Sunday, July 17, 2005

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Not a children's book!

Plot points and other such things aside, my first comment about HBP is how kids who read this book (or have it read to them) are going to be mentally traumatized for the rest of their lives! I swear! And that's only part of it! Frequent occurances of "rude hand gestures" and unmentionable "curses" (not those Curses) are also going to make it extra-hard for poor parents to explain this book to the kids!

Well, good luck to them...

I think the best thing I like about this book is how rationally each of the characters behave and how logically various situations evolve and diffuse (or explode) . Fans will be happy to know that there are no stupid emotional outbursts from the Harry like the infamous ones in the Order of the Phoenix; he also listens to his elders (shudder!), doesn't take (too many) stupid risks and the death of the major character, when it comes, feels less inevitable than it did the last time.

There is especially this good bit about the nature of phrophecies and such, that exemplifies that logic I was talking about. Many books and movies, ok some, ok, I'm talking about The Matrix movies, have been let down when they get too deep into the nature of "The Prophecy", which is after all a "belief" system that seemingly has no place in an otherwise logic-driven universe. Not Harry Potter, it'd seem! I thought J. K. Rowling was going down a suicidal path when she gets into this in HBP! But, no! She actually ends up almost entirely redeeming what appeared to be a weak plot in the previous book.

This also brings me to what I didn't like about the book. I think the fact that there isn't much of a plot to speak of (Maybe the next book will prove me wrong! I hope so and I actually think so)! This book basically serves to tie-up all the loose ends from the first five books and set up the last one. And from what I read (from 1:30 am to 7:30 am) that's pretty much all it did. Sure, there is a plot about something-and-something but it seemed to beside the point (A second reading might convince me otherwise). I kinda got the impression that this book is a sort of sacrificial feed to the frenzied masses to sate their appetites as Rowling gears up to write the big one. In fact. it seems like Books 6 and 7 are two parts of a single big book.

So, yes, HBP definitely tied a million loose ends from the previous books but it also left some very delicious questions unanswered. Till Book 7 then...

And that's another two years away...atleast!

The countdown begins...

NOTE: The synopsis in the book jacket reminded me in a big way of the "scrolling text" that marks the start of each Star Wars movies, content-wise that is.


Blogger Little Grey Cat said...

OOoh, I've not got my copy yet. I'm still half way through book 5.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Santosh Sankar said...

Good, good! I'm glad I didn't reveal anything from the 5th book. Enjoy!

1:54 PM  

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