Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
"In a brief statement on Friday night, Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge confirmed that He Who Must Not Be Named has returned to this country and is once more active. "It is with great regret that I must confirm that the wizard styling himself Lord - well, you know who I mean - is alive and among us again."
Reviewed on 8th June 2020
A chance conversation led me to realise that it was a very long time since I’d read Half-Blood Prince, the sixth Harry Potter book. Possibly I haven’t even read it since book seven came out, which seems negligent.
So despite the time that’s passed since my re-read of the series so far, I took this off my shelf to join a vast number of other readers re-consuming the Harry Potter novels as a source of comfort during lockdown.
In my head, there’s a sort of line between books five a six - the first five novels are the classic Harry Potter series. The final two seem separate for some reason, as if they aren’t quite the same series. I don’t know whether this is a product of how much I like them, or down to the age, or perhaps pace, at which I read them (though I think I read five in one sitting too).
This time round, I enjoyed Half-Blood Prince, as expected. I enjoyed spotting a few things that I’d either never noticed before or forgotten - small things, little nods to characters in the background, or little hints of things that had yet to be revealed. You can almost feel the various threads coming together in the author’s mind as the series prepares to wrap up.
There’s also the problem of the film - which I probably have seen more times than I’ve read the book. In my mind, a lot of the scenes are as they were in the film - but also some events I could picture from the films but not remember which book they map to, so I was expecting scenes which never emerged.
Overall - it remains a solid story and a good adventure… but it’s still not as good as Order of the Phoenix. Perhaps my impression of the later books is just because Phoenix was to me the best, and so it’s downhill after that.