October 20, 2006
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
By J. K. Rowling
Rating: 4 3/4 stars
Reviewed by Noelle
In this 6th book in the Harry Potter series, Harry finds himself once again at Hogwarts, reeling from the death of his foster father Sirius. Professor Snape continues to act in the role of double agent to both the Death Eaters and to the Order of the Phoenix. We see him make an unbreakable vow with Draco's mother to aid Draco in the task set to him by Voldemort himself--a task that remains a mystery to us. Harry, however, knows Draco is up to something, and spends time tailing him around the castle to no avail. Of course, he still refuses to give Snape any kind of benefit of the doubt. Dumbledore is highly interested this year in bringing Harry with him as he travels back to past scenes of Voldemort's life when he was Tom Riddle. Dumbledore feels that understanding Voldemort's past will help give them the key to defeating him now. Careful readers will see the clues that Harry seems to not absorb quite so readily. When Muggles would be taking driving tests, the rest of the Hogwarts crew are busy preparing for their Disapparation tests which they are allowed to sit for when they reach the age of 17. There is also quite a bit of kissing amongst various couples, which may, perhaps, be a necessary plot point to attend to. But all other things are thrown aside when the last 100 pages of the book are begun and no one will want to put the book down. There will be a quest, a stand off, a battle, a horrible deed done, and the scene set for the final book in the series. Happily, this tome weighs in lighter in pages but is no less impactful than the previous books. Despite a few flaws, readers will devour this entry into the series and wait impatiently to get their hands on Book 7.