“I’ve yet to meet a ten-year-old who hasn’t been entranced by its witty, complex plot and the character of the eponymous Harry.”

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

Ok, I’m a grown up, allegedly. I’m also a virgin. A Harry Potter virgin that is. Up to now I have never read any of the books, seen any of the films or had a clue about the characters or plot lines. This probably make me a rarity. And you see, i want to belong, I want to join in, I no longer want to look confused and blank every time somebody mentions some reference to spells, or wizards, or flashy sparkly magical things. So, I took the plunge. I lost my virginity. I let Harry and his world enter me.

So I began reading. This is obviously a children’s book, and a very good children’s book. It’s not written in that sometimes patronising way that they occasionally can be. If a big or slightly obscure word is needed, then it is used, just as it should be.

J. K. Rowling is a master of raising the reader rather than dumbing down for them. It’s rather admirable, she obviously has more faith in the sponge abilities of children and her writing shows this. Educating kids without them knowing. Not bad J.K., not bad at all.

The broad view of the storyline is your basic, run of the mill, good verses bad. It was always going to be wasn’t it? And nothing wrong with that at all. It’s kept a millions books selling year after year. But woven in amongst this is a charming morality and innocence that you can’t help but be drawn into. Escapism with a conscience. Again, not bad J. K.

So let’s get down to the characters. Harry: a slightly nerdy, suppressed kid who suddenly finds himself thrust into a magical world that he had no idea existed, let alone a magical realm in which he was already famous. This is pure gold for the imagination of kids. Every boy wishing to be him, and every girl wishing they were his friends. The same goes for Hermione, the main girl character. Although at first I wanted to (metaphorically) slap her, she slowly grew on me and became less irksome and more fully realised as the book progressed. The same goes for Ron, harry’s right hand man if you will. Over the course of the book they became more solid, fattened out and a fine balance of abilities and interaction between really works well together by the end.

I won’t ruin the story, just in case there is anyone left on the planet who hasn’t read it, but it chugs along nicely and picks up speed and tension perfectly until the final, tense (and slightly odd) climax. I’m guessing it may be a social comment, it certainly rang bells with me. And don’t be fooled into thinking that because this is written for kids that it’s beneath us adults.

There are loads of clever references, social observations and life lessons to be garnered from the pages. In fact, it’s very clever and well done. Almost a book on two levels. One for the young, one for the older, where both can come away with positives. There are also many hints and clues of things to come. It is obvious in the reading of this book that a whole world was already there, waiting to be unfolded in the following books.

So, if you’re young, old, in between, or not even sure, you should read this. Well written, a story that is full of wonder and imagination, characters that you will want to get to know more and more and, of course, the promise of much more to come. Yeah, breaking my virginity wasn’t too bad at all.

 

Reviewed by:

Jake Mann

Added 12th September 2015

More Reviews By
Jake Mann

Amazon.co.uk- Buy Now
Amazon.com - Buy Now