I read this book about 23-Jul-2007. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 2007. This note was last modified Wednesday, 25-Jul-2007 21:52:21 PDT.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
The smashing climax of the series. Or the best we're going to get, anyway. Dumbledore is still dead. Harry survives, and Ron, and Ginny, and Hermione, and even Hagrid. Snape doesn't seem to, and Voldemort doesn't either. Draco and his parents do. Dobby the house elf dies early, and Fred dies in the big battle, and some important people we mostly just met.
There's even an epilog 19 years in the future, with Harry and Ginny sending a child off to Hogwarts, and meeting Ron and Hermione there doing the same.
There's at least somewhat less of the kids behaving really stupidly. There's little explanation of how Harry actually figures out any of the hard things he has to figure out; kids might well end up with the idea that great leaders just get these ideas, which will cause them trouble in later life.
Dumbledore manages to be a step ahead of most everything most of the time, and doesn't seem to have made any major mistakes. He seems to have had a somewhat troubled adolescence, which he has actually grown out of. Amazing how much he's managed to keep it quiet until now, though.
The "Deathly Hallows" of the title are not in fact a place, but a set of artifacts, of which the invisibility cloak is one. Mostly they're a rumor and a snare and a temptation. Except they're also real; and in fact one of the subsidiary problems of the book is how to make the super-wand safe to have around.
The magic continues to be inconsistent in cost or difficulty, and of uncertain capabilities. Things pop up when needed. For all the time people spend searching for other people, the Marauder's Map continues to show pretty much everybody at Hogwards. How do things like this get made? Is high-level magic completely different from what's taught at Hogwarts? I'd expect students to be doing stuff pointing towards it in some classes.
Mostly, Harry and his friends have to finish the job of finding the artifacts Voldemort has put pieces of his soul in. Harry is one of them; his snake is one. And the others include some major historical artifacts. For a while they're actually ahead of him. After circumstances force them to honor their bargain with a goblin to return the Sword of Gryfindor to him (they'd planned to keep it for a while), I'm annoyed that one of Malfoy's cronies casts just the right super-magical flame spell to destroy one of the "horcruxes". The last one before Harry and the snake, in fact. (Voldemort doesn't realize Harry is one, I think.)
So, that's that, then