I’m getting a lot of reading done lately because I’ve been working fairly long hours the last couple weeks – gotta love government! I hope you’ve been enjoying the reviews and posts.
So, for those of you who (*gasp* I can’t) haven’t read the sixth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I would advice you to NOT read this review. I’m going to spoil things, because there are very specific moments I want to discuss. I know I’ve spoiled other books in this series without this warning, but nothing so integral to the foundation of the series has happened like this particular incident which i plan to discuss.
So now, to the spoilers after the jump…
This is an embarrassing revelation for me to reveal, okay? So bear with me. Until this afternoon, I never noticed the importance of the scene in which Trelawney and Harry were talking after she was thrown out of the Room of Requirement. This exchange happens (emphasis mine):
‘Again and again, no matter how I lay them out -‘ And she pulled a card dramatically from underneath her shawls. ‘- the lightning struck tower,” she whispered. ‘Calamity. Disaster. Coming nearer all the time.’
WHOA. HOW COULD I HAVE MISSED THAT. If I’m being honest, I’ve read Prince fewer times than any of the others (I’ll explain why below). But I’ve never realized how important that exchange with Trelawney was. Especially because THE CHAPTER IN WHICH DUMBLEDORE DIES. THAT IS THE NAME.Earlier in the book, we see Trelawney uttering those omens as well – and I’ve noticed those. But I’ve never paid much attention to the chapter titles, if I’m being honest, in this book because it’s always been a littttttle hard for me to care about them.
I’m fairly enraged at myself, and more than a little embarrassed. My Harry Potter circle of friends will undoubtedly be disappointed, and I don’t blame them. I’m the queen of little details. I need to abdicate my throne.
So anyway, kudos to JK Rowling. She’s so smart, I missed an obvious hint for literally 10 years. (Again, I’m sorry).
REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, JK Rowling
Plot: Now that Voldy is back in the open, things are getting grim. Strange weather, increasing deaths; even the Muggles know something is wrong. But Hogwarts is still there. There are classes to be held and quidditch games to be played. Harry learns to navigate difficult classes (with some unexpected help from the Half-blood Prince) as well as difficult relationships, and delves deeper than he ever thought he would into the boy who became Voldemort.
Most Memorable Line(s): So these are the two quotes that I really love from this book. They just lay it all out plainly and give Harry the chance to really understand why the prophecy matters and what it created. I also love the fierce, fierce pride he has in being a Potter.
What I liked: I really enjoyed Rowling’s thought process of what this book was meant to be about. At the end of Order, we finally felt like we were getting answers. This book gave us even more. We finally understand what maybe made Voldy into the despicable person he is. And after the absence of Dumbledore in the last book, this book made up for it tenfold. As I’ve said in other books as well, I love the attention she gives to their personal lives. Despite everything – Voldemort, death, etc. – they’re teenagers. And they love and lust and fight. And I think it’s so important that that’s shown. The Ron/Hermione dynamic in this book is fantastic. You can feel the emotion there, even when Ron is with Lavender, on both sides. When he was poisoned! And said Hermione’s name! Sigh, loved it. I also really do love Harry and Ginny as a couple. I think they’re really well matched. I love seeing Harry debate with himself throughout the book over realizing he has feelings for Ginny.
What I didn’t like:Unfortunately, this was my least favorite book of the series. While I loved delving into Voldy’s past, I just thought it was lacking. I won’t even watch the movie (that godforsaken monster of a ‘movie’) because of how much it ruined the story of a book I ALREADY DON’T LIKE VERY MUCH. But the movie’s issues (aside from David Yates being a fuckhead) stem from what I dislike about the book – its continuity. The book doesn’t, for me, have enough connecting elements. It very much feels like it sort of hops from moment to moment, with only very thin threads making the moments all make sense. Of course they make sense chronologically, but they just feel like things ‘happen’. As though they’re just random events that aren’t part of a bigger story. Obviously they ARE, but there are too many moments where I feel like it’s just going plot point-plot point-plot point, with less subplot. Compared to some of the others, it’s such a short book, and I felt like it could’ve benefited from some fleshing out.
Grade: 7.5/10…It jumped around too much for me, it never felt as smooth as it should’ve. And Dumbledore died, which sucks. (Although, in that instance, it’s totally necessary. Harry, Ron, and Hermione needed the incentive to really go off on their own and finish the damn thing).