Now that I'm finished, I wonder if I should have maybe not read all the spoilers. I knew everything in advance. The death, about V's soul-trick, how the book ended, everything. Maybe not knowing would have made me more excited about the book, but I was pretty "meh" about it till I read the spoilers, so I don't know...
All in all, I liked the book. I liked it a lot better than OotP, but less than all the other books in the series. I like how it ended. Even though it took me three days, I wish I would have been able to read it slower (I wanted to get done with it so I could read what everyone else thought.)
While I liked a lot of things, there was a ton of stuff I did not like. Some big things like most characters had zero depth, and lots of little things. In no special order:
- Chapter 29/page 614 - Madam Pomfrey cries at the news that the headmaster is dead, and Ginny shhh!'s her and tells her to listen. Pomfrey "presses her fingers to her mouth, her eyes wide". Even at that time, when would an adult listen to a child? An authority figure? An authority figure in her own element? Especially to a child using a tone like Ginny's? ||| I've always hated that about this series, how un-adult-like adults act towards the kids. This was just one example of that.
Near the end, chapter 29, where everyone is standing around wondering why Dumbledore trusted Snape... I'm trying to see it from their point of view, but if they loved the man, trusted him in life, why the sudden belief that Dumbledore was wrong? Yes, Snape AKed him, but to me-the-reader it seems pretty darned clear that Dumbledore ordered him to, or that it was planned ahead of time that Snape should do it if he had to... I guess I'll chalk it up to the characters are grieving, thus not wanting to think things out...
The Harry/Ginny stuff did less than nothing for me. To call it a turn-off would be being kind. Heck, I didn't like Ginny, period. Or Hermione or Tonks, either. Fleur needs to be shot in the face with a shotgun. I really wish there would be a female character in the series that I could like.
I did like Grayback quite a bit. I liked how weak Draco had been in the scene where he confronted Dumbledore -- how human Draco had been, how much like a child. Bill with "wolf characteristics" could be very interesting.
Tonks/Lupin? Um... I can't see it at all, but okay. It was introduced in a... poor way, too. Surprise! They're in love!
Harry's whole "HATE SNAPE ENDLESSLY" thing, how it crops up at every chance, got really old really fast. And that's not just the Snarry shipper in me talking.
Based on the spoilers I had read pre-book, I had been hoping to like Scrimgeour. That didn't happen, unfortunately.
And lastly: The Felix Felicis chapter really should have been titled Harry Gets Lucky. She made so many other references to fanfic, that would have tickled people pink.
And now I sleep. Or try to.