The Half Blood Price picks up directly where the Order of the Phoenix picks up and now, more than ever, feels like a piece of a bigger story rather than a stand-alone tale. The first 4 Harry Potter books did provide some direction as to where the overall story was going but were far more self contained. OOTP really stepped away from this and was much more in the style of a Lord of the Rings book, definitely a part of a whole. This is why I believe it was not as well received but will only be truly be judged when all 7 books have been completed. HBP is very much in the same vein but really points you more clearly than ever to the tasks that Harry most overcome to finally rid himself of the loathsome burdens that he must bear.
For the first time I felt I picked up upon a major twist in the story, after about 250 - 300 pages I had figured out who the Half Blood Prince was, although I didn't really believe it until it was written. This I feel I was deliberately allowed to figure out as once I began thinking this way I was really thrown off the scent of what was actually going to happen at the climax of the book, a really skilful piece of writing.Read more ›
Another story I'd reccomend is a new guy, Brian S. Pratt. In his debut novel he creates a world where a young man is pulled from this one and deposited without any idea why or what he's to do. Full of action, magic and war, James(the hero) sets out in search of answers.
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