Monday, August 13, 2007

Harry Potter Finale Breathtaking

I've had Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows since its release date, but I've been putting off reading it. Why? I was intimidated by its sheer heft, for one. It's 759 pages long, and a part of me just wanted to skip straight to the end (like my mom did) and get all the answers. That was really only a small part of me, though, because I never read the endings of books first. Anyway, the biggest reason I've been procrastinating is that I know it will be the last new Harry Potter book ever. I'm grieving. So, I vowed to read it slowly and savor the story, but...yeah, that didn't happen. I found myself racing through it like a madwoman, desperate to see what happened to Harry and his friends (and foes).

Before you read on, I should warn you that there may be plot spoilers ahead. I won't intentionally spoil the whole story, but I may inadvertently mention a few of its surprises, so consider yourself forewarned...

The story opens with a sinister first chapter affirming what we all know from the last book: Lord Voldemort has gained power and is planning to take over not only the Ministry of Magic, but also the entire wizarding world. Harry Potter is his only real obstacle, and of course Voldemort has plans to kill the young wizard. Knowing that, Harry's supporters have gathered at number four, Privet Drive, to whisk he and the Dursleys to safety. Unfortunately, the plan goes a bit awry and Harry finds himself trapped at Ron's house, under the constant, watchful eye of Mrs. Weasley. When Harry, Ron and Hermione can sneak away, they spend their stolen moments hatching their plans to continue the mission left for them by Professor Dumbledore: they must find Voldemort's 5 horcruxes and destroy them. Their search proves much harder than any of them imagined, pitting them against Death Eaters, goblins, possessed bodies and an enormous dragon among the more mundane problems of hunger, thirst, flared tempers and finding safety in an increasingly dangerous world. As if Harry doesn't have enough on his mind, he also has to face the fact that Dumbledore may not have been who Harry thought he was. Disturbing details in Rita Skeeter's new bestseller - a scathing tell-all about the Professor - seem to confirm Harry's biggest fears about his beloved mentor. Was it true the Professor was involved in the Dark Arts as a youth? What happened to his sister, Ariana? Was Dumbledore really responsible for her death? And, why, did he trust Severus Snape, a confirmed Death Eater? If Dumbledore can't be trusted, then what of the perilous quest Harry and his friends have undertaken? Somehow, Harry can't bring himself to abandon it, no matter how much danger he and his supporters are in. And they are indeed in grave danger: war has broken out in the wizarding world, and Voldemort seems intent on killing anyone who stands in his way. The final showdown happens - appropriately - at Hogwarts, with the good wizards fighting the bad. In the end, it comes down to Harry v. Voldemort, in the ultimate duel between good and evil.

What can I say? The ending was inevitable and predictable, but it was an awesome ride. The book was simply impossible to put down, and I enjoyed every word. I wasn't at all surprised by the ending, but I was (mostly) satisfied by it. My main beef was actually with the Epilogue, which was dull and not at all informative. I've still got questions: What happened to the Dursleys? They aren't mentioned after Chapter 2. I'm also wondering how Neville Longbottom ended up with Gryffindor's sword in the end? Maybe I missed something, but I thought Griphook took it...Anyway, I would have preferred a better wrap-up, but all in all, the book was breathtaking.

I'm sad that Harry Potter mania is over, but I'm glad to have been a part of it. Farewell, Harry, the world won't be the same without you!

1 comment:

  1. :)
    just read this post,and i felt exactly the same i was so scared i would skip to the end but i thankfully didnt and finished it off as fast as i could.

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