I love fantasy books. Fantasy is by far my favourite genre and is a big part of my life. I have devoured hundreds of books over the years by dozens of authors; from the classics by C.S Lewis and Tolkien to the underrated gems by Neil Gaiman and Trudi Canavan along with everything in between. I am also sixteen years of age which puts me within the bracket of people who grew up with the literary juggernaut of Harry Potter steam rolling over the media so it might surprise you to hear that I don’t like the books, any of them, in fact to truly express my feelings on these novels I’m going to have to unbox a word that I don’t often use when describing my thoughts on books. I hate the Harry Potter books. There I said it; and for many people that statement amounts to heresy but I make no apologies for it, I truly hate the books, I really do.
I had the first book bought for me when I was around eight, just after I had finished the Tolkien books and my thirst for fantasy had just begun to get really serious. I read it and I didn’t enjoy it; I did however read the second simply to persevere in the hope that the series picked up. This perseverance carried me up until finishing the fourth book where I could go on no further.
I believe that the books are so painfully unoriginal that they become a mockery of all the novels to come before them. Rowling seems to unashamedly borrow from so many sources of literature the result of which turns the universe she creates into a malformed chimera of lore and ideas. I am not saying that all other fantasy books are completely original in every way because this is not true, but it is Rowling that derives her material so wholly that makes the books painful to see become so successful when there are so many better examples of all the ideas within her works.
I also think that Rowling’s character are flat stereo types that only seem to inhabit one or two states throughout the long saga. Harry is the whining reluctant hero that we see so very often in mediocre fantasy. Hermione is the bullied geek , Ron serves as little more than comic relief and Voldemort is of course completely evil supposedly because he enjoys it. I feel that within the books there is almost no progression of these characters, They seem unaffected by the events around them each year and start the next term chipper and full of optimism.
Although I realise that this next point is total snobbery I feel the need to make it, if that happen to make me a snob then so be it. The Harry Potter novels are children’s books, it shows in the prose, so I really can’t understand how adults can be so emerged in them. The story lines of simplistic, the vocabulary basic and the suspense is minimal. I don’t feel that the Harry Potter books deserve to be as popular as they are based on the merits of the prose. There you can call me a snob now.
I could carry on for hours about the other things that I dislike about the books, but for the sake of my sanity I should probably leave it there.
I realise that I am in the minority when I say these things and that this little speech will have ruffled the feathers of more than a few ‘PottHeads’ (I’m really not sure if that is the term in use, if it isn’t it should be) so feel free to comment, just please try to be civil and I will do my best to defend my honour.