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Monday, July 23, 2007

Every now and then I fall apart

Apparently I promised to lend Deathly Hallows to Glen when I finished it. I do not remember this, but his description of the circumstances of our agreement does sound vaguely familiar, and I am disinclined to do battle with anyone who seems to enjoy contract law as much as he does.

I am going to put most of this in white text, but I'll break it up so you can choose to read one section and not another. Highlight the white space to read what I've written.

Unanswered questions:
I've pored over enough interviews to be expecting certain things that were never delivered in this book.

What did Dudley see when the Dementors attacked him?
Who does magic late in life?
What was the veil?
Why did we get so many subtle references to time that never paid off? For that matter, what was up with the constant references to hurt fingers?
If Regulus drowned in the cave, how did Lupin know he was dead and how many days he'd stayed alive after leaving the Death Eaters?
How did the Potters defy Voldemort three times?
Weren't we supposed to see more of Ginny Weasley's power?
Why were Harry's eyes so important? Just to reinforce that Snape would see Lily every time he looked at Harry?

Pacing:

I read a few reviews that claimed the pacing was really fast, but I thought the story dragged in several spots. There were chapters and chapters of Harry and Hermione just sitting around doing nothing, and then all of Snape's back story was revealed in about five pages. Come on! I deserve better than that!

Epilogue:
ARGH. You have GOT to be kidding me. This is what she's been hiding in a vault for the past 17 years? Sorry, but this was really lacking.

Revealed Secrets:
I figured most of these out, thanks to my scrutiny of the earlier books. I even knew what the last Horcrux was, despite the fact that it had never been described before HP7. Something about the subtle reference in book six made me take note, and as soon as they mentioned Ravenclaw's crown I knew I was right. That felt good.

But I was incredibly wrong about Harry being a Horcrux. I thought there was no way this was possible, and I scoffed at people who clung to the theory. It turned out that they were exactly right. Honestly, I have no idea how they figured this out, because it seemed so incredibly unlikely to me. A Horcrux created by accident that can be destroyed without physically destroying the object it's in? Please explain to me how this is possible, because I don't get it. I've spent so much time convincing myself that it wasn't real that I really don't understand how this could work. The only thing I can come up with is that it is related to the look of triumph: Harry can't die because Voldemort is still alive, so the only thing that can die is that bit of soul.

Deaths:
I do not get upset when characters die, because the deaths are supposed to add something to the story. I am confused about Lupin, Tonks and Fred, though: their deaths moved the story along only to show that nobody would be safe, and we'd had plenty of that already when Mad-Eye died.

I'm not sure what the point of creating Tonks was. She was a great character in book 5 (although just a bit player in the movie) but it seems like she had no real role and could have been pulled out of the story without missing a beat. Cindy says she thinks Tonks' role was to show Lupin that he could be loved, but I still think there needs to be a bigger purpose than this. Any of the other characters could have done that.

Overall:
Yes, I sound really negative, but I really did like the book. I think I just need to wait for an interview with JKR to explain some of my lingering questions. This probably won't happen unless she does another interview with The Leaky Cauldron, so I won't be holding my breath. On the other hand, I can look forward to many more stories that "break" the news that she came up with the story on a train, wrote in coffee shops and never told anyone the story for 17 years. (Way to go, Mainstream Media!) It is not the best of the series -- "Prisoner of Azkaban" has always been my favourite -- but I did enjoy it. Now I will have to go back over the other six to find all of the clues I missed along the way.

END OF SPOILERS (but no promises about the comments box).

1 comments:

Miss Lyndsy said...

Thanks for using white text. I won't have an opportunity to read the book for another couple weeks because of such busy-ness and I'm really trying not to hear or read anything too revealing. I know, hard to do when I work at a bookstore...