"There it was, hanging in the sky above the school: the blazing green skull with a serpent tongue, the mark Death Eaters left behind whenever they had entered a building...wherever they had murdered...."
When Dumbledore arrives at Privet Drive one summer night to collect Harry Potter, his wand hand is blackened and shrivelled, but he does not reveal why. Secrets and suspicion are spreading through the wizarding world, and Hogwarts itself is not safe. Harry is convinced that Malfoy bears the Dark Mark: there is a Death Eater amongst them. Harry will need powerful magic and true friends as he explores Voldemort's darkest secrets, and Dumbledore prepares him to face his destiny....
"To call Dale a 'reader' of books is like saying Monet was a Sunday painter." (Los Angeles Times)
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Killing is not so easy as the innocent believe.
- Darwin8u "I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^"
A Standout, Stand-Alone Adult Novel
Absolutely yes!! Jim Dale brings animation to the characters that is so high quality that the Audible version easily exceeds the movie version in terms of entertainment value.
The increasing tensions both inside and outside the castle as Harry and his friends grow up and come to full awareness, by the end of the novel, that they are truly on their own in a world in which no one is now safe.
My favorite scenes include Harry's unexpected inheritance (and the "simple test" performed on Kreacher to determine his allegiance), Dumbledore's confrontation with the Dursleys, the appearance of Horace Slughorn and the way in which he is induced to join the faculty at Hogwarts, Draco's increasing secretiveness and palpable dread as he approaches having to carry out a task about which he is clearly ambivalent, Ron's unexpected (and possibly potion-induced, to hear Hermione tell it) success on the Quidditch pitch, Harry's growing awareness of the importance of Ginny, and Ron's near-death by poisoning, with all its tumultuous consequences. But the most dramatic and memorable scenes are those in which Severus Snape is coerced into making the Unbreakable Vow....and the (very related) death of a key character at the end of the novel, an ending which will leave the reader screaming "Nooooo!" and possibly sobbing. (Note to sensitive readers: We must have faith at this point that although this is not the ending we wanted or that we probably would have written if we could, somehow, the skilled author MUST know what she is doing, and has a plan that will make this ending make perfect sense in the grand scheme of the seven-volume series!)
Absolutely yes--and I almost did, reading when I wasn't able to listen and vice versa! You literally will not be able to stop, especially once you reach the pivotal confrontation near the end, and Harry's unforgettable announcement to his friends after the major losses he and they have suffered.
This novel is part of a larger series, of course, but also can stand alone as an excellent read for adults young and old. This one is DEFINITELY not a children's book!
[PLEASE PRESS 'YES IF YOU FOUND THIS REVIEW EVEN SLIGHTLY HELPFUL! THANK YOU!!!]
- Gretchen SLP "Avid listener on my daily commute!"