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July 21, 2007

"Deathly Hallows" is Rowling's final treat

by Priyanka Gokhale, Online Editor-in-Chief
Fans gave Harry Potter author JK Rowling a tall order: craft a final tale that matches the quality of the previous books but also ties up the myriad loose ends dangling throughout numbers one through six. And, using style, wit and a wave of the wand, Rowling delivers. In an ideal world, the series would never end, but what better way to end than with "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," which clocks in at a monstrous 759 pages (though it is no doubt slimmer than "Hogwarts: A History").
Likely the most-awaited Potter book, "Deathly Hallows" lives up to its high expectations.
<i>Photo courtesy of Scholastic</i>
Likely the most-awaited Potter book, "Deathly Hallows" lives up to its high expectations. Photo courtesy of Scholastic

"Hallows" begins by toeing the line between dark and light; within the first few chapters, two deaths, two weddings a missing ear and a half-touching, half-disgusting Harry-Dursley goodbye have taken place. But immediately following a disturbing announcement that Voldemort has taken over the Ministry of Magic, Harry, Ron and Hermione set off on what they call "Dumbledore's mission," a secret quest to find and destroy the Horcruxes and eventually Voldemort.

The nomadic trio (all three of whom have dropped out of school, much to Molly Weasley's dismay) moves from place to place, with Death Eaters constantly on their tails. While this setting literally cuts the Hogwarts gang out of the storyline temporarily, numerous encounters with the adults of the wizarding world give way to spectacular fight scenes. In her last book, Rowling doesn't go out of her way to explain the effects of the spells being fired so rapidly – making the use of wands in combat seem perfectly normal – a technique that might leave more casual readers confused.

Though the absence of favorite characters is pronounced, Rowling does introduce some new oddballs. A chapter is spent on Quibbler editor Xenophilius Lovegood, who seems to be even stranger than his peculiar daughter Luna. Harry also meets some of Dumbledore's old acquaintances, and some characters whose presences have been noted but never elaborated upon, including wand maker Ollivander and Gringotts goblin Griphook.

But "Hallows"'s final third is most memorable, as the Hogwarts students start uprisings against their new headmaster and eventually Voldemort. To see how the characters have changed and developed since their first years is really remarkable – Neville's transformation, in particular, is a wonderful but somehow believable change. In the absence of leaders Harry, Ron and Hermione, Neville takes over Dumbledore's Army (with the help of Ginny and Luna), and finally succeeds in making his haughty grandmother proud.

The book's only major flaw is that too much happens in the final few chapters of the book. That being said, Rowling opens up many new mysteries throughout the seventh book itself, but it seems like overload to fill the final five chapters (one of which is spent almost entirely in a Pensieve) with answers.

But for die-hard Harry Potter fans, the final five chapters will be worth the wait. With "Hallows," all those who hold Harry dear get what they've awaited and dreaded for so long – answers and conclusions but also, an end to the gripping seven books. And although readers in future generations will certainly enjoy the series, nothing will be able to recreate the anticipation and feverish excitement felt by today's Potterheads -- feelings that fans will be hard-pressed to forget.



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  • Linda (View Email) on July 21, 2007 at 9:18 AM
    Harry potter is the best book in the earth. it is one book i have reread and reread.I just can't wait to get the last book
  • irritated potterhead on July 21, 2007 at 2:09 PM
    It was disappointing in every possible way. Eh.
  • Tiffany Cutlip (View Email) on July 21, 2007 at 2:34 PM
    I don't like the idea of you killing off Harry Potter he is really mean and a bad book if thats what happens. Im mad because there is no more Harry Potter left.
    Thank you very much. ther than that good book.
  • RACHEL on July 22, 2007 at 3:50 AM
    THIS IS THE BEST STORY I EVER READ.I WISH IT WILL NOT END.
  • valnisha thomas (View Email) on July 22, 2007 at 11:42 PM
    i hope that there are many more harry potter movies to come and books!!!
  • eh. on July 23, 2007 at 12:16 PM
    yeah...parts of the book just dragged on forever..and then suddenly everything was really rushed at the end. and the last chapter was completely unnecessary.

    also, you should state at the top of this article that it's somewhat of a spoiler for those who haven't read it yet...
  • Obsessor on July 23, 2007 at 2:14 PM
    I am pretty obsessed with Harry Potter, and am pretty sad that the series is over. But the 7th book, and all the books, were awesome. Its funny to think that I've been with Harry Potter since the 1st grade.
  • a on July 24, 2007 at 8:55 AM
    I thought this book was pretty good. Maybe not the best book ever, but probably the best harry potter book and a compelling read. And I was right about Snape!
  • -- on July 24, 2007 at 11:54 AM
    yeah, what was with teh last chapter?

    it was completely unneccessary.
  • . on July 24, 2007 at 1:06 PM
    it wasn't that much of a spoiler...everything she said was pretty self-evidet
  • tony on July 24, 2007 at 9:04 PM
    Rowling is an amazing storyteller. If the storyline somehow does not interest you, you can admire the amazing way she creates suspense and excitement. The words on the pages do not appeal to our five senses, yet it is able to make your heart beat faster and make you feel.

    The problem I had with the novel was that parts of amazing depth were mixed with simple meaningless details. The Pensieve at the end was an amazingly deep but the war was extremely shallow. It seemed like almost an afterthought that Rowling decided to mention the deaths. The effects of the deaths of the two new parents were not properly developed. The fifty others who died were only mentioned to show Harry’s remorse over others dying because of him.

    I believe the reason for this is that Rowling concentrated on the parts that she wanted to develop. Snape seems to be a very intriguing character to her (that all that is gold does not glitter), but the war serves no purpose but to supposedly build suspense (I think). Anyways, in the areas that Rowling did pursue, they were magically done.

    To those Potter lovers, Rowling is planning to write another book in the wizard world, according to some news article on Google news.
  • kurage. on July 29, 2007 at 4:04 PM
    It was okay. Not too bad. I hated the way Rowling wrote some of her sentences. It didn't really make sense to me until I looked at it carefully.

    The book was pretty much anticlimatic.
    I expected so much more in the war between Harry Potter and Voldemort and all I got was 'and then it just ended' sort of scenario. It was so rushed, and there wasn't consideration about the whole surrounding (like what happened to who and who, or how did who and who react)

    Overally, I'm sad to say that HP has come to an end.

    (BTW I thought the last chapter was good. I mean it was a bit of a 'so let's skip over' and 'popped out of nowhere' deal plus a tad cheesy but it made me cry, hahaa)
  • boooo on July 30, 2007 at 1:30 AM
    yo this book actually sucked. i am a pretty serious harry potter fan, read the first six books somewhere between five and ten times each. and this book just completely sucked. it was actually terrible
  • asdfasdfasdf on August 2, 2007 at 1:02 PM
    SNAPE KILLS DUMBLEDORE
  • Eli Barnett on August 8, 2007 at 3:33 PM
    Contrary to the writer of this article, i really enjoyed the way Rowling used the pensieve to give answers about Snape's history. Rowling's description of the magical combat is also very enjoyable, albeit somewhat different from most books. This book does a great job of tying up all the loose ends in the plot, and I most definitely suggest the series as a whole to anyone who hasn't read the books already.
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