Saturday, July 21, 2007

Rating : 4.5/5

Reason for reading : To finish the series

This randomly turned out to be the fifthieth book I have read this year. At the beginning of the year I set myself the task of reading 50 which I thought was aiming too high, but turns out I was very wrong! I went to the midnight opening of my local Waterstones to pick up my copy I had paid for last month and saw a couple of people in costume which was pretty cool. I came home but was too tired to start it last night so started it this morning with the intention of not leaving my flat, using the computer or turning on the TV until I had finished it so as to avoid any spoilers.

It picks up a little while after book 6 finished off. Harry and his friends are still in shock that Dumbeldore is dead and set out to fulfil their mission of finding the remaining horcruxes. In the meantime Voldemort has returned and to power and is causing chaos in both the magical and the muggle world. Will Harry and his friends be able to find and figure out what the horcruxes are as well as figure out a way to destroy them before it is all too late...

***SPOILERS*** ( I have tried not to give too much away but it's really hard to review it without discussing bits sorry)

The book starts very fast paced with lots of shocks and sad surprises from the very beginning. My husband had made many jokes about Hedwig before the book came out and was amused to be right in his prediction. I suppose he wasn't really needed in this book, but still. After the first couple of hundred pages it really slowed down though as time was spent with Harry, Ron and Hermione as they try to avoid being caught and to plan their next move. Things started to pick up again once they are accidentally caught and recognised. From there it's just one thing after another really with the trio getting closer to a final battle and showdown.

The saddest part was the needless death of a loved character by the evil Bellatrix near the middle and then my favourite character was cruely killed near the end. It came at a point where I couldn't really stop and mourn their passing as it was right in the middle of the action and I wanted to see how it all ended so I kept going. Oh and Snape, what can I say, just read the chapter The Prince's Tale and I defy you not to cry. The ending was suitable, but the last chapter seemed a little much in all honesty and felt a little too sentimental. The other part I didn't like was the chapter entitled Kings Cross, which seemed very surreal and out of place with the rest of the book.

***End Spoilers***

All-in-all, although not the best writer, Rowling certainly can tell a story and keep you wanting more. I think most fans will enjoy this book. Very dark for the most part, it certainly gets your emotions going in all different directions.


Ana S. said...

I finished a little while ago... I think I need to collect my thoughts before I can say much about it.

But like you, I wish I had had the time to mourn certain characters properly. Especially because, well, it was so many of them going that at some point I was just thinking "no, please stop, it's enough". I didn't even know what to be sad about anymore.

I cried at that chapter too, but them again, I am a known wuss :P

As for the epilogue... I can see your point, but for me it worked because it filled me with such longing to follow another generation into Hogwarts... it fit because it made the fact that it was all over even more real. That's what I'm saddest about right now.

tanabata said...

I followed a link on Nymeth's blog to get here.
I agree with you about not having time for the deaths near the end to sink in with everything else going on. And poor poor Dobby!
The main characters did end up as I thought they would so that was satisfying.

alethe16 said...

I agree that some of the deaths were shocking, but I rather liked that we found out just as Harry did. He would find out and -- bam -- it would hit us just as hard as it hit him. And like Harry would really had no time to grieve properly because he was in the midst of battle, we moved on to find out what happened next.

I personally would have liked a bit more detail in the epilogue. I wanted to know more about what more characters ended up doing.

All in all, I thought Rowling did a fantastic job wrapping most things up -- and like you guys, I cried. But what was fantastic was that there were also parts where I laughed. Rowling can take you through a gamit of emotions very quickly.

Margo. said...

I loved this book and I cried too!

chrisa511 said...

Certainly the most emotional of the books! I loved it. Rowling definitely isn't the best writer, but she's improved so much since the first book. Great story, great plot.

The deaths were so sad in this book. A couple in particular...The Prince's Tale was quite a sad chapter and was the one that I have been waiting for. Poor guy.

The epilogue was sort of cheesy, I could've done without it. I thought it was going to be something else...but she can end it however she likes! I'm happy with the book overall.

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

That damn Bellatrix - she killed off one of my favorite characters in 5! I love that she's played in the movie by Helena Bonham Carter; I think that was a great choice!

I'm wondering which character you are referring to who was "cruely killed near the end."

I LOVED the chapter The Prince's Tale - felt it really brought everything full circle. Such a complex character!

Ok, I'm done babbling. :)

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

Oh ya, not a big fan of King's Cross either. I thought it was strange and almost forced...

NOW I'm done babbling.

Rhinoa said...

My favourite character was Fred and I was so sad when he died and I couldn't stop at that point to really appreciate it :( I was sad about Lupin as well and it was a shame we never got to find out how he died (or Tonks for that matter). I feel really sorry for their son who is now an orphan bless.

The Princes Tale was the best chapter, long live the brave Snape!

darkorpheus said...

Just finished the book last Saturday - I was teary towards the end. It's amazing how emotionally gripping this last book is. My favourite character is Snape - I still feel a little indignant that not enough is done for him as a hero.

I didn't want Fred to go either. You are supposed to be have Fred and George - together. They are the Wesley Twins - now they are not.