Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince sets the stage for book seven

I actually thought that I would be able to put off reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince until the paperback came out, or at least until Christmas.

I was wrong.

By late July or early August I began to feel a great disturbance among the Harry Potter fanbase.

The hype eventually wore me down, and I borrowed a copy of the book, eager to find out what was going on in Harry’s world.

Actually, surprisingly little headway is made for either Albus Dumbledore’s Order of the Phoenix or Lord Voldemort’s Death Eaters in The Half-Blood Prince (though, at the end, the point clearly goes to Voldemort).

Instead of action, J. K. Rowling gives us explanation. We learn an awful lot about the mysteries behind Lord Voldemort, Severus Snape and Harry’s parents.

More than anything, The Half-Blood Prince serves to set the stage for what is going to happen next.

In book six, we find both the wizarding and Muggle worlds suffering the birth pangs of the evil Lord Voldemort’s plan for world domination. We also find sixteen year-old Harry Potter, a sixth year student at Hogwart’s School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, rumored to be the “Chosen One” who will finally put an end to Voldemort and his Death Eaters’ destructive rampage.

But while Harry tries to track down Draco Malfoy on what Harry swears is an attempt to do something awful, he must also deal with other pressures. Those pressures include harder classes, Quidditch, feuds among his friends and, perhaps most distracting of all, girls.

These not-so-little details documenting the soap opera that is the teenager’s life are what makes Rowling’s series so great. Harry is growing up, just like Rowling’s target audience.

And don’t pretend like you don’t still deal with the same things.

However, just as we start to get soaked up in the drama, Rowling reminds us that the fate of the world is at stake.

Despite the brilliance of the Harry Potter series, college students do need to remember that they are not the ones for whom the books were intended.

Keeping this in mind allows some of the minor discrepancies and flaws to slide (like how Quidditch must be the single most poorly thought-out sport ever imagined. I’m convinced that Rawling has never watched a single professional sports game in her life). Even so, as a college junior myself, I’m dying to attend the midnight release party for Harry Potter book seven.

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