Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Author: J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Raincoast Books; 1st edition
Release Date: Jul 21 2007
No one needs to be reminded at how firmly the Harry Potter phenomenon has gripped the globe. The first six novels have sold millions upon millions of copies and have created new readers out of young and old alike. So it must have been daunting indeed for author J.K. Rowling when she sat down and first put her fingers to her keyboard to begin work on the seventh, and final, installment of her mega-successful series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. How does an author, with so much pressure on her shoulders, begin to draw together the strings previously laid down through thousands of pages? In Rowlingâ€™s case: you plan.
And it sure shows.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was a promise to millions of readers all over the globe, a promise to answer the questions that have been posed throughout the entirety of the series and Rowling, who claims to have had the series outlined since she began her first novel, succeeds in answering these questions in powerful, satisfying ways that are sure to leave looks of surprise, grief and joy on the faces of those who have invested so much of their time into the Harry Potter phenomenon.
The novel starts off with a Bang, throwing Harry into harrowing situations right of the start and drawing the reader directly into the novel, which picks up near where the sixth novel, Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince, left off. Over the course of the six novels readers have grown to know and love many of the large assortment of characters that occupy Harryâ€™s world and Rowling plays with the readerâ€™s emotions as the forces of Good (Harry and his companions) fight for righteousness. Rowling, shortly after the release of Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince, mentioned that the final book was going to be a bloodbath… and she wasnâ€™t lying. Throughout the entire novel I was on the edge of my seat as I quickly realized that no character was safe.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is undoubtedly Rowlingâ€™s darkest and most serious novel yet. Missing from the novel is the levity that worked so effectively in the earlier volumes. Harryâ€™s story, up until now, has always included various school-related subplots that I always enjoyed a great deal. They broke up the overarching storyline of Harry vs. Voldemort (which could only move forward so much with each book) and really helped flesh out the characters in the novel and add tremendous depth to the world that Rowling created. I will admit that I missed these moments while reading the final novel, but will also admit that there really was no room in the novel for them. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows forgoes all unnecessary plotlines and focuses solely on the single thread that leads to the final confrontation of â€œGoodâ€ and â€œEvilâ€.
My only other criticism with the novel is that I felt it dragged ever so slightly during the middle portion of the novel. I think part of the reason for this is that I had very strong preconceived ideas of the route the novel would/should take and Rowling ended up surprising me by taking another route entirely. While I read the novel I felt that the deviations she had taken were only slowing the novel down, but having finished the novel and reflected up on it, I feel that perhaps Rowling did take the correct course. Now that the pieces have all fallen into place, and the has dust settled, I find myself thinking that perhaps these deviations are, in fact, essential to the mythos and story of Harry Potter.
The thing that has always impressed me the most about Rowlingâ€™s novels is the way she has such a firm grip over the world and characters she has created. She is always in control of her novels, and that is no less true for the seventh and final novel. It is amazing to look back at the series and see the little things she set up as early as the first and second novels (which at the time seemed inconsequential) in preparation for the seventh and final book. The way she weaves the plot points together through the seven novels, dropping certain threads for books at a time (just long enough for the reader to dismiss them as nothing special) and then picking them back up with full force, is nothing short of amazing.
I wasnâ€™t sure if Rowling would be able to successfully tie up the story of Harry Potter. Indeed, any story that evolves over the course of seven novels is in a lot of danger of being overwhelmed by itâ€™s own weight. Rowling, however, has managed to craft a successful culmination to her mega-successful series. Rowling has earned her success, crafting a timeless series of seven novels full of charm, wit, depth and intelligence that will surely be read for many generations to come. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is a fittingly grand end to a tremendous series.
It is with great sorrow that I bid farewell to Harry, Ron, Hermione and all of their friends. No longer will I be able to look forward to future adventures with them… but my memories of the perils survived, the friendships forged and the obstacles overcome will always be there, and those are one thing that no one shall ever take them from me.
Warning: I can’t control what goes on in the Comments section! If you wish to avoid spoilers, I would suggest not reading them!