This review contains spoilers for all previous Harry Potter books.
A lot happens in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Instead of the usual pattern from the other books with a before school introduction followed by the school year and subsequent shenanigans as the conclusion, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows takes a very different route.
Most notable is the change of pace when our two heroes and one heroine face their adventure outside of the walls of Hogwarts. While it is no more dangerous than the tumultuous times of the first six books, the stakes are higher than ever as the trio race around, trying to stop Voldemort from doing the classic big bad and taking over the world.
Wrapping it up
The writing in itself is beautiful, tying all the elements of the series that seemed so disparate at times into one perfectly linked pattern. It balances the heavier themes of the later books as well as the darker mood with the classic camaraderie and wide appeal.
Everything is on the line
With the government infiltrated and in shambles, Dumbledore dead by Snape’s hand, our three main characters on the run, Death Eaters in positions of power and everything else that could be going wrong doing just that, the story moves at a tremendous pace with the unstoppable momentum of a train at full speed. It would be very easy for the series to derail and at times it admittedly gets close. However, Rowling successfully carries the series to the end.
Impact of emotion
The emotion of the last books is something to be mentioned. With the last two books each resulting in increasingly emotional deaths of beloved characters, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows could be no less painful or risk becoming anticlimactic. Twists and turns reveal hidden truths; people die and stories draw to a close. It is a sign of impact when such emotion is invested so broadly in a franchise, and Harry Potter is no exception. Its fan base, the self-proclaimed Potterheads, made their depth of emotion widely known.
The action and battles that occur in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows are well written, if predictable in that Harry Potter uses his default spell, the infamous ‘Expelliarmus’. It may be symbolic of Harry’s choice not to be a ruthless killer like Voldemort, but after numerous books in which he rarely breaks from using it against other wizards, it becomes a tad trite. While other characters are fighting in often creative and unique ways, Harry sees fit to throw his straight punch every single fight.
The boy who lived has grown up
The characters are now grown up. They started out as children, thrust into this world which they barely grasped, staying ahead by little more than luck. Now they are grown up, dealing with the tail end of adolescence and all its baggage. Harry thankfully tones down the angst as the series winds down, coming to accept his fate with more elegance than he had mustered in previous books.
Why you should read this book
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is a spectacular conclusion to a monumental series. Characters blossom into their full potential and stories wrap themselves up to form a cohesive picture. J. K. Rowling finishes the series with a masterful flourish and an almost serene epilogue that does the Harry Potter immense justice.