C. A. Casey

Another worthless writers blog

Harry Potter and Halfway Decent Book

Posted by Casey on October 31, 2007

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is 657 pages. That alone makes it better than Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

I don’t agree with this visual review of the Half-Blood Prince:

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Harry Potter regains his pre-Book 5 personality, which is a good thing. Ron and Hermione are the ones going through growing pains in this one, but that’s okay because the reader knows where all that’s leading to.

Half-Blood Prince is the beginning of the long, sometimes tedious denouement for the series. Dumbledore prepares Harry in a rather haphazard and inadequate way for his ultimate confrontation with Voldemort. The interesting thing about this book is Rowling’s about face attitude toward adults as helpers for Harry. Dumbledore suddenly is not the wizard who can get everyone out of impossible fixes and concoct cover-ups better than major government officials.

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Dumbledore’s mentoring causes more confusion than clarity, leaving Harry woefully unprepared to deal with pretty much everything that happens in Book 7. Snape is the one who steps in and takes matters into his own hands, but on the surface, his actions appear to be the opposite of saving the day. I’m not going to give away key events, in case others want to read these books. I’ll just say, Snape continues to be the most interesting character in these books.

This is a better paced book than Books 4 or 5, which means it doesn’t drag all the way through. Rowling still hasn’t learned the useful fiction device–narrative summary–to reduce the number of redundant scenes that don’t contribute to the story but denotes the passage of time. At least the redundancy doesn’t get as out of hand as it does in Book 7.

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This book ends with Harry ready to do what he can to save the wizarding world by destroying Voldemort once and for all. So on to the seventh and last book in the Harry Potter saga.

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2 Responses to “Harry Potter and Halfway Decent Book”

  1. Claudia said

    The one thing I hated the most was the lack of communication among the adults and kids. I assume it’s a British thing…see if they can survive kinda thing.

  2. Casey said

    I think it’s more of a writer’s problem–dealing with kids who are being taught lethal skills and yet are supposed to behave like regular kids and at the same time trying to create grownups who have to be the adults to these kids. It’s a different reality all around.

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