Upon receiving Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince as a Christmas gift from my step-brother, it was all I could do not to immediately begin reading it. Of course this would have been rude as I was visiting my dad and his wife, all of my brothers and their respective better halves and my neice and nephew to exchange Christmas presents. Still, I was a bit busy earlier this year when the book first became available taking care of my newly born, son Aiden. Reading was the last thing I had on my mind then, but I am much more in control of my days (so I think) and I am ready to get started.
I began reading it the instant we got home after putting Aiden to bed. My eyes were droopy and my body aching to get to bed, but my mind absorbed every word. I admit, her writing is getting better and even though this is a children’s book, I’m hooked. So, only able to read a chapter or two every night before my sleepy head would hit the pillow and grab a few chapters during nap time over the weekend, I was able to finish it in a little over a week. For those of you who have read it, “WOW!” and those of you who didn’t, “Double WOW!”
Now, I will say here that I am going to try my hardest not to spoil anything but I can’t promise, it’s only fair to warn you. As I mentioned, J. K. Rowling’s writing is getting better with each book. She is keeping you in suspense about certain situations much longer than she has in the others. She is adding more detail to situations but not giving away anything too soon. Of course I didn’t believe the whole thing about Snape in the beginning, I felt she was trying to trick me into believing something that would eventually work itself out. But for him to do what he did at the end. The trust that was broken! The shock of the event itself let alone who did it. The romances, the fights, the deaths, the betrayals, it didn’t seem like a kids book. I can’t even imagine how she is going to tidy it all up into one last book.
One thing I did notice upon completing this book was that I wasn’t as hungry for the next one. At the end of book five, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, I cried and wished I had book six in my hands so I could ease Harry’s pain or at least find out how he was going to deal with it. He lost another person he felt close to, Siruis, had his image of his dad shattered and is going through so many stressful ordeals that I just wanted to jump in the book at the end and be his friend. Not that I felt sorry for him, but even with Ron and Hermione, he seemed so alone. At the end of this book, it is as if he wants to be alone to fight the fight that only he can. While I am curious about how he is going to go about it, I don’t feel the need to literally be right by his side.
Harry has been corageous in all the books, but has been accepting his responsibility and taking more action in both books five and six. Dumbordore has always let Harry do what he needed do without Harry knowing it, but this book is more forceful of Dumbledore including Harry in the mission. Little Harry is growing up and I guess I’m sad to see any innocence being taken away from him by those who were once trying to preserve it. Captain of the Quiditch team, personal instruction from Dumbledore and researching his own hunches about Draco. Those are just ordinary responsibilities given to him in addition to the daunting task of knowing he is the only one who can rid the wizarding world of Voldermort. Except now he knows what he needs to do, it’s just a matter of being able to do it.
She unfolds the story slowly and carefully, only giving you enough to not want to put the book down until the very last page is read. Bravo Ms. Rowling, you did it again!