Book Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


Author: J.K. Rowling
Published: 2005
Publisher: Bloomsbury (UK)
Pages: 607
ISBN: 0747581088

Synopsis (from the Bloomsbury book):

It is the middle of the summer, but there is an unseasonal mist pressing against the windowpanes. Harry Potter is waiting nervously in his bedroom at the Dursley’s house in Privet Drive for a visit from Professor Dumbledore himself. One of the last times he saw the Headmaster was in a fierce one-to-one duel with Lord Voldemort, and Harry can’t quite believe that Professor Dumbledore will actually appear at the Dursleys’ of all places. Why is the Professor coming to visit him now? What is it that cannot wait until Harry returns to Hogwarts in a few weeks’ time? Harry’s sixth year at Hogwarts has already got off to an unusual star, as the worlds of Muggle and magic start to intertwine …

Review and Ratings:

Plot: 5/5

Writing: 4/5

Characters: 5/5

Character development: 4.5/5

Overallstarratingstarratingstarratingstarratingstarrating (5/5)

J.K. Rowling is a commendable writer. She writes from experience and her own revelations about life, which I think is the reason why her books are so loved. Her sixth book of the series contains crucial plotlines that are didactic through and through. The series gets deeper as the story progresses. And in this particular book, Rowling reveals what seems to be the most important piece of information in the Harry Potter series ever: Lord Voldemort’s darkest secret. The plot was fantastic and well developed. You can notice how the stories of preceding books intertwine together and form an exciting and emotional whole. Rowling’s writing is very versatile and eloquent. She manages to stitch even the minuscule details together, which is always so intriguing to read.

The Book

➳ Five words to describe this book?

Short, interesting, important, mind-blowing, emotional

➳ Favourite chapters (and why)? (Spoiler Alert!)

  1. The Other Minister: This chapter is quite light-hearted than the succeeding chapters. Rowling writes the book from the POV of the Muggle Prime Minister, which was interesting and hilarious as well.
  2. The House of Gaunt: This is the first chapter of Dumbledore and Harrys’ trip down the memory lane. An intriguing plot point that gives away important details of Lord Voldemort’s family.
  3. Horcruxes: A significant part of the book.
  4. The Phoenix Lament: This chapter was the cue for tears.
  5. The White Tomb: Beautifully written chapter.

➳ Stuff you liked? (Spoiler Alert!)

  1. Harry’s loyalty to his friends
  2. The fact that you realize how even Slytherins are capable of being good and kind
  3. Ginny and Harry’s relationship

➳ Stuff that put you off?

I can’t point out specific details but this book was slightly less enjoyable than the last couple of books.

➳ If given the chance, would you change anything in the book?

There wasn’t anything in particular that needed change. I just wished Harry and Ginny to spend more time together.

➳ Favourite characters?

  1. The trio
  2. Dumbledore
  3. Dobby
  4. Professor McGonagall

➳ Least favourite well-developed characters?

There was none.

I mean, there were characters like Draco and Snape whom I totally loathed…but Harry Potter consists of characters that are so enjoyable, significant, and well-developed that you will like them regardless of how evil they are. And as for Draco, I think he was not a death eater at heart. He was just a spoiled and snobbish brat.

➳ Things that surprised you? (Spoiler Alert!)

  1. Crabbe and Goyle as eleven-year-old girls
  2. I had completely forgotten about Draco and Pansy Parkinson
  3. I did not know that Kreacher was now Harry’s elf

➳ Favourite quote(s)?

“It’s going to be all right, sir,’ Harry said over and over again, more worried by Dumbledore’s silence than he had been by his weakened voice. ‘We’re nearly there … I can Apparate us both back … don’t worry …’ ‘I am not worried, Harry,’ said Dumbledore, his voice a little stronger despite the freezing water. ‘I am with you.’

– Dumbledore and Harry, The cave

“There is nothing to be feared from a body, Harry, any more than there is anything to be feared from the darkness. Lord Voldemort, who of course secretly fears both, disagrees. But once again he reveals his own lack of wisdom. It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”

– Dumbledore, The Cave

The Reading Experience

➳ Three words to describe your reading experience?

Consistent, fun, special

➳ Places you read this book?

My bed, another bed, the dining table, public transportation

➳ Was this a re-read?

Yes. The last time I read this book was in high school.

➳ How long did it take you to finish this book?

4 days

Other aspects of the book

➳ Favourite covers of this book?

The UK Bloomsbury edition


➳ If you liked this one … then you will love ___.

If you liked this book, then you will love the next book.


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