Unlike my partner, I have not seen any of the Harry Potter movies. Not that I have anything against them, and I admit I have occasionally been tempted to give them a shot. It’s just that I feel so strongly that the books are COMPLETELY PERFECT, that I don’t want to taint them by altering the images in my head of the characters, the castle, the…everything, by seeing someone else’s images of all of it.
Because I haven’t seen them, I cannot say which are the best/worst, their strengths/weaknesses, and so on. But I can tell you which of the 7 books is my favorite. And, actually, it’s a tie. Book 5, HP and the Order of the Phoenix, and book 7, HP and the Deathly Hallows. Each book, in my opinion, took the series to a previously unreached level.
Order of the Phoenix was so dark, so heavy, it gives me chills thinking about it. This installment fully crossed the line from childrens’ novel to adult fiction. It was clear from page one, when Harry’s thoughts were consumed with anger, jealousy, anxiety and bitter angst, that the child had been left behind. His vivid, violent visions and the awkward tension that followed him everywhere he went (because of the false rumors the Ministry had spread over the summer) carried the solemn tone throughout. This book also introduced Dolores Umbridge, one of the most incredible characters ever put on a page. Don’t misunderstand me; I hated her. Hated her like I’ve hated no other fictional character in my life. (And I read A LOT.) The very sight of her name on the page made my blood pressure rise. And kudos to JK Rowling for being able to incite such intense emotion in a complete stranger with nothing other than black ink on a white page.
There was so much suspense, so much intensity, so much heart. I loved Dumbledore’s Army and the clear, concise line that was drawn in this volume, the line between those willing to fight with Harry, and those wishing to fight against him. Everything, from the introduction of Luna Lovegood to the explanation of thestrals, from the hideout at Number 12 Grimauld Place to Occlumency lessons with Snape, I couldn’t have loved it all any more.
You’ll have to wait until next week for my take on Deathly Hallows. But first, which of the books is your favorite?