'His hand closed automatically around the fake Horcrux, but in spite of everything, in spite of the dark and twisting path he saw stretching ahead for himself, in spite of the final meeting with Voldemort he knew must come, whether in a month, in a year, or in ten, he felt his heart lift at the thought that there was still one last golden day of ...
'His hand closed automatically around the fake Horcrux, but in spite of everything, in spite of the dark and twisting path he saw stretching ahead for himself, in spite of the final meeting with Voldemort he knew must come, whether in a month, in a year, or in ten, he felt his heart lift at the thought that there was still one last golden day of peace left to enjoy with Ron and Hermione.' With these words Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince draws to a close. And here, in this seventh and final book, Harry discovers what fate truly has in store for him as he inexorably makes his way to that final meeting with Voldemort. In this thrilling climax to the phenomenally bestselling series, J.K. Rowling will reveal all to her eagerly waiting readers.
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Publishers Weekly, 2007-08-13 Dale tackles Harry's last hurrah with the same undercurrent of excitement and mind-boggling roster of distinct character voices that he brought to his previous six performances. Less of the Hogwarts setting, and a more dangerous quest for Harry and his friends, means that Dale has less jocularity to work with here (something at which he excels), but he does not disappoint in conveying both the heart-rending drama and sense of closure of Rowling's final Potter outing. Late in the recording, when Harry realizes his fate and Rowling's plot twists fly, Dale is at the top of his game, drawing listeners into the orbit of his comforting voice. Throughout, Harry and his friends appropriately sound a bit older than they did in the early volumes, and it's hard to know whether it's imagined or not, but there's a hint of wistfulness in Dale's voice, perhaps because both narrator and listener know it's the last time they'll be together for a new Potter adventure. The CD packaging, which makes extensive use of Mary GrandPre's spot illustrations and cover art on the discs and sleeves, is also a treat for fans. Ages 10-up. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2007-07-30 It would seem churlish to review the Harry Potter series finale with something less than overwhelming enthusiasm-after all, there's no one like Rowling. Who else has sustained such an intricate, endlessly inventive plot over seven thick volumes and so constantly surprised her readers with twists, well-laid traps and Purloined Letter-style tricks? Hallows continues the tradition, both with sly feats of legerdemain and with several altogether new, unexpected elements. And yet the revelations don't pack as much of a punch; the moments of genuine astonishment or grief that mark every other book in the series go missing here. Perhaps readers know too well the rules of Rowling's magical universe, a universe she has constructed with extraordinary thoroughness and care. As the ending of the previous book suggested, Hallows revolves around Harry, Ron and Hermione's quest for the rest of the Horcruxes into which Voldemort has poured his soul. Without the Hogwarts school year to supply structure, the plot can meander, and Harry himself is tempted to go on an altogether different search. For once some puckered seams trouble the surface of the storytelling-is Harry now using forbidden spells? How many Horcruxes are there? It's hard not to wish that the editors had done their jobs more actively. Hallows doesn't contain the extraneous scenes found in, say, Goblet of Fire, but the momentum is uneven. Rowling is better at comedy than at fight scenes, and Hallows has less humor and more combat than any of the preceding books. Surely her editors could have helped her build tension with more devices than the use of ellipses and dashes? And craft fight dialogue that sounds a bit less like it belongs in a comic book? True, none of these flaws is fatal to a fan's enjoyment. But why not have make the bestselling children's book in history the best it could possibly be? One great virtue remains constant: Rowling's skill at portraying characters. Harry and friends mature, not in straight lines but in realistically messy patterns. Over the course of the seven books, Harry develops from the scrawny misfit of no. 4, Privet Drive, to a teenager who can pull off acts of self-sacrifice and goodness without cheapening his charisma for readers-no mean feat for a writer. And when Rowling concludes her long story, she does so the old-fashioned way, without ambiguity. Harry Potter has finished growing up, and even the most ardent fans will know that it is time to say good-bye. Ages 9-12. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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