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Book Review: The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Harry potter book review

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?

10 thoughts on “Book Review: The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

  1. I will always be grateful to J. K. Rowling for turning my son into a reader. Although he loved it when I read to him, as a child, it was difficult for him to want to pick up a book on his own. But, when it came to Harry Potter he was not satisfied with the hour or two a night I could give him.

    I’ve read the whole series, mostly due to my boy and I working through them together. And I agree that they cannot compare to Lord of The Rings, or even Narnia, but in their own right they are original and worth reading. Such creativity! That was the best part. Along with wishing I was in Hogwarts with them.

    • Yes, Rowling truly inspired a whole new generation of readers. The sense of escapism these books evoke is simply delightful. Being in Hogwarts would have been fun indeed. Wish I was in Gryffindor Quidditch team.

  2. I never finished His Dark Materials although I did get all the way through The Wheel of Time which I enjoyed but had its flaws.

    I thought Order of the Phoenix was the low point of the Potter series, it lacked the magic that the earlier books had and those clever clues within the text, I thought that that fast paced style would have been better for the sixth book as it starts the big tying up of various plot threads. For me Prisoner was the high point mainly because it started getting dark and I love a bit of darkness.

  3. I opened this post first just to judge whether I ought to follow your blog. :p Full disclosure: I wouldn’t have followed it if you hadn’t liked the series, needless of how much I liked your other posts. (I do like them very much, if you’re wondering. As you’ll discover by the sudden barrage of ‘likes’ you’ll suddenly get )

    • Thanks a ton for following and you have an awesome blog too! It’s great that we are both members of Harry Potter fan club. I look forward to regular comments and likes from you and I am glad to have another book loving blogger friend 🙂

      P.S. Following you on Twitter

      • I love your blog! Thanks for following my blog. Yes. Harry Potter has a special place in my life and always will. 😀 I’m very excited to discover other books and talk about other books that I love with you. 🙂
        I’m following you back! 🙂

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