A week or two ago, Audrey asked the question: “Which HP book is your favourite?” And to my horror, once I viewed the results, I saw that a large percentage of you haven’t read Harry Potter at all.
It’s been called a “brilliantly imagined fantasy” (Kirkus Reviews), “a feat of which only a superior imagination is capable” by Steven King and a “satisfying, death-filled, torture-happy, magnificent read” by School Library Journal with “exquisitely evocative writing” (Publishers Weekly). English teachers are going to start adding it to the curriculum. It’s the classic of the decade, right along there with Lois Lowry’s The Giver.
But enough talk from the big guys. Hear out what I, your regular reader, have to say.
First, the small but important details: the books are British. This means splendid names like Hermione and wicked expressions like “blimey”, and all the movies subsequently are filled with delectable British accents. Harry’s also probably the only hero out there who wears glasses. I don’t know, I guess glasses make a protag seem less kick-butt or something, but I do know that this makes him all the more unique.
Now, onto the major stuff.
J K Rowling knows how to write a fantasy — her world-building is just spectacular. Hogwarts, the Ministry of Magic, the Quidditch World Cup, the Weasleys’ Burrow… each aspect of of the worlds of wizards and Muggles (that’s non-wizard for you noobs) is alive and potent.
A medicinal ingredient over which Snape and Harry have their first altercation in The Philosopher’s Stone (book #1) ends up saving Ron’s life in The Half-Blood Prince (book #6). A mysterious locket in The Order of the Phoenix (book #5), just an item on a list of objects turned out for spring-cleaning, turns out to be an item of extreme importance in The Deathly Hallows (book #7). Backstore secrets unwind and untangle throughout the whole tapestry, from Sirius Black’s true role in The Prisoner of Azkaban (book #3) to the stunning revelation about Snape in the final book.
And the sweeping scope of the content. Oh, gosh, I think I’m going to have to devote a whole paragraph to the theme of love itself.
No, it’s not girl-boy love, although that does show up in the later books. It’s the idea that love can conquer evil. That sounds cheesy, I know, but when it’s Harry’s only protection, only weapon against Lord Voldemort’s evil, and JKR shows us just how he manages it, it’s awe-inspiring. Especially concerning Snape at the end of The Deathly Hallows… it makes me teary thinking about it.
Every novel in the Harry Potter series reads like an episode, almost like they don’t have much to do with each other… but then all the pieces come together and it’s just BRILLIANT.
Seriously now. Why haven’t you read Harry Potter yet?
#1 - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
#2 - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
#3 - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
#4 - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
#5 - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
#6 - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
#7 - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Leave pretty thoughts in the comments for Eden, will you? =) Also, hmmm... who is your favourite Harry Potter character??