Articles

Review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

In Reviews on August 7, 2007 by David

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Ah, the last book in the series. I definitely enjoyed this series, and to finish this book was rather bittersweet. This is the first book I’ve read for pleasure in a long time. I have been either too busy or too consumed with o games to read more. The coolest thing is, I read this book in China. I saw the Deathly Hallows advertised outside a foreign language bookstore in Nanjing. Originally, I planned to read this book on the flight back, so not to be bored on the twenty-something hour flight. But I lacked the self-control! As a result of getting the book in China, I didn’t get it when it first came out and my relatives were confused why I was so excited. On the plus side, the book wasn’t ruined for me.

Spoiler Warning

Plot Synopsis
As Voldemort rises in power, Harry Potter must navigate the magical world in secrecy and with many precautions. After a few early encounters with danger and Death Eaters, Harry decides to leave the safety of the Order of the Phoenix and journey with Ron and Hermione to destroy the Horcuxes. The world of wizards become increasing dangerous for the protagonists as Death Eaters become instructors at Hogwarts, the Ministry is subverted, and saying Voldemort’s name becomes dangerous. Using the Gryffindor sword, Harry, Ron, and Hermione destroy the Hufflepuff cup, the Ravenclaw tiara, and the Slytherin locket as well as discover the secrets known as the Deathly Hallows. Throughout the book, Dumbledore and Snape’s pasts are elaborated and they are revealed to be truly dynamic and deep characters. In the final battle, Harry faces off with Voldemort, resulting in victory and a return to balance and prosperity.

Pros:

I really enjoyed the back stories of Dumbledore and Snape. Changing from some of the flattest characters in the series to become dynamic and really fallible and human, I believe this book did great justice to these two characters. I thought Snape’s background was particularly moving. I was kind of disappointed Sirius didn’t play a more major role in this novel. I always thought that the fact that Sirius fell through the gate (where Harry heard whispers of dead people) instead of being explicitly killed was foreshadowing of something important in the last book. But what do I know, I only read the books.

Cons:

Unlike the other 6 books of the Harry Potter series, this book contained limited reference to events at Hogwarts. Serving as little more than the location of the final battle, Hogwarts did not play a major role in the book. In the previous books, I really enjoyed the scenes of magic lessons and the sneaking around the school. Sadly there was none of this in this book. Also, the other books usually ended with a magical quest/obstacle course. I thought they were really cool. This book didn’t have it – unless you considered the frantic, secretive search for horcruxes that basically meant they run if they saw anyone.

All in all, this was a very good book and a satisfactory ending to the series. This isn’t my favorite book in the series, but it was a good book. I really liked Snape’s backstory and it really casts a different light on his actions.

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