• Book: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • Author: J.K. Rowling
  • Genre: Fiction (Modern Literature)
  • Year of Release: 2005
  • Read 607-page hardcover edition in July 2013.

Book Description: In his sixth year at Hogwarts, Harry is now meeting with Professor Dumbledore on a more regular basis, for one-on-one training, to learn more about Voldemort, how and why he rose to power, and more importantly what can be done to stop him.  Dumbledore has brought Harry into his confidences, and wants to work with him to prepare him for the war that is sure to come, and has already started in some respects.  Harry, Hermione, and Ron, along with friends like Ginny, Neville, and Luna also plan for the future and what the war will mean to them on a personal level.  And as the suspense and seriousness of the current situation with Voldemort and his followers increases, it becomes clear that who can be trusted will play an important part on surviving and prevailing.

Book Review: This sixth novel was a tighter one in many respects from the last huge book that Rowling wrote, where she had written in many new characters, plot points, and ideas.  In this sixth book, Rowling spent more focused time with key characters and plots, and allowed the reader to learn more about the key characters of Harry’s background, Voldemort’s background, and Dumbledore to a lesser degree.  We still see the other characters present, including the addition of an important and well-written new character, Professor Slughorn.  But Rowling uses this sixth novel in large part to “set up” the seventh and final novel.  We need a lot of this background information to allow the seventh book to proceed.  Although this is totally understandable, and the information is valuable, it must be said that large parts of the intro and middle of the novel are spent looking back on history and learning about why things are the way they are.  There is less “present-day action” in this novel versus the previous outing.  That being said, the backstory is required and interesting.  Furthermore, the finale of this novel has to be said to be action-packed, dramatic, suspenseful, emotional, touching, and traumatic.  Overall, this is a strong novel that sets up the last book of the series very nicely.

Overall: 4 stars out of 5.