Typically with most series, the first book is often the best, but this is the odd circumstance where I think the first novel is the worst in the series. Granted, this was the original glimpse of the magical world of Harry Potter, but it was also a very flawed novel. Although I appreciated the introduction to Harry and company as well as to the world of Hogwarts, one of the big issues I had was that the writing was far more juvenile than the rest of the novel. I realize that this may be by design on JK Rowlings’ part, but as an adult I had less of an appreciation for this style of writing. I also think the general plot was not as tight and cohesive as the other offerings. The reveal at the end of the novel was unspectacular. I think the character development and introduction was strong. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are all well-developed characters with much depth as well are many of the side characters like Dumbledore and Hagrid. Although the novel serves the purpose of launching the series, as a stand alone novel, it was unspectacular, and not nearly as good as some of the other novels that follow.
Carl Alves – author of Blood Street