J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter, Book #6

Review brought to you by OBS staff member Annabell Cadiz

Synopsis: The war against Voldemort is not going well; even Muggle governments are noticing. Ron scans the obituary pages of the Daily Prophet, looking for familiar names. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses.

And yet . . .

As in all wars, life goes on. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate — and lose a few eyebrows in the process. The Weasley twins expand their business. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Classes are never straightforward, though Harry receives some extraordinary help from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince.

Review: Voldemort and his Death Eaters are wreaking havoc all over Britain. Everyone in the magical world has caused for Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic, to resign since they all believe he has grossly mishandled the situation and truth about Voldemort. Rufus Scrimgeour has taken over in his place. Just as that change occurs, Snape is at his home. Draco Malfoy’s mother, Narcissa and her sister, Bellatrix Lestrange have come to Snape to ask for a favor. Narcissa needs Snape to help Draco in the mission Voldemort has given to him. Snape at first hesitates but soon agrees to the Unbreakable Vow. If Draco should fail then Snape will have to complete the mission. If Draco dies, so does Snape.

Meanwhile back at Hogwarts, Harry is in a bind. He has realized he has feelings for Ginny but she is dating Dean Thomas. Dumbledore has been secretly teaching Harry to use the Pensieve to view his collected memories of Voldemort’s past. Snape has become the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher (much to Harry, Ron, and Hermonie’s horror). Odd things are happening: Katie Bell, a Gryffindor student, is hit by the Imperius Curse when she comes into the possession of a necklace that was cursed and meant to be given to Dumbledore; Ron ends up drinking mead that is poisoned and meant to be given to Dumbledore.

Harry knows Draco Malfoy has something to do with everything that’s been happening but has no way of proving it. The darkness from Voldemort and his Death Eaters is beginning to seep through the walls of Hogwarts and Harry must try to find a way to stand against it.

Memorable scenes/characters/moments:

–Snape agreeing to the unbreakable vow.

–Bill Weasley (Ron’s older brother) becoming engaged to Fleur Delacour, the Beauxbatons champion in the Twiwizard Tournament.

–Harry finally realizing he has feelings for Ginny. Harry and Ginny finally becoming an item.

–Harry finding the copy of Potions textbook with the name Half-Blood Prince written inside and using it to ace his potions class.

–The Felix Felicius potion: gives who drinks it good luck.

–Dumbledore telling Harry Lord Voldemort split his soul into six fragments known as Horcruxes so he could attain immortality.

–Harry and Malfoy battling in the bathroom. Harry nearly killing Malfoy by using a potion made up from the Half-Blood Prince, Sectumsempra.

–Harry and Dumbledore disapparating to a secret cave to retrieve one of the Horcrux’s.

–Snape completing Malfoy’s mission to take down Dumbledore.

–Harry and Snape battling.

–Dumbledore’s funeral.

Favorite Quotes

“Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.” ~Dumbledore

“We’ll be there Harry,’ said Ron
‘At your Aunt’s and Uncle’s house,’ said Ron, ‘And then we’ll go with you wherever you’re going.’
‘No-’ said Harry quickly; he hadn’t counted on this, he had meant them to understand that he was undertaking the most dangerous journey alone.
‘You said it once before,’ said Hermione quickly, “that there was time to turn back if we wanted to. We’ve had time, haven’t we? We’re with you whatever happens.”

“He accused me of being Dumbledore’s man through and through.’
‘How very rude of him.’
‘I told him I was.’
Dumbledore opened his mouth to speak and then closed it again. Fawkes the phoenix let out a low, soft, musical cry. To Harry’s intense embarrassment, he suddenly realized that Dumbledore’s bright blue eyes looked rather watery, and stared hastily at his own knee. When Dumbledore spoke, however, his voice was quite steady.
‘I am very touched, Harry.”