Monday, July 18, 2005

Ok, finished!

We had two copies to share among three readers. The Girl finished early Sunday afternoon, The Boy finished Sunday after supper (I believe he read it all, although he may have skipped portions), and I finished after they both went to bed. Now The Girl is re-reading it, to savor it and study it, rather than just find out what happens.

You end with a sense of disappointment, because we’ll all have to wait two years (?) to find out how it ends. At least it had a more “finished” end than I thought the fourth book did.

My thoughts:
1. Good story, moves along well. The identity of “a main character” who dies will not be a surprise to most astute observers.
2. Some characters seem to have parts just because they’ve been in previous books (Fleur, Dobby, Kreacher).
3. When the title was first announced (what, a year ago?), I was correct in my guess of who it referred to! (The Girl can verify this.) The title seems to be a misnomer—the story is not about “Harry and the Half Blood Prince” in the way the first was about the Sorcerer’s Stone, the second the Chamber of Secrets, etc. At least I didn’t see it that way.
4. I think the verdict is still out on Snape—where his loyalties lie, and how he’ll ultimately behave. He is, truly, the most interesting character in the stories, and I think Alan Rickman will forever be defined by how he’s played this role.

Is it great literature? No, but you have to keep reading to find out what happens, just as I’m eagerly awaiting the next entry from George R.R. Martin, ever since a friend turned me on to his current series. When I started reading these, I thought it was supposed to be a trilogy—but the third one ends abruptly and with many plot points unresolved, and now I learn
I can anticipate at least seven of these. Brad deLong (I think) has proposed a rule about not starting any series till it’s completely published. I guess to be truly safe you’d amend that to, till the author’s dead--Douglas Adams isn’t likely to be adding a sixth book to the Hitchhiker’s Guide “trilogy”.


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