Book Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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Author: Aeryth Astriaden, August 2005

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, the long awaited sixth volume of the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, was released on Saturday July 16 at midnight worldwide. Breaking records for its price and for its first printing (the largest of any book in history) the latest installment is well worth the wait.

In the linear, brisk style reminiscent of the first three books of the series, rather than of the latter two, she presents sixteen-year-old Harry in a mature and confident light; his friends too have grown into young adults, their dilemma in this book far more serious than any they have yet faced. Harry and his friends face their usual problem of Lord Voldemort and his followers, but also the new and confusing tribulations of relationships, Apparition, and N.E.W.T.-level homework. Rowling reveals much more of two of her most mysterious characters, Lord Voldemort and Albus Dumbledore, while also leaving tantalizing hints of what is to come in the seventh and final installment of the series.

Though while not as intriguing a mystery as her past books, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince remains an enjoyable story with fascinating characters and a well-written plot (and shorter than the last two, at 654 pages in the American edition). Rowling leaves her readers temporarily sated, though with plenty of unanswered questions ripe for speculation.