There are no spoilers in the following conversation.
Krystle: I don't have time to read the book. Why don't you guys just tell me how did it all end?
Shaki: Well, Harry and Voldemort killed each other in a duel.
Krystle: But I thought the prophecy said...
Me: The prophecy said, "neither can live while the other survives". It didn't say "neither can die after the other dies".
Shaki: Then there's that dumb scene with Dumbledore.
Krystle: But I thought Dumbledore was dead!
Shaki: He cloned himself. He was the lead researcher in stem cell technology.
Me: After all, he discovered the...
Shaki and Me in unison: ... twelve uses of dragon blood...
Me: ... so, stem cells aren't going to be much of a problem for him at all. But who you really need to watch out is Snape.
Krystle: What's to watch out? We already know he's the bad guy.
Me: It's much more complex than that. Turns out that it was him who discovered the "neither can die after the other dies" loophole in the prophecy and pitted Harry against Voldemort, making sure both of them perished.
Shaki: He neither worked for Dumbledore nor Voldemort.
Me: He was working for himself all along!
Shaki: Played everyone like Quidditch.
Me: And became the new Dark Lord in the end.
Then Steven, Krystle's boyfriend, chimed in;
Steven: Krystle, don't listen to this two. They can't even summarise a simple children's book for you - so they made everything up.
Me: [looks at Shaki] Yet we did a heckuva better job at telling the story than Rowling did.
Shaki and Me: [laugh very loudly in front of a very bewildered Krystle]
I wondered why I didn't notice earlier that there is someone small holding a sword behind Harry.
First off, I want you to know that I lied when I said there aren't spoilers in this post. There are - but you haven't read any yet. They are near the bottom of this entry. I'll let you know when it starts, okay? So lay down those pitchforks, flaming torches and rolling pins, and read right on (though I'd give the comments section a wide berth, if I am you).
Secondly, as you probably deduced for this post's title and the extract of the conversation Shaki and I had with Krystle, I wasn't terribly impressed with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In fact, I considered it the second least enjoyable book of the entire Potter series, right after Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - while Shaki considered it the very least enjoyable one. If all the previous installments of the heptalogy showcased the best of Rowling's writing prowess, the last book betrayed her very worst.
Now, if you haven't read the 7th Potter book cover to cover, you owe me a thank-you. I have just pruned your expectations down to a bonsai.
The extent of Rowling's genius consisted of combining two extremely popular sub-genres of children literature - English boarding school stories and magic - into one. Anyway, in spite of what many rabid Potter fans like to believe, J. K. Rowling did not invent the concept of a school for magic. That idea have been reused and recycled for ages, and one of the more notable examples is Ursula K. Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea (1968) and other novels of the Earthsea series (which also adapted the concept of magic for everyday, commonplace use to greater believability than Rowling did).
You know, the more I think of it, the more I believe that Rowling snitched from Le Guin's work.
One of the main themes in the Potter books is racism - like it was in the Earthsea books. In fact, the Earthsea series was written with the purpose criticising racism in mind.
Also, the Potter books features a dark wizard who wished to conquer death, same as the 3rd Earthsea book, The Farthest Shore (1972).
And the wizards in Earthsea can change themselves into animals as well.
Damn, I think I'll reread the Earthsea books. I was a lot more impressed with them than I was with Harry Wotzisname.
SPOILERS BEGIN HERE. SHOO! VAMOOSE! EXPELLIARMUS!
Why I think Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows sucked donkey nuts;
- Almost all the events of the book took place outside if Hogwarts. Like I said, the charm of the Potter books came largely from it being a combination of an English boarding school and magic story. So, having no Hogwarts means that it's only half as fun to read.
- Hermione is Doraemon. She actually carried a fourth-dimensional, multi-purpose pocket filled with gadgets.
- A formidable army of Death Eaters under the command of Lord Voldemort - despite being able to infiltrate the highest strata of the Ministry of Magic and finally staging a coup d'état of the magical government filled with competent grownup wizards and witches - failed to capture three snotty-nosed kids who dropped out of school. I mean, even Igor Karkaroff was found and killed in the end (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince). Three teenagers are better than Karkaroff?
- The break-in into Gringotts by that same three snotty kids was waaay too easy. In fact, it was one of the few parts in the book that promised real excitement though it didn't deliver it in the end.
- Lord Voldemort is the most boring, one-dimensional bad guy I have ever read about. It's all threaten, torture, murder, Harry's scar hurts, megalomaniac speech, threaten, torture, murder, Harry's scar hurts again, more megalomaniac waffle... Bah.
- All through the book, you have the impression that Lord Voldemort is a really dumb guy, considering that he was a prize student at Hogwarts and was possibly the most gifted wizard of the age after Dumbledore. Harry kept getting newsflash from that psychic link between him and Lord Voldemort which constantly provided him with clues on what to do next. It makes me wonder why didn't Voldemort use that same link to learn stuff from Harry. I half expected that all the useful snippets of information Harry got from Voldemort were all shams, and that Voldemort had been leading Harry around like the gullible brain-case he really is - but I got really disappointed in the end. I mean, he didn't even know that Harry was hunting down and destroying his precious Horcruxes till near the end of the book. One-of-the-world's-greatest-Legilimens, my ass.
- Near the end of the book, Harry even managed to willfully look into Voldemort's mind to see where the Dark Lord was - yes, he tuned into Voldemort's mind like it's a radio station. Highly-accomplished-Occlumens, my ass.
- Too many people died too easily. The only deaths that I felt sorry for was Hedwig's (first blood) and Dobby's. Lupin and Tonk's death was only mentioned in passing, and in fact, I only realised that they were pawned after I read the ending chapters the second time. Fred who?
- Usage of expletives like "bastard" and "bitch" totally degraded Rowling's writing standards.
- House-elves are unstoppable. Harry commanded Kreacher to capture Mundungus Fletcher and the little creepy bugger managed to do that without even breaking a sweat. Dobby single-handedly rescued everyone - Luna Lovegood, Dean Thomas, Ollivander, Griphook the goblin, Harry, Ron and Hermione - from Malfoy Manor. I wonder why the Death Eaters didn't just send a house-elf to nab Harry and company.
- The debt Peter Pettigrew owed Harry was not resolved satisfactorily. I was banking on that figuring rather largely in the downfall of Voldemort. What a disappointment.
- Lord Voldemort accidentally killed himself with a rebounded spell, just because the Elder Wand commandeered by Voldemort wouldn't act on Harry, its true master. Harry won the wand from Draco Malfoy after he disarmed Draco in that scuffle in Malfoy Manor - and Draco won the wand initially from Dumbledore by disarming him in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I don't know about you but I think that the whole charade felt too deus ex machina-ish. The wand ownership concept wasn't bad on its own but I wished that Rowling had foreshadowed this event in the previous books. That's the problem with this book. A lot of things just cropped out of nowhere, making everything so hard to swallow.
- Harry left the Elder Wand in Dumbledore's tomb, hoping to die a peaceful death and breaking the wand's power. Won't that mean anyone can simply march up to Harry, kill him, and then retrieve the wand from Dumbledore's tomb? Harry would have nothing extra-powerful to protect him but his old phoenix feather wand. And it's kind of arrogant for him to think that he won't be disarmed or beaten in a duel all his life. What a git.
- I guessed half of the main plot twists in the book, like how Snape turned out to be a good guy after all and that the death of Dumbledore was staged. I also guessed that Potter will be the seventh Horcrux.
- Not enough Snape.
And the top 3 reasons this book stinks are;
- Harry Potter didn't die.
- He had kids with Ginny Weasley.
- His kids' names are James, Lily and Albus Severus Potter.
Thinks Rowling needs to rewrite the 7th Potter book,
k0k s3n w4i