Thursday, August 18, 2011

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Disclaimer- Christians that don't agree with magic should not read this book. For me personally I read the series thinking of the magic as something that made the series unique. I also know that some people practice magic, I do not support magic in the real world. Harry and his friend also did some things that I feel Christians shouldn't support, lying, breaking rules, plotting revenge, and stealing are some of the common things that did happened in the book that I don't agree with.

Harry isn't normal, he lives under the stairs at his Aunt and Uncles house, where he is treated more like a slave then a nephew. When Harry receives his first birthday letter he learns that his father and mother were wizards! And that he can train to be a wizard too! He can leave his miserable life with his Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon and Cousin Dudley!
When he arrives at “Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry” Harry is automatically the popular kid and quickly makes enemies because of it. On top of making new friends, fending off enemies, and schoolwork, Harry finds himself wrapped up in a mystery that includes the evilest of dark wizards who killed his parents when he was a baby. There is evil a foot, unbreakable banks are being robbed, mirrors are not telling the truth, and no one knows who will help bring He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named back from the near dead.

After hearing so much about this series I finally just picked them up. I was pleasantly surprised. The first book in the series is rather light hearted with an excellent plot that had many twists, red herrings and humor.

Harry is well developed and was easy to attach too, I took instant pity on him as I saw what he had to grow up with for “family”.  Harry quickly showed that even with his unusual history he just wants to be a normal boy. Sadly no one will let him be that, so he must compensate and just be ‘the’ Harry Potter famous for something he can’t even remember.
Harry couldn’t have asked for a better pair of sidekicks in his adventure. Ron and Hermione really brightened up the story with Hermione’s know-it-all attitude and Ron’s care free relaxed bearing.
I also loved the supporting characters. Neville I think was my favorite minor character, I feel the same as he does about studies. The teachers were all fitting for the typical teacher style, making it easy for young student readers to relate to the mysterious Hogwarts School.
Lastly I enjoyed the way J.K. Rowling had a minor enemy that was front and foremost in the story’s plot and a major villain that is plotting destruction in the background. This made the book have a good ending with the minor villain but kept the series going with questions for the next books.

For the world I thought Rowling could have added more. The only real description of Hogwarts is basically, “A castle looming on a mountain surrounded by a black lake.” Rarely will I complain about a book not having enough description but I feel a little extra would have helped. Later in the series the description adds up so you can almost see Hogwarts but for a first book it was weak.
Now I had heard about the game Quidditch before, but had no clue about what it was. After learning about it the Quidditch matches they quickly became some of my favorite scenes. The game Quidditch it gave me a feeling of a real school, with popular jocks and fans.

So minus the facts about Harry's poor moral choices the book is easily worth a B. If Harry had kept strong moral character the book would have been a A+ easily.