Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows

This was an extremely important review I've been meaning to post, considering it's one of the best literary works of all time. I know, the book came out in July, and I was going to post on it in September. But, I'm just getting to it now. Actually, I can't take credit for this review, since my wife Mica is the one who so graciously provided it, along with her indepth knowledge about the world of Harry Potter. If you haven't read the book yet, I have to let you know there are spoilers ahead. Otherwise, read on...

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows

I had intentionally delayed reading The Deathly Hollows to avoid getting distracted by all the commotion during the book’s release. The final tome was going to reveal the end for Harry Potter and, thus, my long journey alongside him and his world. This was a big deal for me. Naturally, I wanted a clear head. But of course, the media coverage was nothing short of fierce. However, nothing was going to spoil it for me. I simply turned on the “see-no-potter, hear-no-potter” approach even if it temporarily turned me into a virtual zombie. Absolutely nothing spoiled it for me, well, except me of course, well, almost. I was already halfway through the book when I just couldn’t find the willpower to resist the gnawing temptation of knowing the end any longer that, with feigned reluctance and forced inattentiveness, I quickly turned to the last chapter and skimmed through. The forced reluctance worked. It was a marvelous thing, especially for someone (as in me) who has a horrible habit of jumping to the conclusion of any story I read. Blame it on ADD, which I’ve willingly diagnosed myself with. I just can’t handle the awful anticipation of discovering the end once the book’s in my hands. Anyway, all was safe, because I was “able to not remember” any significant context from zipping through the last pages that, while simultaneously guilt-ridden and relieved, I was able to return where I had left off and ride all the way through the chapters. The read was as exhilarating and intense as what a ride on a nimbus broomstick might be, because The Deathly Hollows is brimming with a bit more surprising twists, abrupt turns, and sudden dips and ascents, not to say that the previous six books didn’t have their own intensity.

I devoured the book slowly for about a couple of weeks. Now, taking that much time to cover any book that I’m fascinated with is rather unusual for my nature. In fact, it had only taken me a day or so to finish each of the previous six books since I was completely captivated by the Potter story right from the start. This time though, I don’t know if I just wanted to avoid the end because that would mean, well, the end, or if I just wanted to savor the grand finale, or, still, if that was all the time I could spare every night before I fell asleep. Nonetheless, my time to face the end came and I finally got my closure, like the multitude of others who had followed Harry’s journey since his birth.

One thing I was right about was Snape’s character not being the vile man he played prior the revelation in this book. This inkling started to simmer in my head after reading Order of the Phoenix, when Snape truly, however harshly, showed his desire for Harry to learn occlumency. My suspicion brewed further because Dumbledore’s support for it was so blatant, when he should have been wary of the severe danger he would be dropping Harry in by delivering him straight into Snape’s clutches. This hunch that Dumbledore and Snape were actually allies only intensified in The Half-blood Prince. The story began with Snape’s pledging his allegiance to Narcissa for her son’s sake. Again, that act was so blatant that it revealed something else that normally wouldn’t be obvious right away. (I suppose that real evil would be extremely cunning, careful, and subtle in carrying out its schemes.) Snape also clearly hesitated right before pointing his wand at Dumbledore and only actually called out the killing curse after Dumbledore had pleaded. At this point, I believed that Dumbledore and Snape had a bond that was going to be revealed in the final book. And it was. And I was so glad for it, despite the tragic way it was revealed, which was through Snape’s death. That bond and Harry’s realization that the only way to beat Voldemort at his own game is by facing death, which incidentally was the only thing Voldemort feared, were the main highlights of the story for me.

J.K. Rowling is nothing short of brilliant in conveying an enormous fantasy story on a very human level that people could actually relate to. The stories are timeless in quality with its fundamental themes of loyalty, friendship, courage, nature of good and evil, life and death, and ultimately love; and truly magical in its writing style which would make you laugh, cry, and ponder. And perhaps, The Deathly Hollows will only make you want to relive the journey all over again.

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