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July 23, 2007

 

-- Book review --

The magic continues in Potter's finale

 

By Kate Agard and Eme Williams-Blake

If we were to use a single word to describe Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final book in the Harry Potter series, it would be that one – final.

This book, although markedly shorter than previous volumes, manages to tie up almost every loose end, question, theory, ridiculous rumor and fan site feud raised in the past 10 years.

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The sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, predicts the dawn of a dark age to which Dumbledore has entrusted Harry, Ron and Hermione, against all odds, to prevent.

Harry, Ron and Hermione, spurred on by Dumbledore, set off on a quest to find and destroy the remaining five Horcruxes, the key to stopping the force of evil.

The wizarding world is entirely shaken. Voldemort has gained almost complete control over the magical realm. The Order of the Phoenix has been compromised by Snape’s seeming betrayal and Dumbledore’s death.

Harry, particularly, is affected by Dumbledore’s death – can he, Ron and Hermione complete the great task before them, armed only with a few textbooks, their knowledge, instinct, and a few items left to them by Dumbledore?

The prophecy concerning Harry and Voldemort revealed, the struggle for power hangs scarily in question.

Is Dumbledore really dead? Will the trio survive? Who is the mysterious R.A.B.? Is Harry a Horcrux? Is Snape truly loyal to Dumbledore?

Who will die in the ultimate showdown between good and evil when Harry and Voldemort duel?

These are only a few of the questions that have plagued just about every avid Harry Potter fan during the suspense following Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

After approximately two years of numerous theories, predictions and even arguments followed by a good few, extremely tense hours standing in a long, twisting line at a bookstore, these and more have been answered in the anxiously awaited Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

This final volume is a literal rollercoaster of emotions for the avid Harry Potter reader. The threesome find themselves in endless, seemingly hopeless situations, and romances, rivalries, secrets and friendships are revealed with every turn of the page.

There are so many subplots, twists and turns within the story that it’s easy to become confused. It definitely helps if you’ve read and re-read Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, because there are details within this book that only become clear with memory.

Author J.K. Rowling’s style remains characteristically deceptive in its simplicity. Her narrative is fluid, lively and engaging. Although the subject matter of the book is perhaps too intense for younger readers, the story remains clear and largely understandable to even casual browsers of the series.

We wonder if Rowling has played into the hordes of rumors circulating the internet and the movie-going public. In a way, although our suspense is captured and our eyes glued to the pages, the book is predictably unpredictable.

In some ways, the book resembles an elegantly crafted handbook addressing every spoiler, idle comment and movie subplot.

Although Rowling reputedly wrote the last chapter of the book and sketched the rough plot long before the release of the sixth book, it is extremely eerie that to a very large extent, fans accurately predicted the outcome of the seventh book.

Completion of the book leads to two contradicting main statements: ‘I can’t believe what happened’ and ‘I knew it!’ – frequently at the same time.

Throughout Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, we constantly pondered the fateful line, “Neither can live while the other survives.”

This line, along with the remainder of the prophecy, is finally comprehended, and as the story proceeds, no doubt readers around the globe gasped in shock and wept after coming to a complete realization of what was destined.

It is difficult to explain the allure or fanaticism of Harry Potter but this ultimate chapter is a must-read. Growing up with the book over seven years, we felt a growing sense of pride as we worked our way through its pages and don’t doubt that you will as well.

In this compelling story, Rowling almost forces the reader to express a bundle of emotions and captivates us so that we are almost spellbound.

In some instances, we’re unable to breathe, in others we’ve tears streaming down the pages.

Undoubtedly one of the best books ever written, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows deserves two thumbs up.

 

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