After a long, highly anticipted wait for the fifth installment in the Harry Potter Series, I finally laid hands on my copy at just past midnight last night. I promptly began to read, and I have to say....I am somewhat disappointed in it. Though I believe J K Rowling to be an excellent writer in general, I found the fifth book not nearly as engrossing as the last three. In fact, throughout the entire first half I was left wondering, "when is something going to HAPPEN?!". I found Harry to be more irritating than anything else, what with his constant outbursts, lack of judgement, and incessant whining. Hermione seems to be the only character that is maturing at all. The plot was not as well developed as I thought it could have been (c'mon, there are like nine hundred pages here!), and frankly the resolution (if you can call it that) took an absurdly long time to arrive. [...] Don't get me wrong, it was nice to hear what Harry has been up to, and I genuinely adore this series as a whole. I just felt that JK Rowling's talent is seriously under-utilized here. There is a persistent lack of focus, a rambling, largely unexciting plot, and for the most part the characters become lost in the jumble. This could've been better!! I rate it 3 out of 5.