Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince by J K Rowling (audio!)
Yes yes… we all (or certainly all should) have read the Harry Potter books – BUT before you run the other way – hear me out because if you have not listened to these books on audio… then you are missing something awesome.
So here is the gist of this book… Harry (our hero!) is now preparing to enter his sixth year at Hogwarts. Last year had been a hard one, but really, none of the years have been a cake walk for the boy who lived. Year six… will prove to be yet another challenge. Even more so than he has ever encountered before.
With the inkling (*IHO), that Draco is now a Death Eater and Hermione and Ron finding the boy to be a bit daft, Harry feels there are new deeper and darker secrets within the school. When he sees Dumbledore has a secret of his own with a damaged hand that he will not talk about.
Security at Hogwarts is on the HIGH.
Volde…. he who shall not be named is out there somewhere and the students are to be on the look out. When an old potions book Harry winds up with by being last to class is filled with notes Harry is at first disappointed,but eventually finds out that he is the lucky holder of a book that helps him to create potions faster and smarter than the others in the class and much to Hermione’s annoyance. The book says it was the property of the “Half Blood Prince”, but who was the Half Blood Prince?
As the story goes on – Dumbledore takes to sharing with Harry some of his most important memories involving Tom Riddle who of course (come on Potter fans!) is… Volde…. gah.. He who shall not be named. These memories are to help Harry know what they are up against as they prepare for the inevitable battle.
Anyhoo… so on it goes with the great mix of the school friendships and some fun story lines involving the miss use of love potions, and a potion that gives you a perfect day. Oh and of course there is always Quidich and with Ron now playing you know it is going to be fun.
This is the book where you really get the full effect of just how crazy crackers and power possessed Tom Riddle (Voldem…. yeah yeah….) truly was. The question and the goal of this particular book is to find the power behind Riddle and see what can e done to weaken up – and things have never had greater stakes.
When asked what my favorite of the Potter books are, I have always struggled with that question. I lean towards the earlier years, I prefer the younger more innocent years at Hogwarts – however as I listened to this one over the last few weeks I think I almost have to go with this book. This is really the book where all things come together, you really get to know what is going on and the main protagonists all are coming into their own… Ron and Hermione are hilarious in this particular book as they try to figure our relationships. Harry really has an even more important role than ever before – and even more so I feel than what he does in book 7 as this is the book where he does most on his own without the help of his friends.
The audio is read by Jim Dale and he is well worth a listen. Whenever I listen to him he takes me right there, each character so easily defined in his tone of voice – I just take great joy in listening to him.
If you have enjoyed the Harry Potter books in book format, I HIGHLY encourage you to try them on audio. What a fantastic treat and if you are on a road trip a great listen for the whole family.
I treated myself after finishing the audio, to the movie once again….. ahhhhh Harry….. this is the book that made me cry, and much like all important moments of my life- I remember right where I was when I finished it the first time.