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Saturday, 21 July 2007

Book Review (relatively spoiler free)

So I just finished the latest novel, Harry Potter and the Title that Gives Away a Major Plot Point. Um, what can I say? That book is powered by hype. It was hype that made me go to a book store at 12:20 at night so that I could be among the first to purchase it. It was hype that made me sit and read it all at once. It was hype that first got me into the series.

Let's face it, the writing is not all that great and the plots are all pretty predictable, although I'll admit once in a while she throws in a good twist. That said, this book is much tighter written than some of the previous ones in the series. It's a reasonable length and extraneous bits were mostly left out. There were no quiddich matches, for instance. Returning characters appeared without any backstory, which has it's good points, but I found it kind of confusing when a red shirt not heard of except in passing for many books suddenly appears. The book makes most sense when the other books are fresh.

After sprawling across six previous books, some of them far too long, there are a lot of characters in the Harry Potter universe. Who could keep track of all of them? The teacher of Muggle Studies? Has she even been mentioned since an aside when the kids got old enough to take electives? So when the red shirts start dropping left and right, with no re-introduction, well, wait, who just got killed?

Anyway, off to a promising start with a focused plot, the book eventually gets . . . melodramatic. I won't quote any words from it, but the writing gets to be completely over-wrought. Unsupportably so.

In a book about magic, it's silly to complain about a deus-ex-machina, because, well . . .. Anyway, you've probably already made up your mind about whether or not you're going to read it. Perhaps, like me, it's already too late for you. But I will give a your of caution: just skip the epilogue.

What's with the British tacking these stupid epilogues on to things? It's just like the last chapter of Clockwork Orange. Why do they think we can't handle just letting the damn thing end? No, several years in the future when the pain of all the dead red shirts had subsided, the surviving characters maintained the friendships that they had built and went on to breed. "All was well." Yeah, it actually ends with "all was well." Gah, what bullshit. All that melodrama with an inane epilogue . . . the combinations is too much. The book has a promising beginning but doesn't pay off in the end.

Or maybe I'm grumpy because I stayed up until 6 AM reading and then woke up a few hours later and finished it. I need a nap.

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