Well I finally got my turn at the book (one copy - five avid fans) and finished it last night. I don't think this is a spoiler, my husband hasn't had his turn yet, he took last willingly because he likes to read at his pace and not feel hurried. He also doesn't read but one or two books a year and so he doesn't actually read as quickly as the rest of us - anyhow, as I said, don't think this is a spoiler, hubby took me out to lunch - and having just finished the book, I really didn't have much else going on in my life that I felt like talking about. So after we covered the obligatory "my mom said this", "I have a meeting", "my meeting went well"... and we were still waiting for our food... I said - geez I wish you would hurry up and read the book, I can't think of anything else to talk about. He said, "oh did you enjoy it" -- I said, "not as much as others, it didn't grab me as much", and he said (because I skipped a favorite television program [so you think you can dance] last night to finish) "well the ending did". Which was funny, because it did, but so did the thought of just finishing the damn book. What grabbed me about it was that it wasn't just the ending to the book, but the ending to the entire series - and like any Harry Potter book, there was an action element going on. Then as we sat there sort of staring out into the restaurant watching people (who were by the way rather boring today)... I realized the issue with this book. There isn't really any character development, nor is there much of a need for character development. We've all already read 6 books full of characters that are still in this book -- and while there were new characters, it certainly wasn't at all like the first few books where there were several new characters each year to learn about and get to know - so, I think that 7 books really just might be anyone's limit on a series, unless there is some reason to continue introducing enough new characters to carry the reader into the fantasy. I found this book easier to put down, and I wasn't as drawn into the fantasy of the book as the others. I remember feeling some of this with book 6 also, though not quite as intensely.
Don't get me wrong, it is still among some of the best reading I've done. It is a must read, and I did enjoy it. Just not maybe quite as much as some of the earlier 'years'.
And maybe, I'm just burning out on Harry - I also slept through the new movie (we were at the Drive-In and I had not slept well all week, so it was pretty easy to just lean the seat back and doze off).
If you reply, let's try to keep them non-spoilers, we can't possibly be the only big family trying to share one book, or people who are simply too busy to have already finished the book