Monday, July 23, 2007

All Good things… my review of the last Potter; Spoilers Plenty!

Whew! What a ride!

I started interest in the Potterverse in ’01. The movie was coming out (as was Lord of the Rings) and I wanted to read the book so I could properly judge the film before I saw it.

I picked up the first Harry Potter and couldn’t put it down. I had checked it out from the local library, devoured it on the bus to work, at lunch, before and after work. I could not get enough. I then picked up the second, third and finally the fourth. I remember when I finished the first book at 9 pm. My wife was asleep at the house was very quiet. I can still feel the quiet, peaceful urge to just slip back in to that wonderful universe.

By the time I got in line for the first movie I had become a Potter nut. I was so excited to see so much from the new book I loved on the screen. I enjoyed each movie as they came out (and will do the same for the last two). I lamented the stuff that was cut and enjoyed the stuff that we did see.

When the fifth book came out I heard of the 12:00 lines but I blew them off. I went in the next day and to my horror it was sold out at the local Wal Mart. We searched in the city and found one copy at a Wal Mart in there. I remember taking the book home and reading it to the kids. I couldn’t finish the reading because they all drifted off. My eldest doesn’t like reading and lost interest. She’d rather see the movies. My other kids got distracted. I still remember using different voices for the characters. This is why movie five was so surreal to me.

When book six came out I was wiser. I arrived at Wal Mart an hour ahead. The kids came along cause it’s fun to go to the store at midnight. We got the book and brought it home. They didn’t want me to read it, but they did want spoilers. During the same week it came out, my little David needed his next plastic surgery. My wife and I stayed at the hospital the three days he was there. I had plenty of time to read it. I remember watching Dumbledore dying while reading in one of the hospital bathrooms at 1 am.
As some of you know, I was writing my first book at this time and made the stupid mistake of comparing my rough draft to JKR’s 6th book. Dumb. But thanks to several people, I woke up, took a good look and fixed things.

I have no bad comparison feelings this time. JKR is JKR and I am me. Several have expressed a desire to see more of my world and I firmly believe in the work. If anything, reading book 7 just gets me more excited to continue the good fight.

Wow, I’m long winded. Sorry. It’s just that the Potterverse has formed a strong place in my heart. It’s hard to see it go but all good things have to end. If they don’t then they grow stale or get convoluted (like Marvel and DC have done).

My thoughts on book 7?
First off, it began strong. In one of the few times in the entire series, we start from a different perspective than Harry. Nice, strong beginning with a look in on the bad guys. Then we finish the Dursleys. What a strong start! There was humor and drama. I was at a loss and had to reread Hedwig’s death to make sure I read it right. She made us think Hagrid was dead and that had me on my seat. The loss of George’s ear was shocking and their ability to land on their feet was a good show.

Things continued very well. I loved Ginny’s birthday present to Harry and Ron’s clear affection to Hermione. I was shocked at Moody’s death and bewildered that “Year Seven at Hogwarts” wasn’t at Hogwarts. Then, when the trio are doing nothing and suffering the evil of the Ring (I mean the necklace), I was turning sour. It seemed to drag.

But then it was a trip to the Malfoys and it picked up very fast. I couldn’t put it down! Dobby’s stuff got to me, the Vault stuff was fun and the revelations about Dumbledore and his brother was enlightening.

I really enjoyed how many revelations came one after the other. Each big reveal scene was spaced between plenty of action scenes and lots of old friends returning.
The Battle of Hogwarts (so many came back! Fred, Lupin, Tonks and Colen Creevy all died! No! Not one of the twins!), Hermione and Ron finally hooking up (BOUT FLIPPIN TIME!), the reveal of Snape (I knew it!) and finally to discover that Harry was in fact the seventh horcrux (just as Emerson of Mugglenet predicted).

When it was discovered that Harry had to die I suspected (since the Dumbledore in the Pensieve closed his eyes) that there was more to the story, but I still felt like “Feh. Ok. Whatever. He’s had a life time of pain but… feh.” It was nice (and another confirmation to my predictions) when we saw Harry’s parents, Lupin and Sirius again. That links into that line from Luna (things we lose have a funny way of turning up).
But my suspicions were correct. Harry wouldn’t die! And what a bang up, smash up final! I was wrong. Nevil didn’t give his life. I liked his heroic moments far better.
They CAN’T cut anything from the battle for the movie. Cut out most of the wandering trio, just not the battle.
I figured the Epilogue would be with the older Harry & Ginny Potter, Ron & Hermione Weasley and all the kids. Perfect.
So Harry was born in 1980, the books took place from 1991-1997, and the “19 years later” epilouge took place last year. That means this year is Albus Severus Potter and Rose Weasley’s second year at Hogwarts. I can hear the fan fic keyboards typing already.

A fitting end to a wonder experience. It is my fondest wish, dream and life goal to bring that much joy to people in the future.

“Good Ol’ JK!” Thanks!