I actually finished the book yesterday, but we had dinner plans and I had to rush out as soon as I put the book down. Then I thought I'd address something "quick" this morning and it took all day. (sigh).
So the Epilogue closes at page 759. I thought about stopping at page 700 to blog, but frankly there was a big fight and I was running out of time. It got a bit confusing, but I think there were eight deaths in this installment. There's a mention of 50 bodies at one point, but I'm pretty sure the named deaths are more on the order of 8.
Now that I'm done, what do I think of it? Well I'm glad to have read it. It's a bit long, I think some tighter editing would have been beneficial. There is an Epilogue and I think that it is rubbish. The Epilogue didn't address the things I would have been interesting in seeing addressed. I read a comment online that the Epilogue seemed written with the screenplay in mind - it could run underneath the credits. I think that's a fair assessment, I'm not sure that's why it was written but it certainly has that Hollywood beat-about-the-obvious sort of finale to it. I don't like any of the "teen angst" plot threads of the last three Potter books, and this is no exception. The teen angst is reduced compared to book six though, so that's a minor complaint. The "Deathly Hallows" seemed unnecessary to me - it felt very much like she didn't have a "Harry Potter and the Foo" title ready, so she jammed in something the story didn't really need. Very little of the book takes place at Hogwarts and it's something I missed. Hogwarts is for all intents and purposes at the core of the series, almost as much a character as Harry himself. I don't think there's a single scene in the Gryffindor common room, for example. The deaths that really tug at the heart-strings are oddly placed and odd characters to boot.
Overall, I don't think it was as good as book six, but it's a worthwhile conclusion to the series. This is sort of a silly discussion - if you've read the first six books, you'll read book seven. I could almost agree with somebody stopping after book five, but only almost. Six is good enough to redeem the series, and I might not like seven as much as six, but I liked it better than five. Does that help anyone?
Anyway, that's my book excitement for almost three weeks (Amazon says 17 days until I get Spook Country, which I'm excited about, but probably won't rip through in the same fashion I devoured the Harry Potter.)*
*For those wondering why I know how many days until I get Spook Country there' a fabulous Dashboard Widget for OS X called Delivery Status which lets me put a widget up for upcoming dleiveries. It will send messages to Growl as well. So when I said to myself "How long for Spook Country?" I just clicked my middle mouse button, read the status, and clicked again to dismiss the Dash. I know it's sort of cool amongst the internet kids to hate on the Dash, but I like being able to hide a bunch of stuff behind a "click to see" veil. I'll be curious to see how Dashboard and Spaces interact once Leopard ships.
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