The Potter Perceptions: The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011)

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harry potter and the deathly hallows part 2

And here we are. Can you believe it? The end of The Potter Perceptions. I was getting so cosy with the idea that this was going to be a permanent thing (though goodness knows I just wanted these movies to get it over with already), but alas, Eric and I are finally at the end. This actually happened. As much as I had to get my things together to watch this, and I wasn’t a serious fan of the movies or anything, I had so much fun running this project, hearing what Eric had to say with no knowledge of Potter or his world, getting to pick apart the flaws and praise that which was good, designing fresh and shiny new banners all the time, getting to pimp things out… I reckon we had fun. But here we are, at the end. Thanks to everyone that joined in on this, had fun with us, read it and shared their opinions, it was truly appreciated! Eric, I thank you ever so kindly for getting so involved with this, it was a total blast to work with you, and I truly enjoyed the effort you put into this whole thing!

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First I would like to come out and say that I’m kind of sad that this is over because I’ve had a lot of fun working with Zoë on this… Zoë this has been good fun and thanks for all of your time and for putting up with me and all of that!! Hopefully we can do something like this again. And NO – I WILL NOT WATCH THOSE DAMNED TWILIGHT MOVIES!!!!! On the other hand, I’m not sad that this is over because I’m done with all of these movies and breaking up with them over email. I mean, for real?? I just spent nineteen hours watching these things and THIS is how it ended??? GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVVVVVVVE MEEEEEEEEEEEE HARRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY POOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTERRRRR. GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE HARRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY POTTERRRRRRRRRRRR…. WHAT?? Multiplying cups??? Riding around on dragons???? I’m assuming people know about this but *spoilers* Harry’s dead!!! Oh shit there’s another hour to go!! What will we do??? Oh wait – he’s not dead after all!! Thank god the most evil presence in the world ever forever and ever and ever amen couldn’t figure that out. And – nice ending – “What if I am selected to Slytherin, Poppy?? What ever will I do???” “You will be a wonderful wizard, my son. Cheerio!” SMOOCH. Whatever.

So – they go off for one movie to find this all powerful sword – risking their lives – and then they get it and just give it up to the goblin to get into a safe? Did I miss something? Also – I never read these books so did I miss where someone actually used the Resurrection Stone? I thought he dropped it on the ground before he got killed? How did he just pop back up to life and go running around all over the place?? Wouldn’t he be sore or something from BEING DEAD??? After all of this time, bumbling and stupid Neville saves the day? Speaking of Neville – when the dark army is trying to get past the force field (or whatever) it’s just HIM out on that bridge keeping an eye on things?? I don’t think that’s very sound strategy from the Hogwarts Administration and Defense League.

I also thought it was pretty contrived how the Elder Wand never worked for Voledemort. Why? “I disarmed Draco so it actually belonged to me” (or something) says Pooter in the way of poor explanation. And then he destroys it? Wouldn’t you just give it to someone at Hogwarts to put in a safe or something? What if some hobo living under that bridge finds it and tapes it together?? I don’t know about this. I do think this move was well made with some fancy special effects and shit but…. I’m done with it. Bye bye, Harry Pooter, Byeeeeeee byeeee. Thanks again Zoë!! Happy 2014 to you!!

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The good:

  • Opening scene. I thought it was a good way to set the tone and pace, what with Snape watching the students in his newly taken over school.
  • Harry’s chat with Griphook. This was really good, and really got down to the issues at hand.
  • Helena Bonham Carter. I can praise this woman continuously. She is just perfect for these types of roles. She can take that strange and dark and just give it life like nothing else!
  • Gringotts security enchantments. I liked the way that the tunnels fled, the alarms went off, and their Polyjuice Potion was useless after the waterfall, just well done.
  • Multiplication in vaults. That was really good and accurate, though I wished the stuff had burned, too, like it should have.
  • Flight of the dragon. It’s escape and wreckage was just awesome to behold, and looked really good.
  • Voldemort’s discovery of the Horcrux hunt. How he reacted to finding out what Harry has been up to and the subsequent freak out he had and the brutal massacre that ensued. I know this sounds disgusting, but for me where all those bodies were strewn, the blood and the carnage was the first time they really and truly captured how dangerous and vicious Voldemort really is.
  • The Room of Requirement. The way it was decked out with the Hogwarts rebellion was just so cool, and it looked every inch the part I expected it to.
  • Alan Rickman having more screen time. Finally. This only took seven movies too long. He just commands your attention, and he is one of my favourite casting choices in all history.
  • McGonagall and Snape duelling. This was simply just too great to watch. McGonagall’s anger was right there, bubbling at the surface, and Snape’s resentment and guilt, too.
  • Voldemort’s ultimatum. The way he spoke to the school and its occupants was so well done.
  • McGonagall, Seamus Finnigan and Neville Longbottom discussing blowing up the bridge. This really had me giggling for a while.
  • The arming of Hogwarts was just phenomenal. The way everyone prepared, got the castle ready, cast their spells and all was just exactly what it should have been.
  • War preparations. How all the Hogwarts occupants were standing at the ready to take on the Dark Lord and his evil followers, prepared to even give their lives for the cause.
  • Searching the Room of Requirement for the Lost Diadem of Raveclaw. I think that this scene was solidly put together, and done really well, though I was not happy that the diadem was not destroyed by the Fiendfyre that was cast.
  • Voldemort’s robes. They just look amazing.
  • Hogwarts being a battlefield. That feeling was truly captured, and it was great.
  • The score and cinematography. It looked simply stunning and the music just set the mood and it was incredible!
  • Snape’s death. This scene was harrowing and heartbreaking. I loved Snape man!
  • The Weasleys mourning Fred’s death was devastating. It really was sad and painful. Then to see Tonks and Lupin alongside one another, hands reaching even in death also hurt a lot.
  • Snape’s memories. While not completely accurate or all of them in there, it was a damn shame to see how the man came to be, and it was so sad!
  • Snape’s anguish over Lily’s death. That was just almost too heartfelt.
  • The “always” scene. It just gave me goosebumps.
  • Getting the snitch open. Took long enough, but it was really nice how they displayed how it opened, how Harry had come to his deadly conclusion, and how his family was there with him to see it through.
  • Voldemort suspecting that Harry wouldn’t come, then his joy at his appearance. This was good, it shows how Harry and Voldemort understand each other too well.
  • Harry’s in between death scene at King’s Cross. I finally felt that there was a little more explanation going on, which was nice for a change.
  • Voldemort also being down when Harry came back. It shows that Voldemort had hurt himself, that he had killed the Horcrux of himself that resided within Harry.
  • Neville’s showdown with Voldemort. I enjoyed this scene.
  • Ciarán Hinds as Aberforth Dumbledore. He was great, and how he joined the fray of battle was pretty damn awesome!
  • Molly and Bellatrix duelling. This was fun. Fast, but fun.
  • Nagini dying. I liked the way the smoke that billowed from it had skulls and stuff in it, I thought the effects were pretty decent.

The bad:

  • Shell Cottage. The fact that Bill and Fleur called it a safe house and said that is what it was used for instead of it being their home, which it was.
  • Harry’s knowledge of the cup of Hufflepuff being a Horcrux. What irritates me about this is that in The Half-Blood Prince some memories of Voldemort were explored right, but not the incredibly important ones. For example, it is not showed that Voldemort encountered the cup and the locket at Hepzibah Smith, a witch who had these incredibly rare treasures, or that Voldemort highly respected the Hogwarts elders, and would have been obsessed in making their possessions his Horcruxes.
  • Voldermort’s history sketchy. It was never really explained that he is of Salazar Slytherin’s bloodline, and that he believed the ring and the locket, both Horcruxes, belonged to the Gaunts, which was his magical side of the family, and that he killed them as well as Tom Riddle Sr for having left his mother.
  • Voldemort attempting to get a teaching position at Hogwarts. This was not shown, and it was important to understand some of the Horcrux placing, or his fascination with corrupting minds, the Dark Arts, taking over and that Dumbledore had no respect for him seeing as he knew that Voldemort was too much for the Dark arts and what not.
  • Voldemort going to retrieve the Elder Wand. This came up in the last movie, which was all good and well, but the thing is that Harry was supposed to have known as it was happening and have made the calm decision to continue on with his mission at Shell Cottage.
  • The two way mirrors. The fact that Harry is only now figuring out how they work grates on my nerves.
  • Dumbledore’s history was completely written out. The fact that we do not hear of the bloody history of the Dumbledore’s or how Dumbledore himself had dabbled in the Dark Arts and how his sister was killed and why he and Aberforth have such a strained relationship was really such a let-down.
  • How bad Hogwarts got. I really wished they had put more in about how insanely bad things got there, how there was blood status and what not.
  • Ravenclaw common room. I really wish that the whole freakout in Hogwarts would have started here, with Harry looking for the diadem in the Ravenclaw common room, knowing then what it is that he was looking for.
  • Wish the story of the Grey Lady and the Bloody Baron had been in there, it would have been great.
  • No Weasley family reunion. The fact that Percy did not pop out and patch things up with everyone was highly annoying, because it was important. I didn’t even know Percy was in the building until it was too late, and was like what the hell, he actually appeared!
  • Apparating in Hogwarts. FUCK MY LIFE. I simply cannot get on board with this, it irritates me no end!
  • Fred’s death. I am sorry; this was one of the most painful scenes in the book and was simply not even included in this. It was just glanced over.
  • Nagini being a Horcrux discovered now only. That was old news man!
  • Neville’s grandmother not being present. I really missed that.
  • Dumbledore telling Snape sometimes the Sorting Hat chooses people’s houses too early. I wish that that scene had been included, it would have really given even more credence to Snape’s goodness, and it was such a beautiful and touching scene, too!
  • Voldemort’s eyes. It is something I have wished for a while… I wish that they had been red.
  • Harry and Voldemort’s final duel. This annoyed me. It was supposed to be Harry slipping away quietly, meeting in the Great Hall, having a massively public showdown, the most solid explanation to justify why/how so many things had happened over the past few years was just glanced over. They had a more private fight and an incredibly long one.
  • Voldemort’s death was almost too private. He was supposed to fall before an audience.
  • Harry breaking the Deathstick. What the hell?! He was supposed to fix his wand that Hermione broke, then he was to remain in possession of the Elder Wand until he died and the allegiance to a wizard with it.

Wow, what a way to close down the series! I must say of all the movies, this one is my favourite. It looked great, had a fantastic score, was paced reasonably well, the acting was just superb and Alan Rickman got more screen time, making me very happy. I must say this was going strong though it lost the plot towards the end a bit, the story got altered a bit too much for my liking. This adaption was mostly loyal, though I can see how it would confuse the hell out of people who hadn’t read the books – I could make the leaps and jumps and bounds in logic with the characters because I had a backing. Oh well, here we are and this run is finally over. I am actually going to miss this little project… thanks Eric for undertaking to see this through with me!

The Potter Perceptions: The Half-Blood Prince (2009)

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harry potter and the half blood prince

Progress is being made. Slowly but surely, progress is being made here. Eric and I set out for the sixth movie in the Harry Potter collection and it carried on as usual. We shall soldier on and complete this and then just be done! I was not looking forward to this one, Eric I am sure understands, but we progressed. The cast is getting older which is helping a lot in terms of their acting and all but I don’t know… I still feel that the essence of Potter was missed by these movies.

HALFBLOOD

This movie is 2:30 hours long. I actually think they all have been but the first two hours of this felt like seven. It starts off with some guy hiding in some house as a chair and Dumbledore going off to take a shit (I presume – because he comes out of there with a stitching magazine) and then a bunch of teen melodrama about people falling for each other and doing a lot of “slogging” – is that right? Did I use that right? When I was a teen we called it “Making Out”. I suppose it’s time though, I mean, two movies ago the boys were SCARED of girls. Where I come from we started Making It a few years before these kids but what do I know.

During this epic two hours, Harry and his chums practice making potions and playing that damned flying game and sneaking around in the shadows and flirting with each other and they go to another formal party and there’s an extended scene involving the carcass of a giant, dead TARANTULA!!!! I THOUGHT YOU WERE MY FRIENDS!!!! WHY DIDN’T YOU WARN ME??!???!!!! I almost crapped myself in disgust!!! Anyway – even though these first two hours were extremely boring and lame, I did think to myself 1) this is easily the most well done movie of the bunch from a cinematography, set, effects and props position and 2) this may sound pervy but Weasely’s sister is getting awful hot.

Then, while I was griping to Zoë and friends on Twitter about the shitty spider, suddenly this thing got really good when Harry and Dumbledore go down into that cave. When those things started crawling out of the water and Dumbledore was waving that fire all around the place – I really liked that part. Then something really tense and unexpected happen up in that clock tower (??) and I was all – HOLY SHIT and it left me feeling good about the whole thing, although most of it was yawnsville.

Overall, I think this sits as “satisfactory” in my gullet and I would probably say this is the second best one of the bunch. On a sour note though, when I got my mail yesterday and opened my Netflix envelope, I was dismayed to see that inside of it was a movie called DEMONS 2. for those of you who also read my site – do you remember when I talked about DEMONS? This makes me very sad and I don’t even remember ordering it : (

harry potter and the half blood prince duel

The good:

  • Dumbledore’s hand. Was blackened and dead-looking. Good job.
  • The Unbreakable Vow. It was excellent.
  • Snape’s attire. He always looks like the billowing bat. I love it.
  • Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes was well done, the shop looked great.
  • Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood. That was such a stroke of brilliance on behalf of casting.
  • Advanced Potion Making book was pretty accurate, as well as the handwriting in it.
  • The Riddle memories that Dumbledore procured. They were all good, though a vital one was missing.
  • The barrier around the school.
  • Harry and Ron discussing Ginny and Hermione – funny stuff. Also, Harry suddenly becoming the perfect gentleman around Ginny.
  • Hermione’s heartbreak over Ron and Lavender. It was very accurate, as well as how she dealt with it, and the way Harry finally admits to his feelings for Ginny.
  • Slughorn’s Christmas party – some funny stuff there.
  • Ron on love potion. That gave me a giggle.
  • Sectumsempra. Amazing.
  • Felix Felicis. I laughed.
  • Retrieval of Horcrux was pretty decent.
  • Dumbledore’s death was pretty good, though the way it led up to that was so weak.
  • Harry and Snape duelling. Almost got it right, close, but no cigar, but fun nonetheless.

The bad:

  • Harry not guarded and protected. Just picking up chicks? After almost being butchered by Voldemort? I highly doubt that.
  • Magic outside of school. Again. Dammit, I cannot understand this. It was such a bloody important thing in the books – to come of age before using magic. I mean… in Order of the Phoenix he was in trouble for using it (did they sell it as just because it was used before a Muggle or what? Can’t remember – either way, still not on.). I can have heart attacks about this.
  • The Vanishing Cabinets. That was shown so early that Malfoy was working on mending the one and all that. SO EARLY. Though I could have dealt with it except that Harry saw them, too.
  • The Gaunt memories. The memories that Dumbledore garnered did not show Riddle’s heir of Slytherin roots or the ring and locket of Slytherin, and they were rather important.
  • Tonk’s and Lupin’s relationship. Already on the go? What the hell is that all about?
  • Harry chasing Bellatrix down. On Christmas vacation? Since when?
  • Fenrir Greyback. He does not look great and he attacked Ginny and Harry!
  • The Burrow burning. I have no idea when/where this was supposed to have happened.
  • The disposal of the textbook was not right.
  • Harry and Ginny. That relationship was all wrong. No proper start, no proper continuation and so exceptionally awkward!
  • Weepy Malfoy. All the freaking time.
  • Dumbledore’s ignorance. Oki, this really ticked me off. Dumbledore never suspected Horcruxes or that Riddle did anything so extreme, and in the next breath he has been collecting Horcruxes because he suspected? What the fuck?!
  • Apparating in and out of Hogwarts. Again, something was stated as a fact and messed with later simply because it suited some tool.
  • Harry seeing Snape prior to Dumbledore’s death. What the hell was that all about? It makes Harry’s anger toward him after Dumbledore’s execution illogical.
  • Dumbledore’s Army not fighting. They were supposed to have been called to aid and been fighting with the Death Eaters when Harry and Dumbledore returned.
  • Fenrir Greyback didn’t maul Bill Weasley, Luna and Neville weren’t fighting, etc.
  • Harry didn’t break up with Ginny. I mean, there was no relationship anyway.
  • Dumbledore’s “funeral”. Where was that? It was important dammit!

As many flaws as there were in here, there were things to laugh at, considering how much drama was actually taking place. However, there were so many things that were just screwed with. Got very iffy with how select Riddle memories made it in and others just not. Oh well… But there are only two more to go, so let’s see if splitting the final part of the story will be worth the effort that went into it! Eric does have a point though, Half-Blood Prince was a very good looking film, even though it fell flat elsewhere.

The Potter Perceptions: Order of the Phoenix (2007)

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harry potter and the order of the phoeniz

Eric and I rolled in for part five of this whole long thing, any he was lucky that he only had to do it once. I was so angry to find I had accidentally lost all my notes that I had made on this (and yes, I made notes. I undertook to be as precise as possible), and only realised the loss of them long after I had moved on. I had to go back to this… ;( Why, cruel world?! So yes, my list will be a lot meatier now that I have had to do this twice, and I also got a lot more detailed about things.

PHOENIX

After the last one was SO disappointing I wasn’t really pumped for this so I hesitantly fired this one up.  This started off kind of good andI was all “heeeeeeyyyyyy – Harry’s aunt is showing a little leg….” and then yummy Osha from Game of Thrones showed up and I was all “I’m listening…….” and then there’s a bunch of stuff about Pooter being on trial and his headmaster comes in and saves his ass like always and then the lady from RAT is running the show and expelling everyone and kicking teachers out and that was all kind of lame.

And then there was the big secret room training montage that I thought was all right and Pooter finally overcame his innate and primal fear of girls and kissed one on the mouth. Then there’s a cool fight somewhere underground following a ridiculous looking set of sequences in a museum or vault or something that would surely have all of these teenagers put in prison for destroying everything. Oh – there’s also the fakest looking giant and fakest looking centaurs I’ve ever seen.

I don’t know how the next three will grab me but, after “Prisoner” I think this is the only other good one so far. Even for it’s faults, this one seemed more mature than 3 of the other four. What else?? I liked the little blond haired girl and that scene where they’re running through that field. I also liked that he didn’t turn into a fucking fish and go swimming wearing his eyeglasses. Off to the next one!

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The good:

  • Harry’s Patronus. Finally takes on the form of a stag… mostly.
  • George Harris. He is very well cast as Kingsley Shacklebolt.
  • Grimmauld Place. Really looks like it belonged to Dark wizards.
  • House elf heads. They were mounted on the wall.
  • Kreacher. I must say, I expected more ear fluff and all, but overall he is pretty nasty and grumpy and not nice.
  • Extendable Ears. They were good though the effects were really bad.
  • David Thewlis and Gary Oldman. They are outstanding as schoolfriends Remus Lupin and Sirius Black.
  • Arthur Weasley’s Muggle obsession. It is entertaining to see him so excited about Muggle inventions.
  • Ministry of Magic. It looks great, getting in was right, I just really miss the identification badges they were supposed to get.
  • Inter-office Ministry memos were done well.
  • Harry’s hearing. The hearing and court itself was alright.
  • Thestrals. Looked quite good, despite the CGI.
  • Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood. What a damn fine casting choice. As good as Snape, if you ask me.
  • Umbridge’s introduction. It was good. Everyone was incredibly unimpressed.
  • Umbridge and the pink. They got that right. The disgusting mewling kittens in her office, the office pink, even pink sugar. Always wearing pink. So nasty.
  • Umbridge’s voice. So good because it grates on you, sort of like her character.
  • Harry’s vile mood. They mostly get it right in here and how everyone seems to be treading lightly around him to avoid his snapping.
  • First Defence Against the Dark Arts class. This was brilliant. It was so loyal to the book and accurate. Harry’s argument over Cedric’s death, his total defiance to the new Ministry rules, how they hate him and all, just excellent.
  • Harry’s detention. The detention with Umbridge was good. I will not tell lies cut into Harry’s flesh and carried the story of all that was wrong with Umbridge.
  • Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes is good.
  • McGonagall and Umbridge fighting. This was classic. Maggie Smith really is an excellent McGonagall.
  • Maggie Smith as Minerva McGonagall. She was the perfect actress, though I wish more of her sass was captured.
  • Educational Decrees. There were a lot of them and this movie shows how many there were that just continue to be put up.
  • Snape being questioned by Umbridge. “Obviously”. This was an incredibly amusing scene.
  • Sybil Trelawney sacking. This was actually quite well done, what with Dumbledore keeping her on the school grounds and McGonagall supporting a teacher she is not fond of.
  • Dumbledore avoiding Harry. At least they did not forget that this was a real thing.
  • Hogs Head meeting. The Hogs Head was well done, and the turnout of people interested in actually learning defensive magic.
  • Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom. I really liked this casting. He was awkward and sweet enough.
  • Room of Requirement. I thought that they did a really good job with this.
  • Neville working hard. He really worked at bettering himself with Dumbeldore’s Army, he improved a lot.
  • The DA. It was fun to watch them work together; it really felt as though they were up to underhanded things and what not.
  • Inquisitorial Squad. This was excellent.
  • Emotional capacity as a teaspoon. This was a good little conversation, and actually shed light on a few things.
  • Arthur’s attack. Looked good, even though it was in the wrong place, cause Nagini was already in the Hall of Prophecy.
  • Alan Rickman. I know I keep coming back to this, but he is so thrilling.
  • Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange. She was adequately mad for the job.
  • The Occlumency lessons were cool.
  • Breaking into Snape’s mind. It was cool but there were a lot of flaws with it, and the biggest flaw was that the memory was rushed and it was in Snape’s mind and not the Pensieve.
  • Umbridge interrogating Harry was excellent.
  • Hermione faking the weapon story was alright.
  • Centaur attack on Umbridge was fine, even though Harry and Hermione were not in danger afterwards.
  • The Hall of Prophecy. It actually looked really nice.
  • The Death Eaters. The still look good and I like the way they move and stuff.
  • Jason Issacs as Lucius Malfoy.
  • The arrival of the Order in white. The arrival may not have been accurate but looked nice.
  • Voldemort and Dumbledore duelling. This I actually liked, it was pretty awesome.
  • Ralph Fiennes. Still an amazing Voldemort.
  • Ministry finally catching on. Shows how shocked they all were.

The bad:

  • Harry whipping his wand out in front of Muggles. Since when has this become the regular practice?!
  • The Dementors. They look absolutely ludicrous now.
  • Dementors’ Kiss. I still hate the way it looks… pfffff.
  • The CGI. What the hell, still really awful in here.
  • Mrs Figg. She just appears and is not freaking out. Her story and role is never really explained, the whole scene feels off.
  • Ministry letters. Since when do they read themselves?!
  • Harry’s hearing. He is now being punished for using magic, but all the other movies there was no issue? I am confused. Another place these movies set a rule and then contradicted themselves.
  • Harry’s rescue. Flying through London on their brooms for everyone to see? What the hell? What happened to secrecy?
  • Grimmauld Place reveal. The place itself is well done, but the magic cast upon it to preserve secrecy is not explained, and Moody just taps and they can enter? Why? How?
  • Mrs Black not screaming and screeching everywhere.
  • Fountain of Magical Brethren in Ministry of Magic being split up was not cool.
  • Harry’s hearing venue and time change. It just didn’t come to be right, and was not explained or anything.
  • Kingsley Shacklebolt hunting Sirius. It would be great to have heard how he was in charge of the Sirius Black manhunt, feeding the Ministry misinformation while working for the Order.
  • The chair in the hearing. It didn’t have chains and things on it, so it was not nearly as menacing.
  • Dolores Umbridge. The film simply doesn’t capture how truly dark and twisted and evil she is.
  • Ron and Hermione not shown to be prefects.
  • Public common room fight. Seamus Finnigan chirping Harry in the common room, and the Weasley twins were silent. As if!
  • No Quidditch. Not that I am bothered about not seeing it, but it was not worked in at all that this was something the students did.
  • Fred, George and Harry are not kicked off the Quidditch team and don’t have their brooms locked in Umbridge’s office.
  • Raw meat in bag. Does Luna really (as cooked as she is) just walk around with raw meat in her bag? I highly doubt it.
  • Weasley Family Feud. Nowhere does it explain that Harry was even shunned by Percy Weasley, and that the family has split up over Percy having no faith that Voldemort has returned.
  • Neville finding the Room of Requirement. That should have been Dobby. It was necessary to keep his loyalty to Harry alive, so that his character meant a bit more later on.
  • Cho and Harry. This isn’t really explained and doesn’t make sense how this even came to be.
  • Filch watching DA meetings. Since when does he know so quickly?
  • No DA Galleons. I really liked this, and it was pretty important. I mean one of the Educational Decrees was banning groups of students gathering together, and now they are all just chatting about the next meeting? I think not.
  • Harry and Cho kiss. What an awkward scene.
  • No St Mungos. I actually really wanted to see this. It would also have shed more light on Neville’s tragic story.
  • Occlumency. That started abruptly.
  • Relationship between Harry and Sirius. I really wish they developed it more, it would have meant so much more.
  • Grimmauld Place origins. I think it is ridiculous that they only introduced so late on that Grimmauld Place belonged to the Black family.
  • Thestral explanation. Luna explaining, not Hagrid in Care of Magical Creatures.
  • Harry’s Department of Mysteries dreams. They weren’t explained or detailedenough to make sense of the Sirius trick later.
  • Umbridge not investigating Hagrid. Her hate for half-breeds was never shown at all, or why Hagrid suspecting he would get sacked.
  • Hagrid’s absence. What the hell? You can’t even pretend they covered this.
  • Simplicity of mastering the Patronus Charm. It wouldn’t be considered advanced magic or particulary awesome if everyone could get it so quickly.
  • Cho ratting out the DA. Evidently another something we all missed as readers.
  • Harry and Cho. There was no relationship at all to fall apart.
  • No Rita Skeeter. Who told the world Harry’s story? Where was The Quibbler?
  • School not revolting after Dumbledore leaving. There was no “umbridgitis” or hell to pay or teachers joining in on the discord.
  • Harry, Fred and George not being banned from Quidditch. It was important.
  • Flight of the Weasleys. It wasn’t done right, it wasn’t amusing or fun or epic. Plus no Peeves to do their bidding? No swamp left behind?
  • Harry, Hermione AND Ron going to Grawp? Not only that, he looked ridiculous!
  • Dumbledore’s flight. It was so inaccurate, short-lived and lame overall.
  • Veritaserum. Harry was not almost fed it to discover the whereabouts of Dumbledore.
  • Centaurs. They just look silly. Also, their anger at being used by Hermione not shown.
  • No rescue mission badges at Ministry. Yes, small thing but still!
  • Hall of Prophecy entry. It was way too damn easy.
  • Prophecies. They tell the prophecy inside the balls instesd of rising up and saying it again.
  • The complete prophecy was not read. It is not explained that Neville could have had Harry’s life or that Voldemort chose Harry and marked him his equal.
  • Silent prophecies. When wrecked they didn’t really wreak havoc due to silence.
  • The Veiled Arch. It wasn’t so great, and no real veil to confuse.
  • Harry relinquising the prophecy. In which lifetime?
  • Sirius didn’t die battling Bellatrix. This was a defining moment for goodness sake and they couldn’t even gey that right?!
  • No mirror. Sirius and Harry didn’t havr the mirrors that could change everything.
  • Weak explanation. Besides the fact this movie must have been a menace to follow for those that hadn’t read the book, the conclusion and explanation was so inadequate.
  • Harry’s anger and pain. It wasn’t even touched on remotely.

Alright. For the greater good I watched these twice now within a few weeks. I know the list is longer, but I got really detailed with this one. Meh. Oh well. Guess what? Only three left! This really has been a mission, though I have been having a blast at the same time with the whole concept and putting it together!

Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – JK Rowling

10

5 - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  Adult's Cover

Harry Potter #5

Harry Potter, a young wizard, has survived the Triwizard Tournament in which he saw a fellow student named Cedric Diggory die before watching the most feared Dark wizard of recent times return to power: Lord Voldemort. However, soon after that, Harry is back at his Muggle relatives, Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia Dursley. The wizarding world has refused to acknowledge Voldemort’s return, and are as such living in the dark. While on holiday with not a useful word from anyone, Harry and his cousin Dudley are attacked by what seems to be rogue Dementors, the guards of the wizard prison Azkaban. Forced to use magic, Harry is ultimately expelled from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His headmaster, Professor Albus Dumbledore, rushes to the Ministry of Magic to have it sorted out, and Harry needs to attend a full-fledged trial to oppose the decision to expel him.

Harry is whisked off to the Headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix, a band of witches and wizards that are intent on opposing the Dark Lord, and ensuring his return to power is short lived. Headquarters are set up at Sirius Black’s family home, and his godfather is thrilled to have him around. Harry is soon brought up to speed with what has been happening since Harry sounded the alarm that Voldemort was back to his old self. The Daily Prophet, the wizarding newspaper, has been discrediting him and making him sound like a crazy lunatic since he told the truth. Dumbledore has been kicked off of numerous wizarding boards, etc. Percy Weasley, the brother of Harry’s best friend Ron, has written the Weasley family off. Harry, of course, does not get expelled from Hogwarts, and Ron is made prefect for Gryffindor House. Before they know it they are out of Headquarters and on the way to school again.

School is no easier, either. The students have taken it upon themselves to discredit Harry at each and every turn. As if things are not bad enough, Dolores Umbridge takes up post as the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, and was Senior Undersecretary to Corenelius Fudge, the Minister for Magic. It seems that Dumbledore is public enemy number one alongside Harry, and the Ministry is intent on interfering with the goings on at Hogwarts. First off, the students learn that they will not be practicing defensive magic at all. The year is progressively getting worse and worse, and Harry no longer feels too optimistic about Hogwarts as his home anymore. Umbridge makes it her mission to degrade and break Harry when he stands up to her about Ministry interference and the fact that nobody will admit that Cedric Diggory was murdered. Hermione Granger brings up a great idea about Harry teaching some student defensive magic and telling them how it is to be up against Dark wizards and witches. Harry consents, and the idea is wildly popular. The group bands together and calls themselves Dumbledore’s Army.

Umbridge begins investigating teachers and questioning their abilities. The Weasley twins, Fred and George, have firmly taken it upon themselves to make as much trouble as possible. Soon, however, Umbridge gets Dumbledore thrown from the school, and panic floods throughout the student body. Hermione gets in contact with disgraced ex-Daily Prophet reporter Rita Skeeter and has her tell Harry’s story, which finally needs to be heard. Things are going from bad to worse in the wizarding world, and Umbridge is steadily depriving Harry of each and every thing she can, making his life miserable. Dumbledore wants Harry to take Occlumency lessons from Professor Severus Snape, who is working as a double agent for the Order of the Phoenix against the Dark Lord. Harry continually dreams of a long, dark corridor which he later figures out is the Department of Mysteries, and informs the Order when he sees Arthur Weasley attacked and damn near killed by a giant snake. It is of utmost importance that Harry learn the art of closing off his mind to Voldemort, before Voldemort realizes that there is a connection. Harry has started up an exceptionally wobbly relationship with Cho Chang, and it is rapidly losing its appeal. Umbridge, however, has finally succeeded in removing Dumbledore from Hogwarts, and assumes the role of Headmistress immediately. Dumbledore’s prediction about the Dementors joining ranks with Voldemort seem to be realised when ten top ranking Death Eaters escape from Azkaban, causing people to wonder if Harry really is losing his marbles. The Ministry of Magic, however, refuses to admit that there is anything wrong.

Will Harry master blocking his mind from Voldemort? Will the magical community ever admit that the Dark Lord has in actual fact returned? Will Umbridge continue her reign of terror on the school? Will the students in the DA be better off learning their defensive magic, and will the Ministry ever leave Howarts and their business to themselves, or will they continue to interfere? Will anything come of the relationship with Cho Chang? Will Cedric’s death ever be commemorated for what it was, or continually be labelled an accident, not a murder? When will Voldemort step back into the public eye?

GRADE 10This is by far my most favourite of the whole series, no questions asked, as well as one of my favourite books of all time. I had a debate with my very best friend in the world about it. Natasha always thought this to be her least favourite. I have to contend with why I feel that this was the greatest one of them all. None of the other books manage to capture all the emotions as astutely as this one. Pity, anger, happiness, hate, pain, sadness, loneliness, everything. You discover more in this book about the characters and fear than any of the others. You also learn so much more about the pasts of people and how their suffering ties into the story, and why Harry’s past had to be the way that it was. This was the first book to demonstrate Snape as more than just some terrible snake, the very first time I started liking him, even if he was still dreadful towards Harry. The characters aren’t little kids anymore. Sirius gets a massive part in it all, and it is great to learn more about him as a person and how he manages certain situations. So much planning and scheming was going on at any given moment in this book. Umbridge will remain the most loathed book character I have probably ever encountered. She was the embodiment of evil. The more you read about her, the less that you liked her. There was some fantastic humour in this book. I must say, I was not particularly enamoured with the relationship between Cho and Harry (not how it was written, just the match that they were), but I can understand the necessity in terms of character growth. The DA was awesome, and the injustice that people suffered throughout this book smarts. The flight of the Weasleys was simply amazing, and will remain a favourite of mine forever. This book was a solid and strong entry to a wonderful series, and I will always regard this as my favourite book no matter what. The pacing was also perfect, and nothing rambled or took too long, and nothing was rushed, either. Truly worth the read, each and every time it just gets me.

I can go on forever about what is right with this book.

Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – JK Rowling

16

harry potter and the goblet of fire adult edition

Harry Potter #4

Harry Potter is a wizard who was having quite the raw summer with his Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon and their horrible son, Dudley Dursley. He is having an even worse summer than usual seeing as he almost got to live with his godfather, Sirius Black, though his name was not cleared before the summer vacation. He was still labelled a mass murdered and Dark wizard. Harry is only too thrilled when his best friend in the world, Ron Weasley, invites him to stay and go to the Quidditch World Cup. Harry is elated, and soon the remainder of his holiday is spent in the company of the Weasleys and Hermione Granger, another close friend. Excited about the Quidditch World Cup, the friends have an absolute blast. However, all good things come to an end, and Voldemort, the most evil Dark Wizard of their time, seems never to be forgotten. His followers terrorize a Muggle family, and finally the Dark Mark is sent into the air, causing massive panic.

Barty Crouch, a member of the Ministry of Magic, sacks his house elf, Winky, when she is discovered near the Dark Mark, carrying Harry’s wand. This spurs Hermione on to start SPEW, an organization intent on helping the house elves in the world. The Dark Mark marred the Quidditch World Cup a little bit, and Harry starts to wonder. His scar was prickling during the summer, but he is sure Voldemort is nowhere near him. Returning to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the students are elated to hear that the Triwizard Tournament has been reinstated, and will be hosted at Hogwarts this year. However, no student under the age of seventeen may enter, and there are many disappointed students, including Ron’s twin brothers, Fred and George, who are intent on finding a way to enter, anyhow. Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody starts at Hogwarts as the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, and soon the students are in awe of him. As an ex-Auror, Moody has caught many Dark wizards and Death Eaters, and is training the students intensely to defend themselves.

Students from Beauxbatons Academy and Durmstrang Institute arrive to submit the names to have their champions chosen, and Durmstrang comes with a highly notable guest: Viktor Krum, the Bulgarian Seeker that they saw play at the Quidditch World Cup. The night the Goblet of Fire chooses the champions is a wonderful one, and everyone is thrilled when Cedric Diggory of Hufflepuff is chosen as the Hogwarts champion, while Fleur Delacour is the representative for Beauxbatons and Viktor Krum for Durmstrang. In confusion, Harry is also chosen as a champion, and Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore is furious. It is a magically binding contract, and Harry will have to compete, whether he likes it or not.

Incredibly popular among the Gryffindor students and loathed by the remainder of the school, Harry has an incredibly hard time dealing with it all seeing as his best friend, Ron, the person he was counting on the most to stand by him, refuses to believe that Harry had nothing to do with entering the tournament. Their friendship suffers heavily. Draco Malfoy, Harry’s ultimate nemesis, is having a ball with Harry’s suffering. However, Harry has the issue of the three tasks coming up, and not knowing how he would be dealing with it. His first task is set, which happens to be retrieving a golden egg from a dragon, and he needs to figure out how to do that, soon. As though Harry was not having enough issues as was, Daily Prophet reporter Rita Skeeter publishes exceptionally demeaning stories about Harry. Sirius meets with Harry to warn him about the Durmstrang headmaster, Igor Karkaroff. He was a convicted Death Eater. It seems Moody’s assessment that someone may be trying to use the tournament to harm Harry isn’t so crazy after all.

When their fight blows over, Harry and Ron finally have much to talk about again, and so many things were missed. Harry needs all the help he can get, and is pleased to find that Dobby the house elf, whom he had once freed from the employ of Lucius Malfoy, is working at Hogwarts. Harry has two more tasks to complete, and a crowd to win over. However, strange occurrences seem to be taking place, and nobody seems to be taking note of them aside from Dumbledore and Sirius, as well as the three friends.

What do all the omens mean? Do the dreams that Harry is having have anything to do with what is going on outside of the walls of Hogwarts? Did Peter “Wormtail” Pettigrew return to Lord Voldemort when he escaped from Sirius’s clutches at the end of last term, snatching Harry’s future away from him entirely? What is going on at Hogwarts, and is Mad-Eye Moody just crazy, or is something more sinister going on than meets the eye?

GRADE 9.5Another stellar input from J.K. Rowling. The sheer excitement you get caught up in at the Quidditch World Cup was amazing, and Fred and George with their tricky little jokes and inventions was great. It was intense to have Harry and Ron fighting the way that they did, it was very difficult to bear through. Harry’s loneliness was palpable, as was the shock of his name having come out of the Goblet. It was a little disappointing that Snape featured so little in this book; he has always been a very central part of the Harry Potter world, in my opinion. It is not that he was not a part of this book, but it seems very little that he cropped up. Mad-Eye was also a great character, and he incites that necessity for constant vigilance, even with the readers. It was through him that you started to wonder if more was going on than the average wizard was aware of.  The events were awesome to follow in this book, and there was much fun to be had, as well as a lot to make you nervous and wonder. Dobby played another important role in Goblet of Fire for Harry, and he always brings something extra to the table. For the first time, a little pubescent nervousness is brought to the fore what with the Yule Ball, and we have a look at Harry developing some type of inexplicable (at that age) feelings towards Cho Chang. This book was magical, and did not become boring or dragged out at any point. The twins provided humour, as always, and a little bit more of Cedric Diggory’s personality was explored. Rita Skeeter brought in the frustrating element of this book, and even had me just taken a little aback by how nasty and cruel she was. The story behind Neville’s living with his grandmother broke my heart. He lost so much, yet never says anything. I would highly recommend this book, as it was in my top few. Definitely worth the read.

SPOILER: The rise of Voldemort has long since been anticipated, and I thought that it was exceptionally well done in this book. He was terrifying, cruel and mean, nothing short of what you would have expected him to be when he regained his strength. The graveyard duel was intense, and Diggory’s death was terrible to have been brought into play. The Death Eaters’ cowardly return was awful to behold.

Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – JK Rowling

3

3 - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Adult's Cover

Harry Potter #3

Harry Potter starts his summer awfully – owl post irritates his aunt and uncle, and Uncle Vernon’s sister, Aunt Marge, is coming to stay. Harry has no idea what to do. He is a young wizard that has survived another year at Hogwarts, again interrupted by the greatest enemy of the wizarding world: Lord Voldemort. A madman has broken out and is roaming the streets of London. Sirius Black is at large. However, striking up a deal, Harry agrees to toe the line for Uncle Vernon if he signs Harry’s permission slip to visit Hogsmeade Village at certain weekends. Instead, Harry blows his aunt up when she becomes far too rude about Harry’s deceased parents, and he makes a run for it. While out there, he sees a huge dog, which he later discovers is called a Grim, and considered a death omen. Sure that he will be expelled, Harry makes his way towards the magical Diagon Alley, where he is directly headed off by the Minister for Magic himself, Cornelius Fudge. Instead of being labelled an outcast, Harry is told the rest of his summer he is permitted to stay at the Leaky Cauldron, and that he must be dreadfully careful. Sirius Black is a wizard, and an awfully powerful one at that. He was Voldemort’s right hand man, and he has escaped from Azkaban, something no wizard has ever done before.

Before boarding the Hogwarts Express, Harry discovers that Sirius Black is after him, and that he must be careful. Harry is intent on being careful. His best friends, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley are fighting endlessly. Hermione purchased a huge ginger cat named Crookshanks that is intent on making Ron’s rat, Scabbers, a divine meal. The two argue incessantly, and on the train they meet their new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Remus Lupin. The Azkaban guards, the Dementors, have been posted around Hogwarts until Black’s capture, but they have a terrible effect on Harry, who passes out around them every time. Before long, he has his studies to deal with, and some intense mockery from his archenemy, Draco Malfoy.

Harry’s friend, a giant of a man named Rubeus Hagrid, is now teaching Care of Magical Creatures, and starts well enough with Hippogriffs for the class. Draco Malfoy taunts one by the name of Buckbeak, and ends up in the hospital wing. He milks the injury for all that it is worth. Using his injury, he has the Slytherin team’s match against Gryffindor postponed, and Harry is damn near killed by dementors flooding onto the pitch. His trusty Nimbus Two Thousand broomstick gets blown away and ripped to shreds by the incredibly violent Whomping Willow. After receiving the latest broomstick on the market, the Firebolt, Harry, Ron and Hermione get into a little tiff when Hermione runs to Professor Minerva McGonagall, head of the Gryffindor House, about the broomstick. They are positive Sirius Black has sent it to Harry.

Professor Lupin starts anti-dementor lessons with Harry, intent on teaching him the Patronus Charm to ward them off, and Harry wishes to learn it. However, the Grim continually turns up, and Harry is worried. Hermione’s and Ron’s relationship deteriorates worse than ever when Ron’s bedsheets are covered in blood and ginger hair, and Scabbers is missing. The three attempt to help Hagrid with Buckbeak’s upcoming hearing, trying not to get the poor thing killer. Sirius Black launches an array of break-ins and attacks against Hogwarts, and the students are fearful. Harry receives the Marauder’s Map from Fred and George, and the beautiful map shows him all of Hogwarts and the grounds. Harry uses it to sneak off to Hogsmeade, where on a certain trip he learns of a terrible history concerning Sirius Black and his father, James Potter. They were the very best of friends, and Black sold James out to Voldemort.

The information is crushing for Harry, who now hates Black more than ever. He was left orphaned due to a best friend’s betrayal? What will Harry do now that he knows about Black’s connection to his family? What will they do about Buckbeak’s upcoming trial? Will Ron and Hermione ever be able to get over their issues concerning their pets? Will Harry be able to stay under Black’s radar, escape the man or exact vengeance, whichever option presents itself first?

GRADE 9This is one of those books that I absolutely adore. I loved Buckbeak, I loved Sirius Black and his infamous escape, I loved the introduction of the Dementors and the Firebolt gift. This book is just special, and so great. I love how J.K. Rowling has the ability to ensnare both children and adults in her magical world of Harry Potter. The writing style was again excellent, and the story for this was so in depth and complicated. It was wonderful to meet Lupin, and have Harry get his hands on the very cool Marauder’s Map, as well as the anger, bitterness and fear that was conveyed in the pages of this novel. Exploring more in depth into the Potters’ past was so awesome to get into, no matter how deadly depressing the story is. Snape was extremely amusing to me in this book seeing as he truly was totally horrible, and was intent on making that immensely known to Harry. Losing his cool was entertaining, but he was cruel and horrible in this story. The Weasleys will always remain a fantastic family to me. This was definitely a  great entry to a phenomenal series.

Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – JK Rowling

7

2 - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Adult's Cover

Harry Potter #2

Harry Potter is a wizard – a young wizard living with his insufferable aunt, uncle and major bully cousin. But never fear – he will be returning to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry soon. If he doesn’t starve during the summer, that is. After an incident where a house elf named Dobby paid Harry a visit and begged him not to return to school, Harry is imprisoned by his relatives. The Ministry of Magic is convinced that Harry performed magic in front of the muggles, though it is not the case. However, his best friend Ron Weasley and his mischievous twin brothers Fred and George turn up in a flying car to rescue him, and Harry’s summer went from being the worst ever to one of the best ever. However, when Harry and Ron attempt to board the Hogwarts Express, they cannot get through the barrier. In the midst of their panic, they steal Mr Weasley’s Ford Anglia and fly to school, and end up in a ton of trouble. The glorious entrance that they envisioned is crushed by the car crash into the violent Whomping Willow. They are fortunate enough not to be expelled.

Soon all the students return to Hogwarts, and Harry is having a hard time with his celebrity status amongst some of the new students who have arrived, and it causes him immense frustration. As though that was not enough, their new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher is famous, and convinced that he can help young Harry along the way to greatness. Strange things start to happen at Hogwarts, and Harry is grievously injured at a Quidditch match, which resulted in a broken arm due to a rogue Bludger in play. Naturally everyone assumes the worst. As though he does not have enough issues on his plate, he hears a cold, disembodied voice floating around the castle that nobody else seems to hear. Vicious attacks start within the grounds, resulting in some people being Petrified, and everyone is terrified. A warning tells them that the Chamber of Secrets has been opened, and that enemies of the Heir should be wary.

Harry, Ron and their close friend Hermione Granger start to look into the attacks. They are desperate to find out more about the history of the Chamber of Secrets, and Harry needs it more than anyone. At a duelling club it was discovered that he is a Parselmouth, something that Hogwarts founder Salazar Slytherin was renowned for, and something that is considered to be a trait of a Dark Wizard. He can communicate with snakes. Harry is right up at the top of everyone’s suspect list, and his innocence is not looking very good. Harry becomes immensely unpopular and avoided. The three are intent that if they could just speak to Harry’s nemesis Draco Malfoy, they would be able to figure out in an instant who the heir of Slytherin is, and who opened the Chamber fifty years ago. However, the answers that they uncover might not be the ones that they are looking for. The attacks increase and intensify, and terror grips the castle and all its inhabitants, no one is safe. What will they do if Lucius Malfoy is pushing for the removal of the headmaster, Albus Dumbledore? He is their keeper, he maintains their safety.

Will the three be able to figure out just exactly what is going on within Hogwarts, and what the dreaded monster is that has been unleashed from within the bowels of an undiscovered Chamber? What will happen if Albus Dumbledore is removed from Hogwarts? Will anyone be safe? Harry has never been more desperate to figure out what is going on, but what will he do once he uncovers the truth?

GRADE 8.5It was definitely a fantastic sequel to its successful predecessor. This book had a lovely story, again, and you learn more about the magical world with each and every endeavour you take to explore it more. Fred and George Weasley provided a great deal of humour when dealing with Harry’s heir of Slytherin rumours, and this book had plenty to make you smile. Dumbledore was again so mysterious, and I thought Harry’s and Ron’s arrival at the school was not nearly as dashing as they were holding out for. That Ford Anglia going wild in the Forest was also terribly amusing. Good timing, too. All the magical elements of this world are amazing, and I must be honest when I say that we do not have things like Howlers. I thought it was really well done how J.K. Rowling brought in discrimination like she did (Mudbloods and pure-bloods), it makes that world almost a little more… real. The entire concept of preserving oneself in a diary was also great, and Lord Voldemort’s name was also good, to see how he evolved, where he came from and a little bit of who he was before the total rise to the Dark Lord was good. I thought this was a fun book, entertaining, though it also had some body to it, what with the issues that were dealt with due to supposition and silly things like rumours.

Review: Harry Potter Adult Edition Box Set (Paperback)

5

WHOOP WHOOP! Oh, my jubilation at the arrival of my box set! I have been saving for so long to buy back a part of my childhood, although I could not get it to what I wanted it one hundred percent. I saved up to buy all the Harry Potter books again. At a stage of my life I used to have all the books: original cover art, first edition prints, the whole shebang. That was a long time ago. I am going to let you know what I think of the set, but we warned, it will be image-rich, I want to be thorough!

I really wish that I could have gotten the original cover art in the box set, but they discontinued that specific box set (paperback) in 2010 already. So I had to take the next best thing (it looked pretty awesome considering), and that was the Harry Potter Adult Edition Box Set (Paperback). What a glorious set! Wow! I am going to sound like I lack a vocabulary, but just wow, it is phenomenal!

The box is a very sturdy construction, very glossy and printed in a mostly minimal design, but not bland. There are gold stars scattered all over the box, and I made damn sure that I got a bona fide set of proper English (UK edition) books, with all the correct spelling, and a Philosopher’s Stone, not a Sorcerer’s Stone. The top is emblazoned with The Complete Harry Potter Collection in gold over a dark (almost black) box, with all the gold stars. The edges of the box are stunning what with the gold edging that appears to make it look like a chest. The front panel has Slytherin’s locket branded onto it.

The left hand side of the box features the Philosopher’s Stone, and the imagery is rather rich, what with the reds and gold. PS: There are no lines on the side of the box, that is just my flash.

The right hand side of the box has the Goblet of Fire on it, and the blue flames are beautifully offset with the darkness that surrounds it. PS: There are no lines on the side of the box, that is just my flash.

The back of the box set prominently displays Azkaban, the wizarding prison, in all its stark glory.

The books themselves feel very well put together, and the covers are very glossy, but, quite surprisingly, do not retain fingerprints as quickly as one would assume. Each cover features something from the stories, and that image is majorly down-scaled to fit onto the spine of the book, too, to demarcate it further than just the name. The books, even the bigger ones, are very comfortable in the hands.

The pages are lovely, not too thick or too thin, and the text itself is legible, clear, and well sized. There is a nice weight to them. They are a joy to read.

The box set opens nicely, and there is ample space for the books to slot into, and they are not difficult to remove. There is a total of 3407 pages of fantastic story to consume in this box set, and each one completely worth it.

I am so thrilled with my purchase, I feel like a little kid again, and it is awesome! I know I finished reading the books about a month back, but I have a sneaky suspicion I am going to have to christen these, and soon! These are really great to have, and a box set of the books are just brilliant, it looks very cool, too. I am supremely overjoyed with my purchase!

Whether you already own the books or not, a box set is so great to have (I am not being biased just because I like box set!), and this set comes in highly recommended!

A few excellent authors

2

Authors… you get excellent ones, and you get disappointing ones, and you get mediocre ones. Here are some authors that I enjoyed reading, and will not turn down the opportunity to read.

Karin Slaughter… wow. That is all I can say. And so few people here where I am actually knows who she is, so I don’t really have anyone to discuss the books with. I accidentally found Blindsighted in the back of a closet, gearing up to be chucked out. The book was old and tatty, but its sequel, Kisscut, was also there, and I had nothing else to read. It was crime thriller fiction something or other, that is all I recall thinking when I picked it up and read that she was compared to Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwell, both who write decently, although not too consistently, for my taste.

So I bagged them, saving them from certainly being thrown out with the dusty stacks of newspapers piled everywhere. The books could not go, they are not in the same category as the shabby newspapers were. I had no other books to occupy me, and I started with Karin Slaughter’s debut novel. I have one word for her writing style: respect. By the end of the Grant County series I had forgotten they were fictitious characters, and lived on a steady diet of chocolate when I had finished with Skin Privilege.

I have been inexorably drawn to her work since Blindsighted, experienced a spectrum f emotions throughout Kisscut, and that was only the beginning for me. After that there was the Atlanta series, and the two merged together for the Georgia series. I was skeptical about how she would bring two totally different story lines together, yet she does so effortlessly. She is one of my top favourite writers, hands down.

Then there is Stephen King. I will not hear a bad word about him! I know that there are so many that dislike his movies (even though it is apparently forgotten that the Green Mile and the Shawshank Redemption are both King creations), and I know that he writes with excruciating detail, and that some might find this to be a bit of a cliché, but Stephen King is a master. I love him!

I cannot remember precisely what my first taste was, but I think it was either Dreamcatcher or Carrie. Either way, I was in love with how this man brought horror and life to the pages of his book. I have read so many of his works and they are rich in detail, description, action, thoughts, everything. You can follow what is happening, the feelings and everything is brought into stark light within the covers of his stories. When you pick up a book by Stephen King, even if the cover was missing, you would know it to be his work!

I started reading his books when I was about eleven years old. I had already whipped through everything in the children’s section and dominated the young adult’s section. The library was nice enough to allow me a card and permission into the adult section. I was stunned. There were gigantic tomes of books with their faraway stories waiting to unfold. I had to know more, and there were horrors, bona fide, true horror books, not the childish ones I had become accustomed to. Naturally, the King shelves dominated the horror section, the closest secondary rival by for space being Dean Koontz. I have started building on my Stephen King collection, but I have a suspicion that it will take a long time to get where I want it to, seeing as it is such a vast compilation.

I spoke of Stieg Larsson in a previous blog that I wrote, and explained my deep seated infatuation with the man and his genius. I maintain that everyone should read his Millennium Trilogy. The story unfurls effortlessly, it keeps you hooked, and nothing can waver your anticipation. You experience the journey as though a part of it. The writing style is smooth and neat, and very well structured. I have been looking for a nice box set, and have as of yet not found anything in my region, which is rather daunting, as I believe these books belong on anyone’s shelf, and I would love to have it as a collected works.

J.K. Rowling is another classic to this list. I wrote a blog on Harry Potter, here, too. But about the author, and how I stumbled upon her books? Wow. Really. I think it one of the best things that I had ever had the fortune of coming across (not that it would have been easy to miss a few years later when it got super popular). I was reading them pretty much since release. My aunt loaned me The Philosopher’s Stone when she heard that I couldn’t get to the library until the weekend. I read the book 4 times before I returned it to her. I was in love. There was this beautiful world, with great people, with crazy adventures, and real lessons. It was amazing.

Obviously, as a child, you read it and you know it is fiction. That did not prevent me from waiting for my very own letter from Hogwarts for years. Alas, it never came, and I was sorely disappointed. I think the Potter series was also great because it gave children something to believe in, to hope for. He had it tough, and he survived it. Things are not always what they seem, and anything can be overcome, and evil does not triumph against those who will fight for the greater good.

I truly enjoy Anne Rice. I loved her Vampire Chronicles, and painstakingly and extremely expensively built that entire collection up from scratch. I love her writing style, but her work is very deep, dark and thought evoking, not light reading to just pass time. The way the characters are introduced and their development is amazing, but I really wish she would have focused a bit more on Armand. He was my favourite character of anyone she had ever written about. He was the strangest one, the most demented, dark and tortured soul ever.

I obviously watched the movies, (Interview With A Vampire and Queen Of The Damned)  but they really are nothing compared to the books. Sad, because if done right the movies could bear so much potential. The first book that I ever read from Anne Rice was The Vampire Armand. I was totally drawn in and besotted with his character. He was perfect… perfectly broken, that is. She really is the Queen of dark, romantic and gothic writing. One thing that she nailed perfectly is realism for vampires, not this twinkly rubbish that we have been submitted to recently. I hope to start on the Lives of the Mayfair Witches soon, as they were rather intriguing to me when they come up in the later novels in the Vampire Chronicles.

This calls for the Distance Book Club again! I would love any author/book suggestions, so throw them along!

Who are some of your favourite authors, and what drew you to them?