While the whole world was in a Harry Potter frenzy for seven plus years, lining up at midnight for book and movie releases, I was pretty much on the sidelines. I wasn't attracted to the fantasy story about wizards and witches. I never read a book and don't think I ever watched a movie from start to finish, even though others in the house were watching them on DVD.
Then a few months ago I noted how some people were expressing sorrow that the saga was coming to an end, with the release of the HP 7.2 movie, and there was no more HP to look forward to. I was thinking I was in a unique position in that I had all seven books (and movies) as virgin territory. I needed some new audio books to listen to, so I jumped in.
Firstly, the enjoyment of an audio book is heavily influenced by the skill of the narrator, and I'm glad to say the HP book narrator was exceptional. He maintained wide, yet consistent accents and tones for the many characters.
Books 1 and 2 were about what I expected, novel and interesting, but not terribly engaging for me. They seemed like children's or adolescents' stories. But book 3 ratcheted up a notch, and things accelerated more from there. It was no longer just a story for youth, as good guys and bad guys alike started taking on shades of gray. Most notably, Dumbledore, Harry's father, and Harry himself made mistakes and wrong choices, while Snape became increasingly interesting and multi-dimensional. And good guys started getting killed.
So now I have finished all the books, and watched all the movies except 7.2. I could say the same about the movies as the books, as far as their maturing as they progressed. Movie 6 in particular I thought was very, very good, even separate from the integral HP story thread.
In addition to everything else, I was intrigued with the Snape story, and was anxious to see how it would be resolved. I decided he must be a good guy, though a shade of gray (of course).
Well, I thoroughly enjoyed the books and am glad I read them. But am I sad they are at an end? Mostly not. I distinctly felt during Book 7 that the mini-plots seemed to be rehashes, and it was time to resolve the larger story. I am still looking forward to movie 7.2, though.