Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
By J. K. Rowling
I'm not sure that any book could really live up to the kind of expectations that some people put on this one but, personally, I really liked it. In fact, I might even go so far as to say it was the best one of the series. Maybe not. Inevitably, some of the sense of wonder that you had in the early books has been lost along the way. But by now it's been replaced with familiarity, which really mirrors the development of the central characters as they progress from childhood to adulthood. I can't say how you'll feel about this book, but as far as I'm concerned, it did everything I wanted it to, weaving in parts that were appropriately epic with parts that were more intimate, and tying it all up in a way that I found very satisfying.
Started: 7/21/2007 | Finished: 7/23/2007
Master and Commander
By Patrick O'Brian
There's an obvious comparison between this series and C. S. Forester's Hornblower series. Both follow the career of a Royal Navy officer during the Napoleonic wars. Still, they are separate works. For one thing, O'Brian's Jack Aubrey is a very different sort of person from Forester's Horatio Hornblower. Where Hornblower is reserved and intellectual, Aubrey is much more rough around the edges, rambunctious and appreciative of wine and song. I suppose that in some ways Aubrey is the anti-Hornblower. I think I prefer Forester's series, in part because of the characters but also in part because, oddly enough, O'Brian's prose seems more stilted and archaic, despite having been written some thirty-odd years later. Still, I did enjoy this book overall and will be continuing the series, at the very least until I run through the ones I already have.
Started: 7/17/2007 | Finished: 8/18/2007