In the short amount of space provided here, it would be downright impossible to review the pros and cons of all seven books, or even give a decent overview of the plot without getting into Better Than It Sounds territory. Thus, I offer a substitute: an explanation of what parts of this series appealed to me, and why I think it became so beloved worldwide. First and foremost, I have a hearty dislike for the trope known as No Delays For The Wicked - I like my villains to be human and susceptible to everyday misfortunes, at least to some degree. In a strange way, what I like the most about the HP series is its realism - just like the good guys, the Death Eaters cut corners and make mistakes; a good number of them probably don't even know what the hell their allies or their enemies are up to. And Voldemort himself is less a genuine Evil Overlord than he is an overgrown bully; his philosophy is riddled with holes, he inspires genuine loyalty in very few followers, and if you've been hanging around this site long enough, you'll see just how many gaping mistakes he made during both Wizarding Wars. Clearly, his only redeeming trait is his raw magical talent. Does this make him a less threatening villain? Perhaps. But in my humble opinion, it makes him that much more interesting (perhaps for the same reason that has led me to prefer the Riddler over Ra's al-Ghul any day). When all has been said and done, you realize that his schemes have been in danger of becoming unglued almost as many times as those of the heroes trying to stop him. A case of the blind versus the blind, if there ever was one. And I, for one, find this a refreshing and realistic dynamic. Long-time tropers, after all, will surely know that World War Two wasn't a question of whether the Nazis would lose, as much as when their state would have collapsed (from within or without), and how much they would have dragged down with them. When Harry Potter is criticized, chief amongst the complaints is how flat and nonthreatening the antagonists are. I like it for that very reason.
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