Spoilers alert! (Actually I’m fairly sure the only spoiler possible that I can say is to reveal who dies and if you belong to Planet Earth, you would have probably heard everyone right from the neighbourhood paanwala to the irritating kid next door cast his two pennyworths of ideas on why this person should not have died) Other than that, there is nothing here that could radically spoil your reading of this book so if you've still not read it go right ahead and read the book – it’s as well written and fast paced as the other five.
The book as such is quite good, very readable with lots of new ideas (Horcruxes,interesting insights into You-know-who’s past, etc) written in the trademark Rowling style. One can see Harry’s transformation into an adult who’s capable of making decisions (unlike Harry in the fifth who was the most irritating of all five books – constantly shouting at others, expecting everyone to think from his point of view, probably expected at that age but the continual screaming does begin to grate on one’s nerves). Also the book ends very surprisingly leaving a whole host of possibilities for book seven. And the mysterious R.A.B – who’s he? He’s probably going to play a big part in book seven. My money’s on Sirius’ brother Regalus, the ex Death Eater, because of his initials and for the fact that the letter was addressed to the Dark Lord (who’s answers to that appellation by the aforementioned D.E’s).
Now my grouses at the book. What’s with all the romance? One can understand Harry - Ginny, perhaps one can stretch a limit and agree to Ron - Hermione, but why Tonks - Lupin? The constant snogging between Ron and Lavender? That was totally unnecessary. And whats with the Bill Fleur till-death-do-us-part sentimental romance and the moment of perfect understanding between Harry and Ginny passages lifted perhaps from a romance by Georgette Heyer?
Why was the book called Half Blood Prince? Infact this book acts mainly as a filler for book seven and other than explaining new ideas, the story isn’t carried forward until the very end. The Half Blood Prince storyline could safely have been removed without affecting the story too much. What part does the potions book play? Infact unlike the other books, there is no central theme to the book and perhaps thus the name (Harry Potter and the Horcruxes as title sounds totally unsellable) And the first chapter can happily be removed without too much hesitation, as it has no relation to the rest of the story.
Still for all those who haven’t delved into the franchise – do so now! Very good fun!