Tuesday, September 13, 2005

An's Book Club #4: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling

Grade: A+

Yikes! It's been about a week since TJ and I finished reading this book but I needed some time to recover from my shock before writing about it. First, I'd like to thank Kristine for buying this for us as a wedding present - what a nice surprise to get it in the mail!

As with all Harry Potter books, we read this one to each other out loud. (And to answer the question everyone always asks, no we don't do different voices.) I like sharing these books with him, instead of reading it separately and waiting for him to finish so we can talk about it, plus, I read really fast when I read to myself, and often miss things. Reading aloud ensures that I keep to a slower pace, and then I get to read (or hear) every word. It's a nice way to savor the Harry Potter series, which by far, are my favorite books EVER.

The book was very dark. I like how the writing and plot is maturing with the characters. I was really angry and sad about the death in this book, but it was amazingly well-written and I absolutely can't wait until Book 7 to see how she wraps up the whole thing. There was less plot in this one, and more background, and more about the character's daily lives (lots of teenage kissing!). As always there were several laugh out loud funny parts, especially snide comments made by Ron. The movie will be truly frightening, I'm sure.

The author actually did less recap than in other books, which was nice. If you've made it this far into the series, you probably know what happened in the other books. I found it useful to re-read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix before diving into this one, as it's been a long time since we read that one. That was extremely helpful, though re-reading Books 4 and 5 would have been ideal.

Even if you're not into "fantasy" books, I recommend this series. I have very little patience for things that aren't "real" (ask me how much I hate "Star Trek" and most sci-fi) but this series has such a well-developed framework and is "real enough" that it's extremely enjoyable. Not to mention that Hogwarts Scool of Witchcraft and Wizardry seems an awful lot like Caltech. I will use this time to liken Snape to Prof. Fuller, as the professor who I kept having to take classes from though I hated them. Bah!

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