Belated happy new year to my blogger friends! Finally managed to sneak out again from the miserable real world to the blogosphere. It had been a great year and hope you had a great one too. For me, the year moved at a break neck speed and The Book Haven was left stranded while its captain was a stranger in a strange land.
The major bookish achievement this year was to finish the Harry Potter Series (yeah, the movies too). Alright, it’s not retro and doesn’t belong to this blog. Also, I admit I was hopelessly prejudiced against the Potter boy and Rowling before taking up Philosopher’s Stone reluctantly. It was one of my friends who argued that it was a rubbish attitude to make fun of something without reading it. I couldn’t answer and decided to make a point by reading the book.
So I finished reading the first book. And had to eat my own words.
Blimey! Why on earth I kept pushing it away for so long? The Philosopher’s Stone was as original as Tolkien’s LoTR. Of course, it lacked the depth of a classic and was not a work of art created by a professor of Anglo-Saxon, but there’s no denying that it was way ahead of most books in the genre.
Movie: 3.5 / 5 (pretty descent stuff)
Chamber of Secrets is possibly the best book in the series in terms of plot. Basilisk and Tom Riddle’s diary were freaking awesome. And who could forget the flying car over Muggle London? God, the series was getting better and better.
Movie: 4/ 5 (Quite quite good)
The Prisoner of Azkaban felt like a letdown though. Sirius Black and Lupin were great characters; the dementors were creepy, but overall the plot seemed weak.
Movie: 2.5/ 5 (Meh! Cool special effects though)
With The Goblet of Fire, Rowling was back in form. The Triwizard tournament was outright genius. I believe, it was from this novel that the series started to take a dark turn. The book had a really eerie beginning and introduced Nagini, Voldemort’s infernal pet.
Movie: 3/ 5 (Not bad)
The Order of the Phoenix had some outstanding moments. Battle of the Ministry is perhaps the best thing about it. Bellatrix murdered Sirius Black – dang, that was a shock (thought he and James were both better than Bellatrix).
I believe it is virtually impossible to invent a character more annoying that Dolores Umbridge. Cool job by Rowling! However, the plot seemed loose and without purpose. Rowling seemed to describe the daily life at Hogwarts without any intention of going further and things fell in line again only towards the end.
Movie: 3/ 5 (Nothing very special here)
Sectumsempra! Aren’t you bleeding yet from the curse invented by the Half-blood price? Fantastic plot, great speed, dark magic, perilous missions, shocking betrayals, and tragic end. Wow! Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince deserves to be one of your favourite novels in the series. If not for anything else, you can remember it simply because of the ghastly concept of Horcrux.
Movie: 3.5/ 5 (Lives up to the expectations)
The epic conclusion. The Deathly Hollows is my favourite book in the series. This one is truly tragic in tone from the beginning till the end. Incredible action, unforeseen twists, meticulously crafted characters and dialogues make the concluding episode an unforgettable journey. The battle of Hogwarts is nothing short of epic. What a finish. Avada Kedavra!
Movie – The Deathly Hollows Part I: 4/ 5 (Great job)
Movie – The Deathly Hollows Part 2: 4.5/ 5 (Best in the series)
I would rate Harry Potter series at par with Pullman’s His Dark Materials and Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time. It’s not The Lord of the Rings or The Game of Thrones but then it doesn’t need to be. Harry Potter is best the way it is.
The movies could have been better. They were cartoonish to begin with and gradually improved but none of them were like The Two Towers. What a pity!
What do you think of the Harry Potter series?