Okay, I’m not going to totally recap the book. I’ve read it once, and plan on listening to the audio book (which we own cause I can’t say no to Suzanne… *sigh*).
As of now, I enjoyed it but was severely disappointed with much of it:
(there are minor spoilers, but I’m not doing a ‘big reveal’ or anything)
– Not having an actual confrontation between Harry and Snape was a complete cop-out. This should have been written where Harry forgives Snape or realizes while Snape is alive that he was helping him all along. Something. The use of the Pensieve was what I was expecting tho.
– 3 months of Harry, Ron and Hermione hanging out in a tent, planning, wondering, running, hiding? This felt like the wheels were just spinning in this book, as if Rowling had to make sure the final battle was in the spring. Very weak.
– The aimlessness of the journey was kindof a let down. I mean Ron and Hermione mention in the book that they expected Harry to know more, so I guess that makes the author aware of the problem, but didn’t make it a great read.
– The temptation of Ron by the Horcrux was well done, and was the moment in which the book turned for the better. Ron’s return, another mystery of the Silver White Doe Patronus. It took too long to get there, but once I read this chapter and the one that followed, things got much better.
– I turned to my wife who had just fallen asleep and said, on Page 650 (I think that’s what I said) Ron and Hermione finally kiss. I still think that it should have been earlier in the book and maybe the series, but the moment was WONDERFUL. Best moment in the book and top 10 in the whole series.
– The Truth of why “love” is the greatest weapon, and how “love” is something that Voldemort doesn’t understand, showed itself well. The two themes of the series are “love is a greater power than anything” and “it is our choices that define us.” Decent enough theme, and decent enough display of it, in terms of Snape.
– Killing Remus and Nymphadora was purely a ‘raising the body count’ action (and to a lesser degree Fred Weasley, tho that makes sense that someone from the list of ‘students’ that we know and care about dies). I mean now all of the ‘adult’ members of the Order of the Phoenix that we know are dead except for Mr & Mrs Weasley, and Hagrid (and Shaklebolt kindof).
– I kindof predicted that Neville would kindof shackup with Luna, but that didn’t seem to happen. But that Neville took charge in Book 7 was really nice. Two ways of looking at it: That hanging around Harry and the gang helped Neville become a confident wizard; OR! That if Harry hadn’t gone to Hogwarts that Neville would have been the ‘Harry Potter’ of the school (without the prophecy part). I mean one who could lead people and make things happen.
– Introducing the Deathly Hallows in the last book, when we already had enough to fill the pages of the book, seemed kindof pointless. I know it made sense to the author, and probably made it more interesting to write, rather than to just tie up loose ends, but seemed superfluous.
– Waaaaaaaaay too much Deus Ex Machina. Wow, they happen to Aparate to the forest where the sword is hidden. Wow, they happen to overhear a goblin say the sword in Gringots is fake. Wow, Goyle casts Fiendfyre which happens to be a spell that can destroy Horcruxes.
– Expelliarmus versus Avada Kedavra? Really? That’s all it’s going to take?
– Overall, it felt rushed. Like she just wanted to be done with it. While as a writer (even if only a technical writer) I appreciate just ‘getting it done’, but as a reader it disappoints me
That’s all for now. Some good, some bad. Currently my least favorite book of the series, and not worth the wait. But maybe just a victim of its own success (6 out of 10)