Jul 28, 2007

[Books] Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsAfter a day without sleep and abuse of my position at the office (with my multitasking skills tasked to their limit), I finally finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (ISBN-10: 0-545-01022-5), the last book in the globally succesful Harry Potter series. While I'm not a die-hard fan of the adventures of the Boy Who Lived, I have to had it to J.K. Rowling (rhymes with bowling mind you) - she really knows how to put together a good story.

Don't worry, I promise this review will be spoiler-free - I'm not in the habit of ruining the experience for other readers just yet. And given how the book went, it's certainly worth the wait.

Here we go.

I had always felt that the Harry Potter books as a true "series" ended with the sixth book. Let's fac it - they cleaned up a lot of plot threads, managed to remove him from school and pretty much break the standard format of Harry leaving the Dursleys every year to go to Hogwarts, had some Voldemort-related adventure, then return home. It's not a bad thing in itself - in fact it's probably the smartest thing Rowling could have done at this point. The series was starting to feel a bit repetitive with each sequel longer than the last, filled to the brim with evem more trivia to be used in the various forms of mechandising such as video games, board games and special editions of Scene It.

Deathly Hallows starts with the last of this clean up procss - freeing the characters of the original format and moving on to the larger adventure of Harry, Ron and Hermione executing Dumbledore's final wishes in a do-or-die quest to figure out a way to defeat Voldemort. As I started reading the book, it felt almost like an independent novel - that's how far the writing and with them the characters has come. Rowling has certainly evolved over the years and puts her best foot forward in terms of her diverse metaphors and character twists.

My only issues revolve around how petulant and, well, juvenile Harry has become over the last few books, something that becomes especially true in this. The first part involves a lot of whining and complaining that I really could've done without, but then that's me. It keeps reminding me of the Transformers movie in terms of how a lot of people interpreted the film as being too focused on the human in the beginning only to get to the really good stuff towards the end. Same here.

The establishing chapters are a tad slow and it takes forever to get anywhere it seems - then again perhaps that was her intent in terms of her writing. Suffering all that teenage angst becomes more than worth it as the story escalates and the final battle draws closer and closer. A lot of people were buzzed about all the deaths Rowling promised but as you go through the novel most of these deaths don't really have that much of an impact on the overall story. She kills more major characters than the original Transformers movie (Ha! Another TF reference...)

The final battle royale borrows a page out of Tolkien itself (or perhaps Disney's Beauty and the Beast given the magical element to things) and wraps up the series well, while providing a daunting challenge for any Hollywood crew who might endeavor to accurately recreate this on the silver screen. Better still is throwing in a lot of explanations behind major character motivations and behaviors that sort of acts as an excuse for their one-dimensional and shallow actions in some of the previous novels.

Is this that amazing a book as everyone says it is? That's really hard to say, I guess. It's something you can only appreciate by first having read all 6 of the previous books while keeping an open mind to boot. Still, it's undeniable that Rowling knew what she was doing - she had a great story to tell and she told it beautifully across seven novels, ending the entire series a perfectly as she could. This was a great Harry Potter book, then - if only to specify things to that degree.


  1. This review's great! I keep on nodding while reading. Hahaha!

    I finished reading book seven last week too.

    I will surely miss the witches & wizards of harry potter. :p

  2. I know! After the encyclopedia is finished, what now? Hehehe

    Rowling plans on trying to start another series but things will never be the same, I guess.