Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Back to Hogwarts

Yeah, I've read the Harry Potter books. I got suckered in about 4 years ago when the Wife bought the first book to save for the Five Year Old (like they weren't going to have copies in print when he could, you know, read).

The first book (Sorcerer's Stone) was a fast read, very creative, and actually had a good mystery to it. The next two books were already available in paperback, so I plunked down my $5 per book and picked up Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban. By the time I finished book three, I was hooked. Once I saw the long range planning that Ms. Rowling put in her books (Sirius Black was mentioned on like, what? Page 1 of Book 1 and he was held back as a character until Book 3?), I looked forward to the next installment.

Then came Goblet of Fire. How underwhelming was that? Lots of fluff to fill pages. Plot holes everywhere. A storyline that had no bearing on the outcome (The whole reason he's in the tournament is so he can grab a cup?). The book was redeemed in the last 75 pages. It ended strong and I figured Rowling would take her time and churn out a winner for Book 5.

Order of the Phoenix? Sucked. Korey-level sucked. More meandering story telling. A plot that would have made the modern George Lucas proud. A death without meaning. A techno-gobbleddy gook ending that would make a Star Trek fan say, "Huh?"

And, most of all, no mystery. I was looking forward to trying to figure out what was going on. Shame on me. There WAS nothing going on.

So, now, Book 6, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", is due this weekend. I'm going to have to read it. Why? I have to know how the story ends. I did the same with Rendevous with Rama. I read the follow on novels. They were OK, then lousy, then putrid. But I had to finish them.

I hope Rowling has done better work this time. I don't want to be chewing my tongue off while I read more about Harry's pounding heart for the 537th time.

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