Friday, August 5

Book: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling

It was a boring summer weekday in Canada when I was forced to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. I say "forced" because before that I had always refused to contributing to the cheapening of literature by reading what was clearly just a popular fad. And that was despite so many people (my own brother included) telling me how great the books were.

So when a young(ish) Canadian cousin who was mad for Harry Potter offered me the first book to read I accepted it with scepticism. I think I finished it in a day; The Chamber of Secrets in two. Ever since then I've been fan. Beautifully, almost technically, written, the HP books are among my favourites (others being Perdido and the Chronicles of Narnia).

I think this is for two reasons: The depth of the characters (from the Dawson's Creek style relationships and interactions to the real, albeit cheap, self analysis) and the cast iron mysteries and their subsequent solving. It's almost like Rowling has written them all backwards: everything always eventually falls into place and seemingly irrelevant details from as far back as the first book become important later. It's not difficult reading this book at all.

The sixth book in the series is no different and continues with the change in pace shown in the last one, concentrating more on events outside of Hogwarts rather than in. Now, to be honest, I found this to put a bit of a downer on the fifth book (which although still brilliant was the least favourite of mine), but for me HBP manages to bring the level back up.

Oh, and a cousin setting his Messenger name to the finale of the book didn't spoil it too much for me too much, although I will still kick his ass the next time I see him.