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“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
My review will contain some spoilers, but I won’t discuss who dies and details of major plot points. If you haven’t finished the book, then you may want to wait to read this. I’m not an avid Harry Potter fan, but I have always enjoyed the books, and read them as soon as I could get my hands on them despite the disapproval of my conservative Christian parents. The release of the last book came after my first year of college, and I decided I would finally buy a copy of the book, mostly because I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and find out the end, and also because I hate spoilers and reading it before any could get to me was the best way to avoid them. I bought my copy at midnight, and finished at 5:30 AM. The book left me with mixed feelings, and none of the satisfaction the author had promised.
I’m not saying it was a bad book, but it just didn’t live up to what I had expected of Rowling with her clever twists and interesting characters. In fact I feel that in the ending she failed to give several characters the deaths they deserved, mentioning them only in passing and making it easy to miss them. What made this worse is that she then completely failed to give these deaths any meaning. Instead of seeing the effects of what happened at Hogwarts, when simply jump nearly 20 years into the future to an epilogue that should never have been included.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The book opens with a death, not one that is very meaningful, but it certainly opens the book in a vein we can expect it to continue. This book is full of characters dying, though few of those deaths are mentioned more then just in passing. As the Ministry falls to dark forces, the parallels to events during WWII and even current happenings are unmistakable.
Harry, Ron, and Hermoine end up setting out on their own, not to Hogwarts, but into hiding, attempting to finish Dumbledore’s mission. On the way Harry struggles with rumors of Dumbledore’s life and that he might not have been the great man everyone had believed he was. Thus the book has several stories. We learn much of Dumbledore’s past, Harry’s mission to destroy the Horcruxes, and lastly, the Deathly Hallows. I thought that the Deathly Hallows were unnecessary to the story and don’t see that they contributed anything. I was also disappointed that so much of the trio’s time was spent just sitting in a tent in the woods instead of researching and taking action. However, with the destruction of the locket, the book picked up considerably.
I felt that there were too many close calls and lucky escapes in the story, just enough to make what happened unbelievable. This is unfortunate because the stories were interesting. But with all the build up to scenes like Godric’s Hollow, I felt that the actual events did nothing, and once again were just there to increase the length of the story. On the other hand, the scene in the Ministry was excellent, and the meeting with Arthur was almost heartbreaking.
Sadly, too much of the story read like fan fiction. Most of the theories people had on the book came true, leaving little room for surprise. The reason behind Snape’s loyalty was not entirely convincing and completely trite. I think a fan fiction author could have writ better. Same with epilogue. I think that the epilogue is what ruined the book. While I have no problems with Rowling’s proposed future of the characters, and in fact think some elements of it are quite lovely, I am very frustrated that she did not tie up any ends for the majority of the characters. We do not see the reactions of many to important deaths, we do not learn what and character except one does in the future, we do not even hear from most again after Voldemort’s defeat. These loose ends are unacceptable, the characters we have spent almost as long developing relationships as Rowling herself has are not wrapped up and we don’t learn of their Happy Ever After. The minor characters are just as important as the major and I do not understand why Rowlings settled for such a disappointing ending. I can only hope that we get the answers in some form in the future.
Even with the disappointments within the story, the actual conclusion of the series was interesting and worth another read. If it had not been for the lack of closure, I would give the book a 5 star rating. However, it will have to be content with 4, because I just cannot forgive not learning the fates of those I have come love.