We finally finished Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince over the weekend. Last week was an unusually busy week for us, so most of our reading time occurred in the later hours of the evening (and wee hours of the morning on more than one occasion!), so I'm still a little bleary-eyed today.
We really enjoyed Book Six. I'm not yet sure where it ranks in the Potter corpus, but it probably rises into the top tier. I will confess: I don't really have time to edit the blog template to enable those fancy expandable (i.e., "Read More") entries that will protect spoiler-phobes from sensitive information. So I'll keep the comments brief for the meanwhile.
As I said, we really enjoyed the book. Rowling did a great job of weaving the multiple story arcs together. One of the most captivating aspects, I thought, was the backstory of Tom Riddle, the future Lord Voldemort, especially in highlighting both the similarities and dissimilarities he shares with Harry. The interaction between Harry and Dumbledore was also very compelling and even touching at times. I thought Dumbledore's discussion regarding "the prophecy" revealed some interesting insights on "Fate," and I might find some time to revisit the subject. And then there's the ever-ambiguous Professor Snape, whose loyalties are still not clear-cut by the book's end. Rowling is going to have a lot of things to sort through and clear up by the end of Book Seven!
John Granger at Hogwarts Professor has updated the site with his own thoughts on HBP, including a breakdown on how his predictions panned out. It's worth reading, and I tend to think he's right on one of the major lingering questions. (However, I have strong disagreement with some others.)
Now I get to go read all those spoiler-filled articles and discussions I've been avoiding for the past week!