Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Now is the time when I and my obsessed, addicted compatriots re-read Harry Potter books to prepare ourselves for the release of the next book. The last book. I don't know what I will do without that fix after the last book, but I won't think about that now.
Somewhere out there is someone who hasn't read the series, who looks down their nose at such adults as I who get excited over a "children's book". To those who have opinions on this series but have yet to ever pick a book up, I implore you, please give it a try. Just a tiny taste. Go ahead, you'll like it. There's still time for you to start with the first book and make it to six before Deathly Hallows releases next month.
But today we are here to talk about The Half-Blood Prince. Book six in the seven book series that began with a boy finding out he was a wizard. The day I picked up that first book I was transfixed and transformed. JK Rowling tapped in to a well of creativity that is based on mythology and language and a marriage of a thousand years of imagination. Taking the best pieces of everything we might have known in a fairy tale and reworked it into an innovative and exciting set of characters and adventures that turned out to be the key to grabbing a whole new generation of kids and addicting them to reading.
Years anticipating this book and it didn't disappoint. Such hype surrounds the release of Harry Potter books, but it delivers. Progressively, with each book, the subject matter becomes darker and more adult. There is a war now, between good and evil. People are dying, there is blood, there is hatred. This isn't some happy little goodnight moon kid's book.
Rowling serves up a platter of twists and turns, new characters, and takes us on a path which leads to shock and disbelief. She has no problems continuing her flow from book 5 to here. All of the Harry Potter books have been page turners. Even at 652 pages, I was able to read this book in one weekend—would have been less if I hadn't slept.
If you recall, The Historian was of similar length and it took me decades (not really) to get through it. The difference between this and that is like the difference between Rosie O'Donnell and Kate Beckinsale.
In Half-Blood Prince Harry is finally taking on the role of the adult who knows he must face the ultimate evil, and he may just die. No more games, no more candy. Throughout this evolving darkness in Harry, the growing man, there also lies his strongest weapon: Love. As hokey as that is. And yeah, that's pretty hokey. Even Harry recognizes that. He has the love of friends and the love of a girl that's been waiting years for him to wake up and catch a clue. I liked the bits of romance. Between Ron and Hermione, their sweet tension and frustration. Between Harry and Ginny, their awakening and innocence.
Another change from previous books is Dumbledore. He is no longer an omniscient being, he has flaws and uncertainties. He might be wrong. That's something Harry has to cope with a well. Understanding his heroes don't know everything and he would have to learn some things on his own.
What it comes down to is this book finally dials it up a notch. Takes us, and the entire Hogwarts gang, to a new level of intensity. Everyone is forced to grow up when faced with such a tragedy that leaves the reader in tears, stunned, disbelieving.
Even now, I wonder if what I read is the truth of the matter. I have hope that there is a ruse, a hitch, a plan. It couldn't have happened like it seems, I'm sure.
Or maybe it did all happen exactly like it appeared. Any book that can keep me wondering for two years, anticipating what comes next with such baited breath, is a book of such wonderfulness that I just want to marry it.
This is the best book in the series. I fell in love with the first, was bored with the third, but an absolute junkie by book five.
I will be getting book seven at midnight when it releases and I will sit with coffee and read it through the night and bring you the review. I can't put into words my excitement over this FINALLY arriving.
Have I mentioned that Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is coming out in theaters? In IMAX?? This is the summer of Potter and you need to get on board. Cross over to the dark side. You can do it. Really.