Well, I’ve finished the entire seven book Harry Potter series now. I’m sorry that it’s over. I have to give J. K. Rowling high marks, both for the individual books and for the overall arc of the series. In fact, I’ve never been so caught up in a series that I read them all one after another after another. The last two, particularly, put the reader through an emotional roller coaster, and as a reader I appreciate every minute of such an experience. Even three days after closing the cover on the last volume, I still feel that sense of loss that comes with being finished with a beloved book. And although I normally leap right into a new book after one is done, I waited a day before starting something different (a Star Trek book if you must know.) A day is a lifetime for me where reading is concerned.
I’m not going to give details of the books here because I don’t want to reveal any spoilers. The books are too good for that. But I will tell you my overall impression of the story arc. The first two volumes, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets are indeed books for young, young adults. They’re good, but they only hint at the more mature development that picks up with volume 3, Prisoner of Azkaban. After that, for me, it was a straight run to the finish, with each book capable of standing on its own but also laying the ground work for the next. At first I thought book five, The Order of the Phoenix, marked a fall off. I didn’t much like Harry at the start of that one, but in retrospect I think Rowling simply turned him into a true teenager in that book and handled that task deftly. I was also pleased to see that Rowling’s action scenes substantially picked up, although these are definitely character books and not truly action driven.
It’s hard to say which book was my favorite because in this case I really think you have to judge the whole series together. And as a series it is outstanding. However, for me, the last two books, where the overall story is coming to its climax, stand out in my mind. I wish I still had them left to read.
Thank you, Ms. Rowling! Not that you need it, but you have another fan.