Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Not bad. I still think Dumbledore is clearly biased towards Gryffindor in general, and towards Harry specifically, to a degree that is both unfair and unbecoming. We get a little more insight into Snape’s deal than in the movie… or at least I don’t remember it from the movie, maybe it was in there. He’s kind of the most interesting character to me, and I felt he got very unfairly treated by the most recent movie… the book version was probably better, but I doubt I’ll read them all to find out. I’ve heard the 7th book was crap, which makes me not want to get into the series at all.
Also, the wizard world, while exciting to juvenile-me, is totally unworkable to adult-me. If magic works, there’s no way it’s not a part of EVERYBODY’s everyday life. Humans use what tools are available to them, it’s our nature. Also, these powerful wizards have a responsibility to solve the greater problems of the world, rather than futzing around in their towers waving their wands and pretending they have real problems.
Also, if Harry & company got through the gauntlet of spells at Hogwarts as easily as they did, they wouldn’t have posed any kind of obstacle to a real wizard.
And finally, if House Slytherin produces all the dark wizards… SHUT IT DOWN ALREADY, YOU MORONS! Or at least have more careful monitoring or SOMETHING.
Personally, I prefer magic systems that are well thought out and internally consistent rather than magic-as-plot-device. When magic can do whatever you need it to do at any given moment, it’s really difficult to maintain any kind of suspension of disbelief. Like, if there are cloaks of invisibility, then the school would have Invisibility Detectors around important rooms, etc.
I’ve said this before, and it bears repeating: In a world where magic works, MAGIC IS TECHNOLOGY; and like any technology, is subject to market forces.