Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Year 7
by J. K. Rowling

759 pages
Scholastic (July 21, 2007 US)

Does The Boy Who Lived survive? Does He -Who -Shall -Not -Be -Named live? Is Severus Snape really to be trusted, what really happened to Albus Dumbledoor? All of these questions and more are finally answered in J. K. Rowling's final installment of the Harry Potter series.

After an explosive, emotional, and eventful trip from Privet Drive to the cluttered Weasley abode, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger resurface from their summer vacations and find themselves preparing the place for a wedding joining Fleur Delacor and Bill Weasley in marriage. Finally, the wedding day arrives and the celebration is crashed by Death Eaters and members of the Ministry of Magic. Of course the evil followers of Voldemort are searching for Potter, but he and his two best of friends narrowly escape and find themselves on a months long hideout from the searchers. Harry and crew during this time of hiding contemplate possible Horcrux's and their various possible locations. In the midst of this hideout is where the tale of the Deathly Hallows comes into being. Harry becomes addicted to finding the Deathstick Wand and the Resurrection Stone. After many epiphanies and realizations, many way too close captures by the Death Eaters, and many arguments and fights, the gang find themselves in possession or near-possession of the Deathly Hallows and cracking down on all of the Horcrux's. Of course to gain what is needed and what is needed to be destroyed, Harry finds himself at the Battle of Hogwarts and face to face with every existing Death Auror and every conceivable monster, and of course..Lord Voldemort. The battle ensues and comrades are fallen, tears are shed, and a winner is left victorious. An epilogue closes out the book and brings finality to the mega blockbuster series that is Harry Potter.

There are many, many great parts of this book. There are also many parts of this book that are not so great. For me, this final chapter of Harry Potter does not contain the magic that the first four books held in so much abundance. The characters and their interactions are all still very enjoyable and the dialog is often enjoyable as well, but this story just falters where The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Goblet of Fire strives. The story takes way too long get to its points, and the points themselves seem to be way too contrived. The Deathly Hallows, in my opinion, is such a weak plot for this unrivaled series ending book. The Horcrux idea was a great plot that may have gotten its start maybe a bit too late in the series, but it did have a bit of a glimpse with Tom Riddles diary and the locket in the drawer, but if Rowling would've just kept that story as the main focus of Year 7, this would have been a much better and more cohesive book. The ending is way too confusing, or rather, befuddled. Rowling twists plots way too much, and seemingly way to forcefully. The book reminds me of a season of 24, way too many time bomb in your hands but you cut the right wire at the last second moments. All kinds of new twists in the magic system are discovered and all new sides of important characters are found as well. This book just does not meet the overall flow of Harry Potter as a whole. Severus Snape was basically cut out as a character, he shows up in the last two chapters of the nearly 800 page book, weak. I won't say how the book ended, but I will say that I don't like it, but at times I forget, this is a children's book, but is it anymore?

My complaints seem to greatly outweigh my pros. At times in the book I did laugh, I was also mournful at times, and very nearly shed a tear. Dumbledoor is still one of the best characters of all time, and so is Snape, but of course he had somewhere less than a dozen lines of dialog. Ms. Rowling got rolling a wonderful and imaginative tale but she left it kind of floundering in an unfleshed out mess. Too little thought was given and too weak of writing was done to maximize this once untouchable story. You don't write an epilogue seven and a half pages long to a seven book large series, especially when its the most anticipated book of all time. I'll end this by saying it was a mediocre book, a disappointing ending, and it left me nearly mad at Rowling, I felt wronged by her lack of imagination. She ended not horribly, probably just disappointingly, what she started so grandly, so full of imagination and so flawlessly. [book: 2/5, series: 4/5]


lindsay said...

i couldnt agree anymore with you justin! you totally nailed my feelings about the book too. it got soooo confusing at the end, dragged on, and really good point about snape BARELY being in the book. and im also pissed harry winds up marrying Ginny, ugh gross. i wish more important people died, like um..maybe hermione? haha jk. at least some of the students, neville or something. then again a lot of important people DID die. what was that squirming noisey small thing in the "Heaven" with harry and dumbledoor? someone said it mightve been his part of voldemort that was in him that died. i am still confused about the horcruxes, they seemed to be another side story alongside with the deathly hallows. too similiar. yea, that book wasnt nearly amazing. OOTP was definitely my favorite of the series, although i still havent read POA...

lindsay said...

OH, and what was the whole reason as to why voldemort ever wanted to kill harry in the first place? i cant put my finger on it? is it just because harry was more powerful than him?? O_o

fool of gold said...

I recall Prisoner of Azkaban being my favorite book.