I was hoping to get this one and the next one done this week but with all the craziness that went on in the latter half of the week I don’t think I’m going to get another one done in time so this will probably be pushed back to my usual Friday time.
Title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Series: Harry Potter Series; Book 1
Author: J. K. Rowling
ROTS Setting: EU, Magic, Higher Magic, Modern/Present Day, Dragons
Synopsis: Harry Potter grew up being treated horribly by the aunt and uncle who raised him. He never knew much about his parents or how famous he is. That is until a letter arrived.
Recommendation: Read it. Read it again….and again and again. While this book is appropriate for younger readers, later books in the series may not be.
– – SPOILERS – –
This review is not meant for anyone who has not read the books already. If you haven’t read the series; stop here and go do that NOW! It’s good and you are a decade behind the times.
Starting this I realized it had been a long time since I last read the series. Sure, I’ve watch the movies many times and the audio book has been off and on, but I hadn’t sat down and read them in a while.
The setting has always been fascinating to me. The mixture of magic, myth and mystery with a health dose of weird and wacky always sparks my imagination and sends me off into the furthest possibilities of the wizarding world. Harry’s trip into Diagon Alley is a good example of that. Up until that point it’s a little slow and a touch boring, but it lays the foundation for the rest of the series that doesn’t really ever need to be repeated again so it saves time and keep the latter books running at a good pace. Back to Diagon Alley, the flurry of wizard culture, the colors, sounds and smells are absolutely enchanting. Hogwarts has also always been a special place for me. Schools are tediously boring, but Hogwarts manages to keep the hope and wonder while still being dangerous. This balance isn’t found in many other books and I don’t think I would have enjoyed this series as much if it didn’t have that balance.
As for the plot, it’s a touch simplistic compared to the latter books in the series, but it’s always felt like the books grow with the characters. It’s an interesting experience but not so good for younger readers who are only just now reading the series.
The characters are good. Many feel very read, but most are a little to idealized. That is to say they play into specific cliches too much or some aspect of their personality is too perfect. This gives some characters an artificial feel that’s fine for a children or youth book but feels out of place in a teen, YA or adult book. With the series seeming to span mulitiple age groups it’s difficult to say if this is an issue or not.
Ok, so that’s the normal review part. Now I can list some things I really like or noticed for the first time.
When Harry meets the centaurs in the Forbidden Forest they don’t want to do or say anything because the stars have foretold something horrible is going to happen. You can especially see this in the dialog between Firenze, Bane and Ronan. They imply that by saving Harry from the cloaked figure (we know this to be Quirrell and Voldemort) Firenze has only delayed the inevitable. For me, this is a great piece of foreshadowing for when Harry surrenders himself to Voldemort and then is “killed” by him.
Snape’s logic puzzle is also a high point for me, because it highlights the lack of logic in the wizard community, but also implies a lack of logic in society as a whole.
Dumbledore giving out house points at the end is a bit too much for me. Sure, it leaves you with a big feel good moment but it’s just too OP and a complete abuse of power on his part.
That’s it for this book. I hope you are all prepared for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child to come out this Sunday, Jul.31.2016. I’ve got it pre-ordered for months and barring major distractions I should have it reviewed for next Friday.