Sep 7, 2007

Harry Potter

by J.K. Rowling

I finally finished it, the last Harry Potter book! Last time I read the most recent of the series, I actually went back and read the previous book, just to catch up on all the details. This time I didn't bother with that. Rowling does a pretty good job at reminding you what important things mean or where they came from, without spelling it out in your face.

Well. It was really good. Suspenseful, although the part where Harry and his friends are in the wilderness really started to drag. I kept thinking: why don't they do something!? The odd thing was that the fight scenes lost my attention. The opening chapter is one big battle, and there's many smaller ones interspersed until you reach the grand finale at the end: and every time I actually had to put the book down, go do something else and come back. I don't know what it was. Maybe she just doesn't write action scenes well, or I don't read them well.

I was glad that there were still surprises, all the way through. Rowling kept the last twist there, and I didn't see it all coming. Dumbledore turned out to be more of a complex character than I'd figured, with his own faults and flaws as a person. Makes him more believable, to me. I also appreciated finding out more about Snape; I always figured there was more to him than just a bitter, nasty revengeful and spiteful man. I did regret that many of the other minor characters were not described as well in this last book, the author kind of depended on you already knowing them, and didn't give them much attention besides simply what they did.

There were a few things that annoyed me: like what was the point of the gift Dumbledore gave Ron? I didn't agree that it was something Dumbledore would have foreseen a need for; and the more common use they put to it could have been done by other spells? Also, two-thirds through the book the magical object suddenly seemed to disappear; at least I saw half a dozen instances where they really could have used it, but it wasn't around. Maybe they lost it and I forgot when. The other thing that really bugged me was that they keep using the same old spells in the most crucial moments. Always expelliarmus... My last gripe is that I don' t like how the main characters got paired up in the end. Even though Rowling made it pretty obvious it was coming, I don't think they were a good match.

I won't say anymore. Suffice that I really liked reading all her books, they were highly entertaining and had enough puzzles to keep me enthralled. However, I don't think they're destined to become classics, nor due to be called great literature. They're great stories, and I'm sure I'll enjoy reading them again, but that's about all for me. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows had some quite original magic ideas in the second half, but there's other books that stand out more in that regard. Actually, I enjoyed all her previous books that were more about a schoolboy experience in a magical setting over this last one which was about the final battle between good and evil. Now I wonder what she'll write next?

Rating 4/5                   Published: 2007, 759 pgs

Read more reviews at:
Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Things Mean a Lot
In Spring is the Dawn
Books of Mee

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