Friday, July 20, 2018

A Book Review of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

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The war against Voldemort is not going well; even the Muggles have been affected. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses. 

And yet . . . as with all wars, life goes on. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Harry receives some extraordinary help in Potions from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince. And with Dumbledore's guidance, he seeks out the full, complex story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort -- and thus finds what may be his only vulnerability.

Series: Harry Potter (Book 6)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; Reprint edition (July 25, 2006)
Page Count: 652 pages

I’m nearing the end of the Harry Potter series! It’s been a long journey. This is either my second or third favorite volume of the series so I was really excited to read the book behind it!

The Plot: The endgame is approaching and this is palpable in the atmosphere of the story. The book starts off with the villains so that immediately sets a different tone and much of the story revolves around unraveling the mystery of Voldemort and his plans. Much of the story also revolves around potions since Harry’s mission is to uncover the missing piece of Voldemort’s story that is only known by the new potions teacher Slughorn.

The Characters: Harry has matured much by this time and has grown close to Dumbledore. Draco actually has a significant role in the plot as he goes about a mysterious mission that Snape is committed to helping him achieve. Hermione and Ron have a lot of romantic tension as they both get into relationships on their own when they’re really just avoiding their own feelings.

Dumbledore is also more closely involved in the story. He’s always been there but in this book, he’s working directly with Harry. Slughorn is an interesting character. I love how J.K. Rowling defines her characters. Slughorn is defined as being heavy, having a walrus mustache, and loving the finer things and crystallized pineapple. 

I didn’t really like the Weasely’s attitudes toward Fleur though. I didn’t think she was all that bad but Ginny’s treatment of made her feel immature. I prefer the more mature movie version of Ginny actually.

The Setting: The Pensieve unveils new locations such as Voldemort’s orphanage home and even the home of his mother and father. Harry and Dumbledore travel to a treacherous location with enchantments, inferi, and scary water in search of a way to defeat Voldemort. 

Epic Things: Potions! I loved learning more about potions. If I was in the Harry Potter world, I would really enjoy potions so I liked more expanded upon them especially thanks to the Halfblood Prince. ;) I also love Pygmy puffs. I want one. XD 

The Theme: The loyalty between Harry and Dumbledore is really powerful.

Content Cautions: Some violence, the most being with the use of a certain spell that causes deep cuts in the victim. Two “rude gestures.” Two uses of h*** and two uses of d***.

What We Can Take Away For Our Writing:

Unique Formatting - For more on this please see Melissa Gravitus’s post but she totally pointed out interesting and engaging it is when books have different formatting. The Harry Potter series has a lot of that: newspaper articles, book excerpts, notes, and letters. In one Rowling even included tear stains and many have signatures. It created a sense of realism.

How this can be applied to writing: Have you thought of having unique formatting in your story?

Conclusion: Overall I really enjoyed the book! Here I go for Deathly Hallows!

About the Author:
J K (Joanne Kathleen) Rowling was born in the summer of 1965 at Yate General Hospital in England and grew up in Chepstow, Gwent where she went to Wyedean Comprehensive. Jo left Chepstow for Exeter University, where she earned a French and Classics degree, and where her course included one year in Paris. As a postgraduate she moved to London to work at Amnesty International, doing research into human rights abuses in Francophone Africa. She started writing the Harry Potter series during a Manchester to London King's Cross train journey, and during the next five years, outlined the plots for each book and began writing the first novel. Jo then moved to northern Portugal, where she taught English as a foreign language. She married in October 1992 and gave birth to her daughter Jessica in 1993. When her marriage ended, she returned to the UK to live in Edinburgh, where "Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone" was eventually completed and in 1996 she received an offer of publication. The following summer the world was introduced to Harry Potter."Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was published by Bloomsbury Children's Books in June 1997 and was published as "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in America by Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic in September 1998.The second title in the series, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", was published in July 1998 (June 2, 1999 in America) and was No. 1 in the adult hardback bestseller charts for a month after publication. "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" was published on 8th July 1999 (September 8, 1999 in America) to worldwide acclaim and massive press attention. 

The book spent four weeks at No.1 in the adult hardback bestseller charts, while "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" simultaneously topped the paperback charts. In the US the first three Harry Potter books occupied the top three spots on numerous adult bestseller lists.The fourth book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" was published in Britain, the USA, Canada and Australia 8th July 2000 with a record first print run of 1 million copies for the UK and 3.8 million for the US. It quickly broke all records for the greatest number of books sold on the first weekend of publication. The fifth book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," was published in Britain, the USA, Canada and Australia on 21st June 2003. Published in paperback on 10th July 2004, it is the longest in the series - 766 pages - and broke the records set by "Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire" as the fastest selling book in history. The sixth book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", was published in the UK, US and other English-speaking countries on 16th July 2005 and also achieved record sales.The seventh and final book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," was published in the UK, US and other English speaking countries on 21st July 2007. The book is the fastest selling book in the UK and USA and sales have contributed to breaking the 375 million copies mark worldwide.J K Rowling has also written two small volumes, which appear as the titles of Harry's school books within the novels. "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" and "Quidditch Through The Ages" were published by Bloomsbury Children's Books and Scholastic in March 2001 in aid of Comic Relief. The Harry Potter books have sold 400 million copies worldwide. They are distributed in over 200 territories and are translated into 67 languages. Find her on her website and Twitter!

Other Books by this Author I've Reviewed:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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