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30 of 31 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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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastically thrilling book, 5 Dec 2010
A Kid's Review
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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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 
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 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 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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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed - but I can't rate it as anything else., 22 July 2005
The overwhelming opinion of many reviewers is that this is a fantastic book. Yet hidden between the glowing comments a view emerges of a sense of disappointment.
Since I completed the book I have wondered why I too, was left with this unexpected and unwanted feeling. I now realise that, like many of us who are deeply immersed in this incredible story, we feel so much part of it that our own views of how the story should unfold start to take over. We perhaps look to the book not for something new but for confirmation of our belief as to what should happen next.
Look what JK has effectively done to her main character. She has systematically stripped away anything that is of importance to him and so as not to give the story away here I won't expand on that but it is clear in reading. Even to the point that she finally allows him a little bit of happiness but them removes it from him once again before the end. JK now has a serious responsibility for the final book. Twists are fine but there should be no temptation to make the ending in doubt. Harry must not only succeed but be left in a position to consolidate the love he has never really known, and the book should give us a chance to see this consolidated, not end with success over Voldemort and the dark powers. We need to know that Harry has reciprocated love which will strengthen and last, despite his young age. Personally, I think that the source of this has been clearly confirmed in this book, despite the ending. All the way through the series we look as though the message is that 'good will always conquer evil in the end and love is the way to succeed in doing so'. I hope to see an early re-introduction of this key facet for Harry in the last book and a demonstration that he has someone prepared to stand at his side whatever it may cost because of their love for him.
What a long wait until the next one.
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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)   
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
5.0 out of 5 stars the half blood prince the book for adults, 3 Aug 2005
By 
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
5.0 out of 5 stars The darkest book yet, 19 July 2005
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth buying, if not the wait, 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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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling (Paperback - 6 July 2009)
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