I finished Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince and knew that I needed to take a few days before I wrote my thoughts on the book. But here they are, let me know what you think.
We recall that in The Order of the Phoenix Harry was only told details that it was absolutely necessary for him to know. In Half-Blood Prince however, he is working actively with Dumbledore through the use of a pensieve to learn as much as he can about this evil wizard. This really works well to show how close Dumbledore and Harry really were, despite my own opinion on Dumbledore’s involvement in Harry’s early life.
Snape has finally snagged the defense against the dark arts professor position which means that Harry was able to go on to NEWT level in potions. Believing that he wouldn’t be able to, he doesn’t buy any supplies and ends up being given an old textbook to use for the time-being. The textbook ends up helping Harry by giving him very specific and accurate directions that stray from the ones given by the author. It’s one of the mysteries of this book; who is the Half-Blood Prince?
Harry has been selected to be captain of the Gryffindor quidditch team and that on top of a growth spurt and all the news about Voldemort has made Potter a very popular guy. Ron and Hermione start having moments that are very obvious their romantic feelings coming to the surface. Harry’s chapter with Cho Chang has been left in the past and things are awkward, but in this book we see the ship that is Ginny and Harry set sail only to come back to port because he has to go and finish what Dumbledore started by destroying the rest of the horcruxes. Their brief relationship though, is super cute and I will always say that book Ginny is shown to be far more interesting than movie Ginny (though I think Bonnie Wright did a great job.)
Dumbledore dies and I had to force myself to read that scene from the point of view who hasn’t seen the movies and thus know the true driving forces that led to his death. It was a really sad scene knowing that Harry was there and that he couldn’t do anything about it, that really drives home his feeling of powerlessness. He doesn’t have a moment to mourn because he gets thrown head first into fighting death eaters, and just like with Order of the Phoenix, scenes involving dueling were some of my favorites. It is in a scene in this sequence that we find out that Snape is the Half-Blood Prince and he flees the school because now the remaining teachers and members of the Order know that he killed Dumbledore.
Side note: I absolutely loved that Luna and Neville showed up when members of the DA were summoned, and this really just warmed my heart.
Fawkes sings a heart-wrenching song throughout the grounds before the phoenix seemingly leaves Hogwarts, just as their owner did. The funeral scene is one that encapsulates how important Dumbledore was and you read as Harry comes to terms with the fact he has to continue their mission. Voldemort must fall and Harry knows he has to be the one to do it. The book left off in a really good place, setting the stage for The Deathly Hallows.
Have you guys read the series? What did you think of this installment? Let me know!