Begun a decade ago and encompassing six shelf-bending novels, the seventh and concluding volume of the international literary phenomenon that is the Harry Potter saga comes to a bombshell-packed -- and oh so satisfying -- conclusion in
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, arguably the most wildly anticipated release in modern publishing history.
As the novel begins, Harry, Ron and Hermione are on the run from Lord Voldemort, whose minions of Death Eaters have not only taken control of the Minister of Magic but have begun to systematically -- and forcibly -- change the entire culture of the magic community: Muggle-born wizards, for example, are being rounded up and questioned, and all "blood traitors" are being imprisoned. But as Voldemort and his followers ruthlessly pursue the fugitive with the lightning bolt scar on his forehead, Potter finally uncovers the jaw-dropping truth
of his existence....
Undoubtedly Rowling's crowning literary achievement, this triumphant final installment not only answers any and all questions surrounding integral characters like Albus Dumbledore, Voldemort, Severus Snape, Neville Longbottom, and Draco Malfoy but also brilliantly deals with some decidedly adult themes -- mortality, faith,
duty, honor, etc. -- with a lyrical simplicity that will touch the hearts of readers of all ages. ("Do not pity the dead...pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love.") Rowling definitely saved the best for last in this saga; HP7 will exceed the expectations of even the most demanding Harry Potter fan -- a towering,
transcendent end to an equally towering and transcendent series.
Paul Goat Allen
It's hard to imagine a better ending than the one she's written for her saga after 10 years, more than 4,000 pages and close to 400 million copies in print.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows may be a miracle of marketing, but it's also a miraculous book that earns out, emotionally and artistically. …I cried at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It's that rare thing, an instant classic that earns its catharsis honestly, not through hype or sentiment but through the author's vision and hard work. The Washington Post
J. K. Rowling's monumental, spellbinding epic, 10 years in the making, is deeply rooted in traditional literature and Hollywood sagasfrom the Greek myths to Dickens and Tolkien to "Star Wars." And true to its roots, it ends not with modernist, "Soprano"-esque equivocation, but with good old-fashioned closure: a big-screen, heart-racing, bone-chilling confrontation and an epilogue that clearly lays out people's fates. Getting to the finish line is not seamlessthe last part of
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final book in the series, has some lumpy passages of exposition and a couple of clunky detoursbut the overall conclusion and its determination of the main characters' story lines possess a convincing inevitability that make some of the prepublication speculation seem curiously blinkered in retrospect. The New York Times
Daletackles Harry's last hurrah with the same undercurrent of excitement and mind-boggling roster of distinct character voices that he brought to his previous six performances. Less of the Hogwarts setting, and a more dangerous quest for Harry and his friends, means that Dale has less jocularity to work with here (something at which he excels), but he does not disappoint in conveying both the heart-rending drama and sense of closure of Rowling's final Potter outing. Late in the recording, when Harry realizes his fate and Rowling's plot twists fly, Dale is at the top of his game, drawing listeners into the orbit of his comforting voice. Throughout, Harry and his friends appropriately sound a bit older than they did in the early volumes, and it's hard to know whether it's imagined or not, but there's a hint of wistfulness in Dale's voice, perhaps because both narrator and listener know it's the last time they'll be together for a new Potter adventure. The CD packaging, which makes extensive use of Mary GrandPré's spot illustrations and cover art on the discs and sleeves, is also a treat for fans. Ages 10-up. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Gr 6 Up-Listeners may want to linger over
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Scholastic, 2007) since this is J. K. Rowling's last installment in her universally successful fantasy series. Howeverm the high-tension adventures of Harry assisted by Hermione and Ron will immediately draw everyone into the quest to vanquish Voldemort. With the Dark Lord in control of the Ministry of Magic, the trio uses their combined wizardly talents to stay hidden as they follow Dumbledore's assignment to destroy the dangerous horcruxes. Finding those fragmented pieces of their enemy's soul lead the friends to angry arguments, near fatal encounters and, occasionally, humorous episodes. Pursuing Dumbledore's oblique clues also reveal the truth behind a powerful, death-defying magic wand and stone, but that knowledge threatens to sidetrack the teens. The final confrontation is a bloody battle at Hogworts that involves the vast cast of creatures, allies and foes from the previous six volumes. In the end, Harry learns unexpected truths that are pivotal in the concluding struggle between good and evil. Narrator Jim Dale again serves up superbly distinctive characters and adds excitement when he narrates action scenes. Creating more than 200 voices for the Potter series, Dale has not only brought a rich vocal presence to the text, but he's also set an audiobook record for the number of characters portrayed. For those who've enjoyed the print version of the book, listening to this recording will extend and enhance the inspiring climax to this legendary septet. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal - Barbara Wysocki