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Showing 1-10 of 5,215 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 21,539 reviews
on July 5, 2017
We find out more about Harry's parents and their friends. The man who was convicted of betraying Harry's parents escaped from Azkaban. They thought he was heading to Hogwarts to kill Harry. The adults felt it was better to not tell Harry.

Another interesting book. Very easy to read. Very hard to put down.
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on September 3, 2007
This is the last book in a seven book series that reads as one long fabulous story, a fantasy classic for all ages. It stands with JRR Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" in that it started out as a children's book: "The Hobbit" in Tolkien's case; "The Sorcerer's Stone" in Rowling's case, and both moved on quickly, as if of their own volition, to proceed away from a simple child's story and become a real world in fact, with humor, tragedy, love, and loss and a great overwhelming evil that the decent people are required to fight in order to keep their self-respect and honor. In each case, the sagas are works that can be appreciated by every age. The Harry Potter series gives us characters as real as any people we have known. They have faults and frailties, we have seen them grow and mature before our eyes through the series from childhood to late adolescence with all that entails, and we have come to really care for them. Though surrounded by magic, by potions, by fantastic animals, and unknown species, the main characters are deeply human. The world they live in is similar to our own, but has the added ingredient of magic, which all the major characters can use. However for much of the story magic is a sideline---very important, discussed and used continually--- but not as important as those very human qualities of friendship, love and trust which actually pull the characters through their losses, to fight their battles, and get them through the on-going great battle with almost overwhelming evil. The human qualities inevitably trump the magical ones in this world: The protective spell of a mother's love...sacrificing oneself for one's friends...those qualities and others are more powerful than spells, potions and wand-work. This, the final book is an excellent entry to the series. Every thread is tied up, and a surprising new subplot is introduced. There is much fighting and death, but it is for a cause well worth fighting for, which mirrors events of our times, and no death is for shock value or the wantoness of blood, gore and pain. The losses suffered by the good people in these last two books have been enormous, yet, again, suffered meaningfully for that great cause, and always appropriate and always mourned. As the book ends, one feels that this world exists and will continue. The work which is the seven part series will stand, I think, in the fantasy literature genre as a classic to be read and remembered. The word "heart" is used frequently, and "heart" is at the center of this world: love, friendship and self-sacrifice are themes repeated over and over, and are the touchstones of this world and what make it special. No recent great work has so unashamedly been so clear on that point, and that is what has drawn so many to it.
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on August 30, 2007
One curious aspect of the 7th and final Harry Potter book is that, after 6 years of education at Hogwarts, the 7th year takes place largely outside of the hollowed halls of England's Magic School. Luckily, that's just a detail - we still get a deep and extended plot full of the peripheral characters that makes the Harry Potter universe so fulfulling. And yes, Minerva McGonagall still has a significant part to play.... As the story starts, Harry and his mates (i.e. Hermione and Ron) have decided to skip the last year at Hogwarts and concentrate on the quest given Harry by the late Hogwarts headmaster, Dumbledore. The quest is well-known to Potter readers: Voldemort is unkillable because he's split his soul into several pieces. Harry's job: find the remaining pieces of Voldemort's soul and destroy them, allowing the corporeal Voldemort to finally be destroyed.

The greater wizarding world is awash in mysterious disappearances/deaths as Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters step up their campaign to take over first the wizarding world and then the (non-magical) world at large. In such a world order, non-magical beings would become 2nd-class citizens, and even magical people of non-magical heritage (e.g. Hermione) would be stripped of their rights. Harry is target #1, declared by prophecy that only he or Voldemort (but not both) may live. The book is mostly a cat-and-mouse game of Harry trying to find the Horocruxes containing Voldemort's soul pieces, and Voldemort trying to locate and defeat Harry. In an inspired plot idea, Rowling has Voldemort pursuing a separate quest to Harry's, and Harry having to decide whether to attack/prevent Voldemort's ambitions at the expense of Harry's own quest.

There are battles aplenty, and deaths aplenty as well. There have been rumours of Harry's death at the end of Book 7 ever since the series turned serious (around Book 3, probably). Naturally I won't say whether Harry (or anyone else) dies in this review, but I will say that Rowling's writing throws enough twists and turns into the plot that you certainly believe it possible that Harry could die. The plot twists are well earned, however - while there is one "deus ex machina" moment where something appears for no good reason other than "it's magical", all the other twists grow organically from this book and from the previous books in the series. Rowling makes good use of her accumulated extended cast and background lore. It makes this final book complete and satisfying, even if one or more of your favourite characters are doomed to end up in the graveyard at the end.

Thus, I think it's safe to say that Potter fans will largely be satisfied with the conclusion to the series (at least, those I've talked to have been!). In the overall scheme of things, I still regard "Goblet of Fire" to be the best in the series. This book falls somewhere in the middle - perhaps not as engaging as Prisoner of Azkaban or Half-Blood Prince, but certainly far superior to Order of the Phoenix.
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VINE VOICEon August 14, 2007
Having grown up with great series like Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables, The Lord of The Rings, Piers Anthony's Xanth Books, The Chronicles of Narnia, and many more I feel like I have the insight to be able to compare and contrast this book with the best of them. I eagerly awaited book 7, warned all around me that no HP talk was aloud until I was finished. My husband also reads the books and we agreed that for this last one, we would buy one copy (which we purchased on Amazon, and it was delivered the day the book came out as promised) and he would read it to me so that both of us could find out what was happening at the same time. I was certain that I would laugh, cry, and cheer and it did not disappoint. Other reviewers have had complaints that:
*"The book lulled, and felt bogged down at points especially when they were in the forest", and I don't agree with that. On the way through a journey, an adventure, not everything can be quickly paced and I think JK did a marvelous job showing us the passage of time while Ron, Harry, and Hermione had to keep moving.
*"There was no $ex" which blows my mind those readers expected any $exual scenes in this book, or any of the others at all. "Harry is 18, Boys that age have urges" and that is true, but boys that age aren't running for their lives, protecting loved ones, and carrying around a piece of an evil wizards soul. It's sick to expect anything more than honor and dedication from the characters in this series.
*"JK Left so many plot holes" Where? Did we read the same book, she left nothing a mystery, she made no mistakes, and she tied everything up. Including the Horcruxe/Hallows thing, she didn't just throw in the hallows for the 7th book, they have been there since the beginning.
*"JK doesn't tell us what happened to all the characters" Does she really have to? I would have been so turned off if at the end she just spent a chapter painting a lovely scenario for every single character use your imagination!
*"the epilogue was cheesy" And I can see how many think that, the book could have ended on Harry going back up to Gryffindor tower to go to bed, but JK chose to put the little happy ending in, I liked it, didn't love it, but I understood it.

I invested a lot of emotion in this book, and I yelled lot of "YES" and "NO!" I held my breath, and I sighed with content. The Characters that die, some surprised me and some didn't, I wept, and sobbed, and snarfled into my pillow, I will forever mourn their loss. There were times I was so stressed out, knots in my throat that I feared for my mental health! In the end, when we put it down, I felt satisfied and relieved and more than a bit sad that it was over. I personally do not want her to write any more Harry Potter books, because without Snape they wouldn't be the same. Thank you JK Rowling, for giving me a lifelong love of the wizarding world, and a permanent place for me to escape into, curl up next to crookshanks and relive it all over again.
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on July 23, 2007
This book is simply Harry Potter meets the Godfather. Unlike many or most children's books, there are a lot of hurt and dead people between pages. And, that may be the reason why I liked this book more than the six previous publications.

Also, Potter fans know the nuances. They have become accustomed to Rowling's great language among the wizards (Is there a greater term than "muggle?") . With familiarity comes comfort, with comfort comes enjoyment. In turn, the greater the familiarity bestows greater enjoyment.

Now, one would think I am implying that her formula was simple: Just write more and be more appreciated. Actually, this book could have bombed. Pottermaniacs have such great expectations - which makes each book more difficult. You have heard of television wearing out a concept - they call it "Jump the Shark." I am sure Rowling and her publishers were sincerely concerned about Book 7 "jumping the shark." I guarantee you that this book did not come close to jumping the shark - in fact the opposite is true. Some disgruntled readers deplore the ending's epilogue "Nineteen Years Later." This may be legitimate. Rowling infuriated fans. Why? Because we must grow up and realize that the epilogue leads readers to the logical conclusion that Harry Potter books have come to a close. Ouch. They did not end because of "jump the shark" reasons. This veteran player did not leave the game after its prime. This series ended in aplomb. Rowling, like a great player, hit a home run her last at bat with Harry Potter.

This is a great year for Potter. Book 5, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix", was for may their least popular book - but was one of the better films among the five thus far produced. And, this book is overwhelmingly a Pottermaniac's favorite.

And, it seems that Rowling's writing style has matured. Vocabulary seems stronger. Some of the verse is flavorful. She starts right off with Doyle-like description of English manor gardens: "The high hedge curved with them, running off into the distance beyond the pair of impressive wrought-iron gates barring the men's ways. . . Gravel crackled beneath their feet as Snape and Yaxley sped toward the door. . ." She is underestimated in her writing skills and overly presumed to be thriving only from her imaginative plots. Oh do not be fooled - this is a really talented writer - stylistically as well as content.

After reading these books, one must wonder about Rowling The above-cited verse is strong. The dialogue is strong, and the concepts are "out of this world." . For most Pottermaniacs, she is their most read writer. The seven books total more than 3,868 pages (American Publications) [respectively 259, 256, 320, 752, 870, 652, and 769 pages]. That is a tremendous number of pages to read from three or more authors. But, Rowling has awed us to not only read, but buy the hardbacks en masse - on the date of release!!

Pottermania is more than mania - it is a phenomenon. And, Rowling should be heralded for it. She changed the rules for NY Times' Best Seller's List - after having 3 or 4 books on the list for period exceeding one year, the rules changed to exclude children's books forever from that list.

For those who are younger than I am - my children are deemed too old for Harry - I offer some advice of those you may want to read, based upon concepts within her books.

If you like the plots and nuances of the issues: pull out Doyle's "Sherlock Holmes" series at the library. Also, Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code" or Deception Point" may give you further intrigue.

If you liked the suspense, and enjoyed the mild gore - look to America's unique venue of mystery gumshoe novels by Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Micky Spillane, John MacDonald, and James Ellroy among so many others.

If you likes the concepts of speaking to the dead and out-of-body experiences, try Philip K. Dick, Stephen King (his books are equally long), or Tony Vigorito.

If you are a science fiction lover, try the "Dune" series by Frank Herbert and his writing heirs, Isaac Asmiov or Edgar Rice Burroughs.

If those names are new to you, great. If you are familiar with those names, you would know that I am putting Rowling in company with writers of great fame and who have all won awards (Dick actually has an award named after him).

Don't be surprised if an award is named after this writer in the near future.
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on July 23, 2007
If Rowling intended for Harry to go out with a bang and a boom, she succeeded. Both for her plucky character (and perhaps a bit for herself). She finally breaks the barrier between childish escapism and the harsh realities of evil-perhaps plunging some of her younger fans into waters they are unable to navigate. (Ahoy thair be sharks here)

One thing is for certain throughout-Rowling has poured more of herself into this tome as if to inbue the Deathly Hallows with a bit of her own soul-our own Horcrux for the fans. That is how I will always remember it in that first reading, an exhaustively written story, which could not have been created without some serious reflection.

The Deathly Hallows is, simply put, a firecracker whose sizzling fuse resonates from chapter to chapter culminating to its bittersweet ending. It rarely lets up, from start to finish. Questions that have haunted us for years are answered as our resilient Dumbledorians grapple with a wizarding world that has gone truly mad.

Hermione finally recognizes who is truly in her heart-Ron stumbles from immaturity to take the lead in some sequences, Neville is finally worthy of his parents Auror legacy, Snapes' astounding and poignant declaration, the remorse of the Dursley's (well at least one of them feels remorse)all of it ends up too dizzying for words.

What fans will find most exciting is that the Order of the Phoenix and Dumbledore's Army realize they are not alone, that the wizarding community from the giants, to the trolls, to the house elves, to the goblins will not be put down by insidious Death Eater propaganda. Even a coup d'etat at the Ministry of Magic will not stamp out the hope radiating from the united.

Fans will forever remember the scene in the Lord of the Rings when entire Middle Earth banded together against a common foe. So is the same with Harry and his followers as they batten down the hatches. Truly, Hogwarts is a fitting place-the only place for the final battle to unfold, its bastion of chilish innocence coming face-to-face with a war brought to its door.

It is these connections that permeate and reinforce the strength of the story, the only elemental allegory that we recognize-that of good and evil. even Harry, as their unwitting leader, and as the sacrificial lamb, learns that painful lesson at King's Cross.

Rowling gives us a glorious calvacade that is deadly, vivid, melancholy and bittersweet, but oh so satisfying. Some will be left crying, some wanting more, feeling in wont of a friend, and perhaps some will also be replete, satisfied and are able to push away filled without need for more.

It is truly an end of an era. We'll miss you Harry.Copyright(c)Nicola Mattos
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VINE VOICEon July 26, 2007
This is not a perfect book. But then again, the Harry Potter series is not a perfect series. It has flaws, though many of them, particularly the two-dimensional villians, are fixed in this, the (apparently... possibly... probably...), final chapter of the series.

You already know the plot. There's a decent chance you already know the ending. I knew it before I started to read the book, but despite that fact, I found this an astonishingly good read.

J K Rowling's greatest strength as a writer lies in her ability to create a vivid and complete world that exists next to our own. Like our world it has heroes and villians, flaws and successes, triumph and tragedy.

The book itself is somewhat more of a weighty read than the previous volumes. I was able to dash through books 1, 2 and 3 in a single sitting. Book four took me a couple days. Books five and six occupied my time for even longer. This book took four days to read. It can't just be breezed through in one easy go.

This book plays out like grand opera in many ways. Some of the characters we've grown to know and despise are redeemed, and others we have grown to love have a bit of a dark shadow cast upon them. Questions we've wondered about since the first book are answered (and I was particularly pleased with myself for figuring out what was going on with Dumbledore's fate at the end of the last book), and while the new book does raise up a few new questions, it mostly presents a fine ending to the series.

The more adult feel to his particular novel also presents Rowling with a chance to actually use some of the double-entrendes we've all been thinking about since book one (for example a comment about wizards being obsessed with the size of their wands).

The book is not without flaws. For much of the book, it seems like we're on a camp-out with the kids. I also wasn't hugely fond of the very end of the book, though I didn't hate it like many other people seem to have. Plus, of course, the slash-fiction fan in me was disapointed that neither Ron nor Draco confessed their true love to Harry, but, oh, well. I think I'll live. :)

In the end, this is the best of the Harry Potter books. It's a worthwhile and definate conclusion to the series and great reading. The price tag is a little steep, but thanks to Amazon's deep discount, it's not really all that bad.

But really, I'm not sure why I, or anyone else, writes reviews of something like this. The book is bullet-proof. If you've read the first six, you'll read this. If you haven't read them, go back and read them, then come to this one. You'll be happy you did.
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on April 4, 2014
I've read them all - usually in a few days after meeting the postman at the mailbox - then preferring to pass them on to others (only to find that my wife - another HP/JKR junkie) - has stashed them in the guest room. We took our granddaughter to NYC to see Mary Poppins on Broadway - she brought a Potter/Rowling book along and buried her nose in it on the train to and from the City, through lunch and at every intermission [she had already read it ONCE and was going through it the second time!) What can I say more? Well, that this one is the beginning of the end of the series and pulls together many loose ends, answer questions I did not know I had and making sense of much while leaving plenty for #7!
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on September 3, 2009
The Harry Potter series will stand, not on it's merit, but on its social impact. The Deathly Hallows is the culmination of an important chapter in so many adolescent lives that it hardly matters whether it is a good book or not.

But, the fact is it does fall short. The whimsy of Hogwarts has always set it apart from run-of-the mill fantasy stories, but that important feature is missing in this volume. Without the characters attending Hogwarts, the story settles into a derivative "quest" epic. It's not a bad one as quests go. Maybe a little slow and dreary, as the first 500 pages serve to simply drive home the point that times are dark indeed. It has decent puzzles, mysteries, and plot twists. But, it lacks anything to rise above the standard fare in that genre.

The bigger problem though, is the poor fit of the characters we all know and love in the epic battle against evil. It is necessarily a violent struggle, with death and mayhem. But, Harry Potter and his friends are gentle children. Putting them into fierce battle scenes simply doesn't work. There are too many contrivances that served to avoid having them actually seriously hurt anyone. That conflict could have been shaped into a moral dilemma, but instead it just feels awkward, as if they wandered into this story by mistake.

In the end though, it is a satisfying conclusion. The challenge for Rowling was to add some surprise to the climax, not suspense. In that regard, she succeeded.
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on January 4, 2008
The final book in the series. The ongoing battle between Voldemort and Harry Potter finally reaches its culmination, and loose ends are wrapped up. The last book left us with the impression that Harry would not return to Hogwarts, and indeed he, Ron and Hermione go on a quest for Horcruxes instead of heading back to school, in the hopes that gathering and destroying the Horcruxes will finally destroy Voldemort forever. Of course it's not quite that simple, and as Rowling warned us, we lose a few beloved characters on the way towards the final confrontation.

At the risk of being lynched by fellow Potter lovers, I have to say that I was a little disappointed in this final installment, which should have been the best one and should have put a terrific final cap on what has been a truly groundbreaking and brilliant series. Rowling is as engaging as ever, but I was very disappointed in the way she wrapped up certain elements. I expected much more development of the Snape situation, for instance. The reason behind his hatred for Harry was exactly what I thought it was, so I felt vindicated there, but I did not like the quick, rather cop-out method Rowling used to finish that story line. Similarly, I expected further development of Draco and Harry's tense relationship, given the occurrences in the book 6 and the other side of Draco we glimpsed there. Some people feel that it was developed exactly as it should have been, so this is just my personal opinion and what I personally had hoped for.

The climactic scene was unique and innovative, I thought, and I liked the way she played that out. I was a little less impressed by the epilogue - a bit too neat, I thought.

Overall, though, this has been one of the most entertaining series' I have ever, ever read, and I anticipate reading it from start to finish many more times.
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