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So what did everyone think of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?

Overall, I greatly enjoyed the book. There were a few things that didn't go the way I expected.

I was kind of surprised by the mega-happy ending. From the dark tone of the some of the earlier books, I was expecting a more tragic ending where the villain is defeated but at great expense to the heroes. While there were many deaths, I fully expected at least one of Ron, Hermione, and Harry to die.

I was also surprised by how much Dumbledore continued to play a major part. In book 6, I wasn't at all surprised when Dumbledore died. My thinking was that Dumbledore, like Obi-Won and Gandalf, needed to die to make room for the hero to mature into his own. However, in book 7, Harry pretty much follows the path that Dumbledore has set for him, often with little understanding of where the path will ultimately take him. I left the book not with the feeling that Harry had defeated Voldemort, but with the feeling that Dumbledore had defeated Voldemort. Harry's triumph was in his unending courage, determination, and sense of duty to his friends and fellow humans.

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  • I gave it a solid B. It was an enjoyable read, but a lot of what she didn’t do (like let Harry mature into a hero) frustrated me a lot. More than anything though, I hated the epilogue. First of all, it didn’t give us any more information about the characters than “they got married and had babies.” Big deal. Is Harry an Auror? Is Hermione involved in the Ministry of Magic? Just what is Malfoy doing, considering it’s pretty much a fact that his entire family were Death Eaters?

    I really would have liked to see an epilogue that takes place a few months after the end of the novel. How is the wizarding world picking up the pieces now that Voldemort is gone, and the Ministry is in shambles? How did it affect the community? Are they going to be more tolerant of Muggle-borns and regular Muggles, or is it business as usual? How is George coping with the loss of his twin? How is Harry reacting to being a godfather to a young boy orphaned by Death Eaters–familiar much?

    For me, the deaths of characters isn’t what’s important. It’s the effect the deaths have on the survivors that really makes an impact. It’s a way to cause the other characters to change, grow, and mature. Otherwise, even the most tame deaths are gratuitous. We barely got to see that towards the end; yes, the Weasely’s were keening over Fred, but how is his loss going to change their lives? And Tonks and Lupin died off camera–I hadn’t actually noticed they were dead for another chapter or so, then had to go back and reread. I think that’s a disservice to their characters–even if I hated Tonks like the plague. Without showing us the effect of their deaths, I felt that JK cheapened them. Death for death’s sake, more to affect the reader than the story. And if you have to resort to cheap tricks like that (I’m looking at you, Joss) then maybe you’re not telling the story well enough.

    Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book, but I felt that it could have been much better. I’ll be posting my own review…sometime…and will be able to go into more detail then.

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