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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Book Review Harry Potter Deathly Hallows

At long last people around the world know what ultimately happened to the Boy Who Lived. Many children have grown up with Harry Potter in their lives. They have been stimulated. There is no doubt that Harry Potter has been responsible for a great increase in reading for pleasure among children.

And here we are, the end has come. There is no way to properly do this book justice without discussing what occurred in the final installment. If you have not read book seven and do not wish to know what happens, do not continue reading.

Book seven brings together many of the players of the previous stories. We see Lee, our favorite announcer, we see the members of the order, we see Hagrid's giant brother, and more. The reunion of characters is satisfying.

We travel with Harry one more time to Privet Drive. There is a touching article about Dumbledore that opens the story arch that develops within book seven. Dumbledore's family and his history is a main plot line. At times I found it difficult to believe some of the behavior and actions described of Dumbledore, however, with the conclusion of the story I found myself accepting and comfortable. Many times I have wondered about the history of Albus Dumbledore. With book seven I find many answers to my questions.

The Dursley's are moved to a safe place and members of the order appear before Harry with many of his friends. Their plan is to use polyjuice to "duplicate" Harry Potter and escape because they know the Death Eaters are preparing an attack. As soon as they fly to make their escape they are attacked. This attack kicks off the violence and darkness within the story.

There is a war going on. It is dark and deadly. In this first encounter two of our beloved characters leave us: Mad Eye Moody and Hedwig the owl. Ron, Hermione and Harry eventually strike out on their own, traveling and hiding, seeking the last of the Horcruxes. In this search we discover the tale of the deathly hallows. Three magical items that when brought together will cheat death: A wand, a robe, and a stone. And as the Harry Potter story began with a stone, so it ends with a stone.

Another major item that has always existed with us readers is, what is the story behind Snape. Is he good or is he evil? The less complicated answer is... he is both. J.K. Rowling has done Severus a great justice and even though how he died was a bit of a surprise to me, the result was... well, fantastic if I do say. Snape joined the Death Eaters and a part of him was one of them. If not for Lily Potter, Snape probably would have fully embraced the life of a dark one. However, as we learn, Snaped had one great love and it was his love of Lily that pulled him from Voldemort and brought him to Dumbledore. We readers now know what we need to know about Snape.

There were two moments within the story that did make me pause while I battled tears. Dobby was one of my favorite characters and I always enjoyed seeing him. When he died and the subsequent burial, I admit to being quite upset. The second.... Fred. Who has not cheered for the Weasley's? Who has not said those Weasley twins are two of the best characters ever? Who did not stand up and do a little dance at the end of Order of the Phoenix when the twin's make their exciting exit? When Fred Weasley died I simply could not turn the page. I sat there, my finger frozen on the page, while I read and reread the paragraph.

Fred is not the last to die and the final chapters of DH are an up and down of bravery, and sadness. The story focuses on death, how does one master death? Using Horcruxes or Hallows... Horcruxes or Hallows. Harry matures as he makes choices that many would be hard pressed to make. Ultimately, Harry makes a sacrifice, a sacrifice as powerful as his mother's. With that sacrifice Harry mastered death.

The final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort is tense. The battle between Mrs. Weasley and Bella was well done and I could not help but feel the rush of excitement when her strike landed the killing blow.

And in the end, Harry is victorious. Voldemort is finally gone from the wizarding world... The last chapter takes us into the future where we see Harry and his wife, Ginny, with their three children. Once more we see Ron and Hermione, together with their children. We know that Neville is a professor and we see a glimpse of Draco. And as the adults who were once children stand and watch their own children board the train to Hogwarts, we take a deep breath and smile. It has been a long and emotional journey and life continues. We will miss our old friends. We will think of them fondly. And then we will turn ourselves to the future.

I know that I will be returning to the world of Harry Potter again, and so will my children. And with that, all I have left to say is, Thank You J.K. Rowling.

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17 Comments:

Blogger Janet said...

I loved what Harry & Ginny named their middle son!

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who decides which books get press (Harry Potter) and which get censored? After all, censorship is becoming America's favorite past-time. The US gov't (and their corporate friends), already detain protesters, ban books like "America Deceived" from Amazon and Wikipedia, shut down Imus and fire 21-year tenured, BYU physics professor Steven Jones because he proved explosives, thermite in particular, took down the WTC buildings. Free Speech forever (especially for books).
Last link (before Google Books caves to pressure and drops the title):
America Deceived (book)

12:48 PM  
Blogger krisis said...

You only battled tears twice? I was averaging a cry at least once every hundred pages. When Harry used the resurrection stone I cried so hard I could hardly breath.

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