I recently revisited where it all started, Pottermania that is. We'd discouraged my sons from starting the Harry Potter series too early because we wanted them to be old enough to appreciate what they were reading and to read the whole thing in one gulp, if they so chose. But now they were ready, so the entire family recently read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
I understand that J.K Rowling's decision to cover an entire school year in one book means that she couldn't cover incidents and feelings with the depth that I've come to appreciate from books where the entire story takes place in a few days or a few weeks. However, while there were still the thrilling and charming moments that make the characters so endearing, I found myself being dismayed by how the book just skipped from vignette to vignette with little in the way of transition. I felt like there were enormous holes as the story jumped through time - places the story floundered rather than flowed. I fondly forgive much because of the wonderful way that the Harry Potter series captured the imagination of a generation of readers and because, sometimes, a magical world peeks through the adequate writing.
We also watched the movie, and while it was enjoyable, found that we were disappointed by how much more they had to abridge the story to fit the movie format.
In an odd serendipity of overlapping characters, which I won't name too explicitly in hopes of avoiding spoilers, my sons also recently read The Alchemyst by Michael Scott. I'll be reviewing that shortly, but as they seem to be more absorbed by the story of Sophie and Josh Newman than by that of Harry Potter, we decided to finish The Alchemyst series first.