I finished the book.
Things I did not like:
- slow. slow slow slow slow slow. Epic journey as plot device bored me to tears when Stephen King did it, and JKR, though very talented, is no Stephen King. Was it really necessary to drag things out until May, just to match the school year?
- the epilogue. I want to know what happened afterwards. What were they doing in those 19 years, did everyone who'd left Hogwarts go back to school the next year and finish up, did they just graduate people figuring that fighting a war was good enough, who raised Teddy, etc?
- killing Dobby. Was that really necessary?
- ditto for Hedwig.
- how Tonks was kept off screen to make a baby the whole book (I would start muttering about how women are treated in these books, but people are going to tell me it's just a kid's book and to get over it, so. :) And other people have done that muttering much better than I could.) But, seriously, I liked Tonks a lot, and she could have played a much bigger role in this book. And then she gets killed off, and we don't even get to see how? Feh.
Things I did like:
- how Ron and Hermione were developed. Mostly off screen, very subtle, even though we all knew they were going to end up together. Very nice.
- Dumbledore became a lot more human, and a lot more believable. I still want to be him upside the head, but, his plans worked out and the world was saved, so.
- Harry being the last Horcrux. I'd thought that, if that did happen, was going to be dumb, but it was very nicely played.
- Neville. Neville fracking rocked, and I wish he'd gotten more screen time.
- Ron. Ron found his smarts, this book, and was lovely.
- Snape. I've never liked Snape, and I still don't particularly like Snape - and we're not supposed to, I don't think. He's a selfish bastard ("You don't care about her husband and son, you only care about getting what you want...") But Harry is right - he was a very very brave man, because ultimately, he did good things, even when his basic nature didn't want him to. He wasn't necessarily a good man, but he was brave enough to be good when the world needed him to be. He didn't deserve to die like he did.
- Kreacher. :) And the house elves in general, helping lead the revolt at the end, stabbing Death Eaters in the ankles.
- Luna. She was useful and valuable in small ways, and not just comic relief. I wish she'd shown up in the epilogue.
- the action scenes, which were in general very well done. I'm not normally a HP movie person, but I'll see this one, for the wedding and the action scenes.
- the big at the end, where Voldemort kept telling them to surrender and he would spare them, and they all kept telling him to go to hell, and in the room of requirement, where Dumbledore's Army wouldn't not let Harry help him. A lot of these books is about the power of friendship and group efforts, and those were good bits.
Overall, there was more to like than dislike. :) I'm not a screaming HP fangirl, and I have issues with the books, so I more than likely won't be re-reading the whole series ever again, but it was a decent ending and an enjoyable read.
Side note, I was over at the financial aid office yesterday, starting the first Harry Dresden book while I waited, and then next guy in line sees what I'm reading and says "So, finished Harry Potter yet?" :) It was a fair guess, and we chatted about the book for a minute, and then he said something like "Well, at least Harry has been walking around and stunning people and stuff, but man, he hasn't been using killing curses yet, and I can't believe it." Dude, have you even been reading the same books as the rest of us? Harry wouldn't do that, that's the whole point. That was weird.
So, now that I'm done and have HP out of my system, I can work on finishing the other three books and two audiobooks I'm in the middle of. And, oh, maybe do some homework.