Simon's Bookcase

Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: J.K. Rowing, July 1—8, 2016

My rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrinceIt’s hard to keep lavishing praise on this series without just saying the same old things, but this was so close to perfect you couldn’t fit Mrs Norris’s whisker into the space.

Harry finds a textbook that belonged to the ‘Half-Blood Prince’, with notes in the margin that produce superior potions to anything he (or indeed Hermione!) has ever pulled off before. Meanwhile, Dumbledore begins to take Harry through Voldemort’s backstory in more detail. Draco Malfoy has a task set by the Dark Lord and Snape, as ambiguous as ever, has an interest in the outcome.

Professor Slughorn is our new addition to the cast, and he’s brilliant. Pompous, narcissistic and one of the old boys, he brings colour to a dark novel, and he has secrets of his own that turn out to be very important.

Rowling toys with the teenaged protagonists’ hormones more than ever. Ron and Hermione are involved in a will-they/won’t-they stramash with Victor Krum and Lavender looming large on the outskirts, meanwhile Harry has his sights set on Ginny (slightly awkward vis-à-vis Ron, never mind Cho). OK, let’s be honest and admit that we all know this came from nowhere. Harry literally didn’t give a wand’s sparkle for Ginny until now, and Ron wasn’t exactly concealing a jumping bag of chocolate frogs of lust for old Granger either, but let’s go with it.

It ends, as Potter likes to these days, with a gut-punching twist. As if Cedric and Sirius weren’t bad enough. But this one’s a belter, and its implications cannot be overstated. It’s going to haunt you until Book 7, and becomes only the third book that’s ever made me cry. (The last was Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, by the way.)

A stonking penultimate book that leaves you panting for the finale.

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This entry was posted on July 8, 2016 by in 5 star, Harry Potter and tagged .

Author Cloud

@Queen_UK Adolf Hitler agatha christie Alan Clements Alastair Campbell Aldous Huxley Aleksandr Orlov Alex Shaffer Andrew Neiderman Anthony Burgess Arthur Miller Bateman Ben Brooks Ben Elton Bram Stoker Bret Easton Ellis C.J. Cherryh Carolyn Jess-Cooke Charles Dickens Chuck Palahniuk Dan Brown Dante Alighieri dashiell hammett david baldacci David Brin David Glattauer David Kirkpatrick David Line David Tennant David Wolstencroft Dylan Jones E.L. James Edgar Allen Poe Emilia Fox Eoin Colfer Erica Spindler Frank Peretti Gabrielle Lord Gareth Roberts Geoff Ryman George Orwell George R. R. Martin George W. Bush Gillian Flynn Gillian Slovo Graham Greene Guy Piran Harper Lee Harriet Lane Herman Koch Ian Rankin J.K. Rowling Jack Thorne Jacqueline Rayner James Herbert James Patterson Jasper Fforde Jeff Green Jeff Kinney Jeffrey Archer Jem Lester Jenny Robson Jeremy Clarkson Jerry B. Jenkins Jim Thompson John Crowther John Green John Grisham John Tiffany John Verdon Jonas Jonasson Judith Kerr Juliana Foster Justin Richards Kaci Hill Karen Levine Keeley Bolger Louis Walsh malorie blackman Marissa Meyer Mark Haddon Mark Z. Danielewski Martin Sixsmith Mary Higgins Clark Mary McNamara Matt Haig Matthew Ravden Michael Berry Michael Connelly Michael Morpurgo Michael Quirke Miguel de Cervantes Mike Lancaster Morris Gleitzman Morton Rhue Neil Sinclair Nick Hornby Nick Page Patricia Cornwell Patricia Stotley Patrick Ness Paula Hawkins Paul Johnston Peter James Phil Allcock R.J. Palacio Rachelle Dekker Raymond Chandler Richard Bachman Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Ludlum Robin Cook Robin Kirkpatrick sandra brown Sebastian Beaumont Sharon Osbourne Stella Rimmington Stephen Cole Stephen King Steve Lookner Steve Lyons Stuart MacBride Sue Townsend Suzanne Collins ted dekker Terry Pratchett Tim LaHaye Tim Randall Todd Strasser Tom Avery Tom Bower Tom Cain Tom Hoyle tony blair William Golding William P. Young William Shakespeare