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'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince'

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[AUG. 3, 2005]  "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," by J.K. Rowling, Arthur A. Levine Books, 2005, 652 pages, recommended for any age

Review by
Melissa McKay

"Accio, 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince'"! Wouldn't it be wonderful to do spells? To be able to make things appear with just a flick of a wand? To attend a school that teaches young people magic? Everyone's favorite wizard gets to do so every day in J.K. Rowling's sixth installment of the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince."

J.K. Rowling succeeds again in giving Harry, Ron and Hermione adventures that all of us -- yes, even grown-ups -- wish to experience.

In "Half-Blood Prince," Harry is another year older and another year closer to finishing school at Hogwarts. The author takes both of those issues into account when she puts Harry, Ron and Hermione in certain situations. Those situations show how much the characters have grown in every book of the series. There are also new creatures, new characters and, of course, new spells.

This book answers quite a few questions that readers may have had while reading the other books. Sometimes, the answers produce even more questions. Hopefully, those questions, and others not quite answered yet, will be answered in Rowling's seventh book. Isn't that what makes the books so good: the anticipation of what is going to happen next to Harry and his friends?

Rowling is wonderful at describing all aspects of character, plot and atmosphere. When you read about Hogsmeade, Hogwarts, 4 Privet Drive, Hagrid's Hut or any other part of the wizarding world, you are right there with the characters. You feel like a student at the school and you feel a connection with the four houses. Maybe you've already picked which house you would be in. Maybe you see yourself reflected in one of the many characters.

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There is emotion pouring out of this book -- so thick that you find yourself in a whirlwind of moods, just like one of Professor Snape's potions. I was laughing one minute and the next so mad I wanted to hex someone. Rowling knows which buttons to push and when.

Her writing is seamless and the meanings within the writing so great that this book will have to be read several times to get all the hidden meanings.

Without telling the surprise ending, who the "Half-Blood Prince" is and what happens between the trio, it is hard to explain in depth what I like the most about this particular book. Giving even a hint would make me want to "disapparate" faster than you can say "quidditch." I will say this is my second favorite in all the series, "Goblet of Fire" being my favorite. "Half-Blood Prince" has as much adventure, humor, fun and emotion as all the others, but this one gives the reader an even better view into the personality of Harry Potter himself.

Now, sit back and relax. Hold your wand in one hand and "Half-Blood Prince" in the other. Watch as the words swirl into a mixture of unbelievable fantasy, and dive in -- head first, mind you -- into the world of J. K. Rowling and Harry Potter.

You can check out all the Harry Potter books and others about the wizarding world at the Lincoln Public Library, located at 725 Pekin St.

[Melissa McKay, administrative assistant, Lincoln Public Library District]

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