Friday, July 22, 2005

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

You know, I'm kind of suprised by the lack of reference to the new Harry Potter book around the blogging community (or, at least, the blogging community that I associate myself with). I would have thought that there would be reviews, spoilers, pictures of people dressed like Hagrid and Dumbledore going to some convention, and the like. But so far, nothing.

That being said, I am going to undertake to fix this problem. I recently acquired the new Harry Potter book by JK Rowling, and what follows is my review:

It's a rather large book, coming in at 652 pages in the hardcover edition. The first chapter (the only one that I have read so far), isn't all that exciting. I don't think that will set the tone for the rest of the book, although I have some doubts as to what exactly will occur in this book.

According to the blurb on the dust jacket, it sounds like this installment in the Harry Potter series will only serve to set up later installments. It says, and I quote:

...Harry will search for the full and complex story of the boy who becamse Lord Voldemort-and thereby find what may be his only vulnerability.

To me, it sounds like JK Rowling has come across something that every writer of a long series runs into: boredom with her characters. Basically, authors start writing about certain characters and they have all these ideas for plots, adventures, twists, turns, asides, insides, outsides, and themes. Sooner or later, these ideas run out, but the overarching story isn't complete yet. What do they do when this happens? Well, they don't give up, because their editors and fans would have their heads. So instead of taking a break and re-connecting with the characters, they cop out. They write another story in the series, but this story has nothing to do with the actual series. By this I mean that they write a pre-history, or they create a story of one of the supporting characters, or something along the lines of stepping away from the direct storyline.

What it boils down to is that most authors need to expand their creativity as artists, while most editors want to narrow it down to what has been selling well for them.

Of course, I have only read the first chapter of the book, so I can't really say that this will happen. But, once I'm done with the book (sometime between 8 hours from now to 1 week from now), I'll let you know a little more.


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