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It should be called Harry Potter and the Many Ships
Because in short,that's really all this book is save the final Wham Episode at the end where Snape kills Dumbledore and Harry vows to find the Horcruxes.

While it does start off alright with the introduction of the affable [but not evil] Horace Slughorn, that plot goes out the window quickly once Harry sees Malfoy at Borgin and Burkes,which is where the main plot is. Quickly it becomes Harry's near Foe Yay obsession with Malfoy being a Death Eater.

On the side,Rowling gives us the past of Tom Riddle and revives some elements from Book 2 which covers the first half of the book that ISN'T Harry obsessing over Malfoy.And like Slughorn it too gets tossed over for a chick-flick subplot which should've been Character Development for Ron and Hermione but truthfully wasn't,and it put Lavender Brown far too far into the spotlight. The main character meanwhile just suddenly falls in love with Ginny,who is dating Dean to drown her once Unrequited crush.Unfortunately Rowling forgot to actually write in any interactions between Harry and Ginny,until out of the blue,they kiss,...and start dating. And once they do start dating [in the last few pages] we are only told secondhand,and then they just break up. Not to mention that pitiful Operation Jealousy thing going on with Mc Laggen.

Gee considering Sirius Black died,and the threat is shown to have escalated as of the Prologue,you'd think this book would clear things up and not be so much Lighter And Softer.But nay,it is a return to light-hearted Prisonerof Azkaban

Unfortunately all things wrong with this book,flood into the next one,making Order Of The Phoenix truly the last good book of the series

Grade: D
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Ah yes! That's better.
Everyone deserves a second chance, and I am pleased to say that Rowling has redeemed herself after the disappointment that was "book 5." Getting the plot rolling again after the introduction of Umbridge stagnated it, and then advancing it to the point where it is actually ready to be completed in the following book was no small task. The Half-Blood Prince handles it beautifly though, and even manages to add in some backstory while its doing it too. I don't think its quite on the level of The Goblet of Fire or The Deathly Hallows but it's pretty damned close.
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