"Half Blood Prince" keeps readers in the dark, enthralled
Warning: this review contains major spoilers up to the 5th book and minor spoilers of the 6th book.
"It was nearing midnight and the Prime Minister was sitting alone in his office, reading a long memo that was slipping through his brain without leaving the slightest trace of meaning behind," and so begins the sixth installment in JK Rowling's best selling Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince."
In the ongoing story, sixteen year old Harry Potter encounters a year full of intriguing mystery, budding romances and heart stopping adventure. As the story unfolds, readers turn each page with bated breath as Harry ("The Chosen One") enters his sixth, and most dangerous, year at Hogwarts, a school for young witches and wizards.
Having exposed the return of the notorious Lord Voldemort in the previous year, Harry struggles to cope with the death of his beloved godfather, Sirius Black, as well as the increasing threat that Voldemort and his death eaters pose to the magical community. Despite the ever present threat, Harry and his pals, the brainy Hermione Granger and the poor but witty Ron Weasley, continue to live as normally as possible, balancing girlfriends, Quidditch and classwork.
Continuing with Hogwarts tradition, a new Dark Arts teacher has been selected, prompting dramatic changes for the school's faculty, including the recently hired Professor Slughorn, a name dropping teacher who instructed Harry's parents in previous years. After Ron is nearly poisoned, Hogwarts staff intensifies school security in an effort to prevent any further attempted murders. However, amidst the tension and stress, Harry takes refuge in his private lessons with headmaster Professor Dumbledore. The lessons are intended to aide Harry in understanding Voldemort's past, which he believes will assist Harry in defeating "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" in the future.
As the novel draws to a close, it becomes evident that J.K. Rowling is not going to end this installment as lightheartedly and conclusively as her earlier novels. Full of the twists and turns of a labyrinth, the novel keeps readers enthralled right up to the unbelievable ending. This, combined with an inevitable confrontation scene, adds a twist many readers didn't, and still don't, accept or believe.
Despite the bittersweet ending, the novel's conclusion solves many mysteries presented in the previous books, but also raises dozens of new questions. Who was R.A.B. and what does he have to do with Voldemort? Will Dumbledore's foreboding advice aid Harry in his next year at Hogwarts? Will Harry have another year at Hogwarts? Where are the other Horcruxes and how will they help defeat the Dark Lord? These questions already have fans perplexed, but we won't know the definite answers until the next Harry Potter book is released, finalizing all things, great and small, for the magical community.
Alexis Egan. Alexis is a (very) short junior, who is very pleased to be writing for Chips Online with all her friends. Along with writing, her other hobbies are playing soccer, reading about Mount Everest and listening to any Irish music. Her favorite movie is The Princess ... More »