Sunday, July 22, 2007

'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'

by J.K. Rowling

Fiction/Fantasy, 2007
Bloomsbury Hardback (Adult Edition), 600 p.
Book #7 in the Harry Potter series

(Book #29 for 2007, Book #7 for M&N's Summer 7 Challenge)

*******NO SPOILERS*******

Whew! It arrived at about 11:30am on Saturday (thank you Amazon Japan!) and what an intensive 2 days of reading it's been!
I don’t want to give anything away so I won’t say much. Just that several things happened that I thought would, some that I didn’t expect but all in all I think she did a good job of wrapping up the series. I’ll miss the characters but at least we still have a couple of movies to look forward to.

My Rating: 4.5/5

If you have finished though, I'd love to chat with you about it.
So...COMMENTS CONTAIN SPOILERS!!!!
READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!

Edited to Add...Questions for the Comments Section:

What surprised you?
What was as you expected?
Whose death affected you the most?
Any questions that you thought were left unanswered?

Also reviewed at:
Beastmomma
A Fondness For Reading
Dog Ear Diary
Musings of a Bookish Kitty
things mean a lot
Books Love Me

31 comments:

  1. I've finished. I'm not even sure if I've been able to digest everything that happened properly yet. Mostly I'm just so sad it's over. And shocked with some of the deaths. And SO glad that you turned out to be right about that one thing I hoped you were right about!

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  2. What happened like you thought it did?

    I called Snape: I've been saying since HBP that he's in love with Lily, and that's the key. I wasn't willing to say that's what made him Dumbledore's man, but I should have been.

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  3. Nymeth,
    Lots of scenes are still flitting around my head. I'm not sure I've quite digested it either. I'm so glad I was right about that too! But I always just felt that it couldn't end up any other way! Some of the deaths didn't really sink in, especially those at the end because there was so much going on and I couldn't slow down to dwell on them. (sigh) I'm not sure I'll be able to pick up another book for a day or so with all this swirling around.

    Melissa,
    Yes, me too about Snape. I thought probably he was in love with Lily and that killing Dumbledore was planned. And the epilogue didn't surprise me in the least. I always expected Harry to survive and be with Ginny. Ron and Hermione to be together. So that was satisfying.

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  4. To answer my own questions:

    Surprised isn't perhaps the right word but I hadn't expected all that history about Dumbledore. I really enjoyed it even though I didn't like him much some of the time. I think that reflects the feelings Harry went through though so that was effective.
    I was pleased that Neville got to play an important and heroic role near the end. And the turnaround in Kreacher was great.

    Not surprising at all was the last chapter. I always thought Harry would survive and end up with Ginny and I also highly expected Ron and Hermione to get together and both survive. That Snape was good and died wasn't surprising although I hadn't imagined he'd die like that.

    Hedwig's death near the beginning shocked me a bit. And I was so sad when Dobby died! That was probably the saddest one for me. I loved the twins too so Fred's death is sad but all the ones near the end happened with so much else going on they didn't have the same impact on me.

    Did I miss this? But what was the importance of Harry looking like his dad and having his mom's eyes?

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  5. Yeah, I won't be able to pick up another book for a few days either.

    As for your questions:

    The whole subplot concerning the Deathly Hallows surprised me. For some reason, I had assumed, when seeing the title, that Deathly Hallows meant Horcruxes. I didn't think she'd introduce new questions that needed answering in the last book. But in the end it was all resolved nicely, and it does explain the existence of the invisibility cloak.

    The whole thing surrounding Regulus Black and the locket didn't surprise me: it was almost exactly as I expected.

    As for the deaths, I was really sad to see Hedwig go, but then later on I was even sadder about Dobby and Fred. So it was those three.

    An unanswered question: how come Harry lost the ability to see flashes of Voldemort's mind during Half-Blood Prince? The fact that he was a Horcrux himself explains that connection, but not why it disappeared for some time.

    As for your own unanswered question, I don't think it had any specific importance plot-wise. If it did, I missed it too. Maybe it symbolized the fact that he had qualities of both his parents? And it would help explain Snape's ambiguity about him. Looking at him, he'd see James Potter, but also a bit of Lily.

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  6. It was the only reason that Snape was willing to help Dumbledore with Harry. If he didn't have Lily's eyes (even though he looked and acted like James), I think Snape wouldn't have even bothered to help.

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  7. I'm not one of those who read Harry (I've only finished 2), but my youngest said he was completely satisfied with how she wrapped up the series. Only one character he really didn't want to die was killed off. Since I'm a "peeker", anyway, it doesn't bother me knowing spoilers. I'll still get around to reading the books, someday. :)

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  8. I'm saving this one for when I'm Sapporo sick and all alone in my new job in Nagoya, but I read your comments anyway. I hate reading for plot as I miss most of it, so now I know who died I can take this at a leisurely pace sometime in September!
    Good job!

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  9. What surprised you?

    Harry as a Horcrux. I remember all the debate about it when the last book came out, but I just couldn't believe he would be one. was TOTALLY surprised that he was.

    What was as you expected?

    It was more.

    Whose death affected you the most?

    Another surprise...Dobby. And then Fred.

    Any questions that you thought were left unanswered?

    What happened to George without his brother!?!??! That's the one that's been bothering me ever since I finished. And I'd like to know if Harry ever became an Auror or not.

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  10. Nymeth,
    I agree, I hadn't expected all that new stuff about the Hallows. Like you said, it all worked out well in the end though.

    I don't really have a good answer to your question. Maybe it was simply because Voldemort was gaining strength at that time and didn't have any flashes of extreme anger- when Harry would usually 'see' into his mind. Also wasn't it mentioned somewhere in this book or maybe last one about Voldemort doing Occlumency against Harry after luring him to the Ministry? That wouldn't explain though why Harry suddenly could again unless it's just the anger. ??

    I could see that having Lily's eyes would be an issue for Snape but I thought maybe there was something more to it. Thanks though.

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  11. Melissa,
    I can understand how having Lily's eyes would remind Snape of her but it was mentioned every book at least once. I thought maybe there was something more to it since it was talked about so much.

    Nancy,
    I'm guessing it was Fred? There were a few more 'what happened after' details I'd have liked to know from the last chapter but yes, overall I think it was a good ending to the series.

    Brit,
    You're welcome I think. It'll be a good book to get lost in when you're still getting used to Nagoya. Good luck with the move!

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  12. Heather,
    I had never thought of Harry as a Horcrux until Nymeth mentioned it last week. Kudos to her!

    Yes, Dobby's death really touched me. And like you I'd really like to know how George coped afterwards. Did he keep the shop? I'd actually like to know what everyone did as jobs after that. We're only told that Neville became the Herbology professor. What about the rest of them?

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  13. What surprised you?
    That Hedwig wa skilled in that very absurd manner!!! She didn't do ANYTHING!!! She had like what, been sleeping or ignoring Harry?!?! She died while mad at him for not being able to fly. That was just horrible of Rowlings. I bawled my eyes out. Oh and when Dobby died as well.



    What was as you expected?
    I did expect someone in the Weasleys to die but figured she'd kill both twins. I did NOT expect Lupin to die. Oh and that Snape was a good guy. He was my fave character so I knew I couldn't be wrong. LOL.



    Whose death affected you the most?
    Hedwig and Dobby *sniff*



    Any questions that you thought were left unanswered?
    Nah, she did a good job of wrapping things up. Awesome we got the Epilogue with the 19 year jump.

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  14. Mailyn,
    I thought about that too- the last thing she did was being grumpy at Harry for not being able to fly. So sad! Poor Hedwig! And coming so soon at the beginning sort of set the tone for the book. I wonder what happened to Crookshanks?

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  15. My husband was spoiling himself first thing Saturday. Glad to hear that you liked the book.

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  16. Dang I forgot about him! I think we need a "Harry Potter: The Lost Years" LOL

    Oh and what happened to McGonagall?!?

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  17. I'm glad you enjoyed it :).
    Teresa finished :).
    I won't be reading it until the kids are older - only read the 1st.
    Shame on me huh ;-)
    love C

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  18. OK, I thought about it some more and I'm still upset that Snape didn't even get a 'thank you' from Harry. That sucked big time. :-(

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  19. Someone in a book group posted an interview that Rowling did with the Today show, and apparently she's really gung ho about writing an "encyclopedia" type book that details the backstory and future endeavors of some of the characters. I REALLY hope we learn more about the remaining twin in that volume.

    Best scene: The one where Harry marched into the woods along with the spectres of his parents, Sirius and Lupin just TORE ME UP.

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  20. MyUtopia,
    I really did but I'm now finding it hard to move on to reading something else. What did your husband think of it?

    Mailyn,
    McGonagall is easy. I imagine her still at Hogwarts, teaching as always. Maybe even headmistress?
    And yes it's very sad that Snape died before Harry learned the truth.

    Cathrine,
    LOL! Not at all. It's not for everyone. I wonder what your kids will think of it.

    Andi,
    That would be good. I'd love to have just a bit more on what happened to everyone.
    That scene tore me up too. I was kinda glad H was out then so I could cry in peace.

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  21. A few of my theories panned out. I never lost faith on whose side Snape was on, but the nature of his death really caught me off guard. I also thought Neville would play a very big role in Voldemort's fall; when he killed Nagini it definitely filled my expectation!

    I always thought that Percy would come back, but that he would be the one to die in that one scene, not Fred!!! Fred's death was one of the harder ones for me.

    As soon as Harry was made a godfather, I had a very strong premonition that both Lupin and Tonks would die, therefore there deaths weren't too surprising. Dobby's death was probably one of the most devastating for me.

    I thought almost everything was answered. I only have lingering questions/want to know more about Harry's aunt Petunia. And what careers the grown up Ron, Hermione, and Harry chose.

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  22. I am SO relieved that Voldemort was vanquished. Phew! If Harry would have died I don't think there would have been many redeeming qualities in the series.

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  23. Nyssaneala,
    I loved that Neville played a big role in the end. Yay Neville! And it was interesting to get a bit more about Petunia, and how she desperately wanted to go to Hogwarts with Lily. And yes, I too want to know more about what everyone did after, jobs and such.

    Bellezza,
    I don't know how she could've ended it any other way, but yes I'm glad too. :)

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  24. JKR has said in an interview in the past week that stated that McGonagall wasn't Hogwarts new headmistress because she was after all getting on a bit and they needed a younger person... Same interview where she talked about the Encyclopedia... Here - found the link.

    http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1565517/story.jhtml

    I thought that was interesting but a real pity as well - I think after all the upheaval I would have gone for continuity.

    Dobby's death was the one that got to me the most - by far. I had two characters I wanted to survive the book and Dobby was one. I bawled! Especially at the dressing him up in the socks and hat - so sad and so loving. Poor old Dobby.

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  25. EnnaVic,
    Hi. Thanks for the link. McGonagall is such a part of Hogwarts it seems strange for her not to be there. It'll be interesting to read the encyclopaedia whenever she does it, to see how she envisions everyone in later years.
    When they buried Dobby--soo so sad!

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  26. I finally finished the last book. Now I can safely read all these comments! ;-)

    I pity Snape so much. His last words to Harry Look-at-me...just to have the last glimpse of his love Lily. How I cried!

    Fred's death was too much. How will they be able to interpret that in the movie? Fred and George was the image of fun,but death?

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  27. Grace,
    Yay, you're done!
    How Snape died was so sad. I know what you mean about Fred. Him and George were always the comic relief, hard to imagine them otherwise.

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  28. I found you through Weekly Geeks. Here is my review of the book:
    http://beastmomma.squarespace.com/from-shelf-to-hand/2007/10/26/harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows-complete.html

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  29. Beastmomma- Thanks for the link, I've added it above.

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  30. Lots of things surprised me actually, just like in the other 6 books. I was also questioning Dumbledore's real motive.

    I'd say that Dobby's death affected me the most. Lupin's too. He was a good friend of Harry's and also like his father figure.

    Snape's story touched me the most. Poor guy...at least Harry knows the truth now.

    Here's my review. :)

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  31. Josette- Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I've added the link to your review in the post above.

    Hard to believe it's already been over a year since I read this. I definitely want to go back and read it again, maybe around the time the movie comes out, maybe sooner.

    And yes, poor Snape. I'm glad at least that his story was told and Harry learned the truth at the end.

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