Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling

The penultimate Potter book focuses on Harry's relationship with his mentor, Dumbledore, and their exploration into the past of archenemy, Lord Voldemort, at the expense, sadly, of most of the other relationships and characters that Harry has developed and interacted with over the previous five years at Hogwarts. The Half-Blood Prince is more of a segue way to the final installment of the Potter series and, therefore, lacks the dark intrigue of The Order of the Phoenix or the simple cleverness discovered by being introduced to such a "magical" world as in The Sorcerer's Stone. Although this post was originally written about a month after the book's publication, I have just reread the novel in anticipation for the finale, and still concur with my earlier thoughts. In about a week I'll know if my suspicions about certain events in this story were on the mark.