I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows just before 2:00 in the morning. Overall I thought it was pretty good. I’ll put my thoughts at the end of this so you’ll be able to easily skip over it if you’d like, as I think I’ll probably write some spoiler information. I finished it in about a day and a half. I read the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, just a little quicker. I was visiting Amber Green in Charlotte and she had to go to work for a day, so I picked up this book I’d heard so much about and started reading it, sitting on her couch in her living room listening, I think, to David Gray. I finished the book before she got back from work.

When I did get to sleep, it wasn’t good sleep. Bruce kept jumping off the bed, scratching at the door so he could be let out and go downstairs where, we believe, he intended to scratch on Karen and Phil’s door so he could sleep with them and their Jack Russell, Paddy. Bruce was very annoying.

We got up and rode to Amanda’s grandparents’ house with her mom, Karen Mercer. Peggy and Earl made the usual eggs, grits, biscuits, ham and cheese biscuits. After breakfast I sat in the recliner while Amanda, Karen and Earl were out in the garage sanding something or other. Peggy, as she is wont to do, was cleaning.

We left after a bit and the ladies dropped me back by the house while they went out shopping for Anna Frazelle, Amanda’s aunt and Karen’s sister. I played some Global Conflict games and took a nap. While I was dozing it started thundering, which turned into rain. Fortunately, it stopped. My brother, Adam Dotsey, called me from Wilmington and said it was really bad there- lots of rain and lightning.

Amanda and Karen got back in around 3:30. The subjects of my picture taking arrived right at 4:00 as planned. By then everything had dried off pretty well here. The subjects of my picture taking will remain anonymous for now, because they’re getting the pictures done as a surprise for someone. The shoot went well though, especially considering that four kids, three of them very young, were involved. This was my first time shooting family portraits.

Amanda and I left a little while after they did. I drove back since Amanda drove us up yesterday. At home we heated up some leftover enchiladas and watched Thank You For Smoking, which I thought was smart-ass and witty enough to be enjoyable. I particularly liked that the main character didn’t really have a change of heart- he reveled in his lack of morals from the beginning to the end, despite all he went through. It was the story of a not good man doing not good things who kept being a not good man. It’s not what you typically see in movies.

While we were watching Thank You For Smoking a guy with a tree cutting business came by doing to door-to-door advertising in the neighborhood.  Incidentally, Amanda had just been talking to her mom about how we’d like to cut down the pine trees in our yard earlier today.

So, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows spoiler alert in



1 .

I liked the book overall. I went as far out of my way to not find out anything about the book until I read up to that point. That included making sure not to look at any headlines of newsfeed crawlers that even mentioned Harry Potter over the past week. That meant when I was placing my bookmark out of the way in later pages, not looking at any of the words on the future pages. That meant, when I got towards the end of the book and a lot was happening, holding my hand over the pages so I wouldn’t accidentally see any words that might give something away.

So, the big questions were does Harry die and what big characters die. Harry dies. But then, Harry comes back because he was killed by Voldemort, and when Voldemort killed Harry, he actually unknowingly killed a portion of his own soul. So Harry got to choose whether to come back or not and he did. As far as other characters that died, they include: Mad Eye Mooney; Hedwig; Lupin and Tonks, who had just had a baby; George Weasley (I figured at least one Weasley would be killed); Severus Snape, who ended up being a good guy afterall (which I also guessed); and a few others. Characters I wouldn’t have been surprised if they’d been killed and would have added more emotional impact to the book: Ron or Hermione of course; Hagrid; just about any other Weasleys; Professor McGonagall.

I particularly liked the action in the book. There was a lot of just jumping around Britain full of fear and angst, but when they did decide to take a course of action, it was usually pretty exciting. I do think they leaned on the polyjuice potion and the invisibility cloak a little too heavily though. Of course, if these kids had these things at their disposal, I suppose they’d use them. Still, they seemed like they made things pretty easy at times. I really liked the battle at Hogwarts, and when they do the movie I hope they spend a lot of time and effort fleshing that out.
I also really liked the chapter in which Harry is able to see the memories of Severus Snape. It tied up a lot of loose ends and explained a lot about Snape himself. I’ve always liked Snape, but that could be in part because I really like Alan Rickman, who plays him in the movies.

I think things were tied up a bit too neatly in the epilogue. Everyone who was together was still together, which just doesn’t always work on in real life. Harry married Ginny and had kids he named after seemingly everyone he ever knew. Giving one son the first name of Albus (after the headmaster Dumbledore) with the middle name of Severus was a bit cheesy, yet poetic I guess. Ron and Hermione were married and had kids too. Happy happy.

The one touch I did particularly like at the end was that they happened to see Draco Malfoy, who was also married and had a kid going to Hogwarts. Draco was Harry’s big rival at the school, and he’d been used by Voldemort, the big baddie of the series, but at this point he seemed to be leading a regular life, like everything in the past was in the past. J.K. Rowling didn’t make it like they were all friends by then, but it was sort of like, “Heh, there’s that guy we used to know going on about his business.” It was fitting. Draco had undergone some changes himself in the book, as he’d helped save Harry at one point and had come to the realization I think that he wasn’t happy with the side his parents had chosen.

Anyway, enough about all that. The ending (ore-epilogue) was a little confusing, but I liked the action and was satisfied with how it all played out.

Zach Dotsey