And so the most popular young adult series of our times comes to a close. The young wizard Harry, the only person to survive an attack from the evil Lord Voldemort, and his friends Ron and Hermione reunite, drop out of school, and attempt to undermine—and eventual destroy—the dark lord. As testament to the status of Rowling, who started as a welfare mother and is now one to the world’s most rich and famous people, the book has no descriptions or blurbs on the dust jacket. Why bother when bookstores and libraries internationally threw parties to celebrate its release? Unfortunately, her standing allowed her to pen the first 350 or so pages without an editor having it reduced to the 50 or so that were actually necessary (the text itself is close to760, making it the longest young adult story ever). When the book does get moving it is filled with excitement, thus sparing us from such anticlimactic endings that other anticipated finales had (I’m looking at you Seinfeld and A Series of Unfortunate Events).
An entire generation has now grown up with these books—even if many of the fans are adults—and read how the characters have grown, seen the books become longer, and the themes increasingly darker. I wonder how adolescents who pick up the books now will react to them without having the decade in which to absorb the tales.
Personally, I am pleased with how it turned out. I had concerns after the last installment and hopes as to what would occur or not occur in the plot (don’t worry, I won’t bring them up so not to spoil anything), and I do miss the earlier works’ focus on Harry forming relationships, getting introduced to a new world filled with magic, and simply attempting to survive high school, but Rowling did a decent job both providing a fulfilling end to her storyline and allowing imaginations to continue it. I’ll miss you Harry Potter, but I’m glad to say good-bye like this.
Be sure to read all my posts on the series and the movies.