Thursday, August 02, 2007

She Succeeded

By Nichole Giles

Upon finishing the last book of a certain series of 7, I expected to feel a great sense of loss. I’ve spent several years with these characters, and have grown to know and love them like trusted friends. In this way, she-who-must-not-be-named has succeeded in grabbing us by the hearts.

The villains and bad guys were also well developed, and we were given just enough background to feel a little bit sorry for them. Thus, some of them were redeemed of their wrong doings, and in the end, we loved, rather than hated them.

The plots of all 7 books were so intricately woven together that they were obviously planned many years in advance. Without spoiling the ending for anyone who hasn’t yet finished, I’ll just say that there is no string left untied, no small plot point left unused. The sub-plots were well developed, and rich with depth and emotion. Yet another way the author has succeeded. (Here, I have to mention that about three books ago, my son and I noticed a certain pattern and made some predictions. It was a proud moment for both of us when they came true.)

Now, where suspense is concerned, this book is the best of the group. Not only is it packed with desperate moments, hair-raising worry, and life threatening scenes, it tops all that out in the end with one person who willingly makes the ultimate sacrifice in order to save the rest. If the last four chapters didn’t bring tears to your eyes, you are either lying—and you didn’t really read it—or…well, you couldn’t have read it. She-who-must-not-be-named has succeeded in wrenching our emotions. Again.

After rumors and speculation circulated the globe about the outcome, after phone-in counseling centers staffed extra people to minimize the feelings of loss, and after the majority of the world spent hours and hours biting their nails—vowing to forever hate the author if she did the wrong thing—the ending was absolutely brilliant. There was no other way for this story to have ended. The world’s readers were left with a feeling of satisfaction and triumph. So, in the most ultimate of ways, this author, one of the most revered and brilliant of our time, has succeeded.

Though I don’t know her, I am proud to say I’ve read her work. I have spent countless hours reading and re-reading the first six, and now I imagine I’ll go back and re-read the whole series again. In this way, the story lives on. (Let’s not even discuss the movies.) And it will continue to live on for many generations. That, my writer friends, is the ultimate in success.

So what does that leave for the rest of us? A world of hungry readers, just waiting for the next big, wonderful series. Now’s your chance. Aim for the sky!


Anonymous said...

I agree. I agree. I agree. It was wonderful! From chapter 1 to the epilog, all I wanted to do was read. It was intense and heart wrenching and exhilarating. I was confused and enlightened, and frustrated and proud. I have never been so emotionally committed to a book. All my life I was told, this is what books are like. I have read some wonderful stories, but I never felt like I did when I finished that last sentence. Brilliant! I started Saturday morning and finished Sunday night... Ok technically it was Monday morning. I have never finished a book that fast. I just couldn’t stop. It was everything I hoped it would be.

And I agree let’s try not to mention the movies.

I would love to hear about the pattern you referred to. I had a couple opinions about Snape and Dumbledore that I was pleased to see play out as I predicted.

Keith Fisher said...

Thanks for the pep talk. great blog.

Nichole Giles said...

I'd love to discuss our predictions as well. Hm. Without spoiling the ending for readers who haven't finished, let's say--the locket, Snape and Dumbledore (book 4, I believe-or maybe 5), and the last one, well, I can't say without giving the end away, so think...Point of View.

Maybe I'll blog it all next month. Thanks for commenting.


Nichole Giles said...

Keith, you're so welcome! That's what friends are for.

Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen said...

I was just like the rest of the world: couldn't wait to start, couldn't stop and wait 'til later. Oh, how I marvel at JKR's ingenuity and creativity. Oh, how I hope to incorporate some of what she's done in my own work!

Nichole Giles said...

All I can say to that is, AMEN!