I read the entire series when I was younger. There are bits and pieces I don't remember too well, but I think I've got most of it still in my head. Anyway, this was a mostly enjoyable series, and while it has its flaws, I still think it's worth reading.
My favorite part is probably how ridiculously well planned-out this is. That leads to a meandering and episodic plot throughout the first couple books, but once you get further in, it's well worth it - Rowling has clearly put a lot of thought into this plot, and it shows. The story is genuinely suspenseful and unpredictable, which is actually pretty unusual for a series that gets this big. The worldbuilding, also, was expertly done. We got an entire world, completely without dumps that felt almost like a real place. (Almost.) And, finally, most of the characters were very interesting and realistic. There's a large cast, and almost every member was well-developed.
But I do say 'almost'. Because there is one characterization problem, and it's my biggest issue with the series: Harry. He's so bland
. His only characteristic is 'whinny', and even then, it's inconsistent and fluctuating, depending on the situation. People say he's brave, but he's more of a Pinball Protagonist
, thrust into dangerous situations not because he wants to, but because he doesn't have a choice.
The other thing that bothers me is the morality, which is completely Black and White. Oh, sure, Rowling will discuss
how you can't divide the world into good guys and death eaters, how there's no real good or evil, but when it comes to the actual heroes and villains, that doesn't show. A couple of the enemies have shades of grey, but for the most part, they're just stock characters meant to be threatening. Voldemort is, of course, the worst example: he has literally no characteristics at all other than being a psychopath bent on destroying the world. I would say he's like Hitler, but Hitler had motives. They made no sense, but at least they were there, at least there was something
about him that made him human. Voldemort has no such characteristics. He's just evil. Why? Because evil.
This book has many strong points, and they're worth celebrating. I'm focusing on the negative, because they're usually overlooked, but really, this is a strong series that I recommend.