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Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince
by J. K. Rowling
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sitting on the fence, 26 July 2007
Having finished the sixth book in the series I find myself strangely reminiscent of the other five. This is a book that ties up many loose ends, so, in itself, it is incomplete. It is a summary, and not a story. Hopefully, book seven will rescue us from this mire of stage setting.

The appeal of Harry Potter in unquestionably bewitching. Jo Rowling's talent for producing such an original fantasy tale that fits into the Information Age is indeed commendable. Sure, every single book so far, has plot holes so great one could ride the Hogwarts Express through them. Jo Rowling has the annoying habit of expecting the reader to ignore cause and effect. Such as in book 2 (Chamber of Secrets), Dumbledore and Hagrid are whisked away by the Ministry of Magic as innocent scapegoats only to be reinstated with no believable explanation as to why they are allowed back.

As so it goes on. Characters are often contrived and act contrary to nature. Please, please, Jo, do be consistent with the good and the bad guys and don't mix the two to suit the plot. I'm still unsure whether Sirius Black is a villain, and Hagrid is the worst of all at this gaping double standard. Like taking the kids into the Forbidden Forest as a punishment for something that was his fault in the first place. Yet, I remain a firm Harry fan, and ignore the obvious times when Jo has written her book for the movies. Harry with webbed feet! Give us a break!

In listening to Jo's televised interviews she did not disguise the fact that her books would become increasingly darker. ('After all, we are dealing with PURE evil' (quote)) So, not surprisingly, as Harry has grown into mature wizard hood, he has changed from boyhood innocence to Messianic Saviour whose vulnerability is his greatest defense.

Messianic? In the first chapter of book one, in the US print, a little cartoon of an unusual baby with special powers depicts Harry born under a star. Hmm, wonder where we have heard that before? The text, as well, is fairly suggestive of such a theme.

Lastly, it is hard to know how to classify the Harry Potter books now since the genre has plunged from children's fantasy to borderline horror. It's a bit like Willy Wonka meets Count Dracula.

Well, I am not too sad that this particular series is ending. Jo Rowling is a gifted author and let's hope she untangles herself enough to write other stories just as rewarding in the future.


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