Vrinda Bachchan • 31 Jul, 2023 • 7 mins
Journey to a magical world and join in the adventures of a humble hero as he attends classes at Hogwarts.
The Harry Potter books and movies gripped an entire generation of kids (now grown-ups!) in a tight hold of eager anticipation and gave birth to one of the biggest fandoms of all. It’s a series of 7 books (published between 1997 and 2007) that tells the story of a young orphan boy whose life changes when he discovers that he is a wizard.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Book 1): 11-year-old orphan boy Harry Potter, bullied by his cruel relatives, is plunged into a life of adventure when he finds out he is a wizard and is sent to learn magic. At Hogwarts, Harry finds a real home and friendship but also uncovers dark secrets about an evil wizard too scary to name… an evil wizard who killed Harry’s parents years ago and whose real target is Harry himself.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2): When certain schoolkids at Hogwarts start getting attacked mysteriously, Harry and his friends must do their best to find and expose the attacker, especially when the blame falls on Harry.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3): An escaped convict from the wizard prison, said to be the Dark Lord’s most faithful servant, sets the magical community on edge and everyone around Harry on high alert. With soul-sucking prison guards posted at the gates of Hogwarts, the school becomes way more dangerous in Harry’s third year.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4): An exciting inter-school competition is being hosted at Hogwarts, but things go seriously wrong when Harry gets selected as one of the school champions, despite being underage.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5): Harry and Professor Dumbledore are publicly discredited and targeted by the Minister for Magic because he believes they are trying to snatch his power and position. Meanwhile, a much bigger fight between the forces of good and evil brews.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6): In his sixth year, Harry and his friends navigate the choppy waters of teenage romance and heartbreak. Harry also learns more about the young boy who would grow up to be Lord Voldemort.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7): Harry, along with his best friends Ron and Hermione, sets out on the most dangerous do-or-die quest - find and destroy Lord Voldemort’s devices of immortality so that he can finally be killed.
The story is truly magical and transports you to a different world created by JK Rowling. The pace of the story is always tight and immersive, and almost every chapter ends on an intriguing note, making readers want to binge-read. At its core, it’s a good-trumps-evil story, but it’s made especially heartwarming because of endearing characters that you want to root for.
Harry is an underdog, and the reader wants him to win the battle against evil. Rowling also manages to balance the seriousness of the story with aptly placed humour and some lighthearted subplots. It’s a children’s book, after all, so the author takes care to create a world where the reader is sure to have fun. Themes of friendship, love, loss, grief, acceptance, bravery, and death are explored beautifully throughout the series.
Some of the plots seem half-baked and not completely thought-through by the author. There are some plot holes that one can find in the story if one reads it carefully enough. A lot of the story hinges on Harry’s habit of not involving adults around him in whatever is going on. Most of the plot would not exist if Harry just told a teacher about the strange and scary things happening at Hogwarts.
And speaking of adults, most of them in the books are either extra overprotective (like Ron’s parents) or just downright irresponsible and actively putting kids in danger (like Professor Dumbledore and Hagrid). Then there’s the villain, Lord Voldemort, whose obsession with killing Harry is somewhat hollow because he doesn’t have a good enough reason. The villain is more terrifying before he gains back power, and he doesn’t have any truly evil plans other than “torturing people” and being immortal.
Harry Potter is a hugely successful phenomenon in the world of contemporary literature, one cannot deny this. Despite some negatives, the Harry Potter series is a great overall read and will make you fall in love with books (if you don’t already have a habit of reading). We give it 4 Hoots out of 5.