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Friday, January 2, 2009

JK Rowling - Harry Potter and the Halfblood Prince

Genre: Fantasy
Book 6 in the Harrry Potter series
ISBN: 9780439784542
Releasedate: July 1, 2005
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format owned: HC Adult / Bloomsbury
For sale at: The Book Depository Store

The war against Voldemort is not going well; even 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 in al wars, life goes on. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate - and lose a few eyebrows in the process. The Weaseley twins expand their business. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Classes are never straightforward, though Harry receives some extraordinary help from the mysterrious 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.

Harry Potter enters his sixth year at Hogwarts and finds himself a great way to be an excellent student in potion making, with a little help from a book previously owned by the Halfblood Prince. This to the utter annoyance of Professor Snape, his previous teacher in Potion making.

Together with Hermoine, Ron and Ginny he tries to uncover who this Halfblood Prince is. Albus Dumbledore makes Harry his special project in working with him to further uncover the truth about the prophecy and how to eliminate he-who-shall-not-be-named!

I shamefully have to admit I never read the first 5 instalments in this series about Harry Potter, but I have faithfully seen all the movies. They were so well set in the storylines, following the books (I presume as) I found myself not missing the fact that I haven’t read them. All the information necessary was shown in the movies, so if you have seen them and not read the books you’re still good to go on in this series.

In my opinion, after reading this book, I’d say that this particular story is more likely for a 14-year-old, as some storylines are just not totally children’s-book material. A nine-year-old would not be able to understand and comprehend the inner turmoil and feelings of falling in love in the way like it is written in this novel. It is more something a teenager would be able to relate to. My advice in this series would be, when you want your children to read the books, follow the publication-releases. Let your child start at about eight/nine years of age and read a book a year.

What eased me into the story straight away was that the characters who were shown in the movies are freakishly alike to the characters as they are described in the books. So when, in example, Dumbledore came to scene, I had a clear view on what he looked like, how he would say what he said and how he acted when doing so. The same goes for all the other characters. Normally it would irritate greatly that I wouldn’t be able to let my own fantasy form a picture in my head, but this was just a brilliant cast.

Having said all that, JK Rowling has a superb writing style. It’s catchy, it’s entertaining, it’s got everything you long for in a story and more. Normally I would find it difficult to keep concentrating in a 600+ pages book, but I just kept turning the pages like no tomorrow, finding myself without noticing, that it was an hour ahead in time. I can totally understand why people are hooked onto this series and I have to say, reading the books is more intense, more satisfying even than watching the movie. So for those who haven’t read them yet I would highly recommend: go out, buy the books and read! When I grab back to my own childhood I would say this book/this series has the same impact on me as the Pitty-series of Enid Blyton had.

It is a book that is appealing to youth, teenagers, and adults, making JK Rowling one of the few admirable authors that are writing these days.

This story and the connection with the Halfblood Prince and Voldemort are giving it a nice new spin in this series. You’ll be taken back to the time when Voldemort was younger, the dotted line gets more connected and you can taste that time draws nearer to the point where the battle between Voldemort and Harry finds its completion. Harry finds himself falling for a girl who rocks his inner-emotions. Ron of course will be thrown into situations only “Roonal Wazbly” can be found in, and Hermoine is just her own unique self. She is one of those stable factors in this series that stays the same but not quite the same. She has a certain flair about herself that I find incredibly annoying and amazingly funny at the same time.

I just love the greater message in this book: “Love is bigger than (can overcome) everything…”

The fact that this is woven into a “children’s” book is what I find heart-warming. It’s not always the ‘once upon a time…a happily ever after’ with Harry Potter, it’s not always the knight in shining armor story. But in the end, it comes down to that one thing and in this book Harry is being confronted with that same thing and finally comes to understand it as well.

This is one of those rare jewels on my bookshelves that I had laying about for over a year and didn’t really feel like picking up. But now that I have done so, I entirely regret it, as this will be one of those books that I will re-read many times. Ofcourse I will read on in this series and read the first 5 instalments too! I was fairly surprised that this book grabbed me the way it did. Do not let the opportunity to read them pass you by, if it comes to you. You’ll find that JK Rowling can sway you and lead you into the wizard-realm within our realm. She’ll take you to a magical place and entice you to open yourself to the world of Harry Potter & Co.

4,5 Stars

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With everything new, I ofcourse, had to get used to the idea of making, owning and maintaining a blog but I have to say, now that I’ve got the hang of it, it’s quite fun to do. Let me introduce myself, I’m Natascha, in my early 30’s and from a little place called Winschoten in the Netherlands, I’ll be your host on this blog.

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