Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows…
On the whole I felt that this was a good book. Having read the first six books in the week running up to the release of DH I feel better about the knowledge I took with me when I started reading the seventh and final book of the series.
There were certain times when reading the book that I thought “OMG did she really write that?”, but there were other times when I sat back for a few seconds and mulled over what I had read.
Things I liked
Luna: All the way through this book she was a strong presence. The paintings she had on her bedroom ceiling made me smile, the golden word ‘Friends’ written all around the portraits of the people that befriended her and made her time at school more bearable.
Dumbledore’s Backstory: This actually made sense to me, I never read the books thinking “Oh he’s a nice man who has only peoples’ best interests at heart”, so reading that he had at one point been self-serving and a complete git actually made me understand him much better, it also made me realise why he was quick to accept Severus had changed.
Dobby: I was REALLY sad when Dobby died, in fact his death had more of an effect on me than any of the others, but I loved the way that Jo wrote about Harry using his hands, rather than his wand, to dig the elf’s grave, thought that was really touching.
Snape: He is in both parts of my list. I loved the fact that he was redeemed. He had sacrificed 20 years of his life because of the love of a girl who he pushed away in his teens all due to his incredible pride. The fact that so many people had anticipated Lily and Severus’ friendship meant that it didn’t come as so much of a surprise, but the description of it thanks to his pensieve memories was wonderful to read.
Molly Weasley: We always knew that she was a strong character, but in the final battle she came into her own. Protecting her children is something she had always done, and the way that she protected them when they came under attack from Bellatrix was wonderful. Think that her line “Not my daughter, you bitch” will live on for a long time. She was every inch the furious mother bear protecting her cubs when she cast the Avada Kedavra on the insane witch.
Draco: I don’t know whether to be happy that he didn’t exactly redeem himself, but he didn’t get as involved in the final battle, AND he survived, so for now that can stay on the ‘liked’ list.
Things I didn’t like
Viktor Krum: It has been pointed out that he was not an important element of the book, and I acknowledge that this is right, but that doesn’t mean I have to like the fact that his entire character had a 180 turnaround. In Goblet of Fire Viktor was shy, embarrassed about all the press attention he received, and very down to earth. In this book – in the only chapter he appeared (Bill and Fleur’s wedding), he was shallow, and very concerned with the fact that his fame was of no use because he couldn’t get women to pay attention to him. To me this seemed totally out of character and I really wished (if that was to be his only appearance in the book) that he hadn’t been in it at all.
Journey through the countryside: I don’t know why we had to read so much about their camping? For some reason this particular portion of the book seemed to last forever and, for me, it was completely unnecessary. I wanted to read more story, perhaps speed along their journey and have more time to include more about Snape, a bit more about Dumbledore, or more detail in the final battle.
Deathly Hallows: This really seemed as though it was a last minute addition, so much was put into such a small amount of space that I felt as though I had to have missed something somewhere when I was reading.
Snape: Told you he was in both parts of the list! While I loved the fact that he was given a chance to redeem himself, and passed on his memories of Lily, I really thought that he should have been given more time.
The rushed final battle: I felt that this was really rushed. There were so many deaths and even some of the important ones were glossed over. I know that Harry couldn’t see everything, but to have Tonks and Remus just mentioned almost in passing, and Fred as a “one minute he was smiling next he was gone” sort of way was almost insulting to the importance these characters played in the series as a whole.
Okay, I lied, there aren’t two lists, there are three…so here’s the third:
Things I HATED
The Epilogue: I hated this for so many reasons, though the primary one has to be that it read as though it had been written by a tween fanfic author; the names of the children, and the lack of any information about any other elements of their lives. I also found it rather disappointing that despite having had a very important role in the book as a whole, Luna didn’t feature anywhere in the epilogue. There’s also the question of ‘what kind of punishment did Draco get for being involved with the Death Eaters?’ It was as though that entire episode was forgotten and he didn’t receive any kind of sentence for being a criminal element. Does that mean that crime (at least for him) paid?
The Finality: Because of the way that the epilogue was written it felt as though JKR was saying “The world is now finished because this is how I wanted it to end…They got married and had children…THE END”. To be completely honest I was extremely tempted to deface the book and rip out the entire epilogue so that, in my house at least, the book ended after the final battle. As someone else said to me really recently “It was as though it was meant to go with a different book altogether.”
And there you have it, my views…make of them what you will 🙂