Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Deathy afraid of the Hallows

WARNING!!! There are spoilers in this blog. If you have not read The Deathly Hallows and wish to keep it that way read no further. I will tell you if Harry lives or dies as well as some other major plot points. So stop reading now if you want to be surprised!

I started out reading the most current Harry Potter novel scared to death that I would not like the ending. I swore that if JK Rowling killed Harry that I would never read another of her books again.

I spent the months leading up to the release of The Deathly Hallows on this website reading what thousands thought would happen in the most recent tale of The One Who Lived. I was prepared for the worst, but refused to believe it would actually happen. At one point in the tale I shut the book and shouted "I do not want to read this book anymore!!" Good thing I continued on because I was not disappointed.

The night of the realease party I was very antsy. I was going with a friend to a "Potter Party" to buy my book but I could hardly wait to get reading. As I browsed the above mentioned website I saw that JK had read the first chapter aloud in London. I quickly clicked on the link and listened to every word. The first chapter was not nearly as grabbing as when Lord Voldemort killed the old man in Harry's dream in Harry Potter 4 or being followed by Dementors as in Harry Potter 5, but it held me over for just a bit longer. We waited patiently playing multiple games of Rummikub on the floor of our local Barnes and Noble. I could hardly contain myself as I finally got a hold of my copy and headed home. My plan was to read as long as I possibly could.

I got home and settled into my comfortable spot and began to read. I didn't last long. My eyes were drooping after only an hour and I was disappointed in myself. I had gotten as far as Harry, Hermoine and Ron escaping from the wedding and going on the run and I couldn't make it any further.

The next day I headed up to Donner Lake to see a friend up from LA and of course I had to take my book with me. I read as much as I could on Saturday and Sunday and finally finished around 9 o'clock on Sunday night. Once I started the last third of the book there was pretty much no stopping me. I would have stayed up way beyond my bedtime for that ending.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I can't say it is my favorite because I still can't get past the history and sense of family we experience in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but this book comes the closest of them all to being the next best.

The first half of the book is not the most exciting reading I have ever had. I enjoyed how JK brought new developments into the story to steer us from the horcruxes, but I had trouble with the monotony of the traveling. Honestly I had trouble believing it was so easy for the trio to stay out of trouble for so long. The safety precautions seemed almost too easy of a way for the kids to stay safe.

Once Ron took off, the story picked itself up quite a bit. I loved that Aberforth came into the story too help Harry. Regardless of what Dumbledore did or didn't do, Aberforth still realized the importance of Harry and his quest and i loved that it wasn't Dumbledore himself, but someone "close" to him. I wouldn't even have minded if Dumbledore had not made an appearance at all. I didn't care too much for the chapter when Harry spoke with Dumbledore.

I also didn't mind that Snape wasn't in the story too often. He is not my favorite character, but it was nice to get some resolution where he was concerned. The relationship he had with Harry was much easier to understand after the knowledge we gained and the fact that Harry was willing to give him his last wish as he died was particularly sweet after the history they shared.

One of my most favorite parts of the book is when Harry returns to Hogwarts and is met there by just about everyone he has encountered in his 7 years in the wizarding world. The backing Harry receives from the houses as he enters the main hall is especially powerful and brought me to tears.

Although, when Harry returns to Hogwarts and must fight Draco Malfoy and his friends again I was surprised there was not more anger on Harry's part. Throughout the entire book Harry despises Malfoy and when he gets his opportunity to do something mean or vengeful to him he doesn't even make an attempt. It is not as if I expected Harry to kill Malfoy, but I did expect him to lock him up in an unbreakable closet or something equally mean. It seemed that after all the years of hating Malfoy and knowing what Malfoy stood for that he would have wanted to give back some of the pain that had been afflicted on him.

While I was very happy with the book as a whole I was hoping for more information about the life of Harry Potter and the others once LV had left the world. It was a bit of a disappointing note to leave on. I almost wish that it had been left out entirely so I could make up my own happy ending. Almost, but not quite.

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