Ten years. That's how long it has been since we first took our leap into the world of Harry Potter. There have been several bumps in the road for some fans, like the gaps in between the stories, but I must come to J.K. Rowling's defense in this. In ten years, she has churned out seven books to feed our Harry Potter addiction, which is an amazing accomplishment in my eyes. However, the real question now is how well the final installment of Harry's Hogwarts tale holds up in the end. I will do my best to keep it spoiler free, unlike other reviews on the net. However, I will say that there may be a few things I might touch on from previous books. Therefore, I would like to say that if you are not caught up then you might want to stray away.
At the beginning of our journey, I wondered how things would pick up from the semi-cliffhanger ending from Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Readers will find that pleasant feeling as they realize that Harry will be doing exactly what he said he would, following Dumbeldore's instructions for his safety and the safety of others. After all of the time that I have had with the characters, I still feel a rush of awe and joy every time a group of my favorites appears in the books. Thankfully, this happens very early on in the book. In fact, if you are a fan of those awe-inspiring moments you will be treated to a few of them throughout the novel. So, as you might be able to guess, I was enamored while reading. This is part of the magic of the series; as a whole, the Harry Potter books do not allow you to forget even the most marginal characters of the main cast. The Deathly Hallows is no exception to the writing genius J.K. Rowling has. If it has been a while since you read the Harry Potter books I would suggest going back and rereading before you pick up Deathly Hallows for a couple of reasons. If you have forgotten any of the sub characters or any of the plot lines, then rereading all of the novels beforehand would increase the enjoyment you will receive from the book.
Not only do I feel that you might appreciate the final installment more, I also believe that the pacing and depth of the story this time might be a little more appreciated, not to say that I don't think you will not enjoy reading the final novel on its own, quite the contrary actually. The real reason I say this is that Mrs. Rowling said, "There will be many deaths." I'm not going to say who or even how many characters pass over to the other side. There will be moments that you will want to put the book down completely in fear of what the outcome will be. There will also be a few moments that you will realize everything about the characters you thought you knew already might not be completely true. Some will surprise you; others will betray your senses. These realizations will begin very early in the book and will only mount until the novels end.
To say that every character from the world of Harry did not appear in the book would be a grave disservice. There are exceptions to this, but I can say that there are a lot of characters I might have dismissed from the previous installments that play a part in this novel, and in some cases an interesting role to aid Harry. There will also be a few objects that have been in the other peeks into Harry's world. The Pensieve (I am sure we all could use from time to time), Godric Gryffindor's sword, and one of my personal favorites, the Sorting Hat, are all good examples of returning favorites. It is the constant attention to detail that Harry's tales of valor and triumph have captured the hearts of young and old alike, as many fans that have already finished the novel will agree.
As much praise as I give to J.K. Rowling for her mastery at telling the tale of the Boy Who Lived, there was one problem that I had with the final installment. This is mostly due to the mysteries of magic and harsh realities of the real world. It is so easy to forget, just like in real life, how quickly things can happen. Therefore the problem that I have with the final installment is not necessarily a problem with the book, but rather a fault that I have in realizing how quickly things can change in the blink of an eye, or, in this case, a flick of the wand. However, I must also commend the final novel for bringing that sharp reality to the book more than it has been previously.
There is so much more I could say about the novel, but that would be spoiling the fun of many readers still locked into the book, not to mention the individuals that have yet to join Harry in his trials and tribulations of reaching adulthood. Does the final chapter in the Chosen One's story end the way it should? I doubt that in the end you will be hard pressed to disagree with me when I say that it is extremely clever how things unfold. I am both sad and happy here at the close of one of my favorite literary character's journeys. I would like to thank J.K. Rowling for a wonderful ten years and for helping me and many others rekindle their love for the world of fantasy and magic.
CCC Project Coordinator