It’s been years since I read the HP series, and I’m really exciting about re-reading the whole thing this year. I’m going to try to write a review for each book as I read it – normally I don’t do this with series, but HP is so well-known that I’m not going to overly concern myself with spoilers.
The wonderful world of Harry Potter starts with this book. It’s important to remember that this was aimed at children 9-12 years old – the writing, the plot, and the general tone of the book reflect that. Nonetheless I caught myself smiling as I read it. I enjoyed it immensely, and picked up on subtle little hints for the future.
In the first novel, Harry discovers on his 11th birthday that he is a wizard. He gets to leave his miserable home with his horrible aunt, uncle and cousin and instead attends school at Hogwarts, the English school for wizards and witches. He also learns that he is famous for defeating the biggest baddie there ever was, Lord Voldemort, when he was just a baby. As Harry learns more about magic and his past, he also runs into a come-back plot of Voldemort’s, and proves to himself for the first time that he can stand up to him.
I wish I was J.K. Rowling. She has written an incredible story – this book is immediately captivating. It’s really fun to get to know the world she has created here – the different spells, the big awesome castle, pictures that move, trolls, interesting gateways that literally connect the magic and non-magic world, etc. It’s all fascinating. She also creates really believable characters, and situations that even thought they are magical, they don’t seem impossible.
As I said before, you can definitely tell this is a children’s book. I enjoyed it, but I’m eagerly awaiting getting to the more mature novels (pretty much book 3 and on). But as far as it being the first book in a long series, it does a great job.
Sarah Says: 4 stars!