Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Rowling)

Book Reviews
J. K. Rowling's monumental, spellbinding epic, 10 years in the making, is deeply rooted in traditional literature and Hollywood sagas—from the Greek myths to Dickens and Tolkien to "Star Wars." And true to its roots, it ends not with modernist, "Soprano"-esque equivocation, but with good old-fashioned closure: a big-screen, heart-racing, bone-chilling confrontation and an epilogue that clearly lays out people's fates. Getting to the finish line is not seamless—the last part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final book in the series, has some lumpy passages of exposition and a couple of clunky detours—but the overall conclusion and its determination of the main characters' story lines possess a convincing inevitability that make some of the prepublication speculation seem curiously blinkered in retrospect.
Michiko Kakutani - New York Times


It's hard to imagine a better ending than the one she's written for her saga after 10 years, more than 4,000 pages and close to 400 million copies in print. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows may be a miracle of marketing, but it's also a miraculous book that earns out, emotionally and artistically.... I cried at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It's that rare thing, an instant classic that earns its catharsis honestly, not through hype or sentiment but through the author's vision and hard work.
Elizabeth Hand - Washington Post


In this concluding volume, Rowling brings together the themes and characters familiar to her readers, providing thrills both expected and unexpected. Harry, Ron, and Hermione set out on the mission left to Harry by Albus Dumbledore, to search for the remaining Horcruxes, the hidden pieces of Voldemort's soul that must be destroyed to ensure his final defeat. Harry and his friends find themselves fugitives, but help comes from unexpected quarters and old friends. Harry is also searching for the truth about Dumbledore's life, as he tries to reconcile rumors about the man's past with the heroic headmaster he thought he knew. The legend of the Deathly Hallows, three magical objects that have the power to overcome death, proves to be related to Dumbledore's past as well as the present conflict. While the plot wanders somewhat on its way there, the final battle with Voldemort, involving a full range of friends and foes, is Rowling at her finest. The headstrong plot involves clues and characters from all of the volumes, building on details and tying up loose ends. An underlying message about the power of truth and redemption is reflected in a range of characters, combining with mythic allusions to give depth to the series as a whole. Hallows continues the darker tone of Half-Blood Prince, and there's no Quidditch to be found here, though there are comic moments. Fans of the series will devour this lengthy tome and will be left hoping for more tales from this fully fleshed out fantastic world. —Beth L. Meister, Pleasant View Elementary School, Franklin, WI
School Library Journal


(Starred review.) Potter fans, relax—this review packs no spoilers. Instead, we're taking advantage of our public platform to praise Rowling for the excellence of her plotting. We can't think of anyone else who has sustained such an intricate, endlessly inventive plot over seven thick volumes and so constantly surprised us with twists, well-laid traps and Purloined Letter-style tricks. Hallows continues the tradition, both with sly feats of legerdemain and with several altogether new, unexpected elements. Perhaps some of the surprises in Hallows don't have quite the punch as those of earlier books, but that may be because of the thoroughness and consistency with which Rowling has created her magical universe, and because we've so raptly absorbed its rules.

We're also seizing the occasion to wish out loud that her editors had done their jobs more actively. It's hard to escape the notion that the first three volumes were more carefully edited than the last four. Hallows doesn't contain the extraneous scenes found in, say, Goblet of Fire, but the momentum is uneven. Rowling is much better at comedy than at fight scenes, and no reader of the sixth book will be startled to hear that Hallows has little humor or that its characters engage in more than a few fights. Surely her editors could have helped her find other methods of building suspense besides the use of ellipses and dashes? And craft fight dialogue that sounds a bit less like it belongs in a comic book? Okay, we're quibbling. We know these minor nuisances won't dent readers' enjoyment, at least not this generation of readers; we couldn't put Hallows down ourselves. But we believe Rowling, and future readers, deserved even better.
Publishers Weekly


(Starred review.) An underlying message about the power of truth and redemption is reflected in a range of characters, combining with mythic allusions to give depth to the series as a whole. Hallows continues the darker tone of Half-Blood Prince... [but fans] of the series will devour this lengthy tome and will be left hoping for more tales from this fully fleshed out fantastic world. —Beth L. Meister, Pleasant View Elementary School, Franklin, WI
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