Thursday, July 28, 2005

Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince Review #1- Spoilers

This 6th book should be renamed Harry Potter and the Half-Arsed Plot.

It's been almost two weeks since the release of HP and the Half-Blood Prince, the much anticipated 6th book in the Harry Potter septet. Now that the hype, the confusion, the anger and the disappointment has pretty much subsided, I'm ready to write a review of the book, as well as giving my thoughts on what has happened in fandom after the book's release.

To start off, what did I think about the Half-Blood Prince? Other than the first chapter, "The Other Minister", the rest of the novel was cliched and immature for a writer who has garnered so much praise over the years. Before I wrote this, I tried to think of what I can say about the book. What happened in this 6th novel? The answer: NOTHING. "That's not true!" "Lot's happened!" This is what other HP fans would be shouting at me if I said announced this in a junior high school cafetaria. Let me see if they're right.

What Happened:
1. Snape is revealed as truly evil.
2. Harry developes a monsterous infatuation with Ginny Weasley.
3. Ron is the jerk he's always been, except now, he's lost all faculty of reason and has turned more violent than ever.
4. Hermione has given up her education and given up on Harry's mission in favour of devising schemes to make Ron jealous enough that he'd finally ask her out.
5. Harry discovers what keeps Voldemort alive.
6. Dumbledore, an arrogant fool, dies at the hand of a man he trusted blindly
7. Harry and Ginny break up

Some friends of mine have dubbed this 6th book, "Hogwarts Creek," "Hogwarts 90210," and "Half-Arsed Prince." I don't know which of these is worse, but they're all pretty indicative of how poorly written the Half-Blood Prince is. For a plot-driven novel (considered low-quality literature), there's hardly any plot! For shame!

What happened to the clues that are introduced at the beginning, and are revealed at the end to have significant impact on the story? None.

What happened to learning new spells and using them to save their own lives at the end of the novel? Remember the Summoning Charm in The Goblet of Fire? None.

What happened to the twist endings of the previous books? Remember Sirius Black in the Prisoner of Azkaban? None.

The Half-Blood Prince had none of these clever mystery story-telling techniques. Instead, you have a story where one boy chases after a girl, but he doesn't have the courage to, and they play jealousy games. You have a conflict that is explained and analysed through conversation, rather than through action. You have characters who act out-of-character to meet the demands of a simplistic and cliched plot.

Plotwise, I give the Half-Blood Prince 1 star out of five.

1 comment:

chasezgranger said...

3. Ron is the jerk he's always been, except now, he's lost all faculty of reason and has turned more violent than ever.

I couldn't remember a scene where he was more violent than ever, but it has leapt into my brain. Ron throwing a knife in the Weasley's kitchen to one of the twins? Yeah what was up with that. Not that I condone violence, but whatever happened to a bit of sibling punching?

And not that I'm trying to make JKR's 6th book look great, but we must remember that HBP is part 1 of a two book story. Maybe the mysteries will be revealed in the next book. Regardless, JKR did a piss poor job in making the book be as convincing as the previous.

There was no plot, unless you want to consider learning and finding horcruxes a plot. What felt more like a plot were the romances, which weren't even told very well. It was told in an askew matter that does ironically resemble teenage hormones. How does romance fit in a mystery story anyhow?

Though Harry didn't learn a new spell to save his life, what about remembering that DD told him to use light of the Inferi were to rise? And they say Hermione loses her head when she's faced with trouble!