Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J. K. Rowling

Reading this straight after the sixth book, I felt as though I was plunged deep into the middle of heated action. Hardly giving the readers any breathing space, this last book is filled with escapades, revelations and deaths. Running like hell with Harry Potter and his friends, the familiar thrill of “Goblet of Fire” came back.

There are a couple of characters in this last book making guest appearances, simply to fulfill their little (yet vital) roles and then to expire from life. One such character that has moved me much is Dobby. His sudden appearance and abrupt ending is a typical cry-out that life just isn’t fair – something that we all ought to have learnt from young. But for the “greater good” of society, we are mostly taught to believe, firmly believe that there is fairness and justice. Another example would be Mad-Eye Moody. His appearance in the beginning escape is an ironic one; him being the most experienced and skilled among them all, but yet the only one ending in a fall. Whoever said that luck is not important obviously does not appreciate randomness in destiny.

Two other characters that leave an impression in my heart are Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape. They have lived their whole lives in regret, trying to make amendments for something they can never ever reverse. It is heart wrenching to know that they cannot let go and are constantly paying for their wrongs with every second of their breath. Letting go is perhaps one of the hardest lessons in life. Forgiving yourself is a lot tougher than to forgive others. Excuses can be made for the rest, but you alone know the bare truth and you yourself know you could have made the difference. Only that you had chosen not to. Ouch.

As with any great war, deaths are inevitable but somehow Fred’s death does not affect me much. Maybe all along I have this feeling that the Weasleys have to do some payment to the plot sooner or later, or perhaps Ron’s humour is getting too close to that of the twins as a foreshadowing of redundancy. In any case, the existence of identical twins has died right after George’s ear was blown off at the start.

The ending is great, for it is so true that failure will always accompany complacency. I lost count of the many times Harry Potter would have died at the hands of the Death Eaters if Voldemort had not insisted to finish him off personally. Voldemort has stopped breathing not because Harry is great, but because Voldemort is too full of himself. He has dug his own grave with a spade of ignorance, ignorance that is born out of complacency. I am pretty sure that many of us can relate to that in our lives, in one way or the other.

All in all, I am glad that I have accompanied Harry to the very last. My time has not been spent in vain. Farewell.

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – J. K. Rowling

Dumbledore is finally dead. I have put off this book for years because I wanted to delay his death. A bit of regret on this decision though, as I believe I would have enjoyed this book much more before my 3 years of literature study. My level of appreciation for such fiction books has decreased significantly now; I am sure my peers would understand.

Anyway, Book 4 (Goblet of Fire) is still the best. Books 5 and 6 seriously pale in comparison. Maybe the increased thickness was done too deliberately (overwhelmed with triviality but not with a greater mysterious plot), or perhaps major deaths are not my idea of children’s books (yes, I know these are not, but to me, they are). When I started out on Book 1, it was mainly to transport myself into a fairytale-like realm, where all things are supposed to end well, and that goodness will always triumph over evil. By the end of Book 4, it was getting a little too serious and realistic but I still take the death as an accidental one. After Book 5, I was pretty much reluctant to carry on, but the streak of stubbornness in me couldn’t give up on the series.

So now that I am done with Book 6, one more book to go and I will be done with Harry Potter, for good.

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