Book 132: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – J.K. Rowling

[Click here to read an updated response from September 2018.]

I’m sad that my re-read of the series is coming to an end, but elated that Tom has started reading them and is seriously enjoying them! We’re watching the movies as soon as he finishes each book and both playing through the Lego Harry Potter series. Although I could do without him telling me everything that’s different in the books (open-wound people!), but it’s still exciting that he’s enjoying them.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is DEFINITELY in the top half of my arbitrary which Harry Potter books do I like more list. In this book more than any other, I believe, we truly see just how much potential Rowling has. She begins tying up loose ends while at the same time keeping the story moving forward in such a way that you can’t stop reading. This book more than any other (except for perhaps the first) provides the stage and set for the final novel. And as such – the wait for the final novel was by far the hardest and the longest (seeming)!

I think what I enjoyed most about this was even though Harry was still a whinny little git, he started to show some maturity. He still has incredible biases against Snape which totally come back to bite him in the ass, but who can say they didn’t despise Snape after this book!? Last time I spoke about how great a character Umbridge was, but I think out of the entire series if there is one character that stands above the rest for Rowling’s investment it is Severus Snape. I’ll probably talk more about him in the next post as well, but again having read the entire series and re-reading it now after a few years the things he says and does have so much more meaning and impact! I can’t help but feel sorry for him and hate him at the same time.

In addition to Snape, I am constantly wowed by Rowling’s creativity. The ideas she has pulled together from myriad sources and turned into this one epic story are unfathomable. Borrowing from folklore and mythology across the globe she has created this series which really stretches our minds and makes us wonder at what the possibilities of our world actually are! For example the scene in the cave – each of the details she includes are astoundingly eerie while at the same time being remotely feasible if you can believe just a bit.

Recommendation: I could go on and on and on about this book, but I won’t. Maybe I’ll re-read it again this year. Either way, you should definitely read it. It of course requires reading five other books previously, but it’s well worth the wait to get to!

Opening Line: “It was nearing midnight and the Prime Minister was sitting alone in his office, reading a long memo that was slipping through his brain without leaving the slightest trace of meaning behind.”

Closing Line: “His hand closed automatically around the fake Horcrux, but in spite of everything, in spite of the dark and twisting path he saw stretching ahead for himself, in spite of the final meeting with Voldemort he knew must come, wether in a month, in a year, or in ten, he felt his heart lift at the thought that there was still one last golden day of peace left to enjoy with Ron and Hermione.” (Whited out.)


12 thoughts on “Book 132: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – J.K. Rowling”

  1. I didn’t enjoy this book as much when I first read it – I mean I enjoyed it, but not as much as the others. It was only on my second read before DH came out that I realised that actually it was one of the best in the series.

    The third time I read it I felt remarkably sad because it made me realise that this was Harry’s last school year and that after this book he wouldn’t, and thus the reader wouldn’t, enjoy just being in Hogwarts school any more. It made me feel incredibly sad. Also, it is probably the one year that was relatively normal for Harry – no monsters, no escaped Godfathers and dementors looming about, hidden dangers, conspiracy or intrigue… so apart from what happened at the end Harry probably had his most stable year in Hogwarts.

    I never hated Snape, really even at the end of this book I never believed it of him. JKR had built him up so much over the series, he was just too important. He’s such a complex character one that is just a horrible and bitter person, but at the same time kind of sad and he knows it.

    You are so making me want to just chuck everything and have another HP re-read!


    1. It definitely took me a re-read or two to really appreciate it as well. And you’re absolutely right about it being the last year at Hogwarts and Harry’s most ‘normal’ year. I guess I hated Snape in the same way I hated Umbridge, he took his one thing too far (don’t want to say it in case someone hasn’t re-read it). It really took the last novel and the pensieve scene for me to truly forgive him for the supposed malice towards Harry. I didn’t hate him because of what he did in this novel, I assumed that was planned, but I didn’t feel sympathy towards him until the final novel.


      1. Last time I re-read them left me so emotionally drained by the end. Plus with all the laughing and crying my face really hurt afterwards. I love being so involved with a story and what always amazes me is that after all these years… I guess I started then in 98? 14 years of perpetual re-reading they still have the same effect on me as they did when I first started reading them.

        Stop tempting meeee!! 😦 I ought to though… I didn’t review the last 2 books on my blog during my re-read because I was just too exhausted! And I had massive book block afterwards.


  2. I’m happy that Tom is enjoying them. I remember when I was reading this series, my better half got jealous since I wouldn’t put the books down. In order to get attention, the better half would say, “What’s Harry up to today?” I would set the book down and share all the things that had happened since our last chat. Now I want to read them again.


    1. Haahaa it is great – whenever I see where he is in the book he’s reading I have to try really hard not to say something like ‘oh this is going to happen, or oh that’s going to be important later! Even though I complained about him comparing the books to the movies, it’s been funny because now he sees why I’ve been so adamant about him reading them.


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