Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

My first review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was more of a rant about English and American versions of the books and avoided all spoilers. After the movie came out, I read it again, and, assuming you've read the book by now if you're going to, this will be rife with spoilers.

This book dives right into the Harry universe without so much as a gentle recap of the storyline, which I appreciate. I thought the bit with Harry finally saying goodbye to the Dursleys, and the Dursley's complete inability to look him in the eye, with the exception of a changed Duddly, was some fine foreshadowing that this book was not going to have a fairy tale ending, and that it's not exactly a children's book anymore. I sped through the first half, where Harry, Hermione and Ron are wandering around the countryside looking for horcruxes. I loved what Rowling did with Hermione's beaded bag and all the things she packed in there. I enjoyed reading the back-story of Kreacher, the Black's house elf. (BTW, I though the movie was excellent!)

The second part, the break into and out of Gringotts, the war at Hogwarts, was really exciting. I could barely put the book down when I got to the end. When they jump on that dragon in Gringotts and break out of there... oooo! And, when they get to Hogwarts and the other students are in the Room of Requirement, just waiting for such an opportunity to fight, I thought their bravery, such an, honestly, rather unusual quality these days, read as true. My favorite bits were McGonnagal chasing Snape and fighting.
"My word," puffed, pale and sweaty, his walrus moustache aquiver. "What a to-do! I'm not at all sure whether this is wise, Minerva. he is bound to find a way in, you know, and anyone who has tried to delay him will be in more grievous peril -"

"I shall expect you and the Slytherins in the Great Hall in twenty minutes, also," said Professor McGonagall. "If you wish to leave with your students, we shall not stop you. But if any of you attempt to sabotage our resistance, or take up arms against us within this castle, then, Horace, we duel to kill."

"Minerva!" he said, aghast.
And, I thought Rowling pulled an interesting little literary conceit at the end when we're not quite sure what's going to happen to Harry where he goes through a long series of Snape's memories (although it borders slightly on the Matrix construct), and finally found out that Snape actually WAS a good guy and working for Dumbledore this WHOLE time! Good grief!

I've heard some folks say they didn't exactly love the wrap up 16 years later with Harry and Ginny, Ron and Hermione taking their kids to the train station, but I thought it was excellent. I did want to know that all those parties got together and that Neville became a professor and that even Draco make it out ok. These are characters I was invested in, and it pleased me to read that Harry continues to honor his heroes - Dumbledore, his parents, and Snape, "the bravest man [he] ever knew."

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