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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastically thrilling book
I am 8 years old. I really love this thrilling book. Anyone aged eight and a half to thirty years who likes adventures should read it. It is full of magic and excitement. If you are worried about it being too scary, then don't - it has never given me nightmares. As soon as I got this book I could not wait to get started. I hope you enjoy it too.
Published on 5 Dec 2010

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could do better!
Enjoyed this because it reintroduced old characters and places that all Potter readers have grown to love. However I felt it was a bit thin on plot and felt more like the lead-up to the final book than a complete novel in itself. That said, I'll still buy the next one on the day it comes out.
Published on 1 July 2006 by Children's book lover


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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastically thrilling book, 5 Dec 2010
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince: Children's Edition (Harry Potter 6) (Hardcover)
I am 8 years old. I really love this thrilling book. Anyone aged eight and a half to thirty years who likes adventures should read it. It is full of magic and excitement. If you are worried about it being too scary, then don't - it has never given me nightmares. As soon as I got this book I could not wait to get started. I hope you enjoy it too.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How does she keep doing it?, 3 Aug 2005
By 
Chris Chalk "Chris" (Croydon, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince: Children's Edition (Harry Potter 6) (Hardcover)
Well I finished the Half Blood Prince last night and was again blown away by both the imagination and the quality of JK Rowling's writing, it was truly fantastic. I have been a huge fan of the series ever since I first picked up the Philosophers Stone, completely drawn into this fantastical world that she had created. I felt empathy with the characters, the environment, their strives and their joys. A story that is set in mythical place but with real feelings and real problems. Well maybe metaphors for real problems...
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.
Speaking of the quality of the writing I do read of a lot of people detracting from it, saying it will never be a literary classic, or that it lacks the quality to ever really go down in history. What rubbish. The books people often benchmark this against (Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia) where written for the time period they served, just as HP is now written for people (not just children) of our time. History will make this a classic, too many people love it not to be.
I digress...
The story is definitely a slow burner, leading the reader to the inevitable finale but really taking its time getting there. This is no bad thing and I feel really adds weight to the book. I do believe JK Rowling is now struggling with the number of characters she has introduced and the many complex relationships that they undertake but I feel the saving grace here is the time we have had with each of them before. This allows us to create our own background and our own ideas on how they will act, with gentle nudging in the right direction...
The book is a real success, lengthy but not unnecessarily so. Be warned, the end is by no means expected and will catch you off guard. Those of nervous disposition be ready for some water works! Read this book in the context it was written and you will truly have finished what is one of the best books of its age.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, 8 Oct 2005
J.K Rowling has done it again. She has gone back to the magical world of Harry Potter and delivers an exciting and well thought out portrayal of his world in "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince". This book is darker than the others and focuses more on Harry growing up and the fight against the Dark Lord Voldemort, that finally has been accepted by the Ministry of Magic. This book is a page turner that can only be expected of Miss Rowling and should be loved by all true Harry fans. Although her puns and ideas are spot on and original, I found the first few pages not as engaging as previous books and found it hard to want to reread it as much as I did the others. Whether this has to do with the new "darker" Harry that has become a typical teenager or whether the chapters are simply not as interesting, I do not know. J.K Rowling has cut down on the size of the book (although it is massive it still went too quickly!)which should come as a relief to some Harry fans but the ideas are still flowing and it still remains a brilliant piece of fiction.
Most people should love this welcome escape into Harry's world but others, I fear, will either be left wanting more or left wanting none at all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another steller work, 27 Jan 2006
By 
Keril (Everett, WA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince: Children's Edition (Harry Potter 6) (Hardcover)
A series that can stimulate the imagination of children and encourage them to read is thing of beauty. Not only does this book appeal to the younger set, but us older guys too. I've been reading fantasy now for twenty years and this series has held my attention throughout.
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All may not be what it seems, 23 July 2005
By A Customer
I am one of JK Rowling's older readers who never gets her hands on the book until the (now grown up) kids have finished with it. This was the best of the series so far, imho. The action built slowly to a nail-biting climax and I was moved to tears by the end. JK Rowling's insight into teenage minds is superb and we are reminded in this book that Harry can sometimes be as flawed and deceived as anyone else. In response to an earlier reviewer who felt that justice had not been done either to the death of a well-known character or to the perpetrator of the deed, I would say ... the author is almost certainly playing tricks with us, so while I don't think we can expect a miracle, don't take what happened at face value. There is surely much more to be revealed about these events. Likewise the title ... the book is not just about finding out who the Half Blood Prince is, but about whether he is Harry's friend or foe. I suspect that by the end of the book, we are intended to think this is now clear, but my gut feeling is that Ms Rowling almost certainly has some big surprises up her sleeve for us in the final instalment of the series. There is now so much to be resolved that I can't wait to see how she will do it in the space of only one more book. Talk about a cliffhanger!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scarhead is back... with a bang!, 22 July 2005
By 
This review is from: Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince: Children's Edition (Harry Potter 6) (Hardcover)
For me, what makes the Half Blood Prince the most momentous and important book in the whole series is the amount of talk that takes place between Dumbledore and Harry in the numerous lessons that Harry has with the Headmaster. Everytime Dumbledore empties a memory into his Pensieve and everytime both him and Harry jump headlong into this memory sink, we get a breathtaking account of the book's main antagonist, Voldemort's past and the book's graph soars to an all-time high. Right from his innate magical skills, his ancestory, his naming, the troubled times of his parents and most of all his time as a student of (hold your breath) Dumbledore are to be read to be believed. Layer by layer, as Rowling's crisp writing and gripping narrative peels off the hitherto well-shielded Voldemort's past, the whole series gets a newfound depth and understanding.
Even otherwise, the way the book keeps developing the already-established characters, especially Potter himself, is amazing. The slow but definite growth that Harry shows with his uninhibited spouting Voldemort's name, uttering curses, understanding his relationship with Ron and Hermoine and most of all, an understanding of himself as the prime hero is a welcome relief from the peckish and confused teenager he's been for the last 2-3 books. Meanwhile, the author knows that the only way Ron can be different is by being dumb and the only way Hermoine can still be distinguished from a barrage of similar aged females like Luna Lovegood, Ginny, Lavender Brown, Katie Bell, Parvati Patil is how much time she spends in the library and how quickly she raises her hand everytime a question is asked in a lesson. Predictable though it might be, the camaraderie between the lead triplet still retains its ingenuity and spontaneity that's been synonymous with it in the past. Joining the feel-good brigade are the Weasley brothers and surprisingly Hagrid, whose "summat" and "yer" and "ter" and concern for Magical Creatures is nowhere as boring as his obnoxious tale in the last book.
With every new installation comes the expectation of new characters and newer magic and though this talk-heavy book gives us precious little in terms of both, whatever little that makes it to the pages lingers long after you have read the last line-namely the Felix Felicis (luck-enhancing) potion, Horcruxes (the darkest of all curses) and the numerous other ones which Harry has fun trying thanks to the scribbles of the Half Blood Prince. For a change, there's blood too-the curses slash skin deep, the maledicted doorways require even the most able of wizards to slit through their wrists and let the blood spurt to open them and a fair amount of peril too with not-so-subtle references to soul-splitting, exorcism, dead bodies wringing to life, women being physically abused and Rowling's penchant to make the series darker is alone enough to give it an above 12 certificate.
Of course there are some hiccoughs too in the narrative and the most audible one is that the series has aged. And however much Rowling hides it in the thrills and chills, there are sections where you really wish to be over soon. Like Harry's stay at the Dursleys, or his customary visit to the Burrow, or him boarding the Hogwarts Express and having a duel or an argument with Draco-it gives a strong feeling of having been-there-seen-that and it irritates you even more when you are aching to complete the book within a day and these "regular" chapters keep popping up and dividing your attention span. Though Quidditch matches have been reasonably truncated now to brief 3-4 page affairs with fairly entertaining commentaries, the book does hit a low every time Professor Slughorn throws a party for his favourites or everytime Neville Longbottom gets a charm wrong.
From the plot's point of view, the assassination of one of the most lovable characters of the book is rather implausible considering his ace intelligence and ultra fine tuned perception. Also, the consequent climactic duel proves that the "good" namely the Hogwarts' Professors and the Ministry are so woefully weak that a mere group of Death eaters leave them all tattered, battered and decidedly defeated. Its only now that one wonders whether the "increased" security, the school's highly charmed outer shield, the Secrecy Sensors and most of all, the exceptionally well trained and learned Professors are anything more than useless twaddle.
Of course one tends to overlook the flaws when the book's so written. Free of the unnecessary fat that so plagued the Order of the Phoenix, the writing is sharp, incisive, very British (for proof count the craps and innits and summats) and thoroughly enjoyable. From jinxing to teenage crushes, from Potter Apparating to Potter mourning, from the confines of Harry's room at Dursleys to the vastness of the accursed caves and towers-the words, the expressions and the descriptions seldom miss their effect. There's less effort gone into creating an atmosphere, and understandably so-being sixth in the series the book's teeming with the outlandish-comic magical terminology its so easily inherited from its five predecessors which Rowling doesn't have time to explain, and besides this reason, the fact that there are some crucial points which link to The Chamber of Secrets and Goblet of Fire, make sure you have read both of them before coming anywhere near this one.
With this rather dark and dispiriting, not ultimately gratifying (being the penultimate) yet excellent sixth book, Rowling makes sure that her bizarre "created" world of wizards loses none of its believability and to an extent, originality. The book shouts for a sequel-so much so that it makes you wonder why she didn't just stick 300 more pages to it and finish it for once. Hence, the need of the hour is a quick release of the series finale lest she wants us, Pottermaniacs, to still love and feel for the Scarhead as we have been doing for years.
All said and done, this one's an absolute must-read!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Speechless..., 22 July 2005
By 
Sarah Barker "Sarah B" (Wiltshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I don't know how Rowling does it! This book is simply the best yet! Harry has stopped acting like a grumpy teenager which dominated the last book (which frankly got very irritating) and has started to embrace his resposibilities of being Harry Potter.
There are plenty of the usual HP book traits which you would only understand having read all the other books. Ends start being tied up in preperation for the last instalment and there are plenty of unexpected twists and although I'm itching to give everything away I'm not going to be cruel if you haven't managed to read it all yet! However I will say Harry gets an unexpected girlfriend (and it's not Cho Chang...) there's a very shocking death that I still haven't got over yet! One of the teachers turns out to be very bad and we meet a Slytherin who doesn't idolise only those from the same house but instead likes Harry which is a novelty! And the identity of the Half-Blood Prince is a complete shock.
Rowling has done it again...she is an absolute genious and I'm literally wetting myself in anticipation of the last book! Bring it on Rowling!
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magical fiction from the master, 16 Aug 2005
By 
I. Curry "IDC" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
The clock has struck 13, the train has left platform 9 and term is starting at Hogwarts. The media razzmatazz has swamped Edinburgh, and millions of children around the (English) speaking world gathered at their local bookshops close to midnight to get their hands on the literary equivalent of a golden snitch. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
Just to make things clear if you didn't like any of the Harry Potter series, if you subscribe to the view that children's books are for children, or if you are just a cynical crusty then this review will not reinforce your position. This is a review of the new Harry Potter book from the view point of an adult fan. Having said that I too was once the cynical observer of this mass phenomon until I actually read one. And was hooked.
So has Ms. Rowling done her best? Is it really worth the wait? Surprisingly largely yes. The new book continues in the vein of the series, growing heftier and darker, dealing with weightier issues and becoming more immersed in a growing, almost suffocating, world of magic. Things are not well in the world of wizards. Whilst the majority of muggles only see freak accidents and weather conditions, magical families are in varying states of panic as he who shall not be named stalks the land once more.
In the middle of this crisis there is an apparent oasis of calm and normality. Hogwarts is still open for business, and Ron, Hermione and of course Harry will be returning to Gryffindor tower for the first year of their NEWT exams. This is the penultimate book, and following the school life they have finished their OWLs (GCSEs), and are now studying for their 'sixth form' exams.
The curriculum is not all that has changed. Whilst Rowling hints at the kids growing up in the previous books, it is in the Half Blood Prince that the threshold is crossed and the children become adults. This is one of the few reservations in the book. Is the development a little forced? Rowling is at pains to demonstrate the emotional turmoil that threatens to rip apart friendships. And like all teenage problems it all becomes a little, well, tedious. Fortunately this only fills in the middle, and by the end Rowling is once more romping towards an unputdownable finale.
What is also clear is that this book marks an important development in the Potter story arc. One criticism is that it leaves so many threads dangling - necessary for the final book to tie up, but annoying for the reader having to wait two years for the finished product. However it is nice to see Hogwarts and the Potter universe having a coherency and direction that mark the series as being a whole.
The Half Blood Prince marks a significant development in the series, as it becomes truly dark. No one is spared pain, and it is a fine example of the grand tradition of children's stories that do not spare the gruesome and dark. In a world of happily ever after this return to Grimm and Anderson is welcome. Rowling's writing is strong, has sufficient pace to grip the adult and child reader, is vivid and, well, for want of a better word magical. I finished it in a few sittings spread over two days, and it was as blissful and purely entertaining as any film or TV programme.
Many people have criticised Rowling, but millions more have praised her for creating books that have captured imaginations, got children reading and have forged a magical world. This latest book should dispel more critics, and cement Rowling's reputation as a pre-eminent children's, and adult's, author. It is proof that the series is complete, that the story arc is gripping and that Harry Potter will captivate generations to come. In a word, magical!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darker, deeper, and full of plot twists, 17 July 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince: Children's Edition (Harry Potter 6) (Hardcover)
It was always going to be hard for JK Rowling to live up to all the hype surrounding the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, but I think that she has managed it. Darker than the earlier episodes, the sixth book nevertheless has many humorous moments and plenty of Rowling's brilliant one-liners.

Many of the problems suffered by book five were avoided here. The pacing is much better, without any sense of dragging or redundancy. If anything, the detail is a little sparse, rather than overdone. The plot is also kept in sight at all times, with Harry receiving instruction from Dumbledore as the major plotline, and shifty behaviour from his old enemy Draco Malfoy as the secondary line.

As with Order of the Phoenix, there is a strong ending, including a couple of blinding plot twists that have left fans astounded. While the major character death isn't a complete surprise, the circumstances surrounding it and the consequences are - not to mention the identity of the Half-Blood Prince!

Some characters introduced in earlier books here are rather neglected, probably felt most accutely as this story is plot-driven while the previous installment was much more character-driven. There are a few new characters, including a new teacher who is one of Rowling's most interesting creations.

Maybe the best thing about Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince for me is the number of answers given to some of the series' most puzzling mysteries. While Order of the Phoenix promised answers but didn't deliver, this story is much more satisfying, whilst still leaving plenty to puzzle over before the next book.

While there is plenty of humour in this story - the Quidditch commentary by dreamy Luna Lovegood being a particular highlight - there are also references to much darker happenings, including several deaths and injuries. The final climax has a high emotional impact and hankies may well be needed!

Inevitably, some critics will knock the book, and some fans will be disappointed by some plot developments not panning out as they expected. But this stands out to me as one of the best installments in the Harry Potter series, and I would highly recommend it to readers of all ages from ten upwards.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To buy or not to buy?, 28 July 2005
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
So you read books 1 to 4 and loved them?
You didn't enjoy Book 5 and are unsure whether or not the series is going to fizzle out as a damp squib (pardon the pun)?
You don't want to find out the plot but want help making a decision? Then read on without fear...
JK starts the book at a cracking pace with characters new and old. Watch out for Chapter 2 - now who do we believe? The pace is maintained throughout with twists and turns aplenty. Additionally, links are made to events in all previous books - she is a very clever writer. I couldn't put it down; a welcome return to form after the relative letdown of book 5. Also, a truly amazing ending. You simply have to read this book.
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