Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
This novel takes place outside the friendly confines of Hogwarts, except for the climactic battle at the end. It places Harry and his friends in mortal peril from about Chapter 4 on, and there are so many close shaves that it really feels like reading an adventure story this time. JK Rowling keeps the plot moving for the most part, except for a part in the middle where the plot bogs down a bit as Harry, Ron and Hermione go underground by Apparating to various remote forest locations. This wandering, though, serves the plot by forcing the characters to confront life on the fringes of society without the support network of other witches and wizards. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are forced to grow up in these circumstances, and it's a great pleasure to see Harry develop into a leader, Hermione display her toughness, and Ron confront his darkest fears in the form of a Horcrux in this section. Harry confronts the choice whether to pursue the Horcruxes or the Deathly Hallows about two-thirds of the way into the novel, and his choice in this matter decides the outcome of the battle at the end. It also allows JK Rowling to display Harry's character in the best sense of the term and brings the magical world she has created to its fruition. Harry's decision seems both authentic and important, and only the best of writers can make this type of fictional moment happen. Cheers to JK Rowling for creating such an interesting fictional world and for bringing it to such a satisfying conclusion. I don't want to spoil the end for anyone, so I won't comment on it here. Let's just say it's a just end.