Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling (#6)

Harry Potter and the Half Blood PrinceTakeaway: Even after I have read most of these books multiple times, Harry Potter is still engaging.

I picked up Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on a whim.  To the best of my memory, I do not think I have read this since it first came out in 2005.

Inspite of the single reading, this has been my favorite of the series.  And while I have liked all the books, 1-3 are very much middle grade books (I know technically this is still middle grade too, but it clearly is an older middle grade).  I like the older books better.  The Goblet of Fire felt too much like a quest, then wait, then quest then wait formula.  In the Order of the Phoenix, Harry was too whiney.  The Half Blood Prince is just right in tone and Harry Potter.  He is old enough that he starts maturing in many ways (although he is still Snape/Malfoy obsessed.)

My main complaint with the book is that for as close as Dumbledore and Harry are, they don’t spend a lot of time talking.  Dumbledore keeps putting off Harry’s questions.  And Harry never seems to go to Dumbledore with his issues. (Although in this book it does seem that Harry has a reason, Dumbledore doesn’t seem to listen to Harry’s issues very well.)

Dumbledore is more human in Half Blood Prince, so I think I can allow his frustration with Harry’s narrow obsession with Snape/Malfoy.  But it would have been nice if Dumbledore had just had a conversation with Harry about why Dumbledore was not concerned (at least more than ‘I trust them, stop asking pesky questions’.)

I guess I will have to read Deathly Hallows again now as well.

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I rewatched the movie as well.  While I have watched a few minutes here or there when it has been on TV this was the first time watching it straight through since the theater.  For all of the complaints about changes to the story, the screen writers were very smart in their edits. It is not possible to do everything in a 650 page book in 150 minutes.  And mostly it is side points that are edited out.  Things that people like, but don’t move the story along.  Fluer is not in the Weasly home, Harry doesn’t trip Dean which leads to Ginny breaking up with him, Harry is not nearly as obsessed with Draco in the movie as the book (which honestly is better). The attack on the Weasley home is very different but acceptable.

The “very sad event” at the end of the book I think is handled better in the book than the movie.  In the book Harry is immobilized and can do nothing except watch.  In the movie, Harry is told by Dumbledore to hide and stay quiet.  It works out the same in both.  But I think Harry’s frustration at his inability to do anything makes more sense with the first than the second.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Purchase Links: Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook, Multi format Ebook Edition (pottermore shop)

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