Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter #7)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Answers and action
Cons: Slow in the middle
The Bottom Line:
Harry Potter ends
Wrap up is satisfying
As plot points resolved

Harry Potter's Final Quest

It's here! Speculation can end because Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has arrived. Fans have been looking forward to this to find out who lives and how it all ends.

I only started reading the series this year, but I have been as hooked as everyone else. I found the book well worth reading if not quite as perfect as I had hoped for.

I will warn you that you need to have read the previous books, especially the last one. If you start here, you will be lost. Harry's world is complex and intricate. References are constantly being made to things we already know. And there's very little time explaining those things to those unfamiliar with the series.

So, with that said, what about this book?

Things have grown darker in the wizarding world. Voldemort is no longer even pretending to hide but is plotting to take over the Ministry of Magic. His Death Eaters are taking over more and more and sending those who oppose the dark lord into hiding.

Harry Potter is one of those in hiding. Along with Ron and Hermione, he has left behind the world of Hogwarts on a quest to find the Horcruxes that contain bits of Voldemort's soul. Only by destroying all of them will they have any hope of defeating Voldemort once and for all. Unfortunately, Harry doesn't know where to begin looking. And they are running out of time….

Even though I just read Half Blood Prince for the first time this month, I was as anxious as anyone to find out how it all ended. This is definitely the second half of book six, answering the many questions that one left wide open. So, did the book satisfy? For me, it did. It nicely ties up the majority of loose threads and leaves us with a satisfying resolution. Fans seem to be split, but I am one of those who like the epilogue. It doesn't tell us about everyone, but it gives us a good since of how things turn out in the end.

Unfortunately, the book wasn't the outstanding conclusion I was hoping for. It dragged in spots, especially in the middle. There were long chapters that seemed to go nowhere or provide us with only a minimal of plot advancement. But I've had that complaint about the last two as well. And those slow spots are set off by some heart pounding scenes and a can't-put-it-down climax. I'd say these action sequences are the best of anything in the series to date.

This book really focused on the three main characters and some of the others were reduced to cameos. Since this is Harry's story and journey, I can understand why. I didn't realize how much I had come to love these characters until they were missing. Perhaps that is why I cheered many of their scenes.

Since we spend so much time with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, we get to see them develop as never before. They've been growing over the course of the series, but here they grow even more. The changes are believable and amazing to watch. They are truly adults by the time the story is over.

Each book in the series has gotten progressively darker, and this book is no exception. At times it feels like a blood bath, yet I cried less over all with this book then the last two. Still, there are some very dark parts. I'd make sure I knew my child and knew they could handle it before I let them read this one.

The climax really was something else. I found myself crying one minute, laughing the next, and cheering at what a character had done in the very next paragraph. It made for excellent reading. Some characters got off easier then I would have liked, but I guess that is like real life.

I'm certainly glad I decided to come along for this ride. It's been fun and imaginative. While not perfect, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows does nicely bring the epic story to a close.

No comments:

Post a Comment