Darker Harry?

It is always striking to me that a two-week vacation from the internet results in a much higher number of books actually getting read, particularly for having been on a “working vacation”. Among other things, I re-read the Harry Potter series to date in preparation for the release of the 5th book. They were all good on re-reading, though the 3rd book suffered a bit for knowing the underlying mysteries. I think it might be the weakest of the series. It was certainly the transition from lighter children’s fare to the darker tone of Goblet of Fire, which is clearly intended for slightly older children.
I’m now very interested to see how the 5th book plays out. The book has clearly been set up to begin a defense (or offense?) against Voldemort despite the reluctance of the official wizarding government. I am hopeful, given Rowling’s breaking of the standard fantasy divisions of pure good and pure evil with the character of Snape, that she’ll give us a more Tolkien-esque depth of conflict between the Hogwarts-based heroes and a non-evil wizard government with a disagreement about the best course of action rather than simply being a tool of evil.

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