When Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince opens, the war against Voldemort has begun The Wizarding world has split down the middle, and as the casualties mount, the effects even spill over onto the Muggles Dumbledore is away from Hogwarts for long periods, and the Order of the Phoenix has suffered grievous losses And yet, as in all wars, life goes on.Harry, Ron, and Hermione, having passed their O.W.L level exams, start on their specialist N.E.W.T courses Sixth year students learn to Apparate, losing a few eyebrows in the process Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love Harry becomes captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, while Draco Malfoy pursues his own dark ends And classes are as fascinating and confounding as ever, as Harry receives some extraordinary help in Potions from the mysterious Half Blood Prince.Most importantly, Dumbledore and Harry work together to uncover the full and complex story of a boy once named Tom Riddle the boy who became Lord Voldemort Like Harry, he was the son of one Muggle born and one Wizarding parent, raised unloved, and a speaker of Parseltongue But the similarities end there, as the teenaged Riddle became deeply interested in the Dark objects known as Horcruxes objects in which a wizard can hide part of his soul, if he dares splinter that soul through murder.Harry must use all the tools at his disposal to draw a final secret out of one of Riddle s teachers, the sly Potions professor Horace Slughorn Finally Harry and Dumbledore hold the key to the Dark Lord s weaknesses until a shocking reversal exposes Dumbledore s own vulnerabilities, and casts Harry s and Hogwarts s future in shadow. I was first introduced to Harry Potter in a Children s Lit class in college I had resisted this popular phenomenon until I was forced to pick it up for a grade, and Book 1 was short enough that I could read it in the course of 2 hours I have to admit I wasn t impressed to any extent, nor did I dislike the experience, but I was critical on grounds of its being derivative, even if reading the first led to reading the second After all, if I was bored and looking for something light, I could do worse than a fantasy about a child wizard who fights evil with his friends But it was really the third book, with its increasing darkness, that took me in and made me a fan With a movie coming out for Order of Phoenix and Deathly Hallows on the horizon, I decided I would reread Half Blood Prince I figured it would take four sittings, of course, with its 600 pages, but time does fly when reading this one, and I ve come to the conclusion that this is my favorite so far What I wouldn t have been willing to admit in college that I m perfectly comfortable saying now is that J.K Rowling is a fantastic storyteller she writes with great clarity, wit, and humor and she s created a cast of loveable characters with whom most people, due to the common experience of growing up, can relate closely That said, the reason for my preference for the 6th book is that it s the most emotionally rich in the series Here we get the backstory of Voldemort spoiler alert through a series of flashbacks coming in HP by way of magically extracted memories , and in this way, we come to understand the villain s similarities and differences with our hero After all, the villain has to have reasons for committing heinous acts, and until now, we don t know what these are.Voldemort is from a once powerful wizard family reduced to poverty that lives in a dilapidated hovel on the edge of a small town, wary of outsiders, and their main point of pride is their pure blood, the lineage having cross bred for generations so as not to pollute the line Voldemort s mother lives with her father and brother and yearns for the love of a nonmagical man muggle in this world and when her father and brother are arrested, she uses the opportunity to bewitch her beloved and run off She ends up pregnant, the man deserts her, and she dies while giving birth to her half wizard, half muggle son, thus making him an orphan like Harry Faulkner anyone But whereas Harry comes to Hogwarts and befriends Ron and Hermione creating unity and strength through positive emotions, Voldemort, when growing in the orphanage shuns other children, torturing them at times without the awareness of adults and stealing their possessions What fuels him is his hatred of his beginnings, his mother s weakness at having died like a common person despite being a witch, and the muggle blood inherited from his father Over the course of his time at Hogwarts, Voldemort, charming as only evil can be, learns to win over people as a means to an end and disguise his insidious purposes, but he never befriends anyone He moves, through his hatred, further away from many of the emotions that drive Harry, namely the desire to protect the people he loves and avenge his parents death.With Dumbledore s help in exploring Voldemort s past, Harry begins to understand that he s come to be where he is through the choices he s made, that his greatest strengths are an alliance with his friends, and that this might hold the key to destroying his enemy, a fact that s made all the poignant when Dumbledore, in an all out assault on Hogwarts by Voldemort s Death Eaters, is killed at the end The stakes are higher than before, the action and pace increase as the conclusion draws near, and things are looking darker than ever, which is the setup that any fan wants when the end is looming and it leaves us with the question How will our hero prevail A 86% Extraordinary Notes It dwells on the delightfully mundane aspects of the magical world, and adds new dimensions to familiar characters. This remains one of my top favorite HP books The Voldemort origins, the Dumbledore Harry business, Draco s mission, the Snape reveal, and the moment the trio decide to not return to Hogwarts so they can stop Voldemort once and for all It s a book that manages to balance so much darkness with light, so evident too in the last line AdamRereadsHP Re Read in December 2014 for Harry Christmas To YouThis is DEFINITELY one of my top favorite books in the series Shit just gets so real.My thoughts Dumbledore is so FREAKING sketchy in this book He s so secretive, and he s always sneaking around, not explaining anything to Harry I m always so proud of Fred and George for getting their own joke shop I don t know what it is, I just feel like a proud mom ALL OF THE TOM RIDDLE BACKSTORY THE GAUNT HOUSE OMG I literally need a whole book about Tom Riddle s life That would make me happy While reading this book, there were about a hundred times when I was just amazed by irony at the whole Snape Half Blood Prince situation Harry is always going on about how great the Prince is and how terrible Snape is, etc I loved it Tom used to collect trophies, said Dumbledore, This will be important later WHY COULDN T HE HAVE JUST EXPLAINED HORCRUXES TO HARRY THEN COME ON MANNNNN the fact that Voldemort went back to Hogwarts to ask for a job just is hilarious to me I m picturing a sort of weird looking Tom Riddle like plz im evil but i luv hogwartz when you find out that the Defence Against the Dark Arts job is actually cursed thumbs up I love you, Hermione RON ACTUALLY SAID THOSE WORDS HE SAID THEM AND MY HEART SANG He meant it in a friendly way but Hermione definitely loved hearing it Harry and Ginny are both so sassy and I love it when they become sassy together 3 at the end when Hagrid said something along the lines of Dumbledore will be able to fix it right after Harry saw him die Saddest thing ever.This book and its movie are definitely up there on my favorites list. I m not sure why, but this one took me completely by surprise I was expecting this installment to be mainly filler to get us to the Deathly Hallows, but so much happened here that I must have forgotten from the movie The Half Blood prince was considerably darker than the previous 5 books, and I just adore how this series has progressed and grown just like most of its readers have Obviously I knew what the big reveal was prior to finishing the book due to my viewing the films before, but it didn t take away from the experience the novel had to offer I have this nervous lump in my throat knowing that the next book is the final one, but am simultaneously excited to finally read what the films surely have left out surrounding the conclusion of the series. I m yet to mention one of the most important characters in this series in a review I m, of course, talking about Severus Snape.Severus, the unsung hero.Severus, who sacrificed his own soul.Severus, who loved another than life itself.Severus, the half blood prince the truth about his character was, and will likely always be, one of the most surprising twists I ve ever read in fiction The set up is all in this book. I am a wizard, not a baboon brandishing a stick Harry Potter is my life My life is Harry Potter Once again there are so many great and amazing scenes and quotes pressed between these pages, so much truth and emotion How could it not fall for it again and again and again.Some of my favourite scenes in no particular order Fleur and Mrs Weasly falling into each others arms crying just thinking about it makes me teary but no, really Fleur is such an amazing and slightly underrated character She lives with the Weasleys, where, honestly, no one makes it easy for her Molly is fighting a constant battle with her but Fleur doesn t back off Everyone is convinced she is vain and arrogant, but it s that moment in the hospital wing where finally these two amazing women recognise each other as equals, where Fleur gains acceptance and much than that respect Everyone expected her to leave Bill for selfish reasons, no one expected that she really, truly loves him But by proving that she would stand by him, whatever might happen and everyone knew bad things were going to happen she opened Molly s eyes and Molly saw her, for the first time, for what she really was A strong and fierce woman and wife, as she was herself the Memories Dumbledore at the orphanage, Tom Riddle visiting Hepzibah Smith and Voldemort coming to ask for the DADA teaching job The Other Minister is one highly interesting and funny chapter Dumbledore s visit at the Dursley s Utter silence before Hermione accidently punches herself with a telescope Ginny finally getting spotlight, being the sassy and talented witch she is Hermione pretending to go out with Cormac just to make Ron mad I expect your trainers are too small, Won Won, said a voice behind them and Hermione stalked past, smirking Ron s love potion episode Harry unknowingly discovering you know what while hiding his Potions books in the Room of Requierement Professor Trelawney actually predicting the right stuff just to dismiss it as rubbish This is Mr Dumberton sorry, Dunderbore He s come to tell you well, I ll let him do it There are some scenes however, that I do not like to read, where I have to stop myself from skipping them Firstly, the dreadful second Quidditch match, secondly the Sectumsempra scene with Malfoy and Snape, thirdly Dumbledore suffering in the Cave They are not very enjoyable.Something that will forever annoy me is how absolutely no one believes Harry s Malfoy is a Death Eater theory He keeps telling Ron and Hermione about it but they ignore him.And then again, do you really expect me to believe that the brightest witch of her age would only get and Exceeds Expectations on her Defence Against The Dark Arts O.W.L Nope Doesn t make sense Especially not after Dumbledore s Army.In a nutshell I love Harry Potter Not sure I mentioned that before.Find of my books on Instagram i dont want to talk to anyonedont even look at mei was expecting it and i still cried for like 30 minutes Since pretty much everyone I know has read these books, I figure reviewing them is pretty pointless But with the new book coming out in a couple of days, I have to go through them beginning to end To make the reviews entertaining, I will be doing them in a variety of unexpected formats For this review, I will be writing as a power ballad Intro Piano and strings You were always by my sideYou will always be my guideBut the road I m onGoes on and onAnd I ve left you beHIIIIIND Big crunchy electric guitar DUMBLEDORE I will never forget the strength you showed DUMBLEDORE I will never forget the debt you re owed DUMBLEDORE And when I face the final hour DUMBLEDORE I will call on all your power Guitar solo There s no way back againBut if I can find a friendTo see me thoughAnd remember youI ll make it to the EEEENNNND DUMBLEDORE When I finally catch that snake in the grass DUMBLEDORE You will be able to rest at last DUMBLEDORE You know he never will escape DUMBLEDORE I m comin for you SNAAAAAAAAPE Guitar solo Guitar solo with children s choir singing Run, Snape, Run Guitar solo with fireworks Drums explode EDITOR S NOTE Yes, I know, it s horrible I m not proud.