Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter Book 1 of 7)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré

Yes, there really are people left in the world who haven’t read Harry Potter. However, the number of people has just decreased by 1. For me, it wasn’t an intentional avoidance. Once the series was finished and I was ready to see what all the fuss was about, I went to Amazon and discovered they weren’t available as e-books because apparently Rowling didn’t like e-books. I’m pretty devoted to e-books, so I shrugged it off and focused on all the other books I wanted to read instead. I intended to eventually borrow the physical books from my local library, but I was traveling a lot on business at the time so I put it off and never got around to it. By the time the books were finally released in an e-book format, I guess I had put off reading the series so long that I just kept putting it off.


This was a fun book and I can see why it’s so well-liked. There are definitely a lot of familiar and perhaps overused plot devices here. The most obvious example is that our main character is a young boy who lives a life surrounded by people who hate and mistreat him, but he’s actually famous among people he doesn’t know and has special abilities that he knows nothing about. But I really don’t mind overused plot devices as much as some do, as long as the story is interesting and I like the characters. Both of those conditions were met in this case.


When I first started reading the book, the tone felt very young. It’s a children’s book, of course, so I don’t know why I expected anything else, but it took me a little while to get past what felt like an overly simplistic storytelling voice. Once I got into the story, I didn’t notice it that much anymore. The story was pretty straight-forward, but there was one twist that I hadn’t seen coming. I liked the characters and the friendships and loyalty between them.


There really isn’t too much more I can say about the book. It’s not particularly complex literature and so it didn’t really leave me with a lot of strong opinions or thoughts that I feel the need to write about, but it was a fun and very fast read and it held my attention easily. A lot of the books I’ve read in the past few months have been much darker in tone and/or more challenging to get into, so I think this series will serve as a great change of pace for me. I am hopeful though that it will get at least a little more complex as the series goes on.