If you’re not bleary-eyed from reading the final installment of the 10-year Harry Potter phenom that has made author J.K. Rowling the richest woman in the UK, this review is for you.

Harry Potter, the Chosen Boy Who Lived, must face the Dark Lord Voldemort for the last time. After so many close shaves, the Good must now face the most Evil and prove that love in this world conquers all. Only this time, Harry must fight Voldemort alone.

In the 7th book, Harry’s ability to read Voldemort’s mind better becomes the key to the rest of the Horcruxes which his principal Dumbledore had instructed Harry to destroy in the previous book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

In the opening scene, instead of Harry being driven up the wall by Dudley and being miraculously rescued from his room in the attic, Harry parts ways with the Dursleys (be ready for a great surprise from Dudley!) and followed the Order to a safer hideout. Being 17 means a great deal to this wizard- the protection bestowed upon Harry by his parents (James and Lily Potter), who died saving him from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, is lifted. Shortly after his departure planned precisely to every last detail, Harry and the Order face a tough battle with the Death Eaters who were desperate to bring Harry back to Voldemort alive. While Harry managed to cheat death again, many from the Order are hurt (one even dies).

From there, Harry, Hermione and Ron are in for difficult times searching for the other Horcruxes in order to kill the nemesis. With the help of the 3 items Dumbledore left for them in his will, the trio must hunt down the rest of Voldemort’s souls with no clues and lots of traps along the way. Harry has to break into a place he barely entered in the Sorcerer’s Stone to hunt down one of the clues leading up to one of Voldemort’s  Horcruxes.

As if they haven’t got enough on their hands, Harry must decide between following Dumbledore’s orders or his new discovery- the Deathly Hallows. Rumour has it that the owner of all 3 Hallows will be the master of Death. If he gets hold of them all, maybe then he can stand a chance against Lord Voldemort…

Harry must go with his heart and make many difficult decisions. Granted, some might not be the smartest but he learns quickly from his mistakes knowing everyone is counting on him. A normal teenager at heart, Harry yearns to be free and normal. Many times in the book Harry would throw the usual tantrums and think of giving up this battle and running away into the sunset with Ginny. However, he always manages to snap back into reality- escaping from the world slowly being overtaken by the Dark Lord and garnering enough energy to give one last fight.

Rowling has cleverly injected many anecdotes along the way to bring readers back in time and retrace the steps Harry took since he survived Lord Voldemort’s Avada Kedavra (Killing) curse. Here is when all the doubts in Harry’s minds will slowly be answered, all the loose strings finally tied. A series of intertwined truths will be revealed one after the other; Dumbledore’s death and shocking family background, his own family history and where his parents were buried.

Like it isn’t enough to lose his parents, Godfather (Sirius Black) and mentor Professor Albus Dumbledore, Harry will lose at least 6 other major companions who shaped him into this selfless teenage boy. You may find yourself crying with Harry through the dark moments, but laugh harder with Ron. You must really give this to his loyal friend- he can make even the gloomiest moments cheery with one or two of his silly jokes.

Shadowy introductions to some important characters previously will be made more complex in this final showdown. People we’ve come to hate will become heroes in Harry’s life, while heroic ones we respect and hold high on pedestals turn out not as noble as we thought.

At the final showdown in Hogwarts, almost every character mentioned in all the previous books returns for the cataclysmic epic battle. Some gave into their desires and joined the Dark Side; many were touched by the sincerity and selflessness of Harry and stayed with him till their last breaths.

As if she had not taken enough literary risks since the birth of Harry in 1996, Rowling makes an attempt to add on to the complicated storyline nearing the end of book 7. With one final and definitely biggest twist, Harry must make his choice; for, as the prophecy about him and Voldemort goes, “neither can live while the other survives”.

Through the entire 607 pages, one can only expect an emotional roller-coaster ride piled with lots of back-to-back hard-hitting action.

And the ending? Well, let’s just say after the controversial twists Harry Potter took along the way, Rowling stayed true to the old-fashioned closure one would find in any other children’s book.

One thing’s for sure, those who have treated rumours of hearsay among web communities seriously, prepare to be terribly disappointed.

I can’t wait to see how Director David Yates will pull this one off.

5/5 stars