Monday, May 19, 2014

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

(It’s been a couple weeks since I finished this one, so forgive me if my impressions are less up-to-date than you’d like. Also, this will probably be quite short for that reason.)

First 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.”

Romance: 3/5 – There is quite a bit of kissing and dating described.

Profanity: 2/5 – If I remember correctly, the swearing is less here than in The Order of the Phoenix, but there’s still enough to raise a concern for younger readers. Use of “D**n,” “H*ll,” “Bloody,” and “Blimey”—possibly inappropriate jokes.

Violence: 2/5 – Similar to the other books in the series; violence in books doesn’t affect me as it would in a movie, so it’s difficult to rate this.

Other parental concerns: Use of magic.

“The war against Voldemort is not going well; even the Muggle governments are noticing. Ron scans the obituary pages of the Daily Prophet, looking for familiar names. 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—and lose a few eyebrows in the process. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Classes are never straightforward, though Harry receives some extraordinary help from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince. So it’s the home front that takes center stage in the multilayered sixth installment of the story of Harry Potter. Here at Hogwarts, Harry will search for the full and complex story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort—and thereby find what may be his only vulnerability.” – GoodReads

My comments on this are going to be pretty straightforward. First of all, I’m happy to say that Rowling’s writing has really begun to improve—there are far fewer dialogue-with-adverb tags, and every word flows much more easily through one’s brain as a result. The plot begins to thicken as she utilizes the character of the Half-Blood Prince and begins to teach Harry to better understand the brain and actions of Lord Voldemort. Yet though the plot is good, I still feel it lacked tension and correct pacing in some places—especially just before the end. Thus, I think I’ll go ahead with this—


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