I used to love this series, the first three anyway. Having read the sixth book seven years ago, I decided to finish Harry Potter so I could praise and criticise the series fairly. Having finished the book, I can only criticise. SPOILERS: STRUCTURE: This story takes place outside Hogwarts but the time-frame is the same. Since the trio can't resolve the plot until Summer, there is a lot of stagnating and vegetating. It only serves to show the trio as incompetent, hopeless and way over their heads if all do is go camping for nine months. REPETITION: Harry's scar hurts. Polyjuice. The trio dick around and do nothing. Harry's scar hurts. The trio camp and do nothing. Harry' scar hurts. Voldemort time!. Harry's scar hurts. Polyjuice. A gripping second-hand account of some tangential shit that happened a century ago. Harry's scar hurts. 400 pages of nothing. NARM: There's the part where Harry goes to his parents graves. So far, pretty sad. Then he starts thinking about how their remains are moulding underground. What? This book really goes overboard with the Death metaphor. It doesn't make the story profound, only silly. THEME: This book deals with such themes as fascism, Christianity, and tyranny. It just doesn't deal with these themes very well. I had to groan whenever they brought up the Nazi parallels. The Death Eaters are not Nazis. Actual Nazis would have caught the inept trio. The conflict is not grey as Voldemort has no depth. He is not clever, no matter how often we're told. The explanation for Harry's resurrection comes as forced and brain-meltingly convoluted. PRESENCE (OR LACK THEREOF): There's what's supposed to be a heart-rending scene where Dobby dies in Harry's arms. The problem is Dobby only showed up out-of-nowhere six pages ago. He's in the book a total of six pages before getting a knife in the chest, and then Harry angst about it forever after. The problem with many characters in this book is that we seldom see them, giving their situations very little weight. Wormtail shows up simply to get killed off in a puzzling manner. Harry worries constantly about Ginny but we're never shown any reason to care. Dumbledore, however, is given loads of back-story in an attempt to flesh him out but he's dead!. Surely it would have been better to have given such room to the not-dead, still-breathing supporting cast?
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