of epic and down-to-earth; readers get the big and magical as well as a lot of very ordinary events. The story is half about magical warfare and half about being sixteen, dealing with homework and navigating relationships.One main pitfall: Although Ginny Weasley definitely rises to the occasion as a character, it feels like her character chemistry with Harry doesn't come through in the middle of the novel, whereas Ron, Hermione, Slughorn and even Malfoy all have very believable relationships with Harry.Some key strengths: Every character has major flaws as well as strengths - even Dumbledore, who makes the frequent mistake not to communicate. It's also easy to care about the situations these characters are in, because although most readers haven't been hunted down by Voldemort, most readers HAVE dealt with friend problems or detention. The book is a great mix of scene and summary, giving time for a wonderful cast of characters, but fitting lots of plot in - it rarely if ever feels like reading time is wasted with this novel.


Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

by Steven Brandt @ Audiobook-Heaven "Audiobook-H...
(5/5)

Another year at Hogwarts has begun and Harry Potter has never been more popular. After his daring adventure at the Ministry of Magic, everyone now knows that he has been telling the truth about Voldemort all along. Even Hermione admits that Harry has "never been more interesting and fanciable."Harry has more important things on his mind, though. Namely, what is Draco Malfoy up to? Draco was acting suspiciously even before school began. In Diagon-alley, Harry, Ron, and Hermione spotted Draco slipping away from his mother and sneaking into Knock-turn Alley where he visited Borgan and Burke's, dealers of dark magic and cursed objects. At school, Malfoy continues to act strangely, giving up his Prefect duties and Quidditch so he can sneak around the castle while no one is around. When a necklace, bearing a deadly curse, and a bottle of poisoned mead find their way into the castle, Harry just knows Malfoy is involved. And when Harry overhears Snape and Malfoy arguing about Draco's "job", it seems Harry's suspicions are confirmed.Harry decides to set the house-elves, Dobby and Kreecher, on Malfoy's tail to find out what he is up to. They soon discover that Draco is spending a lot of time in the room of requirement, using Crabbe and Goyle as lookouts.The mystery comes to a disastrous climax high atop the astronomy tower, when Malfoy manages to corner a weakened and wandless Dumbledore. Draco braggingly reveals that he has found a way to let death-eaters into the castle, using the room of requirement, and it is his, Malfoy's, job to kill Dumbledore. Draco quickly learns, however, that murder is not nearly so glamorous as it seemed from a distance. Will he find the nerve to go through with it, or will Dumbledore talk his way out of this?J K Rowling has certainly kept us guessing about Severus Snape, but that mystery has been solved, hasn't it? He has finally shown his true colors, atop the astronomy tower. I am particularly impressed with the way Rowling keeps up the suspense, bouncing us first one way, then the other. It takes a great deal of skill for a writer to evoke such strong emotion from the reader, and Rowling is one of the best I've read.I read a Jim Dale interview a few days ago, where the interviewer asked Dale if he had a favorite voice. Dale said he couldn't pick just one, but he did particularly enjoy performing Professor Slughorn because of the wide vocal range it allowed. Jim Dale may have a hard time choosing, but the Audio Publisher's Association didn't. They made Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince the very first audiobook inducted into their brand new hall of fame in 2006.Wouldn't you just like to take Severus Snape and dip him in a pool of stink sap and boobo-tuber pus? Things don't look good, do they? Voldemort is getting stronger and stronger, and now Dumbledore is gone. The only person left who can stand in Voldemort's way is Harry Potter, but is he ready to go head to head with the Dark Lord all by himself??FAVORITE ROWLING CREATION: The unbreakable vow. It's just what it sounds like. When one wizard makes a promise to another, with a third to bear witness and cast the appropriate spell over the vow, the promise cannot be broken. Well, you can break it, but if you do, you die. Too bad we can't make politicians take unbreakable vows before they take office.FAVORITE JIM DALE VOICE: I'm with Jim on this one; I really enjoy the voice of Horace Slughorn. If Hogwarts had a drama team, Professor Slughorn would definitely be their coach. He delivers his lines so theatrically. Jim Dale's theatre background came in handy here, I'm guessing.FAVORITE SCENE: Professor Slughorn has a memory about Voldemort that Harry desperately needs, but Slughorn just won't give it up. The answer? Felix felicis! Commonly known as liquid luck, this potion gives the drinker good luck for one day. After drinking felix, Harry promptly announces that he's going down to Hagrid's hut, even though it's the middle of the night and he's supposed to be going to see Slughorn. Harry has a good feeling about Hagrid, though, so off he goes, to the dismay of Ron and Hermione. Harry's good luck becomes evident when he discovers that Filch has neglected to lock the front door of the castle. Harry slips out and, wouldn't you know it, encounters Slughorn outside in the gardens taking a nighttime stroll. He promptly convinces Slughorn to join him at Hagrid's for the funeral of Aragog the Acromantula. Acromantula venom is extremely valuable, which, luckily enough, interests Slughorn a great deal. At the memorial service, Hagrid and Slughorn have a little too much to drink, and Harry gets the memory he needs, catching Slughorn at a weak moment. Good old Felix! Imagine what you could accomplish with one whole day of good luck!MOST SHOCKING REVELATION: Draco Malfoy is a death-eater! We've always known that Draco was slimy and underhanded, but this is too much. And on top of that, Voldemort has given Draco the task of murdering Albus Dumbledore! Ha! Draco only wishes he had that kind of power!FAVORITE CHARACTER: I've been wanting to put Arthur Weasley in this spot for a while now. This guy just cracks me up. Mister Weasley works at the Ministry of Magic, in the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Department. That's the perfect place for him, because he is absolutely crazy for anything that has to do with muggles. Arthur collects batteries and plugs, (the Dursley's electric fireplace was of particular interest to him in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), and his dearest ambition is to find out how airplanes stay up. Most importantly, he is a devoted husband and father, and for this reason Arthur Weasley is my favorite character from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.FAVORITE QUOTE: Albus Dumbledore, as he and Harry leave the Dursley's; "Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure."FILM ADAPTATION: Amazing! All six of the Harry Potter movies are in the top 25 all-time grossing films. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince hit theaters in 2009 and, just like its predecessors, it was a huge box office smash, earning $934 million worldwide.


Good for kids and adults who still recall being kids

by Stuart W. Mirsky "swm"
(4/5)

I feel strange reviewing this book since I never read any of the ones that came before. In fact, though I tried two or three times with some of the earlier books in the series (my wife and kids adore them so we have them all), I was never able to get into them. Their world and situations just seemed uninteresting to me, though they are obviously utterly fascinating to millions around the world (including my immediate family). So I picked this one up when my family members were done with it, hoping to see what the fuss is all about.This time the book held my attention (whether because I was finally more prepared to attend to it or because it just seemed more mature or more interesting to me, or what not, I don't know). Suffice it to say that while I never found myself thinking about the story or characters afterwards, or rushing to get back to reading the book after I'd put it down, it clearly kept pulling me along whenever I picked it up.Some of the elements were a bit tiresome (e.g., the quidditch games and their "importance" to students and faculty) and some elements rather peculiar (like the notion that, even though a vast life and death struggle between good and evil for the future of the so-called wizarding world was underway, the students still had to go off to classes, do their homework, take their exams, play quidditch, etc.). But perhaps that's all part of the book's attraction, this odd juxtaposition of the ordinary with the fantastic and dangerous. On balance, the story elements were handled quite nicely and most of the book was a remarkably easy and pleasant read, a little tiresome in the middle, unless you're keen on quiddtich and teen crushes and infatuations, but fast moving and well-paced at the end.And, though the tale's just a bit too long and episodic for my tastes, the blending of mystery with adventure that Ms. Rowling pulls off keeps things popping. A clear resonance with the current terrorism now besetting the real world was also evident.On the other hand, some of the sorcery motifs, including a Dumbledore who reminds one of a kind of folksy Gandalf from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, are a bit old hat too. But Rowling redeems even these with her insightful blending of the modern fantasy genre, her tongue-in-cheek nomenclature and a kid's eye view of the world (as seen through the lense of a secondary school experience).While I'm not likely to run out and read the earlier books, and I'm not sure I'll bother with the final installment yet to come, I'll readily admit this book was enjoyable to read. I found myself admiring the way Ms. Rowling has tapped into the global zeitgeist and how she continues to tell her story with professional panache.SWMauthor of The King of Vinland's Saga


Half-Blood All Action

by Sylvester
(4/5)

The magical trio returns in the sixth book of the series. Harry, Ron, and Hermione start a new year of adventure. This book captured my attention like the imperious curse.Harry starts his sixth year at Hogwarts and has special sessions with Dumbeldore. Since Voldemort`s return the magic world is in chaos and the muggles are being affected too. But how is it Voldemort keeps returning, why can't he be killed? Harry will discover this and more.I liked this book because every chapter was interesting and exciting. This book has shown me that with friendship and determination you can do anything. I recommend this book to everyone who likes adventure, mystery, excitement, and


Grand and enthralling!

by Tamela Mccann "taminator40"
(5/5)

Harry enters his 6th year at Hogwarts with Voldemort firmly coming back into power. It will take all of his skill to overcome the dark forces around him as well as deal with the regular stuff a teen deals with.This book was just as good as my expectations for it! I absolutely bow before Rowling's use of characters and the long-term story arcs that take place. This is not the innocent Hogwarts of the first few books, and Harry and his pals are not the innocent kids they once were, either. Rowling rightly assumed that if we're here with her in the 6th book, we know the background so she doesn't waste time rehashing old topics. Instead she dives into unknown territory with both new and old characters. At times I was devastated, elated, or amused but never, never bored. And part of the charm for me is trying to decide what clues Rowling included in this one that will become a major part of the 7th and final book. I can't wait for its release but like this one, I'm afraid it'll be over all too soon.


Perfect

by Terry Mesnard
(5/5)

What an amazing novel. I will be the first to admit that I didn't start out as a Harry Potter lover. The first two books didn't do too much for me. It wasn't until the third novel (and the pitch perfect movie) that I was completely and utterly hooked. My love for this series has grown from that point to this penultimate novel.And what a novel it is. The Half Blood Prince starts almost where the fifth book left us. Everything is still in turmoil and in fact getting worse. It's interesting but the beginning of the novel reminded me of the current climate in our world. Deaths happening all over the place, everyone facing realities that we are in fact under a war. The news hyping up every single death so that even little children are reading the papers looking to see if they know someone who has died. Standing between Voldemort and his forces of evil are wizards who normal people don't really even know exist. What a perfect parallel to our time.The action continues from there and picks up exceedingly. In fact, we can really see an increase in Rowling's writing. Unlike the last book which occasionally was bogged down by details and some sections that probably could have been shortened, The Half-Blood Prince moves at a brisk pace. At almost 660 pages, it is pure plot. I was completely entertained the entire way through. Each chapter provided mysteries and answers to some questions dating back to the very first novel. The magic number 7 pops up and parallels many themes in this novel. A great great novel.The dark themes continue in this novel as violence both explicit and implicit takes center stage at times. It is the most "grown up" of the Harry Potter novels (one character even says "slut" a surprise to me considering the novels earlier lighter feel) and further establishes Rowling as not only the leading children's author but a mean force in the adult fantasy genre. I hope we can see great things from her after the seventh book (both Harry-wise and other).The ending is filled with sorrow and hope and a promise of an exciting climax in the seventh novel. I think it will be difficult to say goodbye to characters we have loved for the last 6 books, but it will be an exciting and great novel. Book 6 gives us that promise.It comes greatly recommended.


Not the best in the series

by T. Hooper "thdizzy"
(4/5)

Harry Potter is back for another adventure in the Half Blood Prince. Unfortunately, some of the Harry Potter magic is gone. Basically, this story moves along as Dumbledore shows Harry memories from the past in the pensive, other than that, not a whole lot goes on. Also, J. K. Rowling tries to add a serious romantic element to the series, but from what she shows us in this book, romance is not her forte. Also, I'd like to add that I didn't like the ending at all. I won't spoil it here, but it ends on a big downer without much hope.So should you buy this book? Well, if you've read all of the books up until now, just admit to yourself that you can't quit until you read that final seventh book. As a story in itself, book 6 isn't much, but it may add something to the final book, so just think of it as a two-parter. If you're a fan, go ahead and pick it up, and if not, give it a miss.


100 Great Pages

by Timothy Haugh
(4/5)

Let me say first off that I am a fan of the Harry Potter books and I think Ms. Rowling has done a brilliant job with developing what is effectively one long tale stretched over a series of books. That said, this book is probably the least good in the series so far. I say this for one major reason: until the last 100 pages, nothing much happens.Granted, it's fun to see the relationships develop between Ron & Hermione and Harry & Ginny. And Ms. Rowling offers some intrigue with the half-blood prince's potion book and the unknown nature of Snape's unbreakable vow interspersed between the typical quidditch matches and school ups and downs. And yet, this book is a tougher row to hoe than the previous volumes.Until, that is, the last 100 pages. Here we have the revelations and excitement that have made the Harry Potter series so successful. I will not give anything away, of course, but, needless to say, these last pages are worth the work to get there.It's difficult to quibble with a novelist as successful as Rowling. Still, it will be interesting to see where this book stands when it finds its place within the soon-to-be completed canon of Harry Potter.


Another classic

by Timothy J. Kindler
(5/5)

Having read the first five installments of the Harry Potter series, I was interested in the continuing exploits of Harry, Ron, Hermione and the rest of the gang at Hogwarts. Despite the substantial length, it was generally a fast and easy, yet compelling, work. Readers of the first five novels will be familiar with the style, the characters and the various storylines. In The Half-Blood Prince, Rowling tells another intriguing story of a year in the life of Harry Potter, providing the usual twists, turns and intricacies that readers have come to expect. In a difference from the previous books which for the most part were self contained, Rowling spends more time in the Half-Blood Prince looking backward in order to provide deeper context to all of the previous books done to date. Rowling also spends more time setting up the last book which will likely be the most eagerly awaited installment in the series. All-in-all, the Half-Blood Prince is a very good effort and well worth the time.......even for an adult.


Good ... But not up to the standards of the rest in the series (spoilers)

by T. J. Jones "TJ"
(3/5)

The saga of Harry Potter continues in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" and I'm glad I'm not the only reviewer who feels slightly disappointed in this new volume. I love the series ... it is my favorite of all time ... but this volume just didn't have the same magical details, suspense, and overall engaging qualities that you would find in the previous five novels. The story seemed very rushed and had very few of Rowling's famous little details that makes some fans of the books despise the movies because those details are missing. Even in some of the plotlines you felt as if Rowling was actually there manipulating the characters into doing something so random so that it would set up a plot. Anyways, Harry returns for his sixth year to Hogwarts where the wizarding community is at a hiatus at Voldemort's return. The only problem with this plotline is that you only hear of the terrible things that Voldemort does instead of seeing them happen, which makes him more of a paper-like, 2-dimensional villain that villains so often become in children novels ...but Voldemort definitely is not 2-dimensional. The look into his past thanks to Dumbledore's lessons with Harry involving the overused pensieve is fascinating, and we learn a lot about the boy who became Voldemort, which truly was the best plotline in the whole book. Now, my main problem with the book besides the rushed-like quality, was the plotline of the Half-Blood Prince. This plot-line was so minimal I felt confused as to why it was used as the title. It was more of a sub-plot than a title, main plot. Harry recieves a potions book in which the mysterious Half-Blood Prince has written better advice on potions and spells and therefore causes Harry to do better in potions. That is basiaclly what the Prince does throughout the novel till his unveling; show Harry new spells and how to make potions! I personally think that the title should have revolved around the more central plot of Draco who actually becomes a fascinating 3-dimensional character in this volume. Anyways, the Half-Blood Prince plotline turned out to actually be a minimal part of the book, and I can see how it once was actually in the first draft of Chamber of Secrets as Rowling has revealed on her website. The plotline was minimal, really a letdown to me, and all you're left with at the end of the book is the identity of the "Prince" and a textbook explanation. There is a major character death in this book ... but you had to be living under a rock if you didn't know that! The death was pretty obvious, so I won't ruin it for anyone here but it doesn't take much brainpower to deduce who dies. This volume did have a lot of answers, and it sets up the next book nicely and gives you a clear idea at what to expect ... but it felt rushed, and plots did not feel fully developed as I said earlier. Hopefully the seventh and sadly last volume in the Harry Potter series will be just as good as the first five and improve over the sixth.


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

by T. Misbach
(5/5)

The main reason I have decided to review this particular Harry Potter is because it is my very favorite. I have read all of the Harry Potters' and all are magic, but none so much as the sixth.The book is basically about Harry learning about Tom Riddle, or as he is more commonly known, Voldemort. Harry, with the help of Dumbledore attempts to defeat Tom Riddle once and for all.This is a brilliant part of the Harry Potter series. Incredible!


Harry's latest adventures!!!

by Toni Masters
(5/5)

Harry is awaiting a visit from Albus Dumbledore, the respected headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Albus Dumbledore takes Harry to the house of Slughorn, a Slytherin potion maker who retired from the school quite some time ago.Harry persuades the very charming and nice proffessor to continue his job at Hogwarts.So when Harry returns to his school, he and six other 'favourites' of Slughorn, are summoned by him for dinner and tea parties, which Harry makes up excuses why he is unable to attend.But while the formal term at Hogwarts rolls on at a dreadry pace, Draco Malfoy is up to evil during the term.He and his helpers of 'friends' unveil a vicious plan away from the dreaded proffessor Snape, who is secretly spying on Dumbledore under the words of his leader, the dark wizard, Voldermort.These two similar wizards unhatch their own plans to turn Hogwarts, Harry and Dumbledore into their slaves of darkness.Harry is chosen one, the heir to defeat Voldermort.He alone and five other friends: Ron, Hermione, Nevile, Luna and Ginny can defeat the evil wizard and rid him off Hogwarts.So when the death eaters and an evil wolf called Greyback enter Hogwarts during the night, many peopple are killed, and can Harry and his friends save their school and themselves before the timely death of Dumbledore?I found this new and unique book one of my favourite books in the series.It had escapes, dangers and thrills of romance throughout the whole book and was everything that I wanted to it to turn out to be.


Can it get any better than this?

by Tonya Speelman "Hoarder of books"
(5/5)

Ms. Rowling has outdid herself! This series just keeps getting better and better. Harry is getting older, discovering girls and also more knowledge in the wizarding world. I am just shocked at the ending. I won't go into what happened in this book, because there are so many reviews, however, I hated waiting for my copy of this book, but it was well worth the wait.I will be standing in line when the last one comes out. I can only imagine what will happen now!


AWESOME!

by T. Perlich
(5/5)

I at first hesitated at reading Harry Potter just as I did with Percy Jackson, since I was into books like warriors and Redwall. Now I am reading them so fast I finish them in around two days. Of course, their are surprises (some I dislike others I love) so expect the unexpected. Go Harry Potter!Please note: this review was written by a nine year old.


HP Half-Blood Prince - building to the conclusion...

by Trista Morrison
(5/5)

In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Voldemort and his Death Eaters have returned, and the wizarding community is at war. Yet for sixth year students at Hogwarts, life goes on, full of difficult NEWT-level classes, Quidditch games, and lots of snogging. For Harry, normal life also includes trying to keep the peace between Ron and Hermione, the gut-wrenching pangs of first love, and a little potions help from a new friend.But even Hogwarts isn't immune from Voldemort's influence, which rears its ugly head outside the enchanted walls and, Harry suspects, even within. But Harry must investigate both Voldemort's current plans and his past to find the weaknesses of the boy who became the Dark Lord. And time is of the essence, for the wizarding community will soon face its darkest hour yet...


A Good Penultimate Book!

by Troy C. Mcclure "tcchapin"
(4/5)

I was introduced to Harry Potter when I was in high school, right after the second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, was released. Having learned of the series from news articles and my family, I devoured each volume with a sense of growing wonder. They weren't just good. They were extraordinary. From then on, I have waited for every new installment as eagerly as millions of other fans.I'll be honest, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince isn't my favorite J.K. Rowling book. Its a good set up for the final battle, but this story lacks in excitement and wonder. However, one of the great pleasures of these novels has been watching Rowling's storytelling skills develop. And she certainly spreads her wings in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.


Excellent Book

by T.S. Charles (author)
(5/5)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is another great book in the series. It was extremely entertaining, filled with memorable characters. If you've only seen the movies, you have to go back and read the books. Rowling does an amazing job with drawing you in as a reader. It is captivating stuff.


What Would Dylan Do?

by TundraVision
(5/5)

***A Spoiler-Free Review***Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince(HBP)is Book 6 in the Harry Potter phenomenon - and if you don't know what that is, Welcome Back to Planet Earth, but do not start here - you simply MUST go back and start at the Beginning with Book 1: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.Book 6 is truly a transitional tale to get us all to Book 7 and into each life - including the lives of the characters we have come to cherish in the previous books - a little rain must fall. Be Warned: this time out a Hard, dark, bloody Rain's a gonna fall.The irksome, plodding, plot-revealing myriad of book reports above and below (You Know Who they are ;-) my humble offering here have told/revealed to you far more than you need to know before reading HBP. I am just here to suggest that, either singly or in conjunction with the book, you also purchase Jim Dale's excellent reading/performance, unabridged, on cassette or CD. Mr. Dale continues to give fine and dramatic voice to Ms. Rowling's writings: and it's so much easier to *listen* to Mr. Dale than attempt to hold the heavy hardcover and read it one's self when one is tending to such bothersome and tedious tasks as driving and house-cleaning. /TundraVision, Amazon Reviewer


Evil Reborn

by tvtv3 "tvtv3"
(4/5)

When we last left Harry and company, Harry was still in shock at the death of his beloved godfather and guardian, Sirius Black. The wizarding world was just coming to the understanding that Harry Potter wasn't nuts for the past year and that Lord Voldemort was alive and Harry was dreading returning to his aunt and uncle's for the summer.In the first few books in the series, not much time was spent discussing Harry's summers. Only the interesting details were included. Now, in the second-to-last book, Harry's summer takes up about a fourth of the entire novel, HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE. The book begins almost immediately where HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHONEIX left off. Harry returns to Hogwarts under more security and admiration than ever before. Word has leaked out about Harry and his companions faced off against the Deatheaters and Lord Voldemort at the Ministry of Magic and survived. Harry's legendary status has increased a hundred-fold as a result. Everyone, including Harry, believes he is the Chosen One. Things at Hogwarts are more of the same as usual, though there are some changes. Snape is teaching Defense of the Dark Arts as a new professor takes over potions. Harry is allowed to take the advanced potions class and thanks to a mysterious old text book belonging to someone who called himself the "half-blood prince", Harry becomes the star Potions pupil. Harry is also the Captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team and is taking private lessons under the tutelage of Dumbledore. Ron and Hermione become a couple and Harry realizes that he loves Ginny Weasley. Meanwhile, in other parts of the wizard world, Voldemort hatches the next level of his plan for domination without making an appearance. Instead, his favored Deatheaters do his bidding for him. Oh, and someone important dies.I really enjoyed reading HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE. I found ORDER OF THE PHOENIX to be a bit of a letdown because so much of the book revolved around the politics of the wizard world. Sirius' death seemed like a cop-out and still doesn't make any sense (a black curtain that kills someone without leaving a corpse-that just doesn't jibe) to me. I understand why he had to leave the picture, but his departure seemed forced. Of course, there's another death in HALF-BLOOD PRINCE. To me, this one didn't seem as unnatural. The person died in battle, betrayed at the hands of one who was trusted. This has happened to good men throughout history. It is the danger that all good people risk--if you have faith and trust in someone (and agape) then there's always the possibility that you will be crucified. I also felt that this book had more action than the ORDER OF THE PHOENIX.The novel is easy to read and moves at a quick pace (I read it in about two nights). It's very hard to put down. However, the story isn't perfect. There are a lot of things that seemed rush and added solely for dramatic purposes. For example, there are the Inferi--dead people under the control of black magic who for all intents and purposes are like zombies. I might be mistaken, but I don't think the Inferi have ever been mentioned before until THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE. If they are such a threat and were such a big part of Voldemort's evil army, then why were they never mentioned before? In the five and a half years that Harry spent at Hogwarts and being educated as a wizard, the creatures should have been mentioned before, even if it was just in passing. There are several other instances of minor issues like this in the book that though not entirely important are big enough to upset the general flow of the novel. The first three books in the series were incredibly tight with very few oversights such as these. It's a bit disappointing to see them cropping up as the saga reaches the edge of conclusion.Nevertheless, I still enjoyed HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE. It's a very engaging tale that moves at a faster pace and includes more action than the ORDER OF THE PHOENIX.The novel ends at a crossroads with many, many, many loose ends and I'm excited to see how everything will come together in the last book. That book is going to have to be enormous to complete the story successfully. It is the calm before the storm.


less than half the fun-what happened???

by twisted little puppy "demi"
(1/5)

what happened to this series, one of the best pieces of fantasy to come since Middle-earth and Narnia? JKR screwed up big time with HBP, breaking well establised formulas and filling the vast majority of this book w/ mush. I will give one star though; half a star for the delightful Kreacher, another half for the use of the vanishing cabinet introduced many books ago. yet there are problems, so many problems, but here are just a few (NOTE there are spoilers, but since they have already been divulged ages ago, i feel no need to hide them):1)the Dursleys: this has always been one of the best things about the series. i've always enjoyed the first few chapters, just to see what new crazy things will happen to Harry's hapless guardians. Dudley getting a tail; Marge getting blown up, even when Dudley encountered the dementor, all of these were great. in HBP, the Dursleys do nothing but look stunned at Dumbledore. they have drinks magically offered to them. that's it. so far not off to a good start2) Dumbledore's hand: it's mentioned dozens of times, and Dumbledore always says there's an interesting story behind how his hand became black and withered and un-healable. do we get to hear that story? no. we're told in one sentence how this injury came about, that's it.3)all this love junk: ok, i'm fairly young (21), and i do remember the angst of dating, and i understand Harry and Co. are growing up, but why, WHY, must this occupy 3/4 of the book? how many times has the word "snog" been used in this book? i HATE sudden "love at sight" type of love. all of a sudden, Harry loves Ginny? where did this come from. my biggest gripe about how love is portrayed in HBP is w/ Tonks. throughout the whole book, we see she's falling apart. we figure she's not over Sirius's death, hell, even figure there was something between them, but when we learn the true reason behind her moodiness, it's something as pointless and trite as Lupin turning her down . funny, i can't see spurned love being a deterrent in doing a job as important as guarding Hogwarts.4)the half-blood prince: a part of me can see why she named the book after this. in a way, this book, or at least the end, does center around him (of course you know who him is). but this is far from being an important plot point.5)too many memories: when the penseive was first introduced, i thought,'neat, great peice of magic'. now i hope to never see that stone basin again. why couldn't Voldemort's past be explained in one big chunk? the majority of this book takes place inside the penseive.7)will the real Hermione/Ron/Hagrid/Dumbledore please stand up?: anyone notice how NONE of the characters acted like themselves in this book? Ron is useless, constantly "snogging"; Hermione actually ATTACKS her friend out of jealousy; Hagrid is either overcome w/ grief or anger to be of any use in HBP;Dumbledore BEGS?!?! for his life? where are the loving, strong characters of the earlier books?8) no dark lord?: WHERE'S Voldemort? in one form or another, he's made an appearance in every book. except this one. the great evil in this book turns out to be Malfoy and Snape. and Harry doesn't even realy fight them as he did in previous books. in fact, Harry does very little fighting at all herethis book left me with a bunch of questions as well:-if Dumbledore knew about the horcruxes, which he obviously did, as he went out of his way to find and destroy one, why was Harry getting the info from Slughorn such a big deal?-why didn't Dumbledore just use "accio wand" when confronted by Draco? especially when readers will remeber the same spell was used to retreive two brooms less than a chapter ago?-why even bother w/ the whole Fleur sub-plot? a whole chapter need not be devoted to heri miss the series of old, in particular the first three books. i think JKR set up a daunting task of making this a 7 book series; most fantasy trilogies tend to sag after the second book. when you have so little plot and try to spread it out so much, things like HBP happens: a story that is more filler than thriller.


'Harry, did you know that your eyebrow is yellow?'

by Tyler Quagmire
(3/5)

Alright, so. Where to begin? I excitedly sat down on my living room couch and sunk my teeth into the first 100 pages or so of this book, and continued reading. At 200 pages, I was waiting for something exciting or mysterious to happen. At 300 and 400 pages into the series, I was still waiting for a breath-taking twist of action to accure, such as Dudley being attacked by a Dementor in the Order of the Phoenix, or Harry's name coming out of the Goblet of Fire in book four.However, my patience was in vain. I'm not calling this book 'boring', per say, but it was... it lacked serious action and suspense. That's not based on opinion, that's based on fact. Did you find all those pensieve scenes with Dumbledore action-packed and fierce? No, OF COURSE you didn't! That's because they WEREN'T action-packed or suspenseful. You might have found them interesting or mysterious, maybe even wicked or awesome, but you DID NOT find those scenes action-packed, because they weren't.I'm sorry, but after the Order of the Phoenix, I thought Rowling had finally mastered the ways of an all-around, action-packed, suspenseful book. Books one through four were all suspenseful here and there, but the Order of the Phoenix really topped the cake, because every chapter was interesting. Every chapter had something going on in it that made the reader want to read more and more.However, with the Half-Blood Prince... All there is is basically chatting and thinking. Oh, and we can't forget snogging! Besides the fact that this book was slow-paced, I also didn't like the amount of romance in this book. In every chapter there is some form of teenage love going on, and after a while it got pretty old. Did Ron have to be snogging Lavender in every chapter? Did Ginny really need to have had 6 or 7 boyfriends in one book?500 pages of snogging later, nothing has yet to happen, and I began wondering if the Half-Blood Prince had any meaning to it at all. Sure, the pensieve scenes were SOMETHING, but as of yet they made no sense to me what-so-ever.On a side note, I also do not like the amount of bashing of Hufflepuff House that goes on in this book. Zacharias Smith is the runner-up of House representitive, and is a complete, blubbering idiot. Cedric Diggory is what Hufflepuff really is, but why Rowling, why turn Hufflepuff House suddenly into the leftover House? Does Harry really need an enemy that isn't from Slytherin House? 'Ooo, I know! I'll take one House and turn it into the leftover House so Harry can have another enemy and so I can make my books even MORE longer! YAY!' Just imagine if you don't consider yourself a Hufflepuff... Imagine having your House turned into the leftover House. You'd be pretty ticked off too, wouldn't you?However, the reason I am giving this book three stars instead of two or one is because of the last 100 pages. While the first 550 pages didn't have any action or suspense in them at all, the last 100 pages are amazing. For starters, they secure an amazing last book in the Harry Potter series. They assured me that the last book would not be a disappointment. For another, the last chapter in this book is SO well written. It made Harry and Ginny and all the others forget about their teenage romance problems and realize that there are bigger, badder problems out in the world. The last 100 pages were soooo suspenseful, I must admit. Horcruxes are probably one of the most INGENIOUS things I have ever heard of. What are Horcruxes, you ask? Read the book and find out!No, this book was overall not my cup of tea. Luna Lovegood has many memorable moments in this book which are sure never to be forgotten ("Zacharias Smith has loser's lurgy"). Basically, you won't enjoy this book very much if you're a fan of action-packed, hardcore novels. You WILL enjoy it, however, if you're interested in finding out more about about Tom Riddle a.k.a. Lord Voldemort. Definitely not a book you'll want to skip in the series.I await the seventh book with eagerness, Rowling!!


It's Okay, But Not Worth The Hype And Frenzie

by V.C.
(1/5)

One thing that i still don't understand to this day since the first book of this series is what's so magical about HP? What's it about HP that makes kids from all over the world want to read it? What's so magical about it that people would endure through rain and snow just to get a copy of it at 12-1 am? Well, i think I like many other people who are just casual readers of the series will never understand. For me personally, i believe that there are a lot of good things to be said about the series. First off, it's simply a great children's novel. It's not meant to be the most fantastic piece of literature, nor is it meant to be Nobel Prize material or what not. It's what it is, a childrens/teen novel. However, at this point of the series with Book 6, one thing that i find hauntingly wrong is how with the more commercialization of this book, which used to have so much magic, twists and turns, adventure, and raw and novel ideas, has now become nothing more but an exaggerated hype-fest and clock-work. With the movies to think about, i can imagine that JK Rowling has a lot to consider while she's writing these books, like being sure that the book can translate into a movie. Not to mention high expectations from the fans, i can imagine that she may also feel obligated to give what the fans somewhat predict or expect, instead of actually thinking things through and bringing back the magic and the consistent plot-line that permeated in the other books. Now, i know JK Rowling is human, she's not a wizard, but however, i feel that the whole magic of Harry Potter is slowly abating. First of all, as i mentioned before, now the series feels like clock-work. Every year, a new movie, every year, a new book. Sure, that's great for the readers, but however, a book shouldn't be rushed. I felt like Book 6 did just that, it was too rushed. For a 600 page book, and not to mention all the hype about keeping the "secrets" of the book in lock and key, there should have been a lot more to it other than just setting the mood for the Book 7, like some people on here have mentioned. After all, this is a novel. It should tell a story, not be like some side dish for us to stare at before the big meal arrives. The other books in the series had still set the scene for the next book, and had way more adventure and action. So what excuse is there to forgive JK Rowling for exaggerating on our expectations of a so-so novel, while in her past efforts she seemed to put much more thought into giving us an actual adventure story about the characters we know and love so well? Why must she make us believe that there are so many "secrets" to the novel, while all in all nothing was too shocking or unpredictable, for the most part it felt very abrupt and to the point? Why must the majority of this book be a day-to-day diary of typical and ridiculous teen romances (which was pretty much the bulk of the book!), with only the very last chapters being the most exciting and the most important of all? Why did she have to spend 600 pages on an almost non-existent plot, and a sad, shocking, but obvious and predictable, conclusion, so we can wait another year or two for book 7? I am sorry to you major fans out there, but that's just no excuse. I felt that JK Rowling simply rushed this one without having the high expectations of her fans in mind, and without even looking back in her past work (book 5) so it can be consistent and have some correlation with it. And i don't understand what the title has anything to do with the overrall story (just like her other titles, which embodied the theme of the book). I am not saying that this book is bad or horrible, but if i wanted to read a book about silly teen romances (many which seemed random and just out of nowhere) i could have simply read a teen novel that was only 120 pages or less, not 600, that's just too much for a mediocre plot about raging teen hormones. And i think the big disappointed to me personally is how JK Rowling (although she does seem to make the characters appropriate for their age, which is not a bad thing) has come to make the characters just sooo wooden and too predictable. We know Harry is the lost hero that always proves people that danger is near, Hermoine is the wiz-kid, Ron is the kid that well..is just there, Dumbledore is the one to force upon the philosophy and moral of the hour or whatever, and so on. I just wish that JK Rowling could make the characters seem a bit more complex than making them seem to predictable in every way and every action they perform. As for the new characters, i also wish that if she MUST put in new individuals, PLEASE make them have a purpose and a point. I felt like the new characters in this book were just so random and annoying, they didn't move the story along at all. Also, sometimes i feel that JK Rowling is overusing the whole He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named plot, because at this point it's very old, and doesn't really offer anything new or important, it seems to only be used for the sake of making the story move along with more of a motif for action. All in all, any Harry potter fan will enjoy this book regardless of the flaws, and that's all that matters. But i honestly dont think this book was worth staying up until 12-1 am to purchase, or even to pre-order, didn't have to be over 600 pages (she could have condensed the whole book to 400 pages or less and still have the same story), and doesn't really live up to the hype and exaggeration that it earned like the other series did.


I Love Harry Potter!

by viktor_57 "viktor_57"
(5/5)

I waited in line, for like, five days in front of the local Border's to get my copy, and like, my wife took my kids and left me because she was all like, "You're so immature. You have to go back to work. Blah blah blah." But, like, I didn't care, and you know why? Because, I'm like, the biggest Harry Potter fan in the whole wide world, and nobody loves Harry Potter more than me! So, anyway, I waited in line and it was raining and I was hungry and I thought I was going to pass out, but then they opened the doors and I ran in and grabbed my copy from some girl who started crying but I didn't care. I was so excited I almost forgot to pay! But the security alarms were beeping and some security guard came out and wanted to take me back into the back room. I was so scared! I kept saying I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I just wanted my Harry Potter book and the guard was like, OK, just pay and get out. I was so happy! I went to my car and got inside and opened the book and started to read. I read the first word, "Chapter", and then I got so excited I passed out! I woke up when some lady was tapping on the car window and I told her go away I'm fine and then I read the second word "1" and got so excited again I bumped the gear shift and the car rolled backward and then some other car hit me! The man who hit me got mad and started yelling but I was all like, "Sir, please calm yourself. Let us exchange information and my insurance company will contact you." Then I thought I should go home and read so I drove out of the parking lot but then I got so excited thinking about the new Harry Potter book that I hit some old lady crossing the street! I got really scared and started to drive really fast and hit some kids walking home from day care! People were yelling and shouting so I drove away as fast as I could and got halfway home when I heard sirens and then the police were chasing me and I got so scared I covered my eyes and crashed into a house! The police were so mad they took me to jail and were like, "You have the right to remain silent" just like on TV and then some lawyer guy was all like, "you're being charged with vehicular manslaughter and reckless endangerment" and then the judge was all like, "I sentence you to a term of no less than twenty years and no more than forty blah blah blah." I can't wait to finish the book!


Beyond Brilliant

by Wendy Kaplan
(5/5)

I read all the Harry Potter books in a row this summer, a task that greatly enriched my life, and I am far away from childhood. I don't really have the words to describe the brilliance of J.K. Rowling or to say how much I feel she has enriched the reading world. Words simply fail me.As in each successive book, "Half Blood Prince" is very dark--as one would expect in a classic parable of good vs. evil. But Rowling is full of tricks, even for the reader who thinks she has prophesied everything. Wrong. Rowling is always one step ahead.So we are left with many many questions (Spoiler Alert: Do not read the following unless you have read the book):1. What's with Snape? Was he following Dumbledore's orders? Or is he really what Harry thinks he is?2. Is Dumbledore really dead? And if so, will he still be able to interact with the living (eg, Harry)?3. Why was Dolores Umbridge at the funeral? She of all people?4. Will Harry truly desert Hogwarts? Is this a wise move?5. Will Hogwarts in fact stay open?6. When will Voldemort make his move, and is Harry really ready?7. Will Draco survive to join the right side?Just a few questions...and like everybody else, I don't think I can survive until the next--and last--book. But then the thought of it being the last is almost unbearable, so maybe it's wiser to wait!


Harry Potter and the Half-Baked Plot

by Werehamster
(2/5)

I was really torn between that one and the "Harry Potter and the Desperate House-Elves" - not an easy choice, seeing what a pop-culture whimsicle this series become having hit installment #6. No, seriously, I kinda liked the first one, reminded me of LOTR Book 1, with its sensation of a vast expansion of view, of a discovery of the larger and magical world lying there in wait just beyond the picked fence of mundane. This book is about as thrilling as your next issue of Suburban News, with its disproportionate amount of high-school sports, an obituary or two, and of course highly mysterious and disturbing disappearance of a snow blower in the middle of July. Rowling has been charged with formulaic plot before - does she ever put the "mooooo" back in formulaic in this one... But if before I figured that the magic was running thin and was just waiting for DEFRAGMENTO! or CIRCUMCISIO! to randomly pop up in seemingly endless stream of homemade incantations, in this one Rowling upped the love factor quite a bit, and managed to get it looking like a retarded child resulting from a gross sexual imposition by the Hallmark channel upon Disney programming...


It is not for kids anymore!

by William Black "buddman921"
(4/5)

The newest addition of Harry Potter is darker and racier than previous books have been. New loves are found and lost and maybe found again. The humor that the Weasley twins brought out is absent and the book remains serious throughout. Harry is back to being curious and able to find trouble Harry, and he is not as angsty as he was in the series' previous incarnation. Ron and Hermione are rocks that are unchanging. Malfoy strangely absent for most of the book, is given more depth when he is brought to the forefront. Most people will hate Snape more after this story, but I believe that there are hints of character development in Rowling's writing of him. This book brings about great changes for Harry, and by the end, the series is turned on its head. The series, as originally planned, was only supposed to follow Harry through his seven years at Hogwarts. This does not look to be the plan anymore, as the ending of the book opens the story up past the enchanted halls of Hogwarts. Let us hope that Rowling does not get bogged down like Jordan has and is able to take us to the last battle in a reasonable amount of time.Rowlings writing is improving vastly. The complexity of the story and number of characters demand it. She rises to the challenge almost effortlessly. She makes some hard decisions that she will likely take some pretty harsh criticism for, and the story, along with the characters, is more grown up. The magical world of Halloween feasts is gone in this book and is replaced by a world in fear of the very magic it cherishes.This book has some mature themes in it, and is therefore recommended for teenagers and up. If you have a younger child that wants to read the book, I would recommend reading it yourself first. If you are a fan of the series you will love this book. If you hated the last book, you will not hate this one. Rowling recovers nicely in this book.


Great addition to the series!

by wills "wills2003"
(4/5)

Unlike several of the other reviews - I am going to refrain from sprinkling spoilers throughout my review.Read this one in a weekend - and enjoyed it thoroughly.I have to report there is much less whining by Harry Potter than in #5 - much to my relief.This book pushes the story ahead more efficiently than the others... however it does so without the charming side plots featured in the other books (the comic relief) - the main side plot in this one involves evidence of the main characters maturing and developing other interests. In #5 my favorite side bit was George & Fred's development of their various joke candies, etc. It was a great long set up to a gloriously funny chaotic scene. That funny element really isn't present in this book.This one is slightly darker than the last - definitely more mature. I eagerly await the final book!If you want to continue reading reviews - I warn you to be careful as you progress - loads of SPOILERS below!


Waddya mean "ages 9-12?"

by wiredweird "wiredweird"
(5/5)

I'm - well, a lot more than either 9 or 12, and I like the series. I keep liking it better as the series goes along.Harry and his friends are well into their teens by now, with all the complexities of who dates who - or doesn't. As in the real world, there are baffling moments, uncomfortable ones, and occasionally the very comfortable ones (discreetly hidden behind the vague term "snogging").Harry gets a more mature view of the adults around him, too. They're not all the godlike wizards of his first year, they have their human flaws. The Hogwarts professors are seen with a more critical eye, and Harry addresses the Ministry on his own trems. Even Dumbledore is now seen to have his blind spots and failures - that injury scarcely counts as success, and his reliance on Harry in gaining crucial information falls well short of omnipotence. Harry's closer enemies are maturing, too.`Nuff said. Go and read it yourself. It helps a lot if you've read the others, in order, but you'd probably like it even as your first taste of the series.//wiredweird


My Favourite So Far

by wysewomon "wysewomon"
(5/5)

In the long-awaited _Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince_, Harry and Co. return to Hogwarts for their sixth year in the midst of growing threats from Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters (the threat is so severe, in fact, that the new Minister of Magic meets with the Muggle P.M. to discuss it). On the way there, they discover that Draco Malfoy is up to something especially bad--a discovery that takes Harry well past the point of obsession, trying to discover what it is. At Hogwarts, Harry commences a series of private studies with Dumbledore, over the course of which they explore Lord Voldemort's past in the hopes of finding a weakness. Eventually, these two stories converge as Dumbledore and Harry seek out a source of Lord Voldemort's power just as Draco's purpose becomes clear.I've noticed from other reviews here that people have seemed to really like this book or really dislike it. I'm, obviously, one of the former, but I can understand why others might be less than thrilled. HBP is a much different animal from the previous books in the series. Most noticeable, there is FAR less action. HBP is a very introspective book. In exploring Voldemort's past, we come to learn not only his weaknesses, but the events in his life that have made him what he is.Many of the standard devices of the series are still in place. The bulk of the book takes place at Hogwarts, where Harry and his friends have embarked on their N.E.W.T. level classes. As we have come to expect, there is a new teacher, conflicts and alliances with other students, and Quidditch. But Hogwarts exists merely as a framework; the school year is not dealt with in as much detail. This seems fitting as Harry, who has matured considerably from book five, is less concerned with preparing himself for an adult life that he might never see and more concerned with his prophesied final confrontation with Voldemort.A couple of themes are at play here. The first, which J.K. Rowling has mentioned several times, is the choice between what is right and what is easy. Early in the book, Harry discovers an item that seems at first to make his life much easier. Despite the fact that this item leads to darker and darker places, he insists that it's harmless and refuses to give it up. Only too late does he understand that his choice has dire consequences. The second is the question of blind trust. All too often, characters put too much trust in others who practice very questionable behavior, or in their own powers, because re-evaluating the situation would shake up their world view too much and present difficult choices. This also has dire consequences in the end.HBP sets us up for a seventh book that is bound to be markedly different. Harry, now virtually a adult, has accepted responsibility for the task before him. He is more self-directed and no longer willing--perhaps he's even unable--either to hide behind others or let them call the shots. He has a specific goal in mind and the determination to see it through. I'm thinking book seven is going to have to be huge for Rowling to accomplish everything she needs to in bringing this remarkable story to its conclusion. I look forward to it with great anticipation.


Yearning to Read Review

by yearningtoread
(5/5)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling (book 6)Pages: 652Release Date: January 1st, 2005Date Read: 2011, November 29th - December 6thReceived: OwnRating: 5/5 starsRecommended to: 15+This summary contains spoilers to the previous books! If you have not read Harry Potter books 1-4 I suggest you do not read the Summary. The actual review holds no spoilers.SUMMARY -Harry Potter is very unsure of what to expect from his 6th year at Hogwarts. There is a new Minister of Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour, and after what happened at the Ministry of Magic, Harry's story of Voldemort's return is finally looked upon as true. He's even being called "The Chosen One". Plus, there's a new Professor to take over Umbridge's job, Defense of the Dark Arts. But even with all this, he can't help but wonder what's wrong with Draco Malfoy, who has been acting extra suspicious, even for Draco. With the help of his friends Ron and Hermione, private lessons with Professor Dumbledore himself, and the amazing Potions notes he found in his used Advanced Potions book, Harry must discover the truth behind Malfoy's behavior before the worst comes to pass.MY THOUGHTS -Ok, so, I knew about that big thing at the end (sucks, huh?) and also who did it (extra lame, I know), but GEEZ! I was still soooo engrossed. And sad. So, so sad. :(I have no different thoughts/feelings/emotions toward toward this book than the last one - they're just heightened and about to freaking burst inside of me! I mean, how is this so amazing?! My mind is befuddled by this amazing accomplishment that is Harry Potter - and I am full of love for this extraordinary cast and - how am I going to survive?!Ok, I'm done being dramatic. Moving on.CHARACTER NOTES -Fred Weasley, I am madly in love with you and forever will be. I would like to be your wife. Please say you'll marry me and take me away to your joke shop, where we will have many red-headed pranking children and live happily ever after forever and always.Besides my undying passion for a particular Weasley twin (and yes I know about him already...), I must add a few new observations. You know how in my review for the previous book I mentioned how Harry is always a bit more revealed in each book? Well this time around I noticed how respectful he is. To friends, to teachers - to Dumbledore. The way he treats everyone as he would treat himself...how he talks to Dumbledore and how he's "Dumbledore's man through and through" - that almost brought tears to my eyes. I really really love Harry.Ron and Hermione continue to grow as well, and still stay geniusly consistent. I love the development of mutual feelings between them!!However, I can't forget Ginny, the new part of my Top 3 Favorite Harry Potter Characters since book 5. WOW, that girl - she's amazing. Tough, but sweet. Totally kind, but will stand up for herself. Dang. She blows me away.STORY NOTES -The story progresses very intensely in book 6. So much that you get that feeling of "It's going to end...really soon."This book is quite a bit spookier than the others - the inferi totally had me gaping with their intense creepiness. The climax was, as usually, quite incredible, with amazing reveals (totally was not expecting the Half-Blood Prince to be that person!) and a bittersweet ending that'll leave you dying for book 7.I really loved the way Malfoy's character shift affected the story. That, too, was something I had not expected and it exposed Malfoy in a very interesting way.The relationship between Harry and Dumbledore really affected the story in the greatest of ways. I love how they bonded - even when Harry didn't know a lot about Dumbledore.So - now I'm dying to know the rest of this fantastic story and how it all plays out! To say I'm hooked would be the biggest understatement of the history of the world!! Glued, stuck, plastered, never-to-be-parted-from - those don't even say enough! I'm in love!SUMMING IT UP -What an excellent 6th book!! (I think I say that with every book... It's true, though!) Deathly Hallows - come to Mama! ;)FOR THE PARENTS -Lots of kissing (aka snogging) and spooky dark magic. 15+


Another winner in the series, filled with courage & poignancy

by Z Hayes
(5/5)

HP & the Half-Blood Prince is another well-told tale, and we see the main characters being developed in greater depth, and more background being given [about time] about Lord Voldemort's beginnings and motivations.Harry, Ron & Hermione return for their sixth year at Hogwarts...but things have changed...Lord Voldemort's return has finally been acknowledged by the Ministry of Magic, and Cornelius Fudge [the previous minister] has been sacked, replaced by Rufus Scrimgeour, an Auror. There is a new Potions master, Professor Slughorn, and Snape has finally been appointed to the coveted Defense Against the Dark Arts position, to Harry's consternation.This book also finds Harry and his mentor Dumbledore getting closer, and forging a more meaningful friendship...Dumbledore gives Harry private lessons that allows a glimpse into Voldemort's background which is crucial to undertanding You-Know-Who's motivations.Harry, Ron & Hermione experience the pangs of adolescent romance, and this is handled in such a gentle and poignant manner as to appear wholly credible, making the characters very real in our minds. Draco Malfoy, who in previous novels was portrayed as merely an annoying presence, gets more exposure here, and his character turns out to be very important to the plot in this novel.And then of course there is Severus Snape, whose loyalty has been in question from the very beginning - is he merely Dumbledore's loyal assistant, or a Death Eater, or a double agent? These questions are answered in some measure in this book, but the final answer is to be found in Book 7.This is the final book in which much of the action takes place in Hogwarts, and that is sad...in Book 7, Hogwarts is no longer the focus of the story...but I digress. HP & the Half-Blood Prince is filled with great stroytelling, the plot unfolds slowly but surely, and with the various sub-plots, keeps the reader plowing through the pages till the climactic ending. This is a very emotional book, in a sense that the main players experience all sorts of strong feelings - anger, love, passion, hatred, vengeance, grief - all of which make for compelling reading!


Definitely not the best Potter book

by Zuberdeen
(3/5)

WARNING: SPOILER -- PLOT IS DISCUSSED! I read this book very quickly, which was surprisingly easy given its length. It felt very formulaic and oddly emotionless to me; even the title doesn't mean very much considering what goes on in the book. What about the Half-Blood Prince? Harry uses his old Potions book; big deal. And then Snape supposedly kills Dumbledore; I don't buy it! My guess is that Snape will turn out to be a good guy after all. Just MHO, of course, but the obvious manipulation of the reader made me snap the book shut at the end with an annoyed, unsatisfied feeling. Rowling has written much better Potter books, especially #'s 3 and 5, while this one felt bloated and caught up in describing tiresome memories, bureaucracy, and puppy love. Rowling's books are usually good enough to entertain both kids and adults, but this one I fear is just for the young ones. Sigh.


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