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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 22 July 2005
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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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on 5 December 2010
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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 8 October 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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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on 3 August 2005
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
this book was by far the best! the thing i loved about this book was how dark it was,now some people may say that it is depressing and dare i say it boring . but those people obviously are not well read readers for once jk has written a book about her characters and not just about magic and battle something which i believe an adult reader will apreciate . now im 19 and have grown up with harry from the start so i assume theres alot of readers around my age who have done the same and apreciate the deeper levels of the book. it is not a book aimed strictly at young children any more actually far from it to apreciate it i believe you really have had to grow up with harry and understand this book in the context of the rest of the series.
theres no doubting this books purpose was to build up to the final book which is going to be award winning. yet i believe it stands alone never before have we understood what drives voldermont never before have we seen such emotion. never before have we realised that harry might not survive. The world of hogworts is not hunky dory and i wait in awe for the next novel.
any true fan would\read the book and then theses reviews however if you have never read harry before start at the beginning as otherwise u wont truelly apreciate this novel. personally i watched the first film and hated it dont even think of watching the film instead of the books. please exscuse my spelling.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Well after the long wait one of the most anticipated books in recent years arrives and it doesn't disapoint.
JK Rowling has pulled off something special with this book. Not only has she tied up plot lines that started way back in the first book, she has succesfully guided her series from being a childrens book that adults enjoyed to a far darker style which adults will not just enjoy but will be completely immersed by.
Dont get me wrong this is still a great childrens book (if perhaps slightly scary in places for a young child) but the themes and events of this book will bring out all the emotions an adult can imagine feeling.
The last few chapters are impossible to put down until you finish them, you know whats coming, you dont want it to but when it does the shock at what has happened still wont sink in.
Yet with all this darkness around you Rowling still manages to leave that little chink of light at the very end with that continuing theme through the whole series that with the help of friends you can cope with the worst the world has to offer.
This book deals with many issues which can only help adults teach children about life, death and a lot of the stuff in between. This is what Rowling does brilliantly and this is her at her best. Who among us can wait for the fianl chapter of this incredible series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2005
A much darker tone in places than the previous books, yet it becomes clear just exactly what the others have been leading up to in 'Half-Blood Prince'. Without revealing too much to spoil the ending for those who haven't read it yet, the identity of the Half-Blood Prince is not a huge shock, but it is rather ironic when considered in the context of Harry's relationship to 'him'. The ending comes in the spectacular style that we've become accustomed to from previous Potter novels, which personally I feel is the strongest selling point for this book, as my main criticism would be that more than half the book seems to be spent in a very slow development for the nerve-wracking tension and emotion of the last few chapters.
What I can safely say is that Harry has much more of his past and Voldemort's revealed to him, and in a much franker and less cryptic style than usual as time runs out, and the end of the series approaches. The last chapter is particularly poignant, and ends by hinting at what's still to come, done in such a way that if by some very strange chance this doesn't become the fastest-selling book of all time, I'd say it's a foregone conclusion for Book 7. An epic in the making, maybe not, well worth the long wait, maybe not, but certainly compulsive reading and well worth buying right now.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 July 2005
The sixth and second to last of JK Rowling's amazing novels, is as unputdownable as all the rest. We are shown again in to a world we are now familiar with, where Harry is astonishingly adult and perceptive, where he is coming to terms with all the difficulties the last book presented him.
This is a shocking gripping novel, and not for the faint hearted. There is significantly less detail than the last couple, and the plot is the driving force. This sometimes effects the story, and in places it feels rushed as Rowling needs to put so much information in in such a small space.
Having said that, I think it is a worthy addition to the cannon of Potter books, but when the seventh and final book comes out, in my opinion this one will be few peoples' favourite. It is dark and scary, and at times devastating. I wouldn't recomend this to a child of 7 or 8, although the strong themes, such as death, choice and independence would suit an older reader. As an adult, you will be thrilled by it. However it is probably not one I will read over and over like the others, the sense that something dark is on the way penetrates through the entire novel, and there is a lot less humour in it.
These are books that will go down in history as some of the best stories ever, so if you've got any sense, read it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2010
The crown jewel of the Harry Potter series, "Half-Blood Prince" is one of the finest novels I've read in my lifetime. Having allowed us to watch Harry evolve and mature for so many years, Rowling finally lifts the veil, so to speak, humanizing the larger than life characters of not just Dumbledore and Snape, but significantly and achingly, Tom Riddle. This is love letter to one of the hardest things we all experience: the moment that your idols become your peers, your parents become your friends, and your superiors your equals, when you realize we're all in this together and that it is nobody's job to shelter you, and when, finally, you realize that people are absolutely human.
Rowling's affection for her characters and her sympathy for even the most vile of her creations (the Malfoys and Voldemort himself) are at the heart of Harry Potter's lasting beauty and insight. Here, she explores her three most fascinating creations, and one wishes the story would never end. But it does, and when it does, Harry is faced with the same challenge that Rowling subjects her readers to: how much faith do you really have in what you've been told, and do you believe, at the end of the day, that good really does win out?

A timeles classic. One of my favorites, ever
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2005
Well Harry has finally grown up and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Long gone are the innocent pranks and japes around Hogwarts, this is serious... I loved this book, immensely. I can't pretend I have payed much attention to the theories/leaks pertaining to the book. When I read this book I had only entertained my own theories. I was surprised by some of the relevations and less so by others.
Whether you consider yourself a HUGE Potter fan, or just enjoy reading them, this book is huge in its implications. Of course, there is a definite formula to the book - that is half the appeal - but the end literally 'removes the rug' from under one's feet. I am not sure which is sadder, the death of a much-loved and influential character or the loss of Harry's innocence... (Which you may argue, he lost ages ago, but this book finally pushes him into adulthood)
Harry and his friends have come a very long way since the Philosopher's stone, you will cry and laugh during this penultimate episode. Questions will be answered, yet you will end the book with many more...
Not at all dissapointing. Rowling delivers exactly what she promised. Harry is now a young man and I can't wait to take the final journey with him.
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