I re-read this in anticipation of seeing the film.
What can one say. The saga continues. The best aspect of this for me was the characterization of adolescence. I thought she hit a home run with that. Harry is a flawed hero, more than willing to take a short cut to help his grades, even if that means possible corruption. Ron and Hermione play sexual tennis, both wanting the other but neither able to take a direct approach. Harry is interested in Ginny, but takes a very Peter Parker role at the end in rejecting her for her own safety. The identity of the Half-blood prince is revealed at the end and provides a nifty twist. We are also strung along with the question of whether Snape is or isn’t working for the dark side.
Is Dumbledore really gone, or has he found a way to preserve a portion of his soul by arranging his own death? There are talismans that are left unanalyzed that will no doubt provide the roots of the final book. It was a very enjoyable ride in the classic series of our time.
A small pet peeve is that I think poor Ron deserves better than to be the ever-present comic relief.