Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The last few years have seen me reading fewer and fewer books. There are only so many hours in the day and my reduced book-reading activity seems to have been replaced with an increased internet-browsing addiction. I’ve also been watching less television too.

Less TV is probably a good thing but fewer books perhaps not so much. I used to really enjoy reading a good novel and I’m not sure why my attention has shifted away from fiction quite so much.

However, I’ve now read two books in under two weeks. That’s good going for me even when compared to my previous reading habits. I had my interest re-piqued by the fabulous Old Man’s War by John Scalzi and now I’ve finally succumbed to finishing off the tales of Harry Potter.

It’s amazing that I’ve not found out what happens in The Deathly Hallows before now. The book has been out for ages and I’d managed to see one of the major plot-twists for book six before I’d got around to reading that one. This made the book far more interesting that the Half Blood Prince.

Overall, I was mightily impressed. JK Rowling has managed to round everything up in under 600 pages (just!) and has trimmed down a lot of the unnecessary chaff as seen in previous efforts. It could still have been a lot shorter (I have no idea how younger readers manage to plough all the way through these books sometimes) but it was a rather exciting read.

Most of the plot-twists are predictable but there are still a few surprising moments in store. Rowling has made an astonishing effort to plant certain seeds from the very first novel and it all seems to come together very well indeed in this final volume. There are some rather tedious stretches in the middle but there’s usually some fight or dangerous situation not too far away.

The series has become darker and darker as it went on and The Deathly Hallows usurps all previous efforts in that regard. Remember all those magical creatures introduced in the earlier novels? Well just about every single one of them returns for the final battle, helping to bring all seven novels to a satisfying close.

I don’t think that JK Rowling would win any prizes for her prose, but she knows how her characters work and she’s been very clever with her plotting. Even this cynical 38 year-old  was dragged into the excitement of some scenes and I had to stay up until 1am last night to finish it off, even though I had to start work at 6am.

It’s been a while since I read The Goblet of Fire but I think this final entry in the Potter story probably pips it to the Best Novel prize of the seven. Only the fifth book disappointed me (it was very tedious mostly) and it’s been well worth the effort of reading them.

However, I think it’s time to be reading some proper adult fiction for now. I have some Dark Tower novels to read and some more Thomas Covenant to get into, along with all these free novels from Tor. I’m sure that some further purchases from the Tor back-catalogue will also be forthcoming.

It looks like I shall be “unplugging” more frequently so that I can insert my nose into more books. That’s a good thing right?

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