BOOK REVIEW : Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
This is one the best and my favorite book from the series. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is creepy, dark and literally freaks you out at moments. It keeps you engaged within it completely. The most amazingly adventurous part is when Dumbledore and Harry penetrate into Voldemort’s memories and discover various things about his childhood, schooling and how he manages to become immortal. It leaves you devastated for sure. Not knowing or not finding anything really clear in the entire film, you find it overwhelming to be unsure of the fact that what is ahead. With everything being on risk, the anxiety level is really high as you read through the book.
The best thing about the book is that there is a little romance in it as well (which a lot of readers need to keep them focused on the series). The best part is that J.K. Rowling didn’t just focus on Harry’s love life but involved Hermione and Ron into it as well. This distributes the concertation amongst all the characters rather than just sticking on to Harry. It also adds a lighter element to the book. However, the tension in the book does not fade off completely with the romantic moments too and this is exactly what does not let you put the book down at all.
The pace is really thumping in the book and the characters seem to be in the perfect place too. The plot lines are weaved wonderfully and the twists and turns have been put in so beautifully in the book, that nothing seems out of place. J.K. Rowling has done an excellent job with this edition and you cannot help but fall in love with this piece. It will keep you wanting for more and you are probably going to stick into it through the weekend until it does not finish and leaves you wanting the next edition of its.
BOOK SUMMARY: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
This edition of Harry Potter series begins with Harry entering his 6th year at Hogwarts, where an endless turmoil is weaved. The army of Voldemort is getting stronger day by day and daily tragedies seem to be a routine. The Muggle world is at huge risk and Hogwarts is no safer anymore too.
Harry doubts that Professor Draco Malfoy is a part of Voldemort’s his army. Therefore, he starts following him and his actions but very few believe Harry’s theory regarding Malfoy being a part of Lord Voldemort’s army. With hormones being real high for the three best friends, Ron, Hermione and Harry’s friendship has to undergo a lot of tests. Ron finds his first love in the lady named Lavender Brown. This enrages Hermione a lot. While all of this is going on, Harry realizes that he is growing feelings for Ron’s sister, Ginny Weasley.
Where you think that there is already a lot happening at Hogwarts, the work load leaves everyone in pressure. Even Hermione struggles under the pressure of getting her work done on time. The difficult assignments seem to be getting to everyone. Snape continues as the teacher of Defense against the Dark Art and he makes sure to make Harry’s life horrible by sending him to detentions whenever possible. A new professor, Horace Slughorn, becomes the teacher for Potions class and he thinks that Harry is the best student. Harry excels in this class due to a book he found secretly. The book belonged to an old student of Hogwarts, which was famous as the Half-Blood Prince. Hermione is mostly frustrated that Harry gets ahead just because he owns that textbook. Not only this, the 6th year also teaches them the magic which allows them to move from one place to another.
The 6th year entirely seems to be going too heavy for the community of Hogwarts. It seems as if someone is within the walls of Hogwarts and is conducting the tasks for Lord Voldemort. With every situation getting worse, Harry is curious to find whatever is going on behind the scenes and who is actually behind it. However, this mission gets hard to complete as Harry has other responsibilities too. He has to head the Quid ditch team. Everyone is expecting that Harry will be the reason behind the victory of Gryffindor but he has a lot on his mind already to keep him distracted.
Dumbledore had decided to give Harry private lessons at the start of their 6th year. This makes Harry feel elated as he learns that private lessons with Dumbledore involve travelling through the reminiscences of everyone who were aware of Voldemort at any part of their life. Through these lessons, Dumbledore and Harry travel through a lot of essential information. They collected important data, like Voldemort’s memories which had his childhood and his years as a student in Hogwarts. The last and most important flashback is somehow connected to Professor Slughorn but he could not reach it as he has removed it through powerful magic. Dumbledore pleads Harry to ask Slughorn to hand over his memories to hm. But Harry knew that this was impossible.
But luck stays on Harry’s side as he had won a powerful potion (Felix Felicis) in his Potion class. He uses it to get the memory of Slughorn. When they travel into the memory, they find the moment in which Voldemort had learnt about Horcrux. Horcrux is the most powerful Dark Art magic which permits the division of the soul. This magic gives the owner the power of immortality. When Voldemort was at Hogwarts, he had asked Slughorn to exchange some really essential information about this Dark magic. The result of this had been that Voldemort’s soul was divided into seven parts and these pieces were hidden in different locations round the world. Penetrating through the memories that Harry had managed to possess, Dumbledore can easily make wonderful suppositions about the locations in which the parts might be. The only way that Voldemort can be killed is to collect and destroy all the seven parts of Horcrux. Harry realizes that this is his mission to complete.
Dumbledore and Harry travel to the first Horcrux to retrieve it and on their return, they find out that Hogwarts has been attacked by the Death Eaters. The sign of Lord Voldemort, the dark mark, travels like a huge black cloud over the Wizardry school, Hogwarts. As Harry and Dumbledore travel to the tower, they figure out that the Dark Mark is a trap set for Dumbledore and was intruded to bring him to that tower. Before the Death Eaters corner him, Dumbledore uses his spells to hide Harry Potter and make him invisible so that the Death Eaters do not fetch him.
Draco Malfoy arrives where the entire scene is going on, to kill Dumbledore but it seems really hard for him to do so. However, in the light of the orders sent by Lord Voldemort, only Draco is supposed to do so. With shaky hands, Draco stands there to kill Dumbledore but seems too scared to do so. No sooner Snape arrives at the tower and sees that influential Aurors protecting Dumbledore had arrived. Snape murders Dumbledore himself and this sends him tumbling down. Harry Potter is helpless as ever due to Dumbledore’s magic. He is filled with grief as he sees Dumbledore die but is not being able to do anything about it. Harry runs down to find his friends and there is an utter chaos everywhere, with blood around. The Death Eaters leave and Harry is filled with horror as he is not able to stop Snape from killing Dumbledore or do anything. Everyone gathers around the dead body of Dumbledore and sorrow is filled in the air. It is decided that the best lies in closing Hogwarts.
Dumbledore had wished that he must be buried in Hogwarts. His funeral was a big ceremony as people from all corners of the world come to see him. Deep down in his heart, Harry knows what he has to do next. He had to hunt down to each Horcrux and kill Voldemort. Hermione and Ron swear to help and support their friend through this. Harry is left with a heart that is filled with grief but feels better, knowing that his friends are along his side. He also breaks up with Ginny because he does not want Voldemort to attack her in any case. She understands this but it gets really tough for both of them to part their ways. The school closes with Harry’s heart filled with sorrow and with unknown dangers that lie ahead for him due to Voldemort.
MOVIE VS BOOK
How can one not encroach in this edition of Harry Potter Series? The book has earned the repute and love that it deserves for sure. I am not much of a movie person but to compare the book with the movie, I do watch it for sure. And yes, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Movie is nothing like the book. The differences are immense and you cannot get into the details that the book offers you.
The worst part in the movie was when Dumbledore tells Harry to stay one floor behind him and he goes to the towers alone to fight the Death Eaters. This killed the suspense, the anxiety and the utter level of grief that you feel while you are reading through the book. You feel the helplessness of Harry as he is watching everything and is unable to stop Snape from killing Dumbledore due to the magical cloak. The scene has been murdered and it should have been in the movie. The way it is portrayed in the book makes you feel sorrow to the end depths of your heart.
Moreover, I hated the fact that Ginny’s and Harry’s relationship is not documented much in the movie. The romantic moments in the book are a delightful treat to cherish and one must read it, to feel it as the movie has left that behind. I missed the romance of those two really in the movie. Moaning Myrtle is also nowhere to be seen in the movie.
Another great moment that has been snatched away from the viewers in the movie is the battle scene going on amongst the students, teachers and Death Eaters at Hogwarts. Harry runs after Snape after the professor killed Dumbledore and sees the entire scene going on. The battle and turmoil in all has been eaten up by the makers of the movie. I think this scene was really important as it builds up immense tension and thrill for the viewer and the reader but it is simply not there at all. Moreover, Dumbledore’s funeral is not shown at all in the movie. The funeral is such a vast ceremony in the book and if you have read it, you will agree with me here, that the ceremony adds up to your grief for Dumbledore’s death. The funeral not being shown in the movie at all was another huge “shocking moment” for me.
Snape is also revealed as the Half Blood Prince in the book and the reason why he is called so is also justified. The reason is that he is a half muggle and half wizard. However in the movie, Snape himself tells that he the half-blood prince and doesn’t give any reason for being called so.
The movie as always, misses out on really essential elements. If you have not read the book yet, you should see the movie first and then read the book and you will realize the endless differences and loopholes. I thoroughly enjoyed the book as it was full of suspense and thrill.
Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Grade Level: 4 – 7
Lexile Measure: 1030L (What’s this?)
Series: Harry Potter (Book 6)
Paperback: 652 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; Reprint edition (July 25, 2006)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Although she writes under the pen name J.K. Rowling, pronounced like rolling, her name when her first Harry Potter book was published was simply Joanne Rowling. Anticipating that the target audience of young boys might not want to read a book written by a woman, her publishers demanded that she use two initials, rather than her full name. As she had no middle name, she chose K as the second initial of her pen name, from her paternal grandmother Kathleen Ada Bulgen Rowling. She calls herself Jo and has said, “No one ever called me ‘Joanne’ when I was young, unless they were angry.” Following her marriage, she has sometimes used the name Joanne Murray when conducting personal business. During the Leveson Inquiry she gave evidence under the name of Joanne Kathleen Rowling. In a 2012 interview, Rowling noted that she no longer cared that people pronounced her name incorrectly.
Rowling was born to Peter James Rowling, a Rolls-Royce aircraft engineer, and Anne Rowling (née Volant), on 31 July 1965 in Yate, Gloucestershire, England, 10 miles (16 km) northeast of Bristol. Her mother Anne was half-French and half-Scottish. Her parents first met on a train departing from King’s Cross Station bound for Arbroath in 1964. They married on 14 March 1965. Her mother’s maternal grandfather, Dugald Campbell, was born in Lamlash on the Isle of Arran. Her mother’s paternal grandfather, Louis Volant, was awarded the Croix de Guerre for exceptional bravery in defending the village of Courcelles-le-Comte during the First World War.
Rowling’s sister Dianne was born at their home when Rowling was 23 months old. The family moved to the nearby village Winterbourne when Rowling was four. She attended St Michael’s Primary School, a school founded by abolitionist William Wilberforce and education reformer Hannah More. Her headmaster at St Michael’s, Alfred Dunn, has been suggested as the inspiration for the Harry Potter headmaster Albus Dumbledore.
As a child, Rowling often wrote fantasy stories, which she would usually then read to her sister. She recalls that: “I can still remember me telling her a story in which she fell down a rabbit hole and was fed strawberries by the rabbit family inside it. Certainly the first story I ever wrote down (when I was five or six) was about a rabbit called Rabbit. He got the measles and was visited by his friends, including a giant bee called Miss Bee.” At the age of nine, Rowling moved to Church Cottage in the Gloucestershire village of Tutshill, close to Chepstow, Wales. When she was a young teenager, her great aunt, who Rowling said “taught classics and approved of a thirst for knowledge, even of a questionable kind,” gave her a very old copy of Jessica Mitford’s autobiography, Hons and Rebels. Mitford became Rowling’s heroine, and Rowling subsequently read all of her books.
Rowling has said of her teenage years, in an interview with The New Yorker, “I wasn’t particularly happy. I think it’s a dreadful time of life.” She had a difficult homelife; her mother was ill and she had a difficult relationship with her father (she is no longer on speaking terms with him). She attended secondary school at Wyedean School and College, where her mother had worked as a technician in the science department. Rowling said of her adolescence, “Hermione [a bookish, know-it-all Harry Pottercharacter] is loosely based on me. She’s a caricature of me when I was eleven, which I’m not particularly proud of.” Steve Eddy, who taught Rowling English when she first arrived, remembers her as “not exceptional” but “one of a group of girls who were bright, and quite good at English.” Sean Harris, her best friend in the Upper Sixth owned a turquoise Ford Anglia, which she says inspired the one in her books.