Fantasy · Review

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling

*no spoilers here* The thing is, I’ve been a Harry Potter fan before the bookshops here knew about Harry Potter. I’m not saying this in a “I knew HP before you!” way, but in a “I grew up with this, so I have a lot of affection for this series” way. I discovered Harry Potter sometime after the second book was released. I had been looking for a copy for awhile, but didn’t have much luck until I found the second book in a secondhand bookstore. (At the time MPH was still going, “who is Harry Potter?”, my friends made fun of me for reading a book for kids, and I have no idea why I never checked Kinokuniya) I enjoyed Chamber of Secrets, but it could never beat Diana Wynne Jones’ Chrestomanci books.

Then one day I found one copy of the first book (Philosopher’s Stone) at MPH, and got it for the heck of it. It was only then that I was hooked. I lent both copies to someone at school, and it was a couple of months after the release of the third book. She liked the books, went to Singapore to get the third book, and lent it to me. After reading Prisoner of Azkaban, I was really really obsessed with Harry Potter. Just a few months later, everyone else caught up. I was glad that I could actually get Goblet of Fire on the day it was released, and I was annoyed with how the very same people who had made fun of my “kiddy books” in high school are suddenly asking me, “have you heard of Harry Potter?” I remember reading the fourth book for the first time and calling my sister, screaming on the phone, can you believe what just happened!? or laughing about something, usually something Fred or George said or did.

I lined up at 5 a.m. in front of Kinokuniya for the fifth book, and was too disappointed with it to bother for the sixth. I find that I can’t call this my absolute favorite children’s series, but it is one that I’ve followed for a long time, so I guess I feel more of a connection with the Harry Potter books than the Narnia books or the Chrestomanci books or the other books that I’ve loved, but were written long before I discovered them. It’s funny that now when the seventh book is out, I am a staff at Kinokuniya. Of course, I wasn’t working on the day of the release. I had to buy and read the book, don’t I? I had to finish reading it that very day.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows made up on all the disappointments that came from Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince. It’s J.K. Rowling, so of course it’s not really that original. Or original at all. All the previous books have been a mixture of a lot of things from a lot of other fantasy stories, so why shouldn’t this volume be the same? But it’s by J.K. Rowling, so of course it’d be effing funny. It’s a lot darker than the previous books, but it still manages to make me laugh out loud. J.K. Rowling have always sucked at writing death scenes and romantic scenes, so I kept having to re-read stuff to make sure that a character actually died (sometimes I didn’t realize someone died until a few chapters later), and I found the romantic parts rather corny. But Tolkien sucked at the romance stuff too, and is dead boring on top of that, but I still loved reading Lord of the Rings (will never attempt to read it twice though!). So, yeah… for me, the fun of it is most important. It’s not about the bad bits, but about whether the good bits are worth going through the bad bits.

I LOVE that most of my predictions came true. I was a bit off with Dumbledore, but I was right in that he is not as stupid as book 6 makes one think. And I was 100% right about was was going on between Snape and Dumbledore, as well as the back story between Snape and Lily. The Horcrux stuff gets a bit confusing and could have been handled better, but the quest leads to some nice/interesting surprises. I loved that the story hadn’t been dumbed down to suit the “children’s” genre. And I know a lot of people will say it’s a few hundred pages too long, but I like that it’s long and has not so necessary bits, because those bits makes things more fun. Sure, the story could be more coherent if it was shortened, the way the Order of the Phoenix movie was made more coherent by cutting out a lot of shit, but when I re-read the book, I realize that it’s just not as fun without the Quidditch and the “Weasley is our King” song, and Ron and Hermione becoming prefects bit, and so on. So while I’m sure …Deathly Hallows might benefit from losing a few pages, I like it just the way it is. And the last chapter was pretty cheesy, but you know what, I could use some cheese after a lot of lovable characters died.

~ originally posted on blogspot

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