Since starting my re-read of the Harry Potter series, the author (who I am not naming) has expressed certain views which I do not share. I am separating her views from reviewing these books. Her opinions are being held separately from my re-reading and reviewing of these books. I will never support anything else this author publishes, and I refuse to buy any Harry Potter products again — I am not going to give this author more money. This author doesn’t deserve any royalties from any Harry Potter licensed product or book. Now onto the review!
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
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 all wars, life goes on. The Weasley twins expand their business. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate – and lose a few eyebrows in the process. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Classes are never straightforward, through Harry receives some extraordinary help from the mysterious 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 complete story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort – and thereby find what may be his only vulnerability.
While I enjoyed Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, it seemed like a filler book to me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved every second of reading it, but it’s not my favourite book in the series. I don’t have any strong feelings about this book one way or another — I think it sets up Deathly Hallows really well. What really interested me, and I wish we saw this in the movies, is Voldemort’s backstory. I was intrigued by his story as a kid, and even more as an adult re-reading the series. I find it fascinating to know why people act the way they do, what makes them tick, and how they got to be the way they are as an adult. I don’t have any strong emotional memories tied to this book like with Order of the Phoenix and with Deathly Hallows. I actually have a story about where I was when I got DH, but I’ll save it for when I review the book which should be up next week.
I believe that the author tried to redeem Dumbledore in this one, make him seem more human, that he makes mistakes and tried to make him the wise old headmaster again. This just didn’t work for me. I never really understood why everyone loved Dumbledore in the first place — I didn’t get it as a kid, and I most certainly do not understand it as an adult.
I did like seeing how they acted like typical teenagers — the dynamic between Harry, Ron, and Hermione was well written, and I enjoyed the little sprinkling of romance as well. The amount of romance was perfect for the intended audience of this series. As an adult who read some questionable adult books, the romance was barely there and I wanted more, but then I had to remind myself of who the audience is for this series. I wish we got to see more of those moments, and I 100% thought that Harry and Ginny became a couple earlier than they did.
Snape is still awful, and he will not be redeemed for me. Draco should have gotten the redemption arc, and I feel sympathetic towards him in this novel. I was talking to my friend why we don’t like Snape, and I think he phrased it perfectly: “Just because he had a crappy childhood doesn’t give him the license to be a jerk.” Sirius had a crappy childhood as well and ran away to his best friend’s house at the age of sixteen and he cared about Harry and his friends — see Prisoner of Azkaban where he asked about Ron and gave him Pig the owl.
I think this book showed a more sinister side to Snape, which is why in DH I just couldn’t get behind his redemption. Draco didn’t have a real choice in his actions in this one, he was put in a hard place and he was given this task to essentially punish his parents which just isn’t cool. I had to keep reminding himself that he was just a teenager, he can be redeemed and I believe that he truly felt remorse. But Snape… He’s still awful to all the students (minus the Slytherins), not just Harry.
I really like Fleur, and I couldn’t for the life of me as a kid, and even as an adult, fathom why the Weasley females hated Fleur, yeah she’s half-Veela but she’s damn smart! They only saw her beauty and not her brains which drove me crazy, she was a Triwizard Champion for crying out loud! That has to count for something, and she was working at Gringotts as a cursebreaker – that girl has some brains on her.
So thoughts overall, still not my favourite book, it’s pretty damn dark in tone and theme and it sets up Deathly Hallows perfectly.
Let Me know your thoughts on this one! See you on the next post.
Cups of Tea: ☕☕☕☕