The latest book in the Harry Potter series is twice as long as the previous one (which was twice as long as the one before it), it darker and somebody actually dies in it. Somebody not evil. That doesn't make it worth reading though.
The fact that it's well written and highly entertaining, does make it worth reading though. As you may remember from the end of book four (I'm guessing that you've read the previous four book, if not, what are you doing here? Go read them and then come back. Spoilers for the fourth book ahead), Voldemort, is back. But it's still summertime and Harry is with the Dursleys. His friends aren't telling him anything and he got no idea what Voldemort is up to. The sun may be shining, but Harry seems to have been left in the dark. The one day Harry is forced to use magic to save himself and his stupid cousin Dudley, which of cause means that Harry is expelled from Hogwarts and that he's going to loose his wand. Okay, it could probably have been interesting, if those two things actually happened, but of cause (as everybody who's the least interesting in these thing has heard Rowlings say that she is going to write a book for each of Harry's years at Hogwarts, giving us a total of seven books), this doesn't happen. What does happen is that Voldemort stays hidden and just about everybody thinks Potter a loony, when he keeps on saying that Voldemort is back.
The crazy thing is, that even with the record breaking amount of action in this book, it's more like a prequel to something bigger, than anything else. We do get lots of new information, but we don't really reach any kind of resolution. Fights are fought and casualties are had on both sides, but this only makes the "game" that more serious. We get a much wider look of the world of magic and a lot better understanding of the "battlefield" in this book – in other words, we are being prepared for something big.
Rowlings is ever amazing. The first three books where contained stories, fitting into the formula of going (back) to school, fixing problem and then having a well deserved summer vacation, at the Dursleys. The fourth where a bit more complex, but this the fifth story is twice as long and still just the prequel to what is to come. Here's hoping that Rowlings will be done with the sixty Potter book really soon...
Written on 16th July 2003 by TC.
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