Monday, September 10, 2012

Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 
by J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter #7)
Published July 21st, 2007 by Bloomsbury

Harry has been burdened with a dark, dangerous and seemingly impossible task: that of locating and destroying Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes. Never has Harry felt so alone, or faced a future so full of shadows. But Harry must somehow find within himself the strength to complete the task he has been given. He must leave the warmth, safety and companionship of The Burrow and follow without fear or hesitation the inexorable path laid out for him.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: the last book in this truly epic series. The final pieces of this complex and elaborate puzzle finally fall gracefully into place.  It's hard to rate this book without allowing myself a little retrospective on the Harry Potter Series as a whole. For anyone who has been following my previous reviews, you no doubt know that I am a HUGE (and obsessive) fan of the Potter series. The Harry Potter books are so much more than an excellent piece of fiction to me. Yes it's a brilliantly crafted 7-part series. Yes it is a interwoven, many-layered and detailed mystery/quest that captivates from book one and holds your interest till the very end. Yes it is a cultural phenomenon. But it is also so much more: it is about courage, and the real power of love. It is about standing up and fighting for what you believe in, even if you stand alone; even if it makes you an outcast, or a victim. It is about life and death, dark and light, faith and fear... This series will never cease to amaze me, to teach me and to touch me.
''Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.''
Now on to the book in question: Deathly Hallows. This is above all my favorite book in the series. No, let me correct that: this is my favorite book ever in life. After everything Harry has done, and been through, DH is the best possible ending for this epic tale. And yes, I say this despite some unresolved "loose-ends" like Umbridge and the Malfoys faith.  In this thrilling final installment, Harry has been set a most deadly and fearsome task. A task which could spell the end of Voldemort...or destroy Harry in the process. With Ron and Hermione in tow, Harry skips his 7th and final year at follow the road set in front of him by Dumbledore at the end of HBP. This book is different from the others in the sense that most of the action takes place outside of Hogwarts; our hero(s) are hunting Horcruxes. JKR's idea of Horcruxes is brilliant. Thinking back to the diary, the ring even and the locket...the power contained in them; the power of Voldemort...being able to possess...being able to try and kill (the locket when harry jumps in the lake for the sword) is a horrifying and thrilling prospect. But not only that: in Harry's case, being the secret horcrux (!)...while revolting in theory is quite useful. It gives Harry (and the reader) insider information into Voldermort's mind; his thoughts, his emotions, his weaknesses. It also has Harry ideally placed to know his enemy's mind. And this connection therefore (along with the pensive history of Riddle in HBP) keeps Harry aware of any huge decisions on the enemy's part! It's such a unique take on narratives. You get access to the villain, but through the hero(even thought Harry sees these glimpses as if he were Voldemort *shudder*). especially in DH we really see how useful, and ingenious the idea of Horcruxes really is.
''The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.''
J.K.Rowling really doesn't hold back in Deathly Hallows. All of the little pieces of information mentioned in passing in PS, CoS, PoA, GoF, OotP & HBP: do you remember all of those? Cause they're all gonna fit in here, perfectly in place, ready to blow your mind! Yeah. That's why I have re-read this series so many freaking times. I really am blown away when I think about the amount of information...and details...and plot...and world building that have gone into creating this legend; this magical world that I so enjoy getting lost in. I wish I could crawl into the pages of these books and live amongst the characters, and share their world with them. Now that I've finished reading the series *again*, I find myself wishing I had gotten early access to JKR`s new on-line creation 'PotterMore'; just to get all that extra information JK's been hoarding since Harry's 'conception'.
''Do not pity the dead Harry. Pity the living, and above all, those who live without love.''

*Mild Spoilers Ahead*

So many scenes in Deathly Hallows are amongst my favorite scenes in the series: Harry's birthday kiss from Ginny, Harry visiting Godric's Hollow, Voldemort's memory of the night he killed Harry's parents, Chapter 24:The Wandmaker ♥, the whole Breaking into Gringotts bit is absolutely legendary, the quest for Horcruxes (and Hallows) as a whole, Harry's evolution throughout the story here; from being lost and overwhelmed to putting it all together, the Prince's tale, Chapter 34:The Forest Again ♥ Chapter 35: King's Cross Station *happy dance*, and of course 'The Flaw in the Plan'...but my review is already growing long. So, I'll finish off with this: Harry Potter was a magical & wondrous series, and it's final installment is beyond what I had imagined when I first picked it up over 5 years ago.
''Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?''

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