It took a long time, but my husband and I finally finished Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. It is always a sad thing when we finish a book, because I love listening to my husband's reading voice and not many novels, at least novels that interest us, are conducive to being read aloud.
At any rate, here are my thoughts on the 6th Harry Potter. I will make my review without any blatant spoilers.
My overall impression was disappointment. Not in anything that happened, but in the way the book was written. It seemed her writing got really sloppy in this book, and in a lot of spots it almost seemed as if she was just rushing through, and not worrying about writing well. This was a stark contrast to the last two books especially, which I felt were excellent writing. My husband maintains that there was a team of writers who wrote books 2 through 5. Maybe he is right.
Another disappointment was in the action (or lack thereof) in the book. I really felt like not much happened in the first 400 pages or so. It didn't seem as choc-full of excitement and intrigue as the last couple of books. The book focused more on Harry and we saw little or nothing of a lot of other characters, characters that we normally see. I think Rowling spent too much time working through teenage relationships. While I understand this is normal for the age level, I think we could have had less of it, and she could have done it less contrived and more naturally.
Let me say I think Luna Lovegood is my all-time favorite character of any children's novel. We don't see very much of her in this one, unfortunately. It is just great to see a character that isn't afraid to be exactly who she is, despite what others say or do to her.
The action packed scenes towards the end were fulfilling, but perhaps not as much as the last novels. I'm not happy with what happened, but who is? In the end, it seemed that the main purpose of the whole book was to divulge the identity of the Half Blood Prince. To that end, I am guessing that will be quite important in the final book. There are a couple of things that I am not entirely sure are "final" and as they seem in this book, but we'll just have to see.