Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is reviewed by Chris Rankin, who plays Percy Weasley in the film versions of JK Rowling's best-selling series of books.
Chris Rankin has been in all the Harry Potter films
This is definitely the darkest and most sinister of the Harry Potter series to date and I loved it all.
JK Rowling has this clever way of making very important things happen without the reader realising they've taken place until the end, when the significance of it all sinks in.
I very much liked the development of the main three protagonists from stroppy teenagers in The Order of the Phoenix to young adults in this latest book.
Even though this book is very different to the earlier book in the series, it does share some of the old humour of The Philosopher's Stone or The Chamber of Secrets, which, as we are to lose a vital character, is like being given a security blanket to cling to.
Rowling's writing is so good that I found myself hating the people I was reading about in places, particularly Horace Slughorn, the new potions teacher.
For some reason, every time he was involved I felt the hairs on the back of neck rising, in the same way they did when I read about Dolores Umbridge in The Order of the Phoenix.
I have a nasty feeling that Slughorn and "The Slug Club" will be of significance next year, and that it won't be a good thing. We shall see.
This is the first book where we see true and meaningful relationships developing. I was thrilled to see Harry and Ginny Weasley get together.
Any Harry Potter fan has a favourite "ship", be it Harry and Hermione, Ginny and Draco Malfoy, Ron and Hermione and so on. In my mind, Ginny will, once again, become an important part of the plot in the final book.
All in all, this is my favourite book of the series so far, taking Chamber of Secrets off the number one spot in my list.
It twists and turns through pathos, comedy, love, hate, dark and light, tragedy, horror and leaves the reader wanting more.
Such a shame we only have one more book left to read and the likelihood of another two year wait before we know what happens next.