Friday, August 24, 2007

Harry Potter - The Leak was Real , The Book is Awful

(I published this post on July 21st, 2007, in another blog. I moved it here)

Now that the "real" Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is out, we know that the leak that set the net on fire - was real.

Scholastic was all over the place, trying to remove spoilers and torrents of the book on one hand, and on the other hand - claiming that the book wasn't real. All of this didn't prevent tens of thousands of downloads - maybe even more. Every time a torrent disappeared, another appeared, and anyone who wanted to know what happens without buying the book - could do that, easily.

Rowling was "shocked" that the New York Times "dared" to publish a review of the book before the release. Shocked, are you now? The paper bought a legit book ahead of the "sacred" time of release and revealed astonishing spoilers, like the fact that 6 characters are going to die. OH! How awful! The Horror! How dare they?!? I am guessing the NY times figured they didn't owe Rowling a thing, and they were perfectly right. I don't suppose Scholastic will sue THEM. No, they are going after the small retailers and people like Michael Arrington.

Some of their threats worked, by the way, and a lot of articles about the leak were removed - for no real good reason but the threats themselves. Still, you can't win a battle like that on the net. Those who wanted the information - got it, and without much of a hassle.

Some amazingly dedicated people, sat down and TYPED the whole thing from the pictures, and created a PDF file, for all to read and enjoy.

But that is the main problem, isn't it? The book isn't enjoyable. It's a long, boring, half-plagiarized piece of junk, desperately trying to tie all the loose ends of the entire series, and failing miserably. Large parts of the book are boring, non-contributing dialogs. There is plenty of chatter between the characters, that doesn't really add anything to the plot or character development.

The critics that I read so far loved the book. I thought it was a pathetic soap-opera, not even fit for paper-back. If you don't feel like reading the review, I'll sum it up for you: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is a boring, unworthy book. Spend your money on a better product. And this is why:

George Loses an Ear - Fred Loses a Life

The deaths were completely random, and most of them meant nothing serious to the story. Seems like Rowling thought: "Well, I said there would be many deaths, I need to keep my hype, let's see...". I suppose she was trying to make some point about how death is random and meaningless in time of evil, but if that's true, she really didn't kill any important characters. I mean, Tonks? Lupin? They die, while inexperienced magic-kids like Luna Lovegood stay alive? Most of the deaths were of adults, despite the fact that the kids were in harm's way all along.

Can you say "The One Ring"?

The locket-horcrux scenes were completely Lord of the Ring, without a hint of shame. Wearing the locket makes the trio (Harry, Hermione and Ron) upset and irritable. The weight of it seems heavy on them. When Harry dives into a pool to get the sword of Griffyndor, the chain of the locket tries to kill him. Sounds familiar? And when they try to destroy the locket with the sword, the locket reveals an EYE who SPEAKS to them and tries to frighten them. Now, where did I read and see that before?

Come in, Voldemort, I hear you loud and clear

In order to make things easier for her, Rowling opened the connection between Harry and Voldy. Anytime the trio wants to know what Voldemort is doing, Harry blinks and he is inside Voldemort's head. Easy, convenient, no need for REAL intel, and speeds up things. A real p2p, if you want. Also, most of the solutions to the problems encountered by Harry and his buddies, come to Harry's mind all of the sudden. Not because he has found some info about it. Just because "it came to him", "he found the answer". For a wizard that knows so very little about his own world, that's quite an accomplishment.

No need to kill

Yes, a disarming spell is what wins the battle. The all-famous Expelliarmus. Sure, in times of war, you don't really need to kill. Let the evil forces do THAT. WE will stun them! In fact (and correct me if I am wrong) Harry, the pure soul of heaven, doesn't kill anyone at all. Even Voldy dies of his own curse, firing back at him because the wand didn't fit him well enough.

The sticky ending

The book itself has no flow and rhythm. It skips between broken plot lines, trying to fix the holes of the entire series. Harry is almost dead in so many parts of the text, you sort of lose interest near the end. Oh, and of course - he doesn't really die because he CHOSE to die. Naturally. And Snape was loyal to Dumbledore for 16 years because he was in love with Lily. That's really believable.The Epilogue sums it all up in the tackiest way - all was well.

Harry marries Ginny, Ron marries Hermione, Neville becomes a professor. All is well really. No one knows what they are actually DOING with their lives, but that's OK. Who cares, as long as they all have 2-3 kids.Rowling promised that this will be that last book, but the ending and the epilogue leave a HUGE opening for 2-3 more books, easy. Not really surprising, isn't it?

Oh, and one more thing - in a book about magic and lore, about witches and wizards and spells and potions - why do people keep saying "Oh my God"?