I finished Harry Potter – about 6 hours after I started it. Damn good read.

For those wanting to be spoilt, here are the big spoilers so you don’t have to read my review looking for them

*Dumbledore dies
*Snape is the one that kills Dumbledore
*Harry and Ginny get together, but break-up at the end of the book
*Ron and Lavendar Brown have a brief fling, but Ron is secretly (or not so much) in love with Hermione.
*Snape is the Half-Blooded Prince.
*Voldermont is building a zombie army. Okay, that one wasn’t a big spoiler, I just thought it was cool.

HP6 is a much more fast-paced book than Order of the Phoenix. Rowlings has either a) hired an editor or b) gotten a clue about when some detail is really too much detail. I thought she got a nice balance between telling the story and getting bogged down in every single thing that happens.
Harry is far less irritating in this book than in OotP. He has matured to realise that the world isn’t always going to play it his way and this is something he just has to deal with.

HP6 has beautifully set up things for the final showdown between Harry and Voldemort and given Voldemort a richer meaning than just being the big bad by showing us glimpses of his family history, his own childhood and his descent into evil. It also gives the reason why Voldemort is so damn hard to kill, not because Rowlings elected ‘Hard to Kill’ when rolling up his character, but he has been dividing his soul and storing it in 7 different objects (called Horcruxes in HP). Two objects (Tom Riddles’diary from Chamber of Secrets and the Slytherin locket) have already been destroyed, but it is now Harry’s mission to destroy the remaining five before he can truly destroy Voldermont for good. Now tell me, that this is not the best set up to the final installment. I love it. For the first time, I am eagerly awaiting the next book. With the other books, the stories were interesting, but they didn’t really leave me thirsting for the adventure to continue. This one definitely did. So many loose ends to tie up and so many tantalising clues to how it might all end.

It is going to be a long two year wait…

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