Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bookmobile Wednesday: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"

I spent two days reading this book. It only took me one day to read the sixth book, so I was surprised at how long it took me to read this last installment. I went to the midnight party at my local Borders. I had not pre-ordered the book, but I got lucky. I ran into a friend who had accidentally ordered two books instead of one, so I got her second order. We waited in line until 1:30 AM to buy our copy. It was worth the wait. See my review below. Don't worry, there are no spoilers. This is just a simple, quick review. I'll post a spoiler post later on Christian themes found in "Deathly Hallows."

Rating: four out of five stars

Plot: We discovered in the sixth Harry Potter book that the only way to get rid of Voldemort for good is to destroy the 6 horcruxes Voldemort created. Horcruxes are items containing pieces of a Wizard’s soul. As we enter the seventh book, we find that Voldemort has taken over Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic. Harry must go into hiding to stay safe. Hermione and Ron join him. Before Dumbledore died, he left the three of them the mission of destroying the horcruxes, but how ill they do that if they must stay in hiding? A new mystery complicates things even more. Dumbledore left each of them an item in his will, but not even Hermione can figure out the meaning of these items. On top of this unfolding mystery, Harry deals with unearthed facts about Dumbledore’s past. He struggle with discerning truth from fiction and begins to doubt everything he ever believed about Dumbledore. What’s the truth about Dumbledore? Is Snape evil? Will Harry and friends ever defeat Voldemort? You’ll have to read the 7th book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” to find out (Or you can find spoilers on the Internet).

Analysis: As the series grew closer and closer to its end, you knew it had to get more complicated and darker. From the fifth book on Harry Potter became less of a child and more of an adult. While the fourth book was the first to truly have a darker element to it, it did contain its own plot. The demise of Voldemort was merely a subplot. However, once Voldemort rises again in the fourth book things aren’t so easy for Harry. Individual plots within the books disappear and the main story becomes the story of how “the boy who lived” defeats Lord Voldemort. In the last three books we see Harry developing as a character. We focus in on the connection between Harry and Voldemort. These three books are about the larger story, the ultimate story. Because of this, it takes a lot longer to get hooked on these three books. If you keep reading, however, you find it worth the time and effort. I’ll always be a Harry Potter fan, but just to be truthful for a moment I must criticize “Deathly Hallows” a little bit. The first thing that bothered me about the final installment was the way Rowling had Ron use the word “effin” several times. She uses other foul words in the book, but not very often and she never actually uses the F word. Style and language faults pop up often in the seventh book. “And then this happened” appears continually throughout the book. Also, more than once I found I needed to go back and reread passages several times to make sense of them. However, although Rowling’s grammar and style have worsened, making it harder to read, she is still a master story teller. In this area the seventh book does not fail. So much happens, I have no idea how they’ll choose what to keep and take out in the movie version. In fact, there are already events in the seventh book connected to pieces of the other books in the series that were taken out of their movie counterparts. It’s a long read, but worth the effort.

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