Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Au Revoir, Harry!

As I am posting this, I had just finished reading the final Harry Potter book, The Deathly
Hallows (HP7). Took me about 15 hours to finish it. (excluding other activities), hehe.

It has been quite the journey.

Well I remembered my 1st reaction when my mother bought the first books was indifference. "Another kiddie stuff", was my thought.
At that time, my family was late to embrace the Potter affair. Joanne Kathleen Rowling (pronounced more like bowling, rather than howling), aka JKR, has already written 3 books of the series. So, after my mom had finished with the the first book, I picked it up on a whim. And I was engrossed from the word go, hehe.
Before I continue, I would like to say that JKR is by no means a faultless and great writer, she has her shortcomings:
tendency to lose focus sometimes, redundant plots, holes in the storylines, and her ideas are not all original (being really a smorgasbord of all proven things and plot devices).

Warning: some spoilers ahead for those who haven't read The Deathly Hallows

So how was the book u ask? In my opinion, it was a good book, as a whole I think it is the 2nd or 3rd best book in the series, after Prisoner of Azkaban & The Philosopher's Stone.
Her pacing has greatly improved, the plot is engaging & fast albeit being the darkest in the series so far, what with so many deaths, with major characters dying left, right, & centre.
The humor is also not as abundant as previously, but when it is used, it is used well.
JKR also manages to tie up almost all of the loose ends, with interesting throwbacks to seemingly unimportant hints in the previous books, but now we know that the hints are important.
I also like the way that JKR has fleshed out more of some of the characters, making them more complex and more interesting. We thought we have got the characters figured out, but boy are we wrong! We get to see that Dudley do have a spot for Harry, Dumbledore is not morally perfect and has some weaknesses, Pettigrew's redemption, and Snape is not the double-crosser that he seems.
There are many scenes that really touches my heart, especially some of the deaths, like Dobby's, and Snape's past story. (I guess I am just a hopeless romantic...but the unrequited love that Snape has for Harry's mom, Lily, and his redemption due to that love, was just sad..)

Having said it the book is not without its faults. I think that some of the plot has leaps of logic, has holes.
For instance, how does Neville managed to obtain the sword in the end? I thought it was stolen by Griphook.
And what is the worm thing at the King's Cross? Is he Voldemort?
And does the moving pictures in the wizarding world has a connection to the person's original mind? JKR never explains this satisfactorily. The portrait Dumbledore is behaving just like the human Dumbledore. I think it just cancels out the closure we felt after Dumbledore' death. "Look, everyone, it's ok even if Dumbledore's dead, he can still give advice thru his portrait self!".
And even as I am writing this, I still don't understand completely how Harry cheats death after beong cursed by Voldemort, although I think I understand it vaguely.
The final showdown between Harry and Voldemort was a bit anticlimactic, I mean after 7 books' worth of buildup, I expect something better. Instead, it was more like a verbal duel, and Harry took us on a logical reasoning of how Voldemort has overseen the flaws in his plan.
And JKR could have done better with the ending. Whenever I read or watch anything, how the story ends is really important to me. The ending was OK, but I would really like to know what happened to the other characters after Voldemort's death, how do they cope with their losses, how do they rebuild their lives.

But as a whole it was a good read. In the end, the story is really about good winning over evil, about not fearing death, about friendship loving and caring for others, about seeing the good in others, about seeing others with unbiased & unprejudiced eyes, about optimism & hope.
JKR has managed to give a fitting end to the series, a feeling of closure. Thanks JKR, for creating an interesting story and involving characters.

Goodbye Harry...!

p/s: My favourite character in the series other than Harry, is Snape.


Anonymous said...

i think for ur question on how neville got gryffindor's sword, if u remember the first time harry pulled out the sword in the chamber of secrets, it just came as though the sorting hat was a portal for it to pass through. and before harry pulled the sword out, no one had ever seen it before. so i guess it acts as a type of portal and if a gryffindor student really has a need for it, it will get to the student through the sorting hat no matter where it is. anyway, good review of the last book. i think u've got it spot on. cool blog. keep it up. (ps: my favourite characters are fred and george weasley) haha

Kurt Kuden said...

saye dah lama tak bace novel. nak2 novel english.
saya nak bace. tapi saya tak de usaha. saya pun tak tengok harry potter. saya tengok shrek. haha

Anonymous said...

i m sooo with u!snape's a cooler character than harry hahaha and i kinda feel fred's death was pointless