Thursday, July 26, 2007

Review: Harry Potter 7

I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7) yesterday and have been mulling over how I was going to give this review without giving anything away. I am pretty sure I can do, but really don't know if this will be at all useful.

I found this book to be on par with the most recent set of books in the series written by J. K. Rowling. As I read through we went through slow portions (about 150 pages in the front half of the book) as well as areas completed chocked full of action and critical events. Reading through, I found there were many times that I could not stand any of the characters and other times where the characters would do endearing things things and I really appreciate that as it gives the main characters some depth of making their own mind instead of being the saints that everyone thinks they are. If I had to fault any of the time spent on the characters, it is the lack of Draco Malfoy. His character is missed in much of the book as the previous antagonist, playing completely second fiddle to the unadulterated evil of Voldemort. In fact you spend so much time with the main three that you might even get a little tired of them.

So in the end, this is a fitting conclusion to a series that bordered on serious and silly, but created a rich world that you could almost believe in.


Anonymous said...

andy sez:

Thanks for the spoiler-free review. I really wonder if I'll be able to avoid them until I finally have time to read the thing.

Here's my question. This book winds up the Harry Potter series which to me (through book 6) has been considerably more entertaining than it had any right to be. I also thought it got better as it went. There's a bigger fantasy behemoth that is (purportedly) also wrapping up. One that got bogged down, got worse as it went, and turned into something less fun than it should have been. I'm assuming you've guessed Wheel of Time by now. When/if that monster is ever wrapped up, which will have the more satisfying conclusion?

Reverend0 said...

Wheel of Time for me has really gone out the window. I will likely buy and read the rest of the series, but the hot desire that used to exist prior to book 5 is gone. My hot temper at the decline in story quality is extinguished by thought of maintaining the high bar set in the first three books and also by Robert Jordan's terminal illness.

On other fantasy notes, I am not sure if you have read George R. R. Martin, but I think the way that he is perpetually mean to all his characters would appeal to you. I am anxiously awaiting the next in that series.

Actually, the more I think of it, I don't really wait with bated breath for any books anymore. I enjoy reading, but I have found joy in so many authors of late (Neal Stephenson, John Scalzi, Charles Stross, and now Neil Gaiman) that I don't think that I can ever say that I have nothing to read.

Jay said...

Oh, RRM! And then there is Robin Hobb with the Assasins series. A different kind of pace, but lovely to read (as are the three later ones that bring this story to conclusion - The Tawny Man). I really did not get into the other ones she wrote (the Life Ship Traders) and the Shaman, but those 6 are priceless.

Terminal Illness for RJ? Bloddy hell, I missed that!

Jefe Le Gran said...

My co-workers and I have been trying to get rev0 up to date with the modern fantasy & sci-fi authors since he moved out to Washington so he'll cut out all of that Heinlein. Of course, he'll never catch up to us if he doesn't quit reading those wacky business books. :o)

As far as book suggestions, Gaiman and Stephenson are really, really good and any self respecting geek should read everything those guys write. For Gaiman, I'd start off with Neverwhere and for Stephenson, you pretty much have to read Snowcrash and Cryptonomicon.

As far as HP vs WOT, Robert Jordan has already messed up the story enough that he can't possibly wrap it up in a nice little package. HP, of course, has it's problems, but #7 is an extremely satisfying ending to the series.

Reverend0 said...

So yeah, RJ is sick. For more information, wikipedia has links to the source articles.

As for Robin Hobb, I have read the first Farseer trilogy. I found it to be a good read, but there is something about the writing style that doesn't quite jive with me, so I am not sure I want to read the second trilogy.

Amanda said...

Haven't read your blog in a while...I was a nerd and finished it the Monday after it came out...while I was on vacation in Orlando. I liked it. I want to re-read it, because I know there are points that I skimmed a little. I'm sad its over. :( At least I still have the movies to look forward to (I saw the last one on opening day with a co-worker).