Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling
This was the most highly anticipated book release of the year, and rightly so. Harry Potter is a worldwide phenomenon, and the books and films have earned some serious cash.
I was desperate to read this book, the fact there had been leaks and numerous rumours going round only made me more excited and curious as to what the final book in the series had in store for our young hero. J.K. Rowling’s own comments on the Jonathan Ross show made me think he was going to die, so I had prepared myself for the worst.
To recap, poor Dumbledore has been murdered by Snape, leaving Harry with a monstrous task – he must destroy the remaining Horcruxes (parts of Voldemort’s soul hidden in objects to make him immortal) and only then would he be able to kill the Dark Lord once and for all. So Harry, Ron and Hermione set off together on their quest.
On the way, they run into many problems; but somehow, everything seems to work out. The attraction between Ron and Hermione becomes more and more obvious, I even found myself rolling my eyes in a Hermione-like way when they refused to admit their feelings for one another. There’s no time for dilly-dallying when Voldemort’s after you, is there?
Then things began to get confusing. As well as there just being Horcruxes to look for, there were now something called Hallows. You have to concentrate and remember what they’re talking about, and pay attention when the story of their origination is told, or you won’t have a clue. So Hallows are nothing to do with Voldemort, as such, except there’s a wand which is Unbeatable knocking around, and the Dark Lord, furious at the failure of his own wand, wants this one to finish The Boy Who Lived off.
And so the story continues. The book is full of the usual gripping action, and I was in anticipation of a sobbing fit when I got towards the end, so I had tissues at the ready. However, none came. After awaiting a chapter which had made J.K. Rowling herself cry when she wrote it, I was expecting something really special and emotional, particularly as she’d also said some main characters die. I had a tear in my eye, but it was nowhere near as emotional as Dumbledore’s death. I cried more over poor Dobby earlier in the book.
There was nothing in the book that I thought was predictable, which is obviously a good thing. I wouldn’t have guessed Harry was a Horcrux if it hadn’t been circulated on the Internet previously, so I can’t count that.
I was immensely pleased that Bellatrix Lestrange got her comeuppance, but I thought it would have been so much more satisfying had “the boy with the balls” Longbottom finished her off. Also, why the hell is Draco “the bastard” Malfoy still alive? I wanted to kill him in the first book!
I thought the book was ace, because it’s Harry Potter, after all. However I thought Rowling really cheated herself out of what could have been a much more powerful and dramatic ending. I don’t want to include too many spoilers in here, but to say what I really want to say, I’ll have to. I was expecting one of the three main characters to die, and to sob my little heart out. I was even expecting Harry to die. But Rowling copped out. Totally.
She may as well have written “And they all lived happily ever after.” But in all fairness, I don’t think I’ve have killed a character that had made me that much money either. She’s too far away from retirement to throw away a guaranteed cash cow.