I have just finished my second reading of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling. I took two months, often reading a few pages or a chapter a day, sometimes skipping a couple of days. At this relaxed pace, the tale becomes an installment story. Of course, I understood much more the this time through.
I was particularly struck on the second reading how Voldemort really is just Tom Riddle, not all powerful. He is so obsessed with Harry that he loses his original vision of dominion. He makes mistakes in front of his Death Eaters, shocking them. He worries about wands and horcruxes. Moreover, you see he is not so different from Dumbledore in his origins. The late headmaster of Hogwarts could have let hate make him into a monster, too. Dumbledore's failing was not finding a better path for Riddle when he might have had influence. Maybe he would have failed, but he did not really try.
Before the seventh book was issued, I worried that it would be a long battle, constantly tense, losing all the charms of the earlier books. At the end of the sixth book, there was such a sense that the time of conflict had come. I need not have worried. I liked how Rowling was able to still include humorous lines and situations in the final book.
I also like how the characters continue to develop in the seventh book. In fact, we learn much about Harry, Dumbledore, Snape, Luna, and Neville. Rowling had many threads to tie in the final book and I think she succeeded, staying fair to all of her characters, even Riddle.
Now what do I do? The story is over. Well, I might reread book six again.
Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Arthur A. Levine Books, 2007. ISBN 9780545010221