Friday, August 21, 2015

A Pygmy Puff, But I Didn’t Say Where

I got a craving to read Harry Potter right before my cruise, so spent the week before leaving, rereading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (now known as HBP) by J.K. Rowling.  It's taken this long for me to ramble about it 'cause I had to get through the movie first.  Like before, if you want a full synopsis look here.  Now on to my very own, very personal thoughts on this sixth book. As always SPOILERS AHEAD!
Voldemort - I loved loved loved finding out about Tom Riddles history and journey to becoming the Dark Lord.  It gives some substance and meaning to this slithery guy's actions.  One of my favorite things is when the bad guys have a reason for being the way they are.  It was cool to see Voldemort's history intersect with the mythos history as well.  The following of Slytherin's line from it's glorious founder to it's ignominious end with the Gaunt's was very interesting.  I also liked the continuation of pointing out the similarities between Harry and Tom and showing how various circumstances and decisions have led them to become such different people.

Romance - I am normally not a huge fan of teenage romance 'cause it can get very angsty and stupid, but I thought the author actually imbued the book with a decent sense of humor and realism when it came to the many many many romances in the book.  Ron especially got some great page time with his various romances, love potions and sheer teenage boy stupidity.  We finally get our Ginny/Harry romance which actually made some sense.  I really enjoyed how in this book we see every form of romance, from crushes, to teenage puppy love, to complicated adult relationships, to engagements to marriages.

Harry Harry Harry - Usually I talk about the characters in context of the trio of Harry, Ron and Hermione, and while the three of them definitely had their time together (and apart, and fighting, and saving etc.) Harry really started to stand apart as the main guy in this book.  Harry went with Dumbledore (who finally decided to include him in stuff), Harry had the irrational issue with Draco (even if he did turn out to be right), Harry found the potion book, Harry was a favorite of Slughorn, Harry got the memory, Harry witnessed the BIG DEATH, this book was all about the Harry.

The Potion Book - The world building in this book was more minimal then in some of the other books, focusing more on the characters and stories.  That being said, using the Half Blood Prince's potion book allowed to spend some time with Potions and learning more about that subject which was pretty cool.  I also LOVED how the whole book was kind of a misdirection about the previous owner of the book and the ultimate importance Snape (who turned out to be the Half-Blood Prince) played not only in this book, but the series as a whole.

Movie - This movie sucks.  They changed so much, cut out so much, focused so much on relationships that I felt the true point of this book was completely lost.  I know that the audience for this movie is the teeny bopper crowd, but let's give them some credit and assume that they would at least like to follow the over all story.  In fact now that I have reread the book and re watched the movie, I'm wondering if some of my apathy towards this book is partly based on the movie...hmm...

The Big Death - Since GF, death has been present in the Harry Potter books, we have had numerous people die and have felt the consequences of those deaths through out the series.  This book is no exception with the author stepping up the deaths big time, really showing us the impact of Voldemorts return.  Of course we still have the BIG DEATH, I am of course talking about Dumbledore.  I think the biggest thing here is not so much who died, but how he died, who killed him, and the twisty path it sends our trio of friends on.
Overall still not my favorite book, but I did find that I enjoyed more the second time around.  It is much darker then the previous books and set's up the last installment for all of its heavy epic conclusion.  There are still some light-hearted moments, a little bit of wide eyed magic, but you also start to feel the fear and angst of a world in danger and turmoil.  I give this installment 7 out of 10 splinched eyebrows.  Just one more book to go folks!  Happy Reading Everybody!

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