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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you’d expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn’t hold with such nonsense.

My original review, which apparently got deleted: Blogger did a stupid thing and deleted my original review of this book that I wrote a few weeks ago. So bear with me as I try to remember what I said. I typed out the summary in my own words in my first review, but I’m not going to here. Most people already know it anyway. “Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He’s never worn a Cloak of Invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry’s room is a tiny cupboard under the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday party in ten years. But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that’s been waiting for him… if Harry can survive the encounter.” 

Right, so I’m not as avid a Harry Potter fan as others, but I definitely do love the series. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is also definitely not my favorite of the Harry Potter books, but it is a really good beginning, and introduces the characters well. Hermione is definitely my favorite character; she’s incredibly smart, and she shows herself to be brave, especially in the later books. We’d probably get along well together.

Another amazing thing about this series is just the plot. J.K. Rowling comes up with so many amazing creatures and stories throughout the seven books that it just blows the reader’s mind away. Quidditch, the houses, the magic; all have become so popular so justly. She also draws from so many different sources to craft her lore. There are plenty of great fantasy novels out there, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is one of them.

A lot of my friends are more obsessed with Harry Potter than I am. But I still love it. I apologize for the shortness of this review, but would recommend the series if you haven’t read it already.”

I really do love this series, although I haven’t reread any of the books in their entirety recently; perhaps I will now. The story is so compelling and heartrending and amazingly creative. The basic outline is rather typical, perhaps, but it’s executed so well. We have an orphaned boy raised by very cruel relatives; then one day he finds out that he belongs to a different world, and is indeed quite special even in that world. Variations of this abound in books both fantasy and not, and it really works very well.

However, the detail that J.K. Rowling adds is what makes this book so well-loved. She creates a whole, marvelous quirky world that you can just dive into and never leave, spending hours with it. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone sets the foundation for the longer and more intense books beyond, but it is itself a very fun little read, and each chapter brings a new (in my case, oft-read) delight, from the discovery that he’s a wizard, to meeting Ron and Hermione, to first magic lessons and other things.

I absolutely love the characters, especially Harry, Ron, and Hermione, the golden trio, if you will. They’re all really interesting and complex. The villains are superbly, darkly painted as well, although more so in later books. And Snape is of course always a conundrum; one is never quite sure what his intent is. A lot of characters are introduced in the first book, but of course there are many more amazing characters who are just barely touched upon or not even mentioned at all who will play a major role in later events. I just love how each book adds complexity to the series as a whole, another layer of interesting interactions and characters. With each new installment, more starts happening, and the wonderful world is ever clearer.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is certainly not the most intense or gripping of the books, but I really do like this one; it’s rather whimsical and charming. Some of the later books are really, really dark, and I like the difference in tone here. The series is always amazing to reread.

309 pages.

Rating: *****

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