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Thursday, 1 May 2014

Empty Shelf/Mad Reviewer Challenge #27 and #28 - Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince/Deathly Hallows

I finished the Harry Potter series on Tuesday evening. Books 6 and 7 are slowly making their way up to the top of my favourites in the series; they're so much more interesting than I thought.

First, book 6. Essentially, book 6 is a huge set up for book 7, and much of what we read in book 7 only makes sense because of book 6, but Half-Blood Prince is a fantastic book in its own right. We delve into Voldemort's past; Harry, Ron and Hermione make huge leaps in their magical education (their lessons are some of my favourite bits in the whole series); there is Quidditch galore, and characters like Luna and Ginny really come into their own.

Secondly, book 7. I felt a similar mix of anticipation and excitement as I did when I first read "Deathly Hallows", as it had been a good few years since I'd picked it up. As I was reading it I was disappointed with some of the choices the film made when adapting the book. Not because of the things missed out, but the things they had changed. Kreacher's arc, for example; in the book, you pity him so much more because of what he's gone through, and it's heartwarming to see how he eventually begins to trust Harry, Ron, and even Hermione, and pay respect to them because they are kind and respectful to him after hearing his story (Hermione was anyway, but that's a different story). The other major change, which I think was unnecessary, was with Grindelwald. In the book he tried to protect Dumbledore and humanity at large by lying that he never had the Elder Wand, though in the film he freely admits it. 7 overall is a brilliant read, and though there is a lot of camping and not much happening once they've stolen the locket from Umbridge, in my opinion it is no less interesting. Finding and destroying Horcruxes was never going to be easy, and Rowling does well in getting her readers to understand Harry, Ron and Hermione's boredom and frustration without getting bored themselves.

The deaths were obviously very hard to come to terms with all over again. Yes, the wizarding world was at war and Rowling does not kill needlessly; she just shows the stark realities of war and how those whom are most precious to us can be lost. The way she treats the deaths shows that she was probably every bit as heartbroken as us to say goodbye to those characters, yet we had to.

The epilogue was very polarising. Personally, I loved it. It was great to see the way the characters ended up, and the bit in which Harry talks to Albus about Sorting and his name was brilliant. It shows that Snape, the unsung hero, was not forgotten, which was extremely important. Despite what Rowling recently said about Ron and Hermione probably not being the best choice, I disagree and think that the pairings were perfect. Feel free to disagree with me!

Until next time :)

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