Here at Doing In The Wizard we pride ourselves on only talking about two kinds of books: the newest, hottest releases and the obscure and little-known. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to cover a little book series you probably haven’t heard of by an author named JK Rowling.
…okay seriously, why now? Well, for one there’s a prequel movie series coming out and a sequel story that’s a play for some reason starting up next year, and between those and the new illustrated editions going into print international advisory committees have issued a category 6 Pottermania warning.
But the main reason is that I’ve been meaning to do this for a very long time, ever since I spotted similarities between the Potter and Kvothe books; that led to a wiki binge to fact-check some stuff, which in turn got me wondering how the books would actually hold up if I revisited them. At the same time there’s been a metric shit load of ink spilled both praising and damning this series, and I wanted to be sure I actually had something vaguely interesting to say. Also, I hadn’t actually read them in a long time and my memory of the series, particularly the earlier books, was pretty hazy.
Over the last several weeks I dipped back into the series, looking through detailed plot summaries and re-reading parts that I had forgotten. I also revisited the movies, so we’ll be talking about them as we go. When I was a kid and in my teens I was a fairly enthusiastic fan of the series (to an extent; I never fell head over heels for them like a lot of people did during those heady days), so a big part of the exercise was seeing if they still held up nearly ten years later.
With all that exhaustive research done, we can start answering a few pertinent questions: are the books any good, and to what extent? Do they deserve the fame they attracted? And just why were they so popular in the first place?
It’s going to be full spoiler territory within, so if you want to read these books and for some reason have not done so yet, go grab them. I believe Harry Potter paperbacks are abundant enough that the UN will, in the event that all the oil runs out, be able to keep civilization running for the next 100 years by burning them, so they should be pretty easy to find.