8 May 2016
THE SEVENTH AND final book in the Harry Potter series is easily the best volume of this amazing and record breaking series. It opened at a frantic pace, with a surprise appearance of the world’s most hated magician in an early but doomed attempt to kill the story’s hero right in the opening chapter. And from that narrow escape, the action simply did not let up. This book makes the reader *think*. It’s still fun to read, of course, but you know by now that everything is at stake, so it’s a different kind of fun from the earlier books.
The series began to find its literary legs with book four, and life quickly got serious and deadly for our trio of magical superstars. These kids - and the world wide audience of book lovers that were hanging on JK Rowling’s every word - soon learned that life is not always a bed of roses, its not always about a game of Quidditch, and its certainly not just about fun lessons in magic. Life is about love, and anger, and loss, and of course death, and all of this - and more - all began to hit home with book four.
Books five and six continued to ’up the ante’ when it came to representing the trials and tribulations of life (as much as any book can involving children studying to become wizards and witches...) but it was the end to book six that truly shook the world by it’s foundations. And of course book seven can now be read (lived, experienced, and never to be forgotten) by another generation of readers, and what a book it is.
Harry, Ron and Hermione each declared their individual intents to not return to Hogwarts at the end of book six (after those traumatic events...) and of course the only time the action focuses on that incredible castle is right at the end of the story. Harry was given the task of locating and destroying objects called ’Horcruxes’ as part of his bid to kill Voldemort which are said to contain parts of the Dark Lord’s soul. But as our Harry has been wont to do for six fantastic books, he gets distracted with new discoveries along the way, which cause their own set of problems both within the little group and without. And herein lies the beauty of the book’s plot and how it relates to the rest of the series.
In the meantime we are given a tale that is so incredible, so brilliant, so emotional and so heart breaking that you may well come to think it was the book that Ms Rowling was born to write. It was certainly a book that the world needed to read. Its certainly the finale that the series deserved. I expected a quality end to an incredible saga but i was stunned by the levels of depth and emotional impact the story possesses and gifts to the loyal reader. Spoilers prevent me from going into any form of detail, but just be prepared, book lovers, for your favourite characters to deal with some truly traumatic situations.
Since Harry and Co are away from Hogwarts, they are, therefore, forced to deal with any and all problems they come across on their own. Once more we get to see our beloved heroes grow right before our eyes, sometimes smoothly, happily and with tears of laughter running down their faces. Other times, they fail to deal with the stresses and pressures of trying to save their world (and ours) and the trio borders on self destruction. But time and again, Ms Rowling saves the day with comebacks, surprise reappearances that lift the spirit of the reader, as well as the tone of the story no end, in ways that leave Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon for dead.
The book is so beautifully written, and so brilliantly structured, that an alert reader may well wonder if the author wrote book seven first, and plotted the rest of the series around it. That may well sound ridiculous, but given the information that you are blessed with throughout the DEATHLY HOLLOWS experience, you may well be surprised to be given answers to questions from the earlier books that you did not know that you had.
The final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort was more than brilliant. Goose bumps are guaranteed. Even now, writing this review an hour after finishing the book I can feel it’s awesomeness and overall perfection floating on my mind. One could criticise the author for a potential lack of closure for *all* surviving characters, but the obvious refutal to that is that the books were essentially about the much loved and fabled trio, and not the plethora of extras which comprised the rest of the story.
Some fans may well say these are the greatest books of this or any generation; but on the conservative side of the fence, it’s certainly safe to say that DEATHLY HOLLOWS is a tale that is greater than the sum of its parts. The preceding six books all had their roles to play, and play them, they did. Book seven took the reader’s mind, their heart, and their soul to places where no books have a right to be. And left you there to contemplate the wonder of the Harry Potter universe for as long as you cared, or dared. For that is the joy of Hogwarts, the power and strength of love and friendship, Platform 9 and 3/4, but most importantly, it is testament to the wonder of JK Rowling.
And what a wonder it is.