Reviews for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows : Library Edition


Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2007 #6
Dale here does his usual heroic job of delineating the multitude of characters' voices and tackling the complexities of the plot as Harry searches for horcruxes and deathly hallows; for his own sense of morality in the face of revelations about Dumbledore's past and Snape's surprising loves and loyalties; and, ultimately, for the Truth with a capital T. Dale gamely keeps the energy level high as Harry manages his myriad hairsbreadth escapes from the Death Eaters and Lord Voldemort. But the narrator's great gift for comedy has precious little outlet in this, the darkest, talkiest, and last of the seven books. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2007 August #2

Daletackles Harry's last hurrah with the same undercurrent of excitement and mind-boggling roster of distinct character voices that he brought to his previous six performances. Less of the Hogwarts setting, and a more dangerous quest for Harry and his friends, means that Dale has less jocularity to work with here (something at which he excels), but he does not disappoint in conveying both the heart-rending drama and sense of closure of Rowling's final Potter outing. Late in the recording, when Harry realizes his fate and Rowling's plot twists fly, Dale is at the top of his game, drawing listeners into the orbit of his comforting voice. Throughout, Harry and his friends appropriately sound a bit older than they did in the early volumes, and it's hard to know whether it's imagined or not, but there's a hint of wistfulness in Dale's voice, perhaps because both narrator and listener know it's the last time they'll be together for a new Potter adventure. The CD packaging, which makes extensive use of Mary GrandPr's spot illustrations and cover art on the discs and sleeves, is also a treat for fans. Ages 10-up. (July)

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Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews
Potter fans, relax--this review packs no spoilers. Instead, we're taking advantage of our public platform to praise Rowling for the excellence of her plotting. We can't think of anyone else who has sustained such an intricate, endlessly inventive plot over seven thick volumes and so constantly surprised us with twists, well-laid traps and Purloined Letter-style tricks. Hallows continues the tradition, both with sly feats of legerdemain and with several altogether new, unexpected elements. Perhaps some of the surprises in Hallows don't have quite the punch as those of earlier books, but that may be because of the thoroughness and consistency with which Rowling has created her magical universe, and because we've so raptly absorbed its rules.We're also seizing the occasion to wish out loud that her editors had done their jobs more actively. It's hard to escape the notion that the first three volumes were more carefully edited than the last four. Hallows doesn't contain the extraneous scenes found in, say, Goblet of Fire, but the momentum is uneven. Rowling is much better at comedy than at fight scenes, and no reader of the sixth book will be startled to hear that Hallows has little humor or that its characters engage in more than a few fights. Surely her editors could have helped her find other methods of building suspense besides the use of ellipses and dashes? And craft fight dialogue that sounds a bit less like it belongs in a comic book? Okay, we're quibbling. We know these minor nuisances won't dent readers' enjoyment, at least not this generation of readers; we couldn't put Hallows down ourselves. But we believe Rowling, and future readers, deserved even better. Ages 9-12. (July)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2007 September

Gr 6 Up--Listeners may want to linger over Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Scholastic, 2007) since this is J. K. Rowling's last installment in her universally successful fantasy series. Howeverm the high-tension adventures of Harry assisted by Hermione and Ron will immediately draw everyone into the quest to vanquish Voldemort. With the Dark Lord in control of the Ministry of Magic, the trio uses their combined wizardly talents to stay hidden as they follow Dumbledore's assignment to destroy the dangerous horcruxes. Finding those fragmented pieces of their enemy's soul lead the friends to angry arguments, near fatal encounters and, occasionally, humorous episodes. Pursuing Dumbledore's oblique clues also reveal the truth behind a powerful, death-defying magic wand and stone, but that knowledge threatens to sidetrack the teens. The final confrontation is a bloody battle at Hogworts that involves the vast cast of creatures, allies and foes from the previous six volumes. In the end, Harry learns unexpected truths that are pivotal in the concluding struggle between good and evil. Narrator Jim Dale again serves up superbly distinctive characters and adds excitement when he narrates action scenes. Creating more than 200 voices for the Potter series, Dale has not only brought a rich vocal presence to the text, but he's also set an audiobook record for the number of characters portrayed. For those who've enjoyed the print version of the book, listening to this recording will extend and enhance the inspiring climax to this legendary septet.--Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT

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