Sunday, July 22, 2007

Book 39: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

NUMBER: 39
TITLE: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
AUTHOR: J.K. Rowling
STARTED: July 21, 2007
FINISHED: July 21, 2007
PAGES: 759 <--- In only ten hours of reading time. GENRE: Fantasy / Juvenile

FIRST SENTENCE: The two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane.

SUMMARY: [From barnesandnoble.com - and, yes, this is all they give you] Don't miss the seventh and final book in J.K. Rowling's bestselling Harry Potter series!

REASON FOR READING: Yeah...

THOUGHTS: I cannot, in good conscience, give a real review of this book. That's for two reasons: I don't want to ruin the series for those who have not finished reading the story and I am far too biased. I've grown so in love with this series and it's characters that I could not actually ever dislike this book no matter how bad it could have turned out. That said, I enjoyed myself immensely even though some of my desires for the story were not met. The best way to review this book is probably in bullet point form.

[Note: I tried as hard as possible to not spoil the book, but I can't completely, 100%, muffliato guarantee that hints are not there. Therefore, IF YOU DO NOT WANT ANY CLUES WHATSOEVER - GO NO FURTHER!]
  • I was deliriously happy with the many illusions Rowling made in this book to past works of fantasy, fiction, and history. I was surprised (and, honestly, extremely gratified) at how Rowling drew much of the political atmosphere for the book from the current political climate and, no kidding, Nazi Germany. I may have shouted, "Holocaust?!" at a certain point. The one downside to this, anyone under 16 will likely miss all of these parallels and, thus, an extremely integral part of the book's emotional structure.
  • Some points of the book are far too predictable for my taste - I could feel their outcome coming for their first set-up scenes on the page. These plot points were far to telegraphed to be shocking at their conclusions. There was one that comes to pass in the last chapters of the book that I could see coming from a mile away and it left me yawning instead of bereft.
  • I cried twice - one because the scene meant a lot and the other because I almost felt like I had to.
  • The book is still rather pedestrian in its writing, but Rowling's vocabulary is fantastic. I actually had to look up a few words. While, on the whole, the writing was fast moving, there were certain chapters and scenes that felt like they were added simply to increase the page count as opposed to adding to the story.
  • Bravo to Rowling for finding legitimate ways (for the most part) to incorporate characters and aspects from all of the first six books into this final tome. I can see many of my (female particularly) friends getting a kick out of this.
  • Neville = Kick Ass
  • I'm a little disappointed in the final use of certain characters. They were built up (at least for me) to do so much more in the end. I thought they would have dramatic, action filled roles and, instead, they were just there. There are actually two major characters who fit this case that bother me the most.
  • I am vindicated over my views on another character. Their role, in the end, rocked - even if it was one of the predictable (for me) conclusions. And by predictable, I saw it coming about three books back.
  • As for THE promised deaths I could go on and on about who does (and does not) die but I won't. Needless to say part of me is devastated and another part of me is, apparently, far more bloodthirsty than Rowling.
  • While I can understand the ending (even though I wanted - and was expecting - something FAR different) it was really the epilogue that left me wanting. Seriously? That's how she chooses to end it? It was too "And.... done." for me. Again, I understand it, but there were so many other (and I would argue better) ways to go.
I have a feeling that my friend (don't click this link if you are good at logic - it may spoil a few things for you) Katie is going to be rather disappointed.

I'm going to wait a few days (maybe even weeks or months) and then re-read this book. I discovered so much more in re-reading the first six books that I missed the first time around. Part of me wonders if my opinion will change after time has passed and I'm reading for me instead of against anyone who would spoil it.

To those of you have finished the book, what do you think? If you want to e-mail me and chat (for I am all about discussion) please do so. I merely ask that you refrain from writing spoilers in the comments.

MISCELLANEOUS: The fact that this is the last book has not yet hit me.

RATING: 8/10 [Terrific]

3 comments:

Zeek said...

I loved it! It was like Rowling gave a big kiss to her fans tieing it all up with a nice little bow!

My review is full of spoilers so come on over if you want to discuss or just rave!

ReneeW said...

I have heard so much raving about this book that I'm kicking myself because I'm far behind in the series. I have only read the first 4. But of course I had to read all the spoilers... couldn't help myself. I'm sure I'll forget them all before I get to book 7.

Meghan said...

Zeek: My friends and I have all finished and we're actually planning a HP discussion night. I have to give Rowling a lot of credit, she really does spur literary discourse. The books are great for that if nothing else.

ReneeW: I had the hardest time not flipping to the back and reading the epilogue. It was a lesson in willpower for me (I tend to give in), but I made it and it was worth it. I hope you enjoy the last three books - I loved them, but number 4 is still my favorite.