Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Book Review: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows (J.K.Rowling-in-it)

It's not the weekend, but what the heck. Better get this out before I kill myself trying to think of better things to write about it.

Oh, and don't worry.

NO SPOILERS HERE

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Title: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows
Author: J.K. Rowling-In-It


Synopsis:
What, you actually need a synopsis? Ok fine. Last book in the Potter series, Boy Wizard growing up and needs to get laid, and Evil Wizard trying to kill him and take over the world. Boy Wizard and his annoying friends need to find some stupidly-named Horcrux thingies that will conveniently kill Evil Wizard when destroyed.

What I Liked:
  • SNAPE.
  • Pretty exciting in parts
  • Ahhhh... so that's what it's all about.
  • Better than the last two books but that's not saying much.
  • It's over! Finally! Or at least it damn well better be...
  • Some nice touches here and there
  • The ending.... not too bad.

What I didn't Like:
  • NOT. ENOUGH. SNAPE.
  • WTF's a 'Deathly Hallow' anyway?
  • Hairy Putter is ANNOYING.
  • Reads like it was written with movie in mind
  • Simple storyline, overdone execution
  • Still about 200 pages too long
  • Some parts damn draggy and pointless.
  • ..... is this still supposed to be a children's book?
  • Some parts damn corny
  • The ending... not too good either.
  • Final chapter... urgh.

Summary:
After all that hoo-haa about the book being sold or not being sold, spoilers popping up all over the internet and massive queues of suckers lining up at 5am to get a bloody book that could be lifted off the shelf with minimum fuss later in the afternoon and bought with minimum queueing involved, I have to say that the book is really not worth all that hype.

The first thing I said to myself after finishing this book was, "WHY the hell do I keep getting suckered into reading and finishing this crappy book within one day of its release?". The answer: A combination of kiasuness, the fear of spoilers on the Internet and of course, the urge to have something to blog about. Shoot me now.

IMHO, what was initially a brilliantly simple and fun concept that spawned a really fun children's fantasy story in the first three books has become an extremely mediocre, long-winded and overindulgent series of books that could have been so much better in the hands of much better writer.

Take The Deathly Hallows for instance. 600+ freaking pages, which is about 200 pages too much, I reckon. It's amazing how a simple 'fantasy quest' story of Harry Potter going after the Horcruxes could become such an overwrought and complicated mess in Rowling-in-it's hands.

Sure, you could argue that Tolkien took about 2000 pages too long to throw a damn ring into Mount Doom, but that's beside the point. The point is, at least the songs and parties the Hobbits had with Tom Bombadil were hell of a lot more imaginative than Harry Pooper screaming, complaining and emoing over and over again.

At least LOTR felt as if you were in another world. THIS one however, reads almost as if Rowling was already imagining the MOVIE'S set-pieces in her mind, with 'money shots' all over the places, and action set-pieces just cropping up in each location the characters visit (speaking of which, she also seemed to be on a mission to cram every single location, character, monster and obscure spell that was ever mentioned in the previous 6 books into this one, and the way some of them crop up is just bloody out-of-place).

As for Potter himself, the guy is probably at his most unappealing EVER in the last three books, what with him screaming and emoing and complaining all the time. Even RON is more fun than Harry now. I'd like a whole book dedicated to Snape though. He's probably the only character that Rowling created that actually had a little bit of SOUL in him.

There ARE some good points of the book though. At least things are all tied up now. Everything is explained here (in the most textbook and unoriginal way), SOME set pieces are actually pretty exciting (even if you could already picture it unfolding on the movie screen in coming years), and best of all, the final book in this godawfully long-winded series is finally done.

My main gripe, ultimately, is that the potential of the series and the character was spoiled by the over-hyped success of the book, resulting in Rowling becoming more and more self-indulgent with each book. Eventually, this completely destroyed the simple concept and the magically innocent spirit of the story, which was what made the first three books so enjoyable in the first place.

Anyway, now that the series is done, I have only this to say: Good riddance. Now people, move on to better books, PLEASE.

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