Sunday, June 23, 2013
Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Please note: Read and reviewed in July 2007.
An experience: Let me start by relating a small anecdote: the other night a few of us at work were discussing Harry Potter - one of my co-workers had seen people lining up to get the book and thought this exceptionally foolish behaviour. I said, yeah, they should have done like my husband and I and gone to Wal-Mart - get a better deal, too (have you SEEN the cover price on this thing??). One of my co-workers then said, with a small disdainful sniff, that she had neither read the books nor seen the movies, she simply wasn't interested. Well, yes, I said, I suppose they weren't for everyone, but I thought they were brilliant... at which point she interrupted me to point out that the REASON she did not read the books or see the movies was because Harry Potter was full of Wicca.
Wicca? I asked. What are you talking about, Wicca? There is no Wicca in Harry Potter. Yes there is, she said - from her vast knowledge of an additional 5 years of living and never having read the books nor seen the movies *sigh* Well, I said, I just don't see it - I know a thing or two about Wicca (not mentioning that I myself am a witch and therefore fully conversant with Wicca, witchcraft, magic-users and the differences there-between). Well, she says, perhaps YOU have been exposed to different ideas of Wicca than I. Not wishing to begin a rancorous debate at work, I sat for a few moments thinking on this, then cautiously asked her in what way she felt Harry Potter was associated with Wicca. She responded that, in order to do that she would have to talk about Wicca, which she did not do anymore. Well. Drawing a blank here. People, you know? Goddess bless them - how can they be so damn blind to their own prejudices?
Hard Truths, Unlikely Heroes, Revelations and Death Death Death: At any rate, to the book. I was delayed in finishing the novel by a bout in the hospital; but wow. First of all, Hard Truths: whose side was Snape really on? Why? What made Snape the way he was in the first place? Unlikely heroes abound as well - I don't believe it will be a spoiler to say that Neville Longbottom really comes into his own. Revelations: What happened that night on the tower when Snape killed Dumbledore - why did he do it? Where are the rest of the Horcruxes? What are the Deathly Hallows? And deaths - my my my the deaths! It's almost like Rowling was thinking "OK, last book, don't really need these characters anymore anyway - check check check check." Damn. I spent a good bit of the book either cold with shock or on the verge of tears. So many of them were so . . . arbitrary.
Was this really necessary?: Like other reviewers, I thought a bit too much was made of the extended wandering and travels around the country. That could have been cut a bit; of course, then what would have justified that enormous cover price, eh?
Final Thoughts: I'm leaving this spoiler free as possible, obviously. I was very pleased with the ending, I will say. Then again, I'm a bit of a romantic sucker (just don't like romance novels - isn't that weird?). I loved the little epilogue, it was somehow fitting. If Rowling wants to milk this, I can see a series of children's books still continuing from here - there are still stories to tell about Hogwart's, if not necessarily about Harry Potter himself.
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