Friday, June 21, 2013

Harry Potter and the Series Review

Harry Potter is one of those books that was a major part of my childhood. I read some of the earlier ones (1-5) multiple times when I was younger, but haven't re-read them since the seventh came out.

Of course, the books stirred up quite a bit of controversy in Christian circles at the time, and in fact still do. I've featured a guest post here before on why Christians can read Harry Potter, and I agree with all of those points, but those just touched on a few of the problems people have (or think they have) with the book. And my memory of the books is getting fainter and fainter, such that I find it hard to use specific examples to defend the books. All of which leads me to wonder if they are as good as I remember.

Another criticism I've heard is of J.K. Rowling's writing style. I remember loving it. My ten-year old self was very inspired by her writing. My fiction writing teacher, on the other hand, is apparently against her writing style, especially her use of psychological adverbs. Of course, he was against many things that famous writers did. (In case you're reading this, Mr. Jones *waving* hi! You were a fantastic teacher.) But a common criticism is that her book was popular in spite of her writing, and I just don't remember it well enough to lean either way. As I said before, I'm not necessarily reading to defend or apologize, but to judge for my (slightly more aware) self.

Instead of a book-by-book review, I'll just be reading the books and posting weeklyish about whatever section I'm on or have just finished, as well as other thoughts relating to the series. Possibly I'll also feature common objections to the Harry Potter series and work through them using the books and (if it's a Christian-based objection) the Bible. In fact, if you have a common objection to the series that you'd like me to address on my way through the series, go ahead and post it in the comments. If you have a strong opinion on the series and can condense it into 1,000 words, well, you know where to submit that idea....

So, to recap: this will be a summer series on Harry Potter that I'll be posting weeklyish. Since apparently Google Reader or Google Friend Connect (or something) is leaving July 1st, if you want to keep up with me in a way that is free from the whims of Blogger, I now have three options for you.

Take your pick. (Or, hey! Why settle? Follow all of them.)


  1. I've read some of the Harry Potter books more than once, but I think they really peaked at book 5. This is how I feel about them from reading them as an adult, and they are actually books I would go back and read again if I had time. Unfortunately, I have too many books that I've never read that are still waiting. Still, I do think it's important to go back and re-read books we read when we were younger just to see how our perspectives might be different. I'm looking forward to seeing what you get from them.

    1. I'm looking forward to that too. I've just been re-watching a lot of the Disney movies and realizing how much I missed when I was younger, so I'm anxious to see what I get from the Harry Potter books.

  2. Even though I'm part of the generation that grew up with Harry Potter, I never read the books, or even watched the movie adaptations. I'm weird. XD

    Already following you on Bloglovin'!

  3. yeah, that was kind of an introductory post and I meant to write more... ugh.Thanks for the reminder!!!

  4. I never read the Potter books. Just not my genre. But I've watched some of the movies and enjoyed them. As a Christian, I didn't get the whole uproar. The stories were presented as fiction, weren't they?

  5. I read the first four of these in college and the rest as they came out. It's been a while, but I remember thinking the first three were really great. I think because they were so popular, the publisher gave Rowling more of a free hand in books 4 and 5, and those were mostly confused messes with way too many subplots going on. (Don't get me wrong; they were still fun. They just needed a good editor to cut a couple hundred pages from each of them.) Then book 6 reigned things in a bit and ditched a few extraneous things (like the "House Elf Liberation Front" which was a ham-fisted allegory for an issue that no one is actually dealing with today), and the tighter plot made for a much better book. Book 7 rounded things off nicely, but I thought introducing the Deathly Hallows so late in the game and then retconning some stuff from earlier in the series was a bit artificial.

    Rowling is certainly no Tolkien, but I might put the Harry Potter books on par with Narnia.

  6. Hi ... I've reviewed the Harry Potter series on my blog. Perhaps you could take a look?? Maybe tell me what you think? I know its annoying when people post these type of comments but i'd like to know what people think. Thanks either way :) xo



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