Note - I am reading the Harry Potter books for the first time. Any expressions or opinions are brought to the table as someone who has little prior knowledge...
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is the sixth book in J. K. Rowling's prolific Harry Potter series. Like many of the previous books, J.K. Rowling has written a novel filled with magic, mystery, and wonder. But as the series moved forward, so did the character development of the mainstays of Harry, Ron, and Hermione. There's been touches of romance in the previous two books, but it floats to the forefront of several plot lines here.
The Half-Blood Prince is also considerably darker than the early H.P. novels. Specifically in dealing with dark magic and the ever present Lord Voldemort. It's shown in a torture scene (although it's pretty light compared most modern media), and the tragic twist at the end.
If you have young readers, it's at this point in the series that you need to come in with well written discussion questions. Talk to your readers about the difference between good and bad, and how we are influenced by the world around us. Discuss romantic relationships, consent, boundaries, and how to find the right fit. Ask how the story made them feel, and how they want to treat others. Do character development deep in the hearts of your children, in the same way Rowling did with her stories.
With all of this said, I greatly enjoyed this book. I think it's the strongest in the series (thus far...) It well deserves my five star review. I can only hope that "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" brings everything together well.