Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
This is my sixth Potter novel – I’ve read them all in order. Like the last one (“The Order of the Phoenix”), this was long: somewhere close to 700 pages. And like that one, the book seemed to meander a lot. I said of the last one that Rowling could have cut 200 pages from the middle and no one would have noticed, and the same is true here.
Like every Potter novel, you spend the beginning trying to figure out the angle – what’s the central conflict (I guess this is true of every novel)? There’s some foreshadowing with Malfoy in the beginning, but otherwise, I was in the dark for most of the novel. Only towards the end did I figure out what the major problem was.
And the ending – what an ending…it’s undeniably thrilling, and several things happen from which the series just can’t renege on. Lines are crossed that cannot be uncrossed, which I found satisfying. So many times in the series, it seemed like there were big crises, and then the series just went back to normal, like little had happened.
No so this time. Bad Things happen, and they don’t appear to un-happen (at least not by the last word). In this sense, this book is probably best described as Part 1 of The Ending, with “Deathly Hallows” being part 2.
Looking forward to it.