I have been reading this book series at the insistence of my 12-year-old son. He really enjoyed them and loves to talk about the stories. He even checked this book out of his school library to make sure I would read it. (SMILE)
I have enjoyed the series overall although I think it lacks of the depth of the Harry Potter series. HP seems written for adults but enjoyable for children whereas this seems written more for children, but parents might enjoy it, too.
Like many, I found the movie disappointing and feel they failed to trust their audience and instead attempted to make a blockbuster to appeal to everyone. This then failed to appeal to the biggest fans of the books AND those who might have picked up the book after seeing the movie.