J.K. Rowling, Scholastic, 2007.
So, based upon
my predictions, I probably only got a C+ in Divination. Which is just as well.
Rowling managed to pull off a mostly satisfactory ending to the series. This last book abandons the leisurely pace of the previous two, and kicks into high gear right off. It accelerates from there.
I enjoyed the resolution to the Snape Question, which I thought was at least plausible within the framework that was set up. The tying up of the loose ends with regards to Horicruxes was satisfying. The body count was about what I expected, although Rowling toyed with us in a few cases. The disposition of Dobby and Kreacher and the house elves worked well, and felt like the groundwork had been well laid over the course of the previous books. The whole kerfuffle with the Elder Wand and how it plays out, on the other hand, is a little out of left field. We didn’t have much background from previous books to help with that.
I find that I have some dissatisfaction in retrospect; things that didn’t bother me while I was reading the book feel unsettled later. Some of the deaths were kept emotionally distant, or even rushed over — Harry sees bodies laid out on tables, and that’s pretty much it. Obviously, he’s got other issues at hand, but we don’t ever come back to experience any of the feelings. I would have liked the story to come closer to full circle with the Durstleys. But my strongest objections both involve scenes in train stations: the expository segment in the latter part of the Battle of Hogwarts didn’t feel right to me. We needed the information, but the circumstances felt forced. Again, I understand why the other train station scene was necessary, but the thought it generated more than any was “damn, what a bunch of breeders!”
Perhaps I’ll do what Karl’s doing, and re-read the whole series. If I do, I’ll write more, and probably with much less vague avoidance of spoilers.