I had fun reading The Alchemyst, but it's far from my favorite fantasy story. Saying "all myth is based in fact", and then pulling characters and devi...moreI had fun reading The Alchemyst, but it's far from my favorite fantasy story. Saying "all myth is based in fact", and then pulling characters and devices from all over the storybook map - historical-and-mentioned-in-Harry-Potter characters like Flamel, the Witch of Endor (Book of Samuel in Hebrew Scripture), Excaliber (Arthurian legends), Bastet (Egypt), Morrigan (vampire extraordinaire), nunchuks (every bad ninja movie ever made), Yggdrasill/World Tree (Celtic), etc. - seemed a forced attempt at creating a non-humorous Shrek-like fractured fairy tale world. And the pouty, jealousy-riddled sibling relationship between twins Josh and Sophie wears on the patience after awhile.
On the good side, I found Scott's description of the destruction of a shadow realm to be beautiful. Dr. John Dee is portrayed successfully as the quintessential villain, sulphorous/brimstone smells and all. And the adventure does reach fun, higher speeds at times. The Alchemyst is just good enough to make me want to continue on with The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series. (less)
"The Sorceress" is the strongest of the first three books in the Flamel series. Josh is less mopey; the characters of Shakespeare, Palamedes and Gilga...more"The Sorceress" is the strongest of the first three books in the Flamel series. Josh is less mopey; the characters of Shakespeare, Palamedes and Gilgamesh add spice and nuance to the book; and the concepts of the Horned God and the Wild Hunt are imaginative and interesting. Perenelle's being trapped on Alcatraz has been drawn out a bit too long, but the gradual divulging of her power as a sorceress makes me want to read more. Exactly how strong is Perenelle anyway? Looks like I'll have to wait another book or three to find out.
As the series progresses, Scott is adding shades of gray to his depiction of the battle between good and evil. Flamel's aura may smell minty fresh, but is he really as good as he appears early in the series? Why do I like Machiavelli at times? Is Dee doing so many bad things with the hope of bettering the world in the long run? And I don't even know what to think about the Witch of Endor? Is she a tyrant? Hopeless romantic? Saint? Sinner? Or a surprisingly human mix of conflicted personalities? Does the Morrigan have a heart after all? Scott creates plenty of doubts surrounding the motives of the main characters. I look forward to learning more about Nicholas, Perenelle, Dee, Scatty, Sophie, Josh, Machiavelli, and the entire cast of still obscured others awaiting their turn in the spotlight.
Here seems like a good time to confess a weakness - I'm a sucker for the popular story device I'll call "be fooled by personal appearances at your peril." The idea that great and powerful things come in humble packages resonates with me. Rowling uses the device with great success throughout the Harry Potter series. Geeky Clark Kents and Peter Parkers become superheroes throughout the comic genre. The ancients used the humble origins device to describe Jesus, John the Baptist, and most of the biblical prophets. Scott's Flamel series uses the device throughout, with simple booksellers being immortal alchemists, whiney twins being the twins of legend, and powerful King Gilgamesh being a homeless person squeegeeing car windshields. Without fail, I always find myself captivated by such powerful, complex characters hidden within humble life circumstances. Why? Maybe it's my own awkwardness as a child wishing to be something special. Or maybe it's the clergyperson in me hoping against hope that Imago Dei - the concept that all people, regardless of outward appearance, are made in the divine image - is actually true. Is the stamp of the divine on the vagabond as well as the royal? I sure hope so. Scott does a good job of reminding me to look past outward appearances in my interactions with people.(less)
It's official, I have Flamel fatigue. "The Necromancer" proved to be the toughest slog of the series thus far. The overall narrative switches back and...moreIt's official, I have Flamel fatigue. "The Necromancer" proved to be the toughest slog of the series thus far. The overall narrative switches back and forth between a seemingly infinite number of story lines. One moment, you're in Sherwood forest with Palamedes, Shakespeare and Saint Germain. Next, you're plummeting through a leygate with Dee and Dare; or in a boat with a crying Machiavelli and an annoying Billy the Kid; or in a 1960s bowling alley-like pad with Prometheus, the twins, the Flamels, and a crystal skull; or in the Land of the Lost with Scatty and Joan; or, or, or... At times, you can go 50 to 100 pages without encountering one of the story lines. Too much!
Interestingly, the largest number of story lines occurs in one of the shorter books of the series. "The Necromancer" is about 100 pages shorter than "The Sorceress". Fewer pages, but more story lines? The book feels rushed and overfilled. Scrap some of the story lines and Scott could have told the same story better, and maybe as a trilogy.
One final negative comment. The Elders and Next Generations are a very incestuous bunch - all brother, sisters, aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, etc. You need a family tree to make sure no V.C. Andrews-esque shenanigans are coming into play here. Could the genetic homogeneity explain the foolishness, and often viciousness, of our supposed "ancestors"? Good lord, the God of the Old Testament is less temperamental than this lot.
Despite these frustrations, I will keep reading the series. The adventure keeps the pages turning at least somewhat. And I've already invested the time and energy to get through the first four books. I might as well give "The Warlock" and "The Enchantress" (release slated for summer 2012) a go as well.(less)
After such a mediocre experience with The Necromancer, I'm a bit surprised I liked The Warlock. The story felt less rushed, Josh's whine factor has de...moreAfter such a mediocre experience with The Necromancer, I'm a bit surprised I liked The Warlock. The story felt less rushed, Josh's whine factor has decreased significantly, and fewer new folks are introduced, allowing Scott to go deeper with existing characters. Scott even allowed a moment of genuine humor, with Tsagaglalal playing a somewhat scolding mommy to Prometheus, Mars, Odin, and a handful of other immortals. For some reason, I found the scene with Prometheus cooking breakfast meats and dodging spattering grease hilarious. Scott does a solid job of depicting iconic mythological characters as real beings. I saw a negative review of a previous book in the series that accused Scott of battering our cultural heritage. I think it's more fun than anything else.
Overall, I enjoyed the storytelling more in The Warlock than in the first four books. One reason for the improvement may be Scott's increased use of italicized histories and memories to help bridge gaps in the story. For example, every time Sophie touches something or someone, information on origins pops into her head. This storytelling device helps tell the histories of Danu Talis and the relationships between many of the Elders and immortals. Though all of this information could have been provided in fewer books, it's a welcome development that Scott is finally deepening the story instead of adding another shallow plot point or spinoff. And did I mention the final paragraph that surprises and changes your entire perspective of the story?
Whew! I'm caught up with the Flamel series in all of it's lower fantasy, myth busting glory. The final book - The Enchantress comes out in a couple of months. The Warlock has redeemed the series for me, and I might even be looking forward to the arrival of the final installment.(less)
Some context before explaining my 5-star rating. I jumped right into The Night Circus without reading any "trailers", descriptions or reviews of the b...moreSome context before explaining my 5-star rating. I jumped right into The Night Circus without reading any "trailers", descriptions or reviews of the book. Once I finished, I read two very good but negative reviews of Morgenstern's work. I found myself agreeing with the vast majority of their points. Still, my overall impression of The Night Circus remained the same. I LOVED this novel, and look forward to reading it again in the future.
"Languid" is a decent descriptor of the book's pacing. Morgenstern took her time to tell the story, providing beautiful, lush descriptions of the various settings. Her verbal paintings of Midnight Dinners with Chandresh, the Ice Garden, the lighting of the circus bonfire, the clock, and numerous others had a meditative, peaceful effect on me as reader. I was reminded of my favorite movie - Wim Wender's Wings of Desire - another languid work of art that takes its own sweet time in spinning a tale. Boring? For some. I found the slow pace intoxicating.
Morgenstern addresses deep philosophical issues in The Night Circus. Does humankind have free will in any meaningful sense? Or is existence scripted for us, with little to no individual agency in our lives? What rights and responsibilities do parents have in making life choices on behalf of their children? Is any life, human or non-human, expendable? Is immortality really all its cracked up to be? Morgenstern's Night Circus provides an interesting stage for engaging such issues.
Another interesting element to The Night Circus is Morgenstern's use of time. The extended lives of circus personnel and friends, moving backward and forward through time from chapter to chapter, establishing a circular rhythm and structure to the narrative by repeating the first line of the story in the next to last chapter - all gave the story a timeless, almost disorienting feel. This sense of timelessness made the circus almost familiar to me, despite the main action occurring more than a century ago. Sure I've experienced multiple iterations of Cirque de Soleil. I've been introduced to words like "Exsanguinated" through X-files. But Morgenstern does her part in making the circus more familiar to me by removing me from linear time, refusing to limit the characters' behavior to the more constricting Victorian values of the late 19th, early 20th century, and placing an impermeable wall between the circus milieu and the turbulent turn-of-the-century political environment.
In all, a very enjoyable, timeless, disorienting, mystical read.(less)
Such a weird and amazing read! Diana Wynne Jones takes standard fairy tale and fantasy elements--a girl coming of age, wizards, witches, shapeshifters...moreSuch a weird and amazing read! Diana Wynne Jones takes standard fairy tale and fantasy elements--a girl coming of age, wizards, witches, shapeshifters, a scarecrow, demons, a questionable stepmother, castles, princes and kings--and does something utterly unique with them. I've never read anything like Howl's Moving Castle. What to say of a story where everything's exponentially stranger than initially thought? I loved it.
Sophie's such a cool character. Unlike a typical fairy tale, she doesn't need a knight in shining armor to rescue her from danger or an ennui-filled existence. Sophie's tenacious in going after a better life. And what a fantastic grump she is as an old woman! Her courage and no-nonsense approach stand in stark contrast to Howl's careless-but-fearful way of being. There'll be nothing easy about Sophie and Howl's happily ever after. They anticipate an "eventful",'"hair-raising" and exploitive life together.
My one criticism of Howl's Moving Castle is the fever-pitched ending. A host of people and storylines come crashing together in the end. So much happens in the final 10 pages! I could have used a little gentler winding down to affairs. But maybe a hectic ending is just what a hair-raising ever after demands. Whatever the case, my criticism of the ending doesn't rise to the level of docking a star from my rating. Five stars all the way for this one.(less)
Fantastic! Sure, I have a problem with black-and-white depictions of evil. Between Draco Malfoy, Snape, the Dursley's and Voldemort, there's plenty of...moreFantastic! Sure, I have a problem with black-and-white depictions of evil. Between Draco Malfoy, Snape, the Dursley's and Voldemort, there's plenty of fire and brimstone-worthy characters to go around. A strong tie between appearance, name, and a perceived "goodness" remains. Who wouldn't assume that people and houses named Draco Malfoy, Snape, Crabbe, Goyle, and Slytherin weren't iffy or villainous? Why wouldn't Snape, with his dark appearance and hooked nose, be viewed with suspicion, fear and loathing? Rowling does let some grayness into the mix as the story progresses, but some stereotypes do remain intact.
My issues with a simplistic depiction of good and evil aside, Rowling spins an entertaining, lush, and imaginative tale. Such great world-building! The descriptions of meals in the main hall made my mouth water. I really want to hang out on Diagon Alley. I'd be willing to overlook excessive fees to keep my money at Gringotts Wizarding Bank. I'd risk triggering my gag reflex to try Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans. I want an owl messenger. And my kingdom to catch a train at Platform 9-3/4!
Rowling uses humor and heartstring tugs well. I was genuinely touched by Harry's mirror-aided encounter with his family. Personally, I can't imagine never having known my own mother, father and brother. Then there's the playfully disrespectful exchange between the Weasley twins and their mother at Platform 9-3/4:
"Fred, you next," the plump woman said. "I'm not Fred, I'm George," said the boy. "Honestly, woman, you call yourself our mother? Can't you tell I'm George?" "Sorry, George, dear." "Only joking, I am Fred," said the boy, and off he went.
Dialogue, world-building, characters. You name it, Rowling nails it. I can't wait to move on through the Harry Potter series. And while I'm at it, I can't wait till the day arrives when women like Jo Rowling don't feel pressure to disguise their gender through using ititials or masculine nom de plumes. Jo, Mary Anne Evans (aka George Eliot), and plenty of others deserve better.(less)
Two books into the Harry Potter series, I've become a bit of a Rowling fanboy. She mixes boundless imagination--flying cars, mandrake-babies, floo pow...moreTwo books into the Harry Potter series, I've become a bit of a Rowling fanboy. She mixes boundless imagination--flying cars, mandrake-babies, floo powder, ornery garden gnomes, a whomping willow, Deathday celebrations, etc.--with social commentary primarily on racism, classism, and purism. No doubt, Rowling wants readers of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets to know that: 1) the Malfoy clan is a horrible bunch of racists and classists; and 2) J.K. Rowling isn't a big fan of racists and classists. She puts these words in the mouth of Draco Malfoy:
"Father says to keep my head down and let the Heir of Slytherin get on with it. He says the school needs ridding of all the Mudblood filth, but not to get mixed up in it."
Change the context away from wizards and muggles and you have a vile slur--"Mudblood filth"--usable against any person one perceives as racially or culturally impure. Can't you hear Hitler or Jim Crow South fave Bull Connor throwing the term "Mudblood" around in impolite conversation? Rowling rejects such bigotry, preferring judgment based on merit or on the contents of individual characters. The materially poor Weasley clan, the orphan Harry, and the "half blood" Hermione are much preferred to the "pure blooded", privileged and arrogant Draco.
Dumbledore's closing moral lesson--"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."--solidifies Rowlings argument that character trumps privilege any day. And Harry spends the entire story revealing the truth of Dumbledore's words. While Draco rejects "mudbloods" like Hermione, Harry befriends them. While Draco distances himself from poor people like Ron Weasley, Harry prefers to live among them. While Lucius Malfoy enslaves "lesser" beings like Dobby the house-elf, Harry frees them. Harry possesses a character strong enough to choose the good; Draco shows weak (Calvinist?) character by subordinating his individual will to his family's preordained Slytherin-ness.
Harry and Draco, yin and yang. Rowling leaves very little for me to like about Draco. I've taken the bait and despise him, his father, and his minions Crabbe and Goyle. It'll be interesting to see if Rowling plays with her characters' hate-ability in future installments in the series. Mixing grayness in with black-and-white treatments of good and evil always makes for an interesting and more true-to-life story. Just guessing, but I suspect Draco will have moments of likeability in the future.
I could get into Tom Riddle's diary and Rowling's warning against believing everything we read. I could also analyze Rowling's apparent ambivalence toward institutions and their leaders. But I won't because I'm tired and, quite frankly, bored with hearing myself opine right now. So I'll close. Really, I can't give such an imaginative, thought-provoking work of fiction anything other than five stars. Rowling's good. I'll read further.
Without a doubt, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite installment in the series thus far. Imaginative storytelling (the Boggart and...moreWithout a doubt, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite installment in the series thus far. Imaginative storytelling (the Boggart and Dementor scenes are amazing), likeable new characters (Remus Lupin's wonderful in his turn as professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts), perfect comedic timing (the Marauder's Map expressing its negative opinion of Snape) and emotional moments between Harry and the various father figures in his life--it's all presented masterfully by Rowling. Honestly, I can't wait to learn more!
One of my main complaints has been Rowling's seemingly simplistic, black-and-white treatment of evil. If a name has sounded mean and creepy (Draco Malfoy, Slytherin), or if someone's appearance has been described as swarthy or shifty, then it's been a pretty safe bet that they're evil or at least up to no good. Rowling's now letting some grayness into the Potter universe. Was Snape a victim of bullying at the hands of James Potter and friends? It appears so, which puts his often-spiteful treatment of Harry in a different light. The greatest proof that Rowling's not locked in a fully Manichean mindset is her treatment of Sirius ("Serious"?) Black. Such a name could be attached to the vilest of people. But Sirius' dark appearance is due to Dementor abuse and seething anger at injustices committed against him and his friends. It may just be that Sirius is indeed the brightest star in the night sky. We'll have to see. Such ambiguity of character makes me happy.
Rowling's attention to small things also makes me happy, and lifts the Potter series from good to great. There's something so simple and perfect about her description of the greeting between Aunts Petunia Dursley and Marge:
"Petunia!" shouted Aunt Marge, striding past Harry as though he was a hat stand. Aunt Marge and Aunt Petunia kissed, or rather, Aunt Marge bumped her large jaw against Aunt Petunia's bony cheekbone.
Even the act of greeting looks ridiculous when such spite-filled people are involved. For whatever reason, this encounter between aunts stayed with me throughout the read.
Then there's Dumbledore's simple description to Harry of the interactions between living and dead loved ones:
"You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don't recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble? Your father is alive in you, Harry, and shows himself most plainly when you have need of him."
There's something deeply mystical about parenthood. Genetically, I'm 50% Glenn; 50% Phyllis. I see them both every time I look in the mirror. When I sing random notes, I sound freakishly like my dad. And my Christian tradition includes a unique take on ancestor worship, sometimes describing God as Father-Son-Holy Spirit. For these reasons and more, parent-child relationships hold deep, mystical meaning for me. So, Harry's longing for relationship with his parents resonates powerfully with me. Whether it's Harry standing in front of a mirror and seeing his folks looking back at him, hearing repeatedly his mother's screams at the time of her murder, or from a distance mistaking himself for his father, I tear up every time Harry wonders about his parents. My strong desire to see Harry happy and together with his family makes me want to read more, and quickly.
I'd have given Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban five stars based on everything mentioned above. But throw in her political statement on the death penalty and I'm tempted to put Rowling in a class of her own. Without getting preachy, she points out that innocent people do end up on death row, and that such a black-and-white/life-and-death decision demands the grayness of caution and humility. Harry also chooses not to kill, instead leaving this ultimate decision to the mystical forces of magic (Dumbledore's term) or providence (my term). Rowling the optimistic mystic? Possibly. At the least, there's plenty of mystery infused in the everyday. I love her (platonically, of course), and can't wait to crack book #4.(less)
"You place too much importance... on the so-called purity of blood! You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!"
Dumbledore's criticism of Cornelius Fudge gets to the crux of the matter, doesn't it? Whether it's making laws against interracial marriage, following Hitler, or taking to the extreme biblical notions of impurity and mixing apparently unlike things (Lev 19:19: "'Keep my decrees. Do not mate different kinds of animals. Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material'"), requiring others to fit into one's own notion of "purity" often leads to dreadful consequences.
Throughout the Harry Potter series, Rowling plays with this notion of purity. Dumbledore's a loving parent for those that certain segments of wizard society deem unclean (Hagrid the half-Giant, Harry the half-blood, Muggle-born Hermione, the poverty-stricken Weasley's, Snape the forgiven Death Eater). The Malfoys (Lucius and Draco) stand in stark contrast to the perceived "messiness" of Dumbledore, preferring "pure-bloods" to "Mudbloods" like Hermione and Harry. The Malfoys treat the poor, house-elves and muggle-born like trash. I hate the Malfoys. And Voldemort? A man so loathing of his muggle roots that he's willing to massacre "impure" innocents to cleanse his own sinful self. I hate him too, though I hold a sliver of hope that he'll be redeemed of his self-hatred at some point.
I don't hate Hagrid. Actually, I like him alot. Rowling's clever in how she treats social issues in ways that might engage younger readers. She uses Hagrid's "coming out" as a half-giant to speak to others trapped in their own closet-prisons:
"I am what I am, an' I'm not ashamed. 'Never be ashamed,' my ol' dad used ter say, 'there's some who'll hold it against you, but they're not worth botherin' with.'
Rowling also engages the issues of slavery and activism through Hermione's work on behalf of house elves. Does the genetic disposition of a house elf make slavery the only choice for them? How does the house elves' apparent willingness to be enslaved tie in with Dumbledore's belief that it's not birth, but character and action that matter most? Are house elves less than human, and thus excluded from Dumbledore's life principle? Rowling's labeling of Hermione's free-the-elves movement as the House-Elf Liberation Front (a take-off on the Animal Liberation Front) proves that she's exploring the rights of humans and animals/non-human beings. Since people have used race to determine if a person is human or non-human (ie, African slaves in the U.S. once deemed as partial, or 3/5ths human at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787), this slavery debate using house elves makes sense as part of the broader discussion on purity and uncleanness running throughout Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Resolution of the slavery and non-human rights issues must come in a later book. But despite this lack of resolution, Rowling's warning against erecting imaginary boundaries between classes, races, genders, and even species comes across loud and clear.
Imaginative world-building, deftly handled social and philosophical debate, and a true-to-life (at least in my experience) depiction of the angst and relational awkwardness of the teenage years make Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire yet another modern classic. Rowling's really good! Color me fanboy.(less)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is Rowling's Empire Strikes Back--a necessary but depressing part of the series. The last few pages made me...moreHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is Rowling's Empire Strikes Back--a necessary but depressing part of the series. The last few pages made me smile. But for the most part, the other 867 pages are heavy, frustrating, dark, and extremely sad. Even Dumbledore sheds a tear! And why not? Privet Drive, Hogwarts and the wider wizard world are under siege by Voldemort and his Death Eaters, Dementors, angry racist/elitist centaurs, media propaganda, frightened government institutions, a wayward Weasley, and a despicable tool named Dolores Umbridge. I'll never again hear the hem hem of a clearing throat without pulling a duck and cover.
While reading, I couldn't stop feeling sorry for various beings. Sirius, Luna, Cho, Kreacher, Snape, Harry, Ron, Firenze, Hagrid, Dumbledore, Hermione, the entire Longbottom clan, Mrs. Weasley, Mr. Weasley, Trelawney, Luna, Dobby, and more--so many folks to pity! And when I wasn't pitying, I was busy hating. There's nothing even remotely likeable about Bellatrix Lestrange. Even the oft-beloved James Potter acts the bully and narcissist in pensieve-preserved memories. Plenty of pity and hate, combined with a near-constant sense that bad things are about to happen to either children or senior citizens, makes for a bit of an uncomfortable read. Strange, I liked the book, but was glad to see it end.
Though Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is my least favorite installment in the series, it's still pretty awesome. One way I know Rowling's talented is that my forehead prickles each time Harry's scar starts hurting him. She's built a beautiful, dangerous world with characters I care about. And the best part? I've rearranged my reading life so I can jump straight into Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Onward.(less)
I thought (hoped?) that Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix would be the nadir for my emotions during the series. I thought wrong. Harry Potter...moreI thought (hoped?) that Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix would be the nadir for my emotions during the series. I thought wrong. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince makes the previous book seem giddy by comparison. Murder is no longer something that happened in a dark past, or accidentally when a stunned wizard falls beyond the veil, or might happen if the Dark Lord returns at an uncertain future point. In Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts, darkness has arrived fully. Taboo curses and hexes are thrown about recklessly. Even Harry and Hermione use confounding or harming curses to get what they want. Power, even killing power, is intoxicating in the adult world Hogwarts students are being forced to enter earlier and earlier.
In the midst of this increasingly evident evil, Rowling gives plenty of room for love, shared suffering, and an almost pastoral sense of binding deep emotional wounds. Slughorn's prayer at Aragog's graveside is beautiful, healing for Hagrid, and, it's spider-king focus aside, could be straight out of the Book of Common Prayer. Rowling's depiction of grief's unpredictable and nonlinear path rings very true for me as a pastor, former chaplain, and visitor of the sick. And I am very glad that no one--not Harry, Neville, Tonks, Hagrid, Mrs. Weasley, and on--have to face sorrow and fear alone.
Typically, I like a little uncertainty mixed into my stories. Some doubt as to whether or not good will triumph over evil makes for interesting reads. Harry Potter's different for me, though. I want to know that Dumbledore's loving vision will win out over Voldemort's purist-racist hogwash. Maybe it's that kids are the main protagonists and the unfathomable massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School just happened. Maybe it's a spiritual yearning for Easter/resurrection over Good Friday/death. Or maybe it's Rowling's knack for creating lovable characters. Whatever the mixture of reasons, I need the good and true to triumph here. A brief moratorium on Lovecraftian pessimistic universes, I think. Let's see what powering through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows does for a case of the existential blues.(less)
Wow. I'm usually up for a good ramble with my reviews. But this one feels different. So many likable, lovable, pitiable, and vile characters die in th...moreWow. I'm usually up for a good ramble with my reviews. But this one feels different. So many likable, lovable, pitiable, and vile characters die in this series. I'm a bit numb.
I've heard people compare the examples of sacrificial love in Harry Potter to Christ's Passion. I guess I could. But it feels better for me to ask fewer questions, and simply to enjoy the fact that a series of books could bring out so many complex emotions in me. A truly great story.(less)