This is a spoiler-free review. I talk about how I feel about the book, but I’m not going to give away any but the most superficial plot details. This series will be enjoyed for years to come, and I don’t want to ruin the surprise for anyone.
I read the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone, in 2000, about 3 years after it was first published in the United States. The media was gearing up for the release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in the summer, and I was curious what all the hype was about. So I bought the first book and read it. And then the second and the third, and then I was one of those ridiculous adults who spent the first half of 2000 waiting with baited breath for Goblet of Fire to come out.
Of course I’ve been a fan ever since, and got each book the day it came out, and began reading it the same day. And now it’s over. I finished the last page of the last Harry Potter book Thursday night, July 26, 2007 – five days after I got it. I purposely limited myself to no more than 150 pages a day, so that I could stretch it out as long as I could. I stopped 100 pages before the end the night before, so that I could read the end without being too tired and without racing through it.
And I have to say – I’m very pleased. This was the most thrilling and riveting of all the books in the series (despite a few chapters in the middle that do drag on), and it ends in the best way possible. Characters that you have come to love and enjoy do die, but many others live. All the mysteries that were laid out over the previous six books are explained, or at the very least are clearly dealt with.
Usually, I don’t think much of movie adaptations of books, but the Harry Potter series has done an admirable job so far, and this has the potential to be one hell of a great movie, if they pull out all of the stops. Hopefully, I’ll refer back to this review three years from now when the movie version comes out!
I’m sorry it’s over. Yes, these are “children’s books”, but I dare anyone who enjoys reading novels at all to just try and put down this series once you’ve started it. The Harry Potter series are for children in the same way that the The Chronicles of Narnia books are for children. The same way Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials are for children. The same way Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is for children. And so many more.
The one other series I have to compare this to is Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, which also spans seven novels. The Dark Tower books, however, came out in spurts and fizzes over 3 decades, are most definitely not for children, and I can’t imagine how they could ever be made into a movie. But like Harry Potter, the Dark Tower came to a riveting conclusion at the end of the seventh book. Like Harry Potter, some characters die, and others live. Like Harry Potter, I was sorry to see it end.
So, if you have children, or if you ever were a child, and if you or your children haven’t read the Harry Potter books… it’s never too late to start. And rest assured that when the journey ends, you not only will have greatly enjoyed the trip, but you will be satisfied and comforted at the resolution.
I look forward to whatever J. K. Rowling decides to write next. May she take a page from Stephen King, who ended his series but continues to write. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll see fit to give us some more adventures set in the world of The Boy Who Lived.