Reviews for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince : Library Edition


AudioFile Reviews 2005 October/November
Art imitates life in the newest, darkest Harry Potter adventure as England--Muggles and Magickers alike--comes under attack from the forces of evil. Once again, Jim Dale's performance casts its spell, bewitching listeners with every nuance. His voice aches with appropriate adolescent longing as Harry, in his sixth year at Hogwarts, deals with Quidditch, love potions, and heartache, and he positively slithers with serpentine menace whenever Severus Snape's around. Dale has developed over one hundred new, fresh, and individual character voices in this Harry Potter series, making it perfect for audio. As Harry faces some of his most difficult challenges and the stage is set for the inevitable confrontation between Harry and He-who-must-not-be-named, Jim Dale's astonishing performance keeps hearts pounding and pulses racing right up to the final words. S.J.H. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2005 #6
As Harry enters his sixth year at Hogwart's, the wizarding world is at war: the Ministry of Magic has finally acknowledged Voldemort's existence. Harry prepares for his foretold life-or-death battle with the Dark Lord while carrying on with classes, Quidditch, and adolescent romance. Narrator Jim Dale's admirable performance is largely consistent with previous audio versions in this series, though the production has a somewhat rushed feel, and a few of the characters (notably Ginny Weasley) are difficult to distinguish -- perhaps understandable given the enormous cast. But for the most part, the voices that Dale has perfected through the first five books will continue to captivate listeners here. Copyright 2005 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2005 August #1
Dale gets his A game on once again, returning to the wizarding realm where his previous visits have earned him accolades that include a Grammy. By this sixth installment, Dale has created well over 130 different voices, shifting easily from his own slightly Americanized British accent to distinctive Scottish, French and regional English takes. In addition to keeping stars Harry, Hermione, Ron, Dumbledore and Hagrid firmly identifiable and in the fore this time, he serves up a delightful spin on Professor Horace Slughorn, the new teacher at Hogwarts. Slughorn's smarmy tone and Dale's guttural delivery are a winning and memorable combo. As Harry's saga darkens and his adventures become more perilous, Dale also gets to explore deeply villainous voices-with evil hisses and sharp edges-more than ever (but we won't tell you whose). Ages 9-up. (July) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2005 September

Gr 5 Up -It's no surprise that everyone's favorite teen wizard is still battling Voldemort. What does perplex the young hero is a forgotten textbook with secret writing that brings together Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Scholastic, 2005). J. K. Rowling returns Harry, Hermione, and Ron to Hogworts amidst troubling signs that the Dark Lord and the Deatheaters are gaining strength. Fortunately, Headmaster Dumbledore is helping his apt pupil prepare for an expected showdown by taking Harry to remembered incidents in the life of his old enemy. Less dangerous, but still disturbing, Ron and Hermione have put Harry in the middle of their incessant bickering. Then there's Slytherin Prefect Draco Malfoy who's under orders to commit murder-but who is his intended victim? Finally, Professor Snape is now teaching the Defense of the Dark Arts class, but he appears to be doing some dark deeds of his own. A blossoming relationship with Ginny Weasley is a bright spot for Harry, but another personal loss forces him to make some grave decisions by the novel's end. Narrator Jim Dale is completely at home with all his familiar characters and just as adept at creating new vocal personas for returned faculty such as Potions Master Slughorn. Experienced Harry Potter listeners will recognize Snape's haughty hiss and Dumbledore's smooth heartiness before the text identifies them. Even house elves Dobby and Kreacher are unmistakable during their brief appearances. Every library will need this audiobook, but it would be wise to buy two copies since they'll be zooming off the shelves faster than a broomstick.-Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT

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