I hated this book the first time I read it. This is the only volume in the entire series that I’ve read only once. That makes this my second time reading it and I have to admit I had a big change of heart. My appreciation for this book was so radically altered the second time around that it stuck out in the back of my mind while reading. “Oh, this bit is better than I remembered.” “I don’t even remember this part. This is really well done.” The differences in my response to this book from the first and second time reading it will forever colour my reaction and response to the entire series. My initial response to The Deathly Hallows is partly responsible for my waning interest in the franchise throughout the last few years. One thing is for sure, The Deathly Hallows is a very good book. It might not be surprising to hear this from fans of the final book in the Harry Potter series. It’s a new discovery for me and I’m glad I can finally appreciate what this book has to offer because all of the major elements of the series get wrapped up and explained at length.
Before starting the Harry Potter reread I was already very familiar with books 1 to 5 because I had reread them all so many times during my teens. I remembered pretty large chunks of the sixth book, some of it in detail, some of it only vaguely. The final book was more or less completely unremembered. If you were to ask me what it was about I would have told you the book is about Harry, Ron, and Hermione bumming around in the forests of Great Britain doing a shit ton of slacking off and whining about how Dumbledore failed as the protector of the Wizarding World since he didn’t provide Harry and the gang with any useful information. Sure, they do bum around in the middle of the forests and any other secluded area they can find, but the book is about more than that. The only part of the book I remembered were the parts I had really disliked. I remembered the bitching and moaning, the terrible epilogue, and everything else, everything that was and is really good about the book, has remained forgotten until just a few weeks ago.
The Deathly Hallows has its problems but the strengths of the story, the culmination of the plot from previous books, and the delightful character moments sprinkled throughout make it a worthwhile read.