Reading in paradise. Image: Jody Amable.
I read Half-Blood Prince really fast. Not because I couldn’t put it down, but because it felt like filler on the way to the exciting conclusion.
Warning: This post is rife with spoilers, but you've also probably already read these books, so we aren't too worried about it.
There’s a lot I could say about Half-Blood Prince: the overall haziness of it, the slow creep of the plot, the beautiful imagery, and the sudden, almost offensively fast ending.
But mostly I would like to say that it was boring.
I was waiting to finally not like a Harry Potter book, and folks, I found it. Half-Blood Prince was boring. Soooo boring. Not so boring that I gave up, but just boring enough that I kept turning pages out of habit — like when a movie turns out to be not as great as you thought it would be, and halfway through you find yourself following along but mostly trying to gauge how close you are to the end. (“Oh good, a fight scene. If I know my superhero movies, there will be one big fight right before the end.”).
To be fair, I read Half-Blood Prince really fast. Not because I couldn’t put it down, but because it felt like filler on the way to the exciting conclusion (also because I was on planes with no free in-flight entertainment for a total of about 12 hours last week and had a lot of time to kill). I was eager — a little too eager, I guess — to get to Book Seven. I was rushing through it, even when that big cliffhanger of an ending got dropped on me. I was so unimpressed with the story leading up to it, though, that instead of shocking me, it just felt cheap and sloppy. TBH, I’m a little resentful.
However, this book does allow me to do a little bit of gloating: CALLED IT, CALLED IT, CALLED IT.
I don’t know how I knew Snape was the Half-Blood Prince, I just... did. Kind of like how Dumbledore can just magic his way out of things. I trusted my Muggle instincts, which I guess is sort of like magic, in a way.
On the other hand: SNAPE, HOW DARE YOU
Dumbledore trusted you, ergo, I trusted you. I’ve been had!
And that, my friends, was the most worked-up I got throughout the whole book (and when I say “worked up,” I mean I was, like, mildly upset), but it occurred to me the other night that maybe it was part of some sort of long con on the Death Eaters. Maybe he’s embedded in Voldemort’s employ to gather intel, and he had to kill Dumbledore so as not to risk his cover being blown. And maybe Dumbledore knew this and was chill with it.
Also, by the way: Dumbledore died.
I feel like I’m not as affected by this as I should be. As I hinted at above, his death came so suddenly and was so bombastic and drawn-out that I was left rolling my eyes a little bit.
However, I do sort of feel like it had to happen. The Order needed something to fight for.
And with that, I begin the end: Deathly Hallows currently sits on my nightstand.
I picked it up before I left for Hawaii a few weeks ago, hungover AF from a combination of transitioning off antidepressants and having gone to Passover at a friend’s place the night before (those 4 glasses of wine tho). I’m currently 100-some-odd pages in.
All I want to do these days is sit on the couch in stretchy pants with my dog and read this book.
I want to keep going, but I also... don’t. I don’t want this to be over.
I don’t have any big, moving parallels between Hogwarts and my life to draw like I usually do — it’s probably also because my mental health has not been great lately, and Half-Blood Prince didn’t hold much comfort. But the Potter universe as a whole has been such an escape for me, and I’m a little afraid of what’s going to happen to me once I’m all done.
But like Harry, I’ve got to go it alone now.
Meet ya in Godric’s Hollow, Harry.
Books Read: Sorcerer's Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince
Currently Reading: THE VERY LAST ONE — OH MY GOD, Y’ALL
Pages Read: 3,477
Favorite Character: I think after six books I am finally warming up to Harry.
Least Favorite Character: Not really her fault, but this whole Harry-Ginny thing is kind of a snooze. Also, has Ginny been pining for Harry all this time? And he’s just now giving her the time of day? Kind of selfish of him, if you ask me… (What was that I just said about warming up to Harry?)
Thing I Want: THIS, which I was recently denied because spoilers.