Title: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Author: J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter
Previous Books in the Series:
1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Date Started: September 13
Date Finished: September 21
Format: Hardcover from my shelf
It’s no longer safe for Harry at Hogwarts, so he and his best friends, Ron and Hermione, are on the run. Professor Dumbledore has given them clues about what they need to do to defeat the dark wizard, Lord Voldemort, once and for all, but it’s up to them to figure out what these hints and suggestions really mean. Their cross-country odyssey has them searching desperately for the answers, while evading capture or death at every turn. At the same time, their friendship, fortitude, and sense of right and wrong are tested in ways they never could have imagined. The ultimate battle between good and evil that closes out this final chapter of the epic series takes place where Harry’s Wizarding life began: at Hogwarts. The satisfying conclusion offers shocking last-minute twists, incredible acts of courage, powerful new forms of magic, and the resolution of many mysteries. Above all, this intense, cathartic book serves as a clear statement of the message at the heart of the Harry Potter series: that choice matters much more than destiny, and that love will always triumph over death.
How has it been 14 years already since this book’s release and yet, I am still brought to tears every time I read it? Granted, I haven’t read this volume as many times as the other six (maybe three or four?) but still…I still remember going to that midnight release party and running into one of my friends randomly and waiting line for three hours, getting home and reading it to almost four in the morning and writing in my journal every time someone died. But the fact that it’s been so many years since I’ve last read this book – the movie versions of this book have permanently glued themselves into my head and I’m still mad that scenes got cut – Dudley and Harry’s moment of closure (even though that is a deleted scene on the DVD extras), Kreacher’s character development, the whole bit with Percy Weasley, the TRUE fall out of the Bellatrix/Molly Weasley battle, and even the last scene before the epilogue back in the Headmaster’s office. But at the same time the movie did do some things better – Harry’s return to Hogwarts, Neville’s speech to Voldemort after Harry’s ‘defeat,’ etc.
Anyway, when I first finished reading this book 14 years ago, I wasn’t all that happy with it – I think this is where my fear of final books of beloved series originates – it felt…incomplete almost? Like all of this buildup to have the final battle between Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort come down to Avada Kedavra and Expelliarmus? EH. However, now that I’ve read it multiple times, I actually really loved the ending. I loved it more than the movie version – I mean, really, Voldemort and Harry randomly Apparating through the corridors of Hogwarts was just downright weird.
And then there is Severus Snape who still confounds me to this day. There are those who say that Snape should not be celebrated even if he did turn out to be the best double agent ever, because he was still so cruel to Harry all those years. And that is true. But at the same time, here’s this character who does have a villainous backstory but who still was able to find…love and hold on to it even in the darkest of times, even when the person he loved wanted nothing to do with him. And who gave it all up in the end to protect the child of the woman he loved always. I just…gah. Like I said. CONFOUNDED.
Then there is my latest crackpot ‘small detail means more than it probably does’ theory. In the letter that Harry finds in Sirius’ bedroom at Grimmauld Place, Lily mentions a cat. Harry didn’t realize that they had a cat, and wonders what happened to it. And so did I. And my brain, being the weird thing that it is, began to connect some dots. I always found Crookshanks a strange character that shows up in book 3 just as it’s revealed that Wormtail has been hiding amongst them for the last few years. Crookshanks who didn’t like Wormtail, who seemed awfully close to Sirius whether he was in his human form or his dog form. What do you reckon if Crookshanks was the Potter’s cat?
Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. These stories were my childhood. I grew up with Harry Potter. His final adventure released just as I was a year away from graduating high school. The final film released my junior year of college. My first trip on airplane when I was 21 was down to Orlando to visit the Wizard World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. As always I’m sad to let this story go.
Bookshelf worthy? I really love the original covers, but I love the reprints too, I just wish they had been released in hardcover form as well as paperback.