Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Harry Potter Review

I know I am super late on this, but I really have to throw my two cents into the Deathly Hallows ring. I read the book about three weeks ago, but I wanted to think about it before I posted my thoughts on the matter.

First, I’d like to say that the series, as a whole, is good. Ms. Rowling did a good job of telling a very long and involved story. She clearly managed to reach out well beyond the believed market for such stories.

Now down to the nitty gritty …

I really didn’t like Deathly Hallows for many reasons. There, I said it! I know that lots of people are going to wildly disagree with me on this, but I really feel pretty strongly about it. There are several reasons for my not liking the book, and most of those reasons revolve around rule breaking and logic errors. I know, I am an uptight reader about things like this, but I really want the writer to make it work it out correctly, as in, in accordance with the rules of the world. In my writing group, this is the first thing any of us will point out in the each others’ stories. It is so important! So where did she fall down, in my opinion?

1. The elder wand. The rule was that the elder wand couldn’t be defeated in a duel, yet that is how Dumbledore won it from Grindelwald. Bad. Bad. Bad.

2. The final duel. What weird logic was that? Really? Harry can defeat Voldemort because he defeated Malfoy and took his wand, and Malfoy is the rightful owner of the elder wand? So, somehow the elder wand knows that its true owner (Malfoy) was defeated while using a different want and now must belong to Harry? I don’t buy it.

3. More Final Duel. Nor do I buy that a teenager (and not a well-studied one at that) defeats the most powerful wizard of all time, who is currently using the unbeatable wand, with a simple disarming spell. Sorry, it doesn’t fly with me. You know what I would have believed? I would have totally bought into the concept that the horcruxes held his power, as well as his soul. Thus, if the majority of the horcruxes were destroyed, so was the majority of his power. This would clear the way for Harry to defeat him easily, but this would also mean anyone else could have done the same, too.

4. The epilogue was horrid. I wish I hadn’t read it, truthfully.
I could go on, but I am afraid of the rabid Potter fans. On that note, until this book, I was a pretty rabid fan.


moonrat said...

...not to mention Ron's faking Parseltongue?! Seriously?!

Nicole Kelly said...

Yeah, what was with that? What's odd about this whole series, is that the rules are pretty simple, yet they are violated with alarming frequency. In a book with a lot of rules, I can sympathize with slip ups. This book though ... no excuses.

That all said, I totally violated a number of rules in my book (I have loads of rules), and my beta reader and agent got on me about it pretty quick. So, what I wonder is, why didn't the editorial team flag this? Or did they, and she didn't listen?

moonrat said...

i don't know. one guess is that they were pressed for time making the pub date and had to make some compromises? i do think there are definitely some incidents where her editor could have taken a heavier hand.

another problem: i've found (sweeping generalization coming, apologies to those who will be offended by it) that the Brits edit VERY lightly. the attitude across the pond is that the "artistry" of the author should survive as intact as possible. this is an ongoing frustration in the american market, where the editor is responsible for the author's content to a much higher degree--we have a lot of trouble bringing over previously published british books and having to deal with their editorial shenanigans.

Nicole Kelly said...

I totally understand not wanting to "write" the book for the author, but rules seem like that need to be right. Of course, I am a technical writer and editor, so it's all about rule for me ;-)

The other problem in this book for me (and this is totally style issues), is the pacing. I really was put off by the snail pace of the middle, then into hyper drive for the end. I felt like about half of the middle wood wandering scenes could have been edited out OR used for further expansion of the characters. This book really abandoned most of characters, in the terms of internal development.

writtenwyrdd said...

I really didn't care for it either. The whole book felt flat, like warm soda. And rather boring.

spyscribbler said...

Yeah. I was disappointed. Very disappointed.

I'm sorry, I don't want to be scratching my head and re-reading during the climactic moment of the book.

I also thought the deaths were poorly placed, in terms of pacing. Throughout the whole series, actually. Book 5 - Sirius; Book 6 - Dumbledore (worse); Book 7 - um, Fred? And some other random people? And Hedwig and the house elf were too quickly passed over. They made me the saddest, but they weren't at the climax. I should've been saddest or most emotional at the climax of the last book.

Oh!!! And that whole Dumbledore was an evil man thing did NOT work for me.

You know?