Book Reviews

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J. K. Rowling (2007).

Harry Potter’s has been one of great adventure, bravery, and daring, and it is with more than a little sadness that I review the final novel in this great series authored by J. K. Rowling. We meet Harry for the final time in the confines of Privet Drive in the company of a very stressed aunt and uncle whom have been his parental guardians for the last 17 years. It is the last time which Harry is ever required to say goodbye, and it ends up being one of the strangest partings he has ever endured with the Dursley’s. His cousin Dudley is even aware that there is great danger and with great difficulty thanked Harry for saving his life the previous year, and even showing something similar to concern for Harry’s well being.

It isn’t long after this departure that things become dark and dangerous very quickly, and along with Ron and Hermoine, Harry begins the dangerous endeavour of destroying Horcrux’s. The last mission that Dumbledore had left Harry before he died. We watch as these amazing characters find the strength to go on fighting, while they know their friends and family are possibly being tortured or killed. Even though Ron leaves, for just a short period of time, it gives readers an insight into just how close and strong their friendship is, and because of this they find things more difficult without the third party to the trio. Readers are engrossed especially during this time as we watch Ron admit his feelings towards Hermoine, and Harry explain that his relationship with her has always ever been plutonic and nothing more. We also watch as Ron and Hermoine finally get their act together and kiss!

For the longest time readers believe Severus Snape is evil, and has been working against Harry Potter the entire time. But it is in this novel that Snape’s true nature is exposed, and we learn that he is not the malignant character we had always believed. In fact he turns out to be one of the bravest most intelligent characters. Obviously he has done his fair share of evil and is not in any way innocent by a long shot. But it is nice to know in the end that he wasn’t as bad as we thought he was, and makes the epilogue a total tear jerker! (Yes I was teary in Harry Potter!)

Dumbledore also makes a final appearance towards the end of the novel. Although Harry’s loyalty has been tested and his knowledge of the great wizard tainted with things he had no knowledge of, Harry still manages to find love and respect for the man who had always been so important in his life.

One of my favourite parts of the book would have to be the way Kreacher evolves into something close to a loveable creature. Once he is gifted with something making peace with Harry without being freed with clothes, he begins to help him becoming a formidable ally. My favourite scene (which yes brought a tear to my eye although I have read this book a number of times!), is when Kreacher leads the rest of Hogwarts house elves into war on the second advance against Voldemort during the battle at the school. In my minds eye I can picture all of these elves brandishing kitchen tools and attacking any ankle of Voldemorts army visible! Then with the attack of the other magical creatures, it really can be quite breath taking and joyful. J. K. Rowling really out does herself with the final battle scenes. It is fuelled with raw emotion and imagination from the reader and its not a wonder so many have fallen in love with this series.

I can not praise this book or series enough and it is something that sticks with you for a life time. I have to admit I feel privileged to have read the first novel in school as a kid and have been able to follow his life ever since. It has been an amazing journey and one that I can do over and over again without ever being bored. I recommend this book to anyone with even a sliver of imagination and give it the obvious rating of 10/10 stars.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J. K. Rowling (2003).

Harry Potter, who once thought he was an ordinary muggle, is again stepping forth into danger and deception in the fifth novel of the series – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Voldemort’s return in the last novel created a rift between wizarding kind, resulting in two obvious groups. Those who believe Harry’s story, and therefore support Dumbledore, and those that believe the Dark Lord has not returned in any way shape or form and therefore support Cornelius Fudge and the Ministry of magic. This all causes a great deal of fuss, and gives Voldemort the perfect opportunity to reek havoc and put his evil plans into action. At least that’s what Harry, Ron and Hermoine assume at first.

In this book Harry really matures and shows the kind of man he wants to be, choosing his own path and not necessarily the same path his father led, which he first thought was a perfect role model. Readers watch harry go from something of a frustrated brat in the way he behaves at the beginning of the book, to a slightly more mature and humble boy towards the end. But in saying that, Harry endures things that no child should suffer and it is this which gives the reader a reason to remain sympathetic. Harry’s connection to the Dark Lord is making him vulnerable and therefore dangerous to everyone else. So much so that Dumbledore believes it best to distance himself from Harry and dissuade members of the Order from giving him all of the knowledge of what has or will happen in accordance to their plans. Unfortunately this doesn’t work as he had hoped. Instead this lack of communication is the reason why Harry decides to act rashly and events, in turn, cause the untimely murder of his beloved godfather Sirius Black.

Ron and Hermione also experience an assortment of changes, each growing into young adults and allowing the reader glimpses of the people they will grow into. Ron finds much more confidence in himself. This is especially noticeable when Ron, along with the rest of the Griffindor Quidditch team win their first game. Hermoine begins to realise that not all rules are good, showing a more rebellious side to help fight on the side of good. She also shows her own sorts of courage when she plays devils advocate when Harry tries to rush to Sirius’ aid before trying to contact him in some way. As even Dumbledore himself has said before, it takes more for someone to stand up to ones friends than to ones enemies.
One of my most favourite detestable villain in all of the Harry Potter series is Professor Delores Umbridge. I find she depicts the perfect picture of a nasty evil person abusing her position of power. She is my favourite love to hate character. The scenes where she makes Harry write “I must not tell lies” in his own blood, causing bloody wounds to appear and the heal slowly on the back of his hand. The act is so evil it makes one’s blood boil. Thankfully Hermoine, is able to think quickly enough and manages to escape what could have been a nasty scenario that eventuates in Umbridge enduring her just deserves.
The inclusion of Neville and Luna in the final rescue mission really gives the feeling of love and loyalty amongst the characters, as well as showing readers that events that will follow really will need the work of all of them not just our favourite trio, but everyone. All of them fighting for what is right, for the greater good, showing loyalty to family friends and especially Dumbledore. Neville really shows a different side of himself during their adventure inside the ministry of magic. Still as clumsy as ever, Neville shows courage and bravery in the face of danger. He fought, (may be not real well but still!), against witches and wizards much more powerful, and although injured himself never stopped trying.
Its not until the end that we really find out what has happened to Albus Dumbledore and why he has been acting the way he has. He also explains to Harry the whole story behind his scar, and why the prophecy Voldemort had sought (not a weapon) had been connected. None of which is by any means good news. Harry realises that Dumbledore honestly wanted to protect him out of love, and it is the same love that made him blind and therefore underestimated him and his friends. 
One of the sadder though more intriguing moments of this book would have to be where Harry sees a past memory of Snape being tormented by his father, during an Occlemency lesson in which Professor Snape places memories he doesn’t want him to see in a pensive . All in the name of so called fun, because Sirius had said he was bored. I feel its this scene that gives Snape more heart to his character, showing readers a more vulnerable side to the sinister being he has become as an adult. It even makes Harry wonder if he really wants to be “just like his father”, like everyone’s always told him. Perhaps it also made him wonder that if it wasn’t for the cruel treatment caused by James Potter in their youth, then maybe Severus Snape wouldn’t have turned out to be the horrible individual he is now. 
Overall, without a doubt, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J. K. Rowling is an unquestionable classic that has entertained and amazed billions of readers just like its predecessors. Watching Harry and his friends grow-up and endure numerous dangerous and extremely traumatic trials has been a complete pleasure. I recommend this book to anyone of any age. I feel given the chance everyone could enjoy this series. To Harry Potter and the order of the Phoenix I give 10/10 stars.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J. K. Rowling (2005).

The 11 year old Harry from the first novel of this series seems far removed from the one found within the pages of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Now at age 16, Harry is almost a fully grown wizard, who has endured more than any child, wizard or not, should have to, and still manages to function properly! In this book, readers watch as the previous events from past novels come together and knit perfectly to reveal more of the story behind Lord Voldemort, and give us insight into what Harry needs to do to rid the world of Voldemort’s evil presence once and for all. Fortunately Harry isn’t alone in his mission, his friend Ron and Hermione right by his side, fighting right along with him.

Albus Dumbledore appears much more frequently in this book compared to other tittles in this series. Now that Harry has almost come of age, its seems he is now preparing him for the inevitable battle with the evil. He starts by giving Harry knowledge of the Dark Lord’s youth and past endeavours. Then, with Harry’s help, (and a little from professor Slughorn), is able to demystify the secret to Voldemort’s ability to have almost become immortal. Dumbledore also makes sure that Harry understands fully regarding the prophecy and how he Harry, has the ability and the power inside himself to defeat Voldemort. By explaining how the prophecy is only as real as the ones who believe them, and therefore it is Voldemort himself who had caused the prophecy to come true, Harry sees him in a whole different perspective. Armed with the knowledge of the past and present, Harry in a much better position to destroy Voldemort in the future. 

Meanwhile other storylines unfold! Although the main story bases itself a round Lord Voldemort, there are still other strands of the story that follow Harry and his friends giving the book a lighter side as well. Now that the trio are much older, it isn’t a surprise that they have matured enough to find interest in the opposite sex! Ron ends up kissing Lavender Brown during the heat of the moment after an unexpected win in Quidditch. Harry is just as surprised as Ron by the match, however poor Hermoine finds it all very distressing, since she herself has developed her own special feelings for Ron. After all she had considered as king him as her guest to slug horn’s Christmas party. Thankfully Harry is there to console her. Even though he has also discovered he has developed certain feelings for an already taken Ginny Weasley.

Regardless of this, the sadness is hard not to embrace as it is well known that it is not just the famed Aragog of Hagrid’s who dies amongst these pages. Albus Dumbledore also shows us a much more real side of himself as he takes time to give Harry his lessons. I believe the saddest and most difficult part to digest is when Harry and Dumbledore retrieve the Horcrux at the bottom of a stone basin. Its here that we see the mighty Dumbledore that we are all so used to, being zapped of strength and poisoned by the very potion he continues to drink. Readers watch as he becomes as weak as a kitten before being murdered by the one man Dumbledore believed to have been remorseful and therefore reformed into a better person, Severus Snape. Faux’s lament and the sentiments of the magical creatures who dwell in and around the grounds of Hogwarts, such as the Fire arrows sent by the centaurs, was most definitely a tear jerker.

But even though all seems lost now without Dumbledore, There is still much hope in Harry Potter himself. After all, it was something Dumbledore made a point of ensuring Harry understood completely. Overall, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince another great classic created by the amazing talents of J. K. Rowling. The story is captivating to a vast variety of age groups, as even the most jaded reader can find interest in the Harry Potter story. I recommend this novel to anyone with anything that resembles a spark of imagination and therefore completely deserves a 10/10 star rating.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J. K. Rowling (2000).

The fourth instalment of the Harry Potter series has a much darker over tone than its three predecessor’s. The excitement of Harry returning to The Burrow and the amusement of how he manages to travel starts the novel off light heartedly. However, things turn dark at the end of the Quidditch World Cup, and the new addition of Death Eaters gives the novel the feel of waiting for impending doom. This is continued even after our favourite trio arrive back at school. 
This year’s adventure focus’s on the return of an old magical tradition, the Tri wizard Tournament. In which Witches and Wizards from schools all over the world, come to together to compete in a variety of tasks set for them. This year, it is to be held for the first time in centuries, and the event hosted by none other than Hogwarts witchcraft and wizardry.
Again Harry’s loyalty’s are tested, along with his courage, bravery and strength.  His friendships, especially with his best friend Ron, are strained with the strange happenings and events around the school. But even though angry with one another, still jump at the chance of reconciliation the first chance they get, showing that it would take more than jealousy to destroy their bond. Which is a very good thing, as it is the trio’s friendship that helps Harry through the last few weeks of school after the Triwizard Tournament is completed. With several deaths and scandals within the walls of Hogwarts, everyone really needed the emotional support of each other. 

This novel even delves into the darker sides of life, or rather Death, giving the reader the understanding that not everything is fine and rosey all of the time, and that bad things do happen to good people. I recommend this novel for young teens and up, as some content could possibly upset or frighten young children. However, anyone older, young teens and up, including adults, that have imagination and enjoy a generous dose of magic, this is the book for them. I give Harry Potter and the Goblet of fire 10/10 stars.


Book Reviews

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J. K. Rowling (1999).

Although I am a woman grown, and far from the days when I lay awake at night desperately straining to read on to see if Harry survive what could easily have been a fate worse than death, I still enjoyed every single page of this third instalment to the Harry Potter series. Book 3, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban leads into a darker side of the world of magic, and also into a darker side of Harry’s past. As we follow Harry through his third year at Hogwarts School for witchcraft and Wizardry, we learn that there is a lot more to the death of Harry’s parents than anyone knew.

Throughout this novel Harry learns that not only is there a psychotic murderer who has escaped Azkaban, the devilish jail for Witches and Wizards, but is his Godfather and a very loyal and true friend of Lilly and James Potter. In fact, he had been wrongly convicted for their death, he had actually sought vengeance and was exacting his revenge when his whole world exploded around him and everything in it turned upside down.

As we follow Harry, Ron, and Hermione through each adventure, each character can clearly be seen to evolve. J. K. Rowling creates each character so brilliantly it is a pleasure to read and watch them grow-up. Its impossible to choose a favourite amongst the trio, as I feel that its the combination of the three that makes them who they are. Without the influence they have on each other their outcomes would be much different I suspect.

Overall, I believe J. K. Rowling produced yet another Masterpiece in the creation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I would recommend this book to all age groups, as always there is something in this book for anyone with the slightest bit of imagination. I give this novel a rating of 10/10 stars.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Book Reviews

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J. K. Rowling (1997).

As the Harry Potter reaches his 20th birthday, celebrations all over the world have been held by muggles, and therefore given me the perfect excuse to re-read an old beloved favourite and lovingly write a book review. 

It was in 1997 that J. K. Rowling was first able to publish Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, after prior rejections and obvious disappointments, and began what was surely as much of an astonishment to the author herself, a story that would influence generations of children. In this, the first book, we are introduced to a brilliant variety of characters that quickly capture the readers imagination and heart. Harry, Ron and Hermoine, are each special in their own way, making a strong trio. Within the storyline of these three there is at least one thing that happens that every reader can identify with, whether the reader is old or young, each one can relate to one of the characters in some way. But these three hardly stand alone, there are the Neville Longbottoms of the world (everyone knows one of these), and the Draco Malfoy’s (again everyone has had to deal with one of these at some point). The adults within the novel help steer the younger characters along the storyline, and in doing so create an amazing world of magic, and in turn produce an entire world that readers relate to and become lost in, making the story impossible to put down. It’s so easy to dive into this world and not want to return to reality.

Through this novel Harry and his friends teach us so much along our journey with him at his first year of Hogwarts. From the true meaning of loyalty and friendship, to what it means to be family, and even the sadness of loss. Basically this novel has everything that any young reader would adore and much more that parents are thrilled they are actively learning morals without being force! As a child I was engrossed with the Harry Potter, and things haven’t changed. Harry and his friends, in their incredible other world, will always be a tale dear to my heart. Definitely excited to have an excuse to re-read the series.

I would recommend this novel to anyone with the ability to read! It is just a fantastic story. I give this book the rating of 9.5/10 stars.