Now, continuing with Harry Potter.
I have to say, either Joan Rowling is an extremely good plot-weaver, or the mistress of creating complex plots by accident. The mystery of the world Harry lives in leaves you wanting more, and the characters wind up being a combination of unknowns and sympathetic (To an extent). Professor Snape appears to be a jerk for no reason for the longest of times and about the time I get to Prisoner of Azkaban I'm going to analyze this. Harry's aunt and uncle are the kind of muggles that you see in X-Men and the like. For some reason they think that being "normal" is somehow superior to having super-powers. Also, for some reason, instead of just sending the owls with Harry's school letter into his room, Hogwarts keeps sending it in places that the Dursley's can intercept it. This is obviously to set up part of the rest of the book, but it doesn't make much sense in context, considering the fact that McGonagle knew from day one who they were dealing with.
From there, we go to the ludicrous plot-twist of the identity of the person out to kill Harry. Granted, there are a few hints here and there, but it's not well executed, at least it doesn't com across as well as it does in the movie. Also, very little touches on the schoolwork and relationships between people other than Harry and Ron in this book. A few more character-traits for Hermione other than just "Smart girl and thinker" would have been good, and more time for characterization would have been good for this book, as well as MAYBE a few more hints as to what's going on, rather than just finding out near the end who has been causing trouble all year long. Considering that when this book was originally published, they considered it too long for a kids book (And ain't they feeling a little bit stupid now) and the fact that it's the shortest in the series, there MAY have been something cut out of it to make it smaller, just like someone decided that calling it "Philosopher's Stone" was a bad idea, even though that pretty much ruined the American versions of the series. Also, certain editions remove the Briticism's, which is just stupid, as stupid as MGS3 having everyone speak English, even though they're supposed to be in Russia for most of the game...... So I totally agree with J.K Rowling, she SHOULD have fought the publisher's to use the actual title of the book in the US other than the one it got. Considering that I read the British version first it's always weird whenever I hear someone call it "Sorcerer's Stone" instead of "Philosopher's Stone". All in all, the book was ruined by executive meddling and the American adaption didn't help that any. It's made Joan Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe a ton of money though, but I wouldn't be surprised if J.K wanted to re-write the series so that it all works better together. Fortunately Philosopher's Stone paved the way for better books that were less hindered by preconceptions and misconceptions about what people wanted from novels.
I'm not sure what kind of ranking to give it, it's kind of hard to pin down, from the rushed-out feeling of the book to the kind of humor and funny characters and "Makes me want more" drama it has makes me consider a middling rating, but that doesn't really do it justice.... I say it's somewhere around 6.7* or 7.8*. I want to give it a low rating, but it's a good book..... I really don't know what to do here. Anyways, see you next week with Harry Potter And The Chamber of Secrets! Or something else if I forget....