Book Review: Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling

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“Harry Potter” is a series of seven fantasy novels written by British author J.K. Rowling. The story follows the life of a young orphan boy named Harry Potter who discovers that he is a wizard, and is whisked away to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The series deals with themes of love, friendship, sacrifice, and the battle between good and evil. Throughout the novels, Harry and his friends face many challenges, including the return of the evil Lord Voldemort, who seeks to take over the wizarding world and destroy all who oppose him. The books are set in a richly-imagined world of magic and fantasy, filled with fascinating characters, creatures, and settings.

Along with his new friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, Harry embarks on a series of adventures, battling dark wizards and uncovering the truth about his past and destiny.

You do not have to read the entire book series if you don’t have time. This book review provides an overview of everything you can learn from it.

Let’s get started without further ado.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets


Harry Potter spent another long summer with his unpleasant relatives, the Dursleys. He eagerly awaited his return to Hogwarts and was surprised when a strange creature named Dobby warned him not to go back. Dobby got Harry into trouble with the Dursleys, who locked him in his room. Luckily, Ron Weasley and his brothers rescued Harry in a flying car and took him to their house for the rest of the summer.

Harry’s second year at Hogwarts started eventfully. He had to deal with too much homework, a vain Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, and a mysterious voice in the walls. Soon, students started to get viciously attacked, and Harry was suspected of being Slytherin’s heir, who would open the Chamber of Secrets and release a monster. Harry discovered he was a Parselmouth and could talk to snakes, but he had no idea who was behind the attacks.

To find out, Harry, Ron, and Hermione disguised themselves as Slytherin students to question Draco Malfoy, but it didn’t work out. Hermione was petrified by the monster, making the quest personal for Harry and Ron. They found a clue left by Hermione and went down into the Chamber of Secrets to rescue Ron’s sister, Ginny, who had been kidnapped by the monster.

Harry went after the monster alone and found Ginny, who was being possessed by Voldemort through an enchanted diary. With the help of Dumbledore and Fawkes the phoenix, Harry destroyed the monster, which turned out to be a younger version of Voldemort. Hermione and the other victims were healed, and Gryffindor earned many house points for Harry and Ron’s bravery.

In the end, Harry couldn’t have imagined a better resolution to such an eventful year.


The book is filled with suspense and mystery, and Rowling does an excellent job of weaving a complex plot that keeps the reader guessing until the very end.

The character development is also excellent, as the three main characters continue to grow and evolve in their relationships with each other. Overall, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is an excellent addition to the series and sets the stage for the rest of the novels.

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban


As Harry begins his third year at Hogwarts, he accidentally blows up his Aunt Marge, goes on the run, and is then personally absolved by the Minister of Magic. 

Mr. Weasley tells him that mass murderer Sirius Black is targeting him, and he makes him promise that he won’t go after Black, no matter what he hears. Harry is perplexed, but he agrees to it.

Armed with this knowledge, he heads back to school and discovers that dementors, evil, soul-sucking creatures, have been stationed around Hogwarts to protect the students from Black. 

Due to his terrible past, Harry is more affected by the dementors than other students, and he resolves to learn to defend himself when he starts collapsing every time they come near. 

Fortunately, Harry finds a willing teacher in Professor Lupin, who teaches Harry the Patronus Charm, the only spell that can defeat the foul creatures.

The third year students are swamped with a mountain of homework as the school year progresses. Due to her enormous course load, Hermione is already stressed out, and none of them can figure out how she’s managing to attend all her classes. 

Crookshanks, Hermione’s cat, repeatedly tries to eat Ron’s rat, Scabbers, which causes them to argue endlessly about the animals. As Ron discovers that Crookshanks has eaten Scabbers, they stop talking altogether.

Harry comes close to capturing Black when he breaks into the castle, but he is not caught. Several events culminate as the school year ends. It turns out that Ron’s rat, Scabbers, is still alive and has been disguised as a wizard. 

As a spy for Lord Voldemort, Peter Pettigrew has chosen to hide himself in this way so that he can spy on Harry and his friends. 

It was Peter, and not Sirius Black, who betrayed Harry’s parents to Voldemort. The moment Harry thinks Peter is finally going to be punished for his crimes, he escapes into the night.

Despite being long believed to be a mass murderer and Voldemort supporter, Sirius turns out to be innocent. Harry also discovers that Sirius is his godfather. For a moment, he thinks he might be able to live with Sirius after being freed from the Dursleys, but Sirius is under suspicion from the Ministry and goes on the run.

Harry’s favorite teacher resigns from his post after it is discovered that he is a werewolf. Sirius narrowly avoids attacking the kids, and it is he who protects them when he transforms into a huge shaggy dog.

It has been an action-packed year, but Harry is very pleased that Sirius has made it out of Azkaban and is now free. It comforts him to know he finally has a family member watching over him.


This book is darker than the previous installments and deals with more mature themes such as loss and betrayal. Rowling’s writing continues to be excellent, and the character development is top-notch.

The introduction of new characters, such as Sirius Black and Remus Lupin, adds depth to the story and keeps the reader engaged. Overall, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is an excellent continuation of the series and sets the stage for the even darker books that follow.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


Harry cannot believe it. As a result of the Weasley’s invitation to the Quidditch World Cup, he will be able to leave the Dursley’s early and go see a game that anyone would be thrilled to watch.

Intense action and stellar players do not make the game intense. The wizarding world is shocked after the game when Voldemort’s sign appears in the sky in the form of Voldemort’s Death Eaters.

A few weeks later, Harry, Ron, and Hermione discover that Hogwarts will be hosting the Triwizard Tournament this year. The three wizarding schools Hogwarts, Durmstrang, and Beauxbatons compete against each other. For each school, a champion is chosen and they compete in challenging challenges that test their skill and daring.

In October, students from other schools begin putting their names into the Goblet of Fire in hopes of being chosen as their school’s champion. Harry is stunned beyond belief when he is chosen as the fourth school champion despite not being able to compete because of his age.

Adding insult to injury, Ron does not believe that Harry did not put his name in the goblet. As a result, Harry and Ron have a huge fight. Harry’s classmates are also enraged that he is “looking for more fame”, and Hermione is the only person who stands by Harry’s side.

Harry is successful in his first task of fighting dragons in the tournament, and what’s even better is that it convinces Ron that Harry was telling the truth all along, and they become friends again.

Harry’s troubles increase as the school year progresses. The snooping journalist, Rita Skeeter, keeps publishing gossipy articles about Harry that alienate him from the rest of the school, he’s rejected by his crush, Cho Chang, when he asks her to the Yule Ball, and in the days leading up to the second task of the tournament, which involves retrieving something important from the bottom of a lake filled with merpeople, he nearly fails to complete it. Harry gets almost full marks again, however, at the last minute, and is tied for first place.

He returns to Hogwarts to keep an eye on Harry, as well as the mysterious events that keep occurring there. Harry’s death is wanted by someone at the school, but no one knows who it is.

Harry and Cedric tie for first place during the final task of the tournament, but as soon as they grasp the winner’s cup, both are transported to a creepy graveyard, where Cedric is killed and Harry is tied up by Wormtail. While clutching Cedric’s body, he barely makes it back to Hogwarts alive after Voldemort’s return to power.

Upon his return, he discovers that “Professor Moody”, his new Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor, was the traitor all along. Despite his magical disguise, he tried everything to kidnap Harry for Lord Voldemort. 

Despite Cornelius Fudge’s disbelief, Harry tells Dumbledore what happened with Voldemort, and the Professor begins to mobilize against the evil wizard.


This book is the longest in the series, and Rowling’s writing is more complex than ever before. The addition of new characters and the exploration of different wizarding schools adds depth to the story and keeps the reader engaged.

The character development is also excellent, as Harry and his friends continue to mature and face increasingly difficult challenges. Overall, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is an excellent addition to the series, providing a perfect blend of mystery, adventure, and emotion.

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


Harry Potter has had another long, hot summer with the Dursleys. As an adolescent in a funk of depression and bitterness over the lack of information about Voldemort’s return, Harry is jolted out of his funk when two Dementors attack Harry and his cousin, Dudley, in the town of Little Whinging. As Harry uses magic to drive them off, the Ministry sends a succession of owls, requiring him to attend a disciplinary hearing. 

He is heartbroken as he reads that the hearing will decide whether or not he will be expelled from Hogwarts.

Harry is exonerated during the hearing, but when he returns to school, he finds that things have changed. Harry has lost Hagrid, there are skeletal horses pulling school carriages that only he can see, and the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is none other than the repulsive, toad-like Dolores Umbridge, who is a Ministry representative he is very familiar with.

The constant muttering of the students makes the situation even worse. Since the Ministry has spent all summer discrediting Harry and Dumbledore, everyone now believes that both of them are crazy and that Voldemort’s return is nothing but a fantasy.

Harry is often in a bad mood and lashes out at those closest to him when he has only Ron and Hermione by his side. 

Defiance lands him in detention for weeks at a time with Professor Umbridge, who soon rises to become Hogwarts High Inquisitor and relishes sacking teachers and controlling the entire school.

Umbridge retaliates by taking away everything Harry cares about: Quidditch, letters from Sirius, and visits with Hagrid as the school year progresses. The only way Harry can fight back is to form a secret defense group, Dumbledore’s Army, and teach his friends how to fight.

In spite of the frantic workload of preparing for their OWLs (tests that determine the students’ future careers), Umbridge’s tyranny, and Harry’s obsession with Ravenclaw seeker Cho Chang, Harry continues to have dreams of dark corridors and locked doors that are frustrating at best. 

He soon realizes that he has become Voldemort’s little antenna, which certainly does not help his own temper.

When Dolores Umbridge learns about Harry’s secret defense group, things take a disastrous turn. When Dumbledore claims credit for the group in order to protect Harry, Harry is filled with guilt and flees the school to avoid arrest.

The finale of this installment ends with an epic battle between good and evil that results in the death of Harry’s godfather Sirius Black, as well as the discovery that Harry’s destiny is entwined with that of Voldemort himself. 

Harry learns that either he will kill Lord Voldemort or Voldemort will kill him in the end.


This book is darker and more intense than its predecessors, as Harry grapples with the return of Voldemort and the Ministry of Magic’s denial of this fact. It is a slower-paced book compared to the others, but the tension and conflict make up for it.

The character development is excellent, particularly that of Harry and his relationship with Dumbledore. Overall, a great addition to the series.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


Harry’s sixth year at Hogwarts begins with a more mature and mellow Harry than ever before. He’s more determined than ever to end Voldemort’s reign of terror, after the death of Sirius Black has left an indelible mark on him. 

When Dumbledore picks Harry up to attend to a mysterious errand early in the summer, he’s glad to escape the tyranny of the Dursleys and convince his ex-professor, Horace Slughorn, to teach at Hogwarts again.

Upon returning to school, Harry is, as usual, overjoyed. He has been appointed Quidditch Team Captain. Professor Severus Snape has finally achieved his burning dream of becoming a Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, much to Harry’s dismay. 

The year’s first assignment for Harry is to take private lessons with Dumbledore, who is teaching him all about Voldemort’s past. Having as much knowledge of Voldemort as he can will help Harry in his final fight with him, Dumbledore hopes.

During Harry’s first Potions class, he holds a mysterious book previously owned by the Half-Blood Prince, which changes the course of the year by giving him a reputation for being an expert in potions. 

Harry begins to rely on the information he gains from the Half-Blood Prince’s book, and he uses some of his spells outside of class, much to Hermione’s dismay.

Draco Malfoy is also under increasing scrutiny by Harry. As Harry believes Malfoy has replaced his father as head of the Death Eaters, he believes Malfoy is planning a dark plot at the school, but he cannot for the life of him figure out what it is. 

Harry has his hands full trying to figure out what Malfoy’s up to as Ron and Hermione’s skepticism, as well as his disappearances from the school grounds.

Harry and Ron both marvel at their blossoming love lives as the year passes. Ginny, Ron’s sister, is someone Harry falls hard for despite knowing he shouldn’t. 

His lessons with Dumbledore continue sporadically, but he is delighted to hear that he might be able to accompany Dumbledore on a dangerous mission to help destroy a horcrux that contains a piece of Voldemort’s soul.

If several things happen at the same time, things get frantic. A fierce battle ensues between Harry and Dumbledore, members of the Order of the Phoenix, and Death Eaters, as Malfoy’s plot finally works and he is able to sneak Death Eaters into the school. 

Harry and Dumbledore succeed in recovering the horcrux, but they become trapped on the Astronomy Tower, where Professor Snape kills Dumbledore.

Harry is devastated by the death of Dumbledore, but it enables him to see clearly what his true mission is. After deciding not to return to Hogwarts, he sets out to destroy Voldemort’s soul fragments. Ron and Hermione’s insistence that they go with him gives him encouragement, and they begin their journey together as soon as Dumbledore’s funeral is over.


This book is a bit more mature than the previous books, as Harry gets closer to understanding the complexities of the Wizarding World and the people in it. It’s a gripping read, with excellent pacing and a well-crafted plot that leads to an explosive climax.

The exploration of Voldemort’s past and his relationship with Snape is a highlight, as is the continued growth of Harry’s friendships with Ron and Hermione.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


Harry has finally reached his adult years, and has finally begun his final journey to defeat Voldemort forever. As Voldemort’s Death Eaters threaten to torture the Durselys, Harry sets off with Ron and Hermione on a difficult quest to find and destroy the last of Voldemort’s Horcruxes. Harry knows that Voldemort can truly be killed only when those are destroyed.

The task isn’t easy. In the wake of rumors about Dumbledore’s past, Harry begins to wonder if Dumbledore might have had a darker past than he ever let on. They often go without food, and with winter approaching, their journey is far from relaxing. 

Their spirits are often low due to lack of food, lack of progress, and Ron’s argumentative behavior in particular. He and Harry fight one night, and Ron leaves to go home.

Hermione and Harry are devastated that he abandoned them. As they search for clues in Godric’s Hollow, they almost get caught by Voldemort once again. It seems that he anticipates every step they take. There have been too many near deaths for them to count, and their spirits sink even lower when Harry discovers his wand was broken.

A few weeks later, Ron comes back and saves Harry’s life at the last minute. As they discover the Deathly Hallows, they are intrigued once again as they can destroy another Horcrux with Gryffindor’s sword. Those who possess the three objects will be masters of death. For Harry, it’s his only chance to beat Voldemort and live to tell the tale.

Harry begins to understand what Dumbledore intended him to do as his adventures and dangers increase. Almost at the last minute, he realizes that he will have to sacrifice himself to defeat Voldemort. Loved by his friends, he gives his life willingly for them.

He is saved by his last act of heroism, however. Death brings him face-to-face with Dumbledore, and he asks many questions. He is given the option of staying or going back, and he chooses to go back and fight.

Harry and Voldemort are done with one spell. Voldemort is killed, leaving Harry as the true master of the Hallows. 

Although he lost many of his friends during the last battle, he now understands more about love (which he loves Ginny), and life, and sacrifice, and he is grateful for the second chance he has been given.


The final book in the series is a satisfying conclusion to Harry’s journey. It’s a darker, more intense read than any of the previous books, with stakes higher than ever before.

The pacing is excellent, and the characters continue to evolve and surprise the reader. The final battle is epic and emotional, and the resolution of the story is well-earned. Overall, a fantastic end to an amazing series.


1. The Worldbuilding

One of the most impressive things about the Harry Potter series is the way that Rowling creates a fully-realized magical world that feels both familiar and new. From Diagon Alley to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, every location is described in vivid detail, with a wealth of interesting characters and creatures populating them. Rowling’s attention to detail is particularly impressive, with even the most minor characters and objects having a backstory and a purpose. This makes re-reading the books a delight, as there’s always some new detail to discover.

2. The Mystery

While the Harry Potter series is often described as a fantasy adventure, I would argue that it’s actually more of a mystery series. Each book presents a new puzzle to be solved, with Harry and his friends using their wits and magical abilities to piece together the clues and unravel the plot. Rowling’s plotting is masterful, with twists and turns that keep the reader guessing right up until the end. What’s more, the overarching mystery of Voldemort’s return and the prophecy that connects Harry to him is woven throughout the series, creating a sense of continuity and inevitability that makes the final confrontation all the more satisfying.

3. The Coming-of-Age Story

At its heart, the Harry Potter series is a coming-of-age story, following Harry from his childhood in the muggle world to his eventual triumph over Voldemort as a young adult. Rowling’s decision to tell the story from Harry’s perspective, with the reader learning about the wizarding world alongside him, is a stroke of genius.

As Harry grows and matures over the course of the series, so too does the tone and complexity of the books. The earlier books are more light-hearted and episodic, while the later books delve into darker themes and more complex characters. This makes the series a rewarding read for both children and adults, as there’s always something new to discover with each re-reading.


1. Pacing Issues and Bloat

While many fans enjoy the detailed worldbuilding and slow build-up of the Harry Potter series, some readers may find the pacing to be too slow or the later books to be too long and convoluted. As the series progresses, the plot becomes increasingly complex and the number of characters and subplots can be overwhelming. Additionally, some readers may feel that certain sections of the books are unnecessary or dragged out, leading to a sense of bloat.

2. Lack of Diversity and Representation

One criticism that has been leveled at the Harry Potter series in recent years is its lack of diversity and representation, particularly with regards to race and sexuality.

While the series does feature characters from different backgrounds and cultures, they are often relegated to supporting roles and their experiences are not given the same attention and depth as those of the main characters. While Rowling has made attempts to retroactively include more diverse characters in the series, these efforts have been criticized as tokenistic or insufficient.

3. Problematic Themes and Messaging

Another potential con of the Harry Potter series is its handling of certain themes and messaging. While the books promote values such as friendship, bravery, and standing up to injustice, they also contain problematic elements such as the portrayal of house elves and goblins as subservient and inferior beings, and the use of slurs such as “mudblood” to denigrate non-pureblooded wizards.

Moreover, some readers have criticized the series for perpetuating the idea of the “chosen one” narrative, in which a single individual is tasked with saving the world and is viewed as superior to others.


The Harry Potter series is a must-read for anyone who loves adventure, magic, and well-developed characters. J.K. Rowling has created a world that is rich and full of wonder, and her themes of love, sacrifice, and friendship will stay with readers long after they finish the last book. The series’s popularity is a testament to its lasting impact on readers of all ages.

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