Okay finally the last book of the Harry Potter series. I was expecting a lot from this book. Did I get a lot out of it? I guess I got most of what I wanted 🙂 There were a few inconsistencies though. I think given the scope of these books there is absolutely no way that Rowling could have written a 5 star book for the finale. All that aside I will try to write this review free of spoilers. I will separate this into the good, the bad, and the ugly (okay maybe I will skip the ugly).
I should note that my husband and I listened to this on audio book. The audio book was read by Jim Dale. He did an excellent job (as he always does); he gets 5/5 stars for his reading of the book.
First the good. This is a great series. All of the story arcs were neatly tied up in this book. There are some fantastic action scenes and battle scenes. The final battle delivers all that we were waiting for and more. Really the end was positive and upbeat; (slight spolier in the next sentence) Rowling didn’t kill anyone that we couldn’t deal with dying. I am sure there are loads of more good things about this book. Of course, what stuck out the most was the bad, so we will go onto that. Basically you can assume the book was all that you hoped for minus the bad.
Okay, the bad. The first third of the book drove me nutty. They (Ron, Hermonie, and Harry) basically ran around hiding and arguing for what seemed like forever. I mean come on, what’s the point? There was too much whining and angsting for my like. I was getting very restless listening to the beginning of the book; my mind kept wandering to things I needed to do, none book related.
Of course the book did get more interesting. This brings me to the next bad thing. That is Harry Potter’s inconsistency of character. At points Harry would come up with some brilliant deductions. Case in point, at the end of the book the deal with Malfoy’s wand (those who have read the book know what I am talking about). At other points in the book you want to smack Harry in the head and shout “duh!” Point in case here, when he retrieves that item from the Room of Requirement performing a desperate breathtaking maneuver and ends up with said item hanging on his arm. Two seconds later he is outside the room with Ron and Hermonie and Hermonie asks “What’s on your arm?” and Harry is like “What are you talking about?” I mean give me a break you just risked your life literally two seconds ago to obtain this and you’ve forgotten about it? There were a number of inconsistencies like this in the book and I couldn’t figure out if they were there to make Harry seem more real and to amplify the sense of stress Harry was under, or if they were just plain inconsistent.
Last couple bad things here. I was disappointed George and Fred didn’t have a larger role in this book. They were great in the last couple books and I really missed them. (Next sentence is a spoiler) Lastly, nobody extremely important died. There were a couple good guys that died, but nothing that left the reader just heartbroken (this could be different for you if you have some great personal emotional attachment to one of the good guys that did die). To me the good guys seemed a bit too well protected.
One last vendetta against the Harry Potter series in general. These were great books but I think they degraded as the series went on. The first few books were fantastical wonders. They made me want to be a kid again; with a life full of adventure and fun and interesting puzzle-like problems. As the books went on they got too serious and too emotionally complicated for me. To me these books were supposed to make me feel like a kid again; not be books to stress out over and philosophize about. I understand that Rowling was trending the books with the age group of kids that she aimed them at. I know Rowling intended that as her readers began to grow up they could relate to the problems that Harry and his friends had. They are still great books; I just never got the awed wonderfully warm feeling from the last 3 books that I did from the first ones.
Should you read it? Of course you have too! It’s the big finale and not a disappointment. Here’s a link to the book: