I've dug my heels in for years now over reading or watching anything Harry Potter, but finally decided to give it a go...
Despite being sceptical, I've got to admit (and eat my own words!) it's actually fairly enjoyable. The characters are all unique, there's a definitely feeling of innocence, fun and humour; and the basic concept of good versus evil (and shades of grey) is explored in a satisfying way.
I realise I'm not the target audience by any stretch - I don't like fantasy and I'm hurtling towards my 30s, but there's something in this book for everyone, and I was no exception.
The pace moves at a decent rate, the chapters are broken into easily digestible chunks, and there's nothing here that I felt was a slow or boring part.
I did wonder at a number of points when the Philosopher's Stone was going to put in an appearance and then worried it was going to all get squashed in at the end. And indeed, after the climax I did wonder if it was all going to be a bit "deus ex machina". However, Dumbledore's explanation of events put my fears to rest and the whole story, along with its many threads, are taken to a satisfying conclusion.
Like I said, I'm not the target audience, but if I was 13 again or I had children of my own, I think it's definitely an exciting series and universe to get into, and a great way to get kids involved in reading!
A definite thumbs up!