Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7)

And so it ends.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has some of the most powerful moments in the entire series. There are a number of powerful deaths, made all the worse by how we’ve grown to know and love (or at least know) these characters over the years. We finally get the last few pieces of how everything fits together –why Dumbledore trusts Snape for example; and more backstory on Voldemort. All of that would make for probably outright the best book in the series.


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is an excellent story and does quite a lot to offset how much I didn’t care for Order of the Phoenix.

First, Harry is not nearly as annoying as he is in Order of the Phoenix. Perhaps he’s growing up, perhaps Rowling realized that she’d perhaps overdone it and turned it down again. There are a few iffy moments around relationships this time around, but they’re much easier to read and feel much more natural, at least to me.


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5)

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is my least favorite book of the series. That doesn’t make it a bad book, by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s just not as fun to read as the others and doesn’t really feel like it advances the story in any way. We all know Voldemort is back now–although the ministry denies it, which is interesting but stretches credulity somewhat. Other than that, not terribly much world-changing happens. We get a lot of angsty teenage Harry, a bit of Hogwarts dating life, and a frankly terrifying new Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers…

Specifically, teenage angsty Harry is thoroughly annoying. I get that teens are angsty and Harry in particular has more reason than most, but that doesn’t make it any easier to read. Especially since it feels like such a drastic change from previous books.


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4)

For the most part, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is one of the best entries into the series. The worldbuilding and characterization are very cool, expanding on what we’ve already seen and making the magical world come alive in all sorts of wonderful ways. Despite a few immersion-defying ideas scattered thoughout the book (we’ll get to that later), it’s very well written and keeps pulling you through the longest book in the series thus far by almost double.

Okay, nitpick time, since this is getting to be my favorite part of writing these reviews :) Warning: spoilers, stop reading now if that matters to you :


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3)

I think on previous readings/viewings, the Prisoner of Azkaban was my favorite book/movie. Wacky things happen, you get some cool magical thingie moments (the Marauders map is cool as is the Monster Book of Monsters ), you see a bit more of the magical world (Hogsmeade!), and you learn a bit more about Harry’s parents and how Hogwarts was before Voldemort was at the height of his power.

Speaking of which: another strength of this book is that it basically completely ignores Voldemort. It’s a nice switch; one that we don’t get to see again.


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2)

And so my re-listen continues. Much as the first book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets feels like it’s primarily aimed as a children’s book, but most definiately enjoyable for adults as well.

Mostly random thoughts: McGonagall makes a good point at the beginning of the books, pointing out that the main characters are kids. They don’t always think things through. Miss the train? Perhaps you should just call ahead and someone can fetch you. Nope, have to do things the crazy well.


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter #1)

Harry Potter is such a huge thing that I’m honestly not sure what in the world I could say that would convince anyone to read/not read it that hasn’t already made up their mind. So it goes.

Short version: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is at times clearly intended for a younger audience, but it’s a solid book even for an older audience.