Here’s a comparison you can only take so far. But let’s see if I’m alone on this.
The first five Harry Potter books progress like Beethoven’s first five symphonies.
The first two don’t do that much for you, though they’re well-crafted. And, like Beethoven’s Second, the Chamber of Secrets hints at something larger with Tom Riddle’s past.
The third is where things really take off on a grander and darker scale.
The fourth is the most classical. Symphony, obviously. Book, a tournament with Harry as the dark horse.
And the fifth is the one that really kicks things off.
I was reminded of this comparison when we saw the movie this weekend and also remembered that I felt disappointed in the sixth book not because it wasn’t a good, adventurous read, which it was, but because it wasn’t as leisurely and pastoral as I had – for my own weird reasons – expected.
And the whole calculation will be off anyway, since the seventh book is the last. Will it be like Beethoven’s Ninth or Seventh? Both are great, so the answer doesn’t really matter.
But, since it supposedly has a surprise ending, it might be more like the Ninth. We’ll find out soon enough.