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.
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.