Title: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Author: J.K. Rowling
Number of pages: 607
Where and when the book takes place:
The book takes place various places in England, but mostly in the school of Hogwarts. The book never says specifically when the action takes place, but it seems to me that it has been written in present, which is year 2005.
About the main character:
The main character is Harry Potter, also called The Boy Who Lived. He is a wizard, and he goes to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He became extremely famous among the magic population after his encounter with Lord Voldemort, the best dark sorcerer of all time, while he was still a baby. Voldemort tracked down Harry’s family, killed his parents, and attempted to murder Harry as well. However, Voldemort’s killing curse backfired and Harry survived, while Voldemort disappeared. Harry has encountered Voldemort several times after this, but because of his bravery, and with the help of his good friends Ron and Hermione, he has always found ways to survive his meetings with this dark wizard.
A brief summary of the contest:
Harry Potter is stuck at his aunt and uncle’s house, nervously waiting for Professor Dumbledore, the headmaster at Hogwarts. He has almost given up all hope of being rescued from this dreadful place when the doorbell rings, and Dumbledore steps in. Harry is taken to an old Hogwarts teacher, Horace Slughorn, to convince him to come back to Hogwarts and teach potions there. After a successful visit there, Harry is taken to live with the Weasly-family until the school starts again. This year, Harry is taking private classes with Dumbledore to find out how to defeat Lord Voldemort. Harry finds out that Voldemort has ripped his soul into pieces, and created horcruxes (a piece of soul concealed inside an object). It means that to kill Voldemort, Harry has to destroy all the horcruxes first.
Harry’s new potions book was a previous belonging of someone calling himself the Half-Blood Prince, which apparently was a master in potions. He doesn’t find out who this person is, but his performance in potions gets remarkably better. Towards the end of Harry’s sixth year at Hogwarts, Dumbledore finds another horcrux, and he asks Harry to join him destroying it. They apparate (a way of teleporting) to the cave where the horcrux is hidden, but danger lies ahead of them. In order to get the horcrux, Dumbledore has to drink a potion that makes him relive his worst memories. They barely get out of the cave alive, but even worse things are about to happen at Hogwarts. The people there are no longer as safe as they used to be…
How I liked the book:
I really enjoyed reading the book, because it is written in a very good way. It is exciting from the beginning to the end, and I was never bored reading the book. The author builds up the HANDLING in a very good way (it was several times almost impossible to put the book away). As I was halfway through the book, there were so many questions that needed to be answered. This ignorance made me keep reading until I found those answers. Nevertheless, as I did so, new questions occurred. This was one of the main things that really raised the excitement throughout the book.
How I liked the ending:
I think that the ending of the book is about as good as it could have been. The author takes you on an emotional journey as you follow the main character through the ending. It is unpredictable, and the highlight of the book comes as a shock, which makes it even more exciting. After finishing the book, I’d say it’s almost impossible not to read the next book in the series about Harry Potter, because the ending is written in such a masterly way.
If this book would make a good film:
I don’t really think that this book would have made a great film, especially not for people who have read the book first, but it wouldn’t have been a miserable movie either. All the previous Harry Potter-books have been made into films and, surely, none of them can be compared with the original books. The reason why I don’t think this book would make a good film is mostly that the moviemakers would have needed to take away so much of the content. The history in the book would be so diminished, and the “magic” you experience while reading the book, would be gone as a film. But altogether, for people who hasn’t read the book before watching the film will probably think it’s a very good one, because they wouldn’t know what’s missing.
About the authors writing style:
The author writes in a very good (almost magic) way. She makes you feel like you’re not just reading the book; you’re really a part of it. There’s a lot of good description in the book, of both the characters and the environment. She uses a very dramatic build up, especially towards the end of the novel. It almost feels like the main character isn’t just a fictional character, but someone you know. You learn to know his strengths and his weaknesses, his feelings and emotions…
One thing I really like about the authors writing style is that she has managed to keep one single question alive in all of the books; what is Severus Snape’s true identity? Is he with Dumbledore, or with Voldemort? This question has haunted both the fictional characters and the readers. This question will be answered in the seventh and last book about Harry. And it is one of the things that really encourage you to keep reading about Harry Potter. I think it’s amazing how she manage to make the question remain a mystery through six books…
To whom I would recommend this book:
Everyone that has read the previous books (or seen the movies) about Harry Potter, is strongly recommended to read this book. It is a top fantasy-novel, and it may even be compared with the Lord of the Rings-trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. Anyone who enjoys reading fantasy-novels will simply love this book.