Top critical review
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Very Good Book - but Not Great (there are spoilers)
on July 27, 2007
This book was, all things considered, very good. Not great, but yes, very good. For the most part the story moved quickly, and there was great tension being built throughout. There are some chapters that seem extraneous, but I still found them enjoyable to read (Bill and Fleur's wedding, camping, the recovery time at Shell Cottage). Really though, I think I just didn't want the series to end!
Some criticism however: too many rules of magic that seemed to be invented simply to make the plot work (very contrived); several things happen with no explanation, or a very weak and contrived explanation (how did Neville get the sword?); the ending was a bit of a let down after all the built up tension throughout the 600 page book (not that I wanted Harry to die, but it seems odd to me that he can virtually comeback from the dead, AND all the fighting and it still comes down to Harry vs. Voldemort - what was the point of the war?); the final demise of Voldemort was a bit of a dissapointment (too neat and tidy, especially considering we have waited 7 books for it to happen!); we see very little of characters that we have become attached to over the years (Neville, Luna, Ginny etc.); and we so could have done without the epilogue - I love a good "happily ever after" as much as the next person, but this was so sappy and by far too brief. The author could have written a great epilogue to tie up loose ends (and prevent others from completing the story), but instead we get a very brief, and totally unbelievable glimpse of what was supposed to have occured 19 years later. No explanation of what Harry, Ron or Hermione became job-wise (after we followed them for 6 school years), or what happened with Teddy (biggest disappointment of all for me considering Harry started life in much the same fashion - I would think that he, as Godfather, could have done much better by Teddy than it seems he did), what happened to Hogwarts after the war, etc, etc, etc...
On the plus side however, I loved the wrap up with Snape. Fantastic, and it really did seem plausible without being predictable. By far my favourite character of the series!
Even though I only rated the book 3 out of 5 stars, I still recommend reading it - we all need to know how it ends, and it is still a good read. I did enjoy it, and will miss the series. I will probably wait a month or two, and then read them all over again just for fun!