Every fan of the saga of the young wizard perceives Joan Rowling’s books as a whole (not to mention that many grew up with Harry Potter), so evaluating each piece individually is a difficult and partly ungrateful task. Despite this, philologist and specialist in English literature Nicholas Epple, at the request of Arzamas, still ranked the books from worst to best, considering the books in terms of plot, artistic merit, elaboration of the characters and moral message.
What does Apple’s rating look like (read detailed comments on the Arzamas website):
7. “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”
“Unlike all the other books that consistently expand and deepen the magical world of Harry Potter, the second is nothing more than a solid continuation of the first.”
6. “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”
“If the saga as a whole is a novel of adulthood, then the fourth book is responsible for the theme of puberty. However, it clearly lacks the plot integrity that so favorably distinguishes the previous, third part.”
5. “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”
“Unlike other parts, this book can be seen as a charming children’s tale about little wizards, not the first series of a mega-series or a novel of upbringing. And that’s its charm.”
4. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”
“It is here that the image of Voldemort is truly revealed for the first time. It would seem that the reader already knows almost everything about Voldemort and it is difficult to surprise him, but the topic of crusades reveals new, hitherto unknown and truly terrible depths of evil. Rowling succeeds and that.
3. “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”
The Order of the Phoenix is the most socially sharp book, and here Rowling is perhaps closest to Dickens, with whom she is often compared. The main advantages of the Order of the Phoenix are not fantasy, fiction and plot (protractedness is the main disadvantage of the fifth book), but the characters and manners.
2. “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”
“Prisoner of Azkaban is the perfect combination of a brilliantly twisted plot, when the author leads the reader by the nose to the very end, a beautiful and multi-layered development of characters and a deep moral message.”
1. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”
“The Gifts of Death are not pretended to be children’s literature: the reader grows up with the hero, and now he is dealing with a full-fledged adult work that raises serious philosophical, moral and religious questions.”