Spoiler free version: 36/42. The review below does contain some spoilers; don’t read it until (not unless, but until) you’ve read the novel yourself.
Title: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Author: J.K. Rowlings
Original Publication Date: July 21, 2007
Cover Price: $34.99 US, $45 Can
Harry, Ron, and Hermione are hunting for Horcruxes when they learn of three Hallowed objects, purportedly created by Death himself, which grant the owner mastery of death.
“The Battle For Hogwarts” is my favourite sequence, but the best part of the reading experience was watching as the seemingly insignificant threads laid since the first page of the first book in the series had themselves tied together so effectively.
The first half still has a bit too much directionless depression for my tastes. It’s not quite as rampant as in the fifth book, but it’s here. Thankfully, it’s gone from the vast majority of the latter half.
The originality of most sequels tend to suffer. This one, however, feels less like a sequel and more like an extension of the larger story, as tends to happen when the whole series is planned as this one was. The important part of this category is that the story never feels stale, and for the most part, it doesn’t. I give it 4 out of 6.
The imagery is clear, filling in new details, and reminding us of the old ones. I never found myself wondering about the appearance of the environments, nor did I find myself pushing through seemingly gratuitous descriptions. I give it 5 out of 6.
The story is solid, bringing together details from not just this book, but from the whole series, and doing so in a consistent way with the rest of the series. (By this, I mean that I was able to predict some elements, such as the seventh Horcrux, and did not feel displeased or put off by the elements that I failed to predict.) I give it 5 out of 6.
The characterization is going strong. Harry, Ron, and Hermione once again take centre stage, but the supporting characters (primarily Voldemort, Fred, George, Ginny, Neville, and even Dudley) also have their moments to shine. I give it 5 out of 6.
The emotional response is great, as this is a very natural and worthwhile way to end the series. There’s a huge amount of payoff here for people who’ve invested themselves in the series. In fact, there’s so much payoff here, that I really don’t see a way to edit it down to a 2.5 hour movie without infuriating every viewer in some way, but we’ll cover that review when we get to it. I give the book 6 out of 6.
The editing was much nicer than it was in the previous two tomes. After a slightly dragging first half, things hit high gear and don’t let up. This pulls in a lot of details from the first six books in a very natural way, and brings it all together nicely. I give it 5 out of 6.
Overall, it’s a great way to end a great series. I give it 6 out of 6.
In total, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows receives 36 out of 42.