So I (Kathy) finished Harry Potter last night for the second time. After reading it in two days the first time, I decided that I needed to read it a little slower so I could take it all in a little better. Overall, I'm very impressed and happy with how it all turned out. Here are some of the things I particularly liked:
- Ron and Hermione. I've been a big shipper of those two for the last 4 books, so I was glad they finally got together.
- Mrs. Weasly taking out Bellatrix; awesome display of mom power.
- Neville showing his bravery and leadership, and his grandmother being so proud of him.
- Percy returning to the Weasly family.
- Everyone, from old girlfriends, to old quidditch teammates showing up at the end for the battle of Hogwarts. I liked "seeing" everyone one more time, and thought it was a fitting tribute to Harry.
- The whole battle of Hogwarts. I loved how this was done, and was glad to see so many people and other creatures stand up to Voldemort.
- The intricate plotting by J.K. Rowling. I cannot imagine having something so big as this series so well planned out from the very beginning.
- The Epilogue. I liked knowing that Voldemort was really dead, and that Harry had the happy family that he had not had before. But what's with the names for their kids? Albus? Hugo? Poor kids.
Of course, I only gave it 4 stars, so there were a few things I didn't like about it:
- Killing Fred; I figured one of the Weaslys wouldn't make it, but killing Fred made me so sad for George. They had such a close bond. In one of her "What Happens After Harry Potter" interviews, J.K. Rowling said that George never really got over the loss of his brother. Why couldn't she have killed Charlie instead?
- All the different wands changing hands so many times. Even in my second time through, I had to reread parts to see where all the different wands came from and how they got there. I think it could have been simplified a little bit.
- All the different side trips that Harry, Ron, and Hermione take. It seems like they take one trip from which they barely escape, and then another, and another, and another. It seems like she could have taken one out, like the trip to the Ministry of Magic. I think the only point was to show how horrible the Ministry had become. Umbridge having one of the horcruxes was kind of far-fetched I think.
All in all, a really good ending to the series. It was great fun to read, and I'll be anxious to see what J.K. Rowling does next.