Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I am listening to this book for about the 6th time. I need a story which will carry me along without much effort and yet capture my interest and challenge me to see more than I saw the last time. There are confusing times in my life when this comfort read is exactly what I need and Rowling and Jim Dale, the narrator, always deliver.
In this book, Harry finds a potions book from a former student and when he follows the instruction, he produces extraordinary results. Hermione is deeply troubled by the book and insists that he turn it in. Who is the Half-Blood Prince?
It is hard to review this book without giving the plot away, so I will stick to the generalities. We learn a lot more about Tom Riddle and how he came to be Lord Voldemort. The reader begins to have a little sympathy for him...until he reveals his cold bloodedness at such a young age. It goes way beyond the mind of a schoolboy.
We get to see a lot more of the pensive and it begins to reveal the prequel to the stage that is set for Harry when he comes to Hogwarts. I think the pensive is an absolutely brilliant device. I would love to have one myself! Suddenly, Harry is there, seeing the people in the past as they were without being interpreted by flawed memories. I think the memories also reveal the depth of Rowling's talent. She has constructed these books as if she knew from the very beginning just where she was going every step of the way. Tiny bits of information in book 1, come back in book 6 and their importance is revealed. In fact, I think that is why I keep coming back to these books. I make connections that completely eluded me up to that point. I am in awe of the depth of her organization for what is ostensibly juvenile fiction.
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