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Publisher's Summary

Pottermore has now launched the Wizarding World Book Club. Visit Pottermore to sign up and join weekly Twitter discussions at WW Book Club.

"There it was, hanging in the sky above the school: the blazing green skull with a serpent tongue, the mark Death Eaters left behind whenever they had entered a building...wherever they had murdered...." 

When Dumbledore arrives at Privet Drive one summer night to collect Harry Potter, his wand hand is blackened and shrivelled, but he does not reveal why. Secrets and suspicion are spreading through the wizarding world, and Hogwarts itself is not safe. Harry is convinced that Malfoy bears the Dark Mark: there is a Death Eater amongst them. Harry will need powerful magic and true friends as he explores Voldemort's darkest secrets, and Dumbledore prepares him to face his destiny....

©2005 J.K. Rowling (P)2005 Listening Library, an imprint of Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

"To call Dale a 'reader' of books is like saying Monet was a Sunday painter." ( Los Angeles Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Gina
  • Camas, WA, United States
  • 05-13-16

Masterful Narration Continues

Jim Dale continues his masterpiece of narration, drawing the reader on, not as some storytellers do with a tone of gathering round the fire for a great tale, rather, as though seeing, experiencing each moment through the eyes of Harry, Dumbledore, and even Snape (ProFESSOR Snape, Harry!). Having now Audibled (yes, that's a verb in our house) 6 of the 7 Potter books back to back (I'm binge-listening much the way I binge-read the books 12 years ago) I am utterly gobsmacked at Mr. Dale's tireless energy, emotion, pacing and character throughout this series. Every voice distinct, the children's voices maturing in style and tone over the years, the adults remaining flawlessly consistent and true. These recordings are a treasure for any HP fan, and will transport (or rather reapparate) you to that magical realm of Hogwarts, Quidditch pitches, Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade and Privet Drive. Thank you to Ms Rowling for making these favorites available to the Audible audience. And Bravo, Mr Dale.

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Let Us Pursue that Flighty Temptress, Adventure

“Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Story: This was always my favorite of the movies and the book certainly doesn't dissapoint! The plot continues to thicken and this particular book finally gets into some of the darkest aspects of the entire series. The character development is great and the story, like the other books, is beautifully descriptive, detailed and captivating. I found myself deeply invested in the struggles of Harry, Malfoy and the other characters. This book really gets a lot of emotions from the reader/listener.

Narration: I gave this 4 stars as I didn't think all the voices were fantastic. I'm sure I missed this in the previous books since I was so into the story, but it's become clear that some of the female voices just aren't nearly as strong as the male voices. Luna and Ginny stand out, but I believe there was another female character in there that fell short of what I would have expected. Aside from that, the other characters and the way Jim Dale captures the emotions is great!

Overall: Half-Blood Prince is simply phenomenal. This book does a great job of explaining so, so much about the entire series. It also builds up to the final book which I've never read, but I'm sure will be amazing. I'm a fan of this book in particular as it gets darker; you can feel the struggle and emotions of the characters and it's thrilling! A great novel and a great addition to the series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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you already know

you know how good it already is. now onto the next one! here we go

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 11-20-15

Killing is not so easy as the innocent believe.

“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Probably my favorite book in the series. I think this is JK Rowling at the peak of her writing, confidence, and strength. She is dealing with older protagonists and deeper, darker themes. She is dealing with themes of treachery, loss, etc.. All things that are usually dealt with in adult novels, but glossed over in YA fiction. While the literary pedant in me will sometimes cringe at her numerous clichés, there still exists a place where I'm able to ignore the rough patches that a good editor might have corrected, but these are small peeves; similar to the irritations I feel for Star Wars. Speaking of Star Wars, THIS would be JK Rowling's 'Empire Strikes Back.' The best in the series.

38 of 55 people found this review helpful

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  • Tammie
  • hager hill, KY, United States
  • 12-07-15

it is about time

I've always loved these books, and I am so glad that they have FINALLY come to audible. Such adventure, and fun!

16 of 23 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Standout, Stand-Alone Adult Novel

Would you consider the audio edition of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Book 6 to be better than the print version?

Absolutely yes!! Jim Dale brings animation to the characters that is so high quality that the Audible version easily exceeds the movie version in terms of entertainment value.

What did you like best about this story?

The increasing tensions both inside and outside the castle as Harry and his friends grow up and come to full awareness, by the end of the novel, that they are truly on their own in a world in which no one is now safe.

Which scene was your favorite?

My favorite scenes include Harry's unexpected inheritance (and the "simple test" performed on Kreacher to determine his allegiance), Dumbledore's confrontation with the Dursleys, the appearance of Horace Slughorn and the way in which he is induced to join the faculty at Hogwarts, Draco's increasing secretiveness and palpable dread as he approaches having to carry out a task about which he is clearly ambivalent, Ron's unexpected (and possibly potion-induced, to hear Hermione tell it) success on the Quidditch pitch, Harry's growing awareness of the importance of Ginny, and Ron's near-death by poisoning, with all its tumultuous consequences. But the most dramatic and memorable scenes are those in which Severus Snape is coerced into making the Unbreakable Vow....and the (very related) death of a key character at the end of the novel, an ending which will leave the reader screaming "Nooooo!" and possibly sobbing. (Note to sensitive readers: We must have faith at this point that although this is not the ending we wanted or that we probably would have written if we could, somehow, the skilled author MUST know what she is doing, and has a plan that will make this ending make perfect sense in the grand scheme of the seven-volume series!)

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely yes--and I almost did, reading when I wasn't able to listen and vice versa! You literally will not be able to stop, especially once you reach the pivotal confrontation near the end, and Harry's unforgettable announcement to his friends after the major losses he and they have suffered.

Any additional comments?

This novel is part of a larger series, of course, but also can stand alone as an excellent read for adults young and old. This one is DEFINITELY not a children's book!

[PLEASE PRESS 'YES IF YOU FOUND THIS REVIEW EVEN SLIGHTLY HELPFUL! THANK YOU!!!]

38 of 62 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sarah
  • MADISONVILLE, KY, US
  • 04-19-18

Jim Dale is fantastic!

HBP is one of my favorite in the Harry Potter series. JK Rowling delivers drama, suspense, laughs, tenderness, and heartbreak. Kid’s series? Not at all. The plot over the series is complex, surprising, enthralling. Jim Dale is a wizard of a whole different kind, bringing the story to life with wonderful voices and conveyance of emotion for the characters we love. I could not recommend his work more.

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Harry Potter always cheers me up,

No matter which book I am on. This is my 3rd or 4th time through the books. Love them.

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Amazing¡

I loved the book! Jim Dale does such a good job bringing it to life!!!!

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All Harry Potter Books are great

If you could sum up Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Book 6 in three words, what would they be?

Dramatic, suspenseful, riveting

Who was your favorite character and why?

Snape, especially in light of the last chapters of Deathly Hallows. I'll leave it at that,

What about Jim Dale’s performance did you like?

Jim Dale's performances are a joy. They calm me and transport me from my everyday hectic life to a great place.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

All is not how it seems