For the first time, I didn't guess the ending of a Potter book. This is a cool thing. Also, one of the spoilers that I had sadly seen (that Black was actually
He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named) was totally wrong. The other spoiler, that Lupin was a werewolf, was correct.
HP was less perfect in this book, which pleased me. Snape is getting worse; in the first two books, while he didn't like Harry, he appeared worse than he really was. Halfway through this book, when Snape took over the Defenses class and taught them about werewolves ahead of time, I thought he was doing it to protect the kids. One of the characters said he was doing it so that they'd find out what Lupin was, and since he later spread the tale around the school (or so we're told), I guess he really did teach it to hurt and not help... I have a feeling he'll be even worse in the next book, with how much more he hates HP.
There was a bit of a plothole that I saw. In the end of the book, when Snape was so sure HP had helped Black escape even though it seemed he couldn't have, the headmaster said something like 'What? You think he can be in two places at once?' which is exactly what they did with Hermione's time traveling charm. I hope they deal with this in the next book and close this hole, but I doubt it. Teachers know or can easily find out a student's class schedule. How easy would it be for Snape to see that Hermione was taking more classes than she really could, and to know she had some time traveling thing? Plus he has to know they exist...
I really liked the twist about the cat (Uh, Crookshank, I think the name was?) being right and having sniffed out that the rat was a mage all along. The whole rat/Peter thing was a fun twist to the story. Also, HP seeing his future self was keen.
I really want to read the last couple chapters again, when I'm not dead tired and half asleep.
End of cut.
Luckily the books are getting longer and not shorter as the series goes on.
Tivo should be recording the first HP movie for me this afternoon (please work right, please work right, please work right!). I'm really looking forward to seeing it (I was avoiding it till I read the book). After I see it, then I need to get my butt to the movie theater to see the second one. It's been keen seeing ads on TV, since now I know what they all mean.
I've actually been pondering buying some HP toys for the top of my computer... Does this mean I'm turning into a fangirl? :P