This review will be in inverse proportion to the size of this last installment in the gallant life of Harry Potter.
Overall Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was a disappointing read, lacking the page-turning narrative of the earlier novels. There was an enormous wealth of material in the 607 pages of the hardback edition, which I borrowed from a colleague several (>2) months ago, but struggled to get past page 10. There were too many locations, too much moving around the country with too little action in each scene. When they come to film it, a screenwriter is going to enjoy collapsing the plot structure down to a much simpler set of steps to get the main characters back to Hogwarts for the final scene(s).
About fifty pages from the end, it seemed like it was nearly over. But like the last Bond film, it wasn’t quite there yet. Just one more scene, and then another. And the Nineteen Years Later section seemed unnecessary – a sop to diehard fans who wanted certainty of their characters future, rather than leaving that to the fan fiction to sort out.
But to end on a positive note, I
enjoyed appreciated the final resolution between Potter and Voldemort (or Riddle as we were reminded near the end). Seemed fitting.
There’s satisfaction in getting to the end – but a bit like complete L Ron Hubbard’s Invasion Earth dekalogy all those years ago, the elastic in the bungee cord that’s meant to draw the reader to the final page had got a bit weak, and it was loyalty and a sense of completion rather than sheer joy that got be to the end.