Book Review #2: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's (Sorcerer's) Stone by J.K. Rowling

Book Synopsis

Taken from Book blurb:

Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a clock ofinvisibility. All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in eleven years. But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger:a letter to an invitation to an incredible place that Harry -and anyone who reads about him- will find unforgettable. For it's there that he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic in everything from classes to meals, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him...if Harry can survive the encounter.

Ciel's Rating

Ciel's Review

This is the debut of Rowling as a writer and introduction to the world of Harry Potter and its characters that some of us have grown to love and cherish. I first read the book when I was eleven, and immediately felt a connection with Harry as being a very understanding, kind, and good-hearted kid living through a tragic life. Then Rowling takes him, along with us, into a magical adventure that any kid would like to live through. She tackles that fantasy well, thus, mainly targeting young audiences in hope that they would read through while they grow up with Harry. This is exactly what happened to me.

Rowling introduces the world through the eyes and innocence of Harry, making him likable to the readers. The setting is an alternate reality of our world, where elves, dwarves, wizards, dragons, and a myriad of mythical creatures exist and co-exist with one other, and often arguments and disagreements arise among these “races”. Rowling isn’t extremely original in the character-making concept, most often she borrows from other fantasy novels and myths that already exist, and builds upon that. Her novel (and writing) is fairly easy to read, hence enjoyable for children, with a skeleton based heavily on dialogues rather than extensive descriptions.

The first book is slow and has some inadequacies and inconsistencies, as most introductions to something bigger and greater are and have. However, this first book is a stepping stone to flesh out the plot in the books that follows. She creates her world in our mind, begins painting the characters in black and white, and brings our attention to the personalities of the main characters, which I’m sad to say it’s very one-dimensional and an archetype, more than anything else.

The first book heavily emphasizes on family and the importance of it, often devoting entire chapters and passages to describe the love Harry’s parents felt for him, thus leading them into sacrificing their lives to protect him. The story has a valuable moral quality ingrained in it, which fills us with a sense of familiarity and security as to the overall outcome of each book, which makes it a bit predictable.