There were some characters we were due to learn more about, the most obvious example being Snape. I’d say that JKR delivers with respect to these characters, and for the most part does so well.
I’ve found some of the recent Potters, especially Order of the Phoenix, to be rather exposition-heavy. I was hoping that JKR would avoid that in the last book, having moved all the pieces into place already. I think that she did.
If anything, JKR went too far in the other direction. There are several scenes that read as though she was looking ahead to the action movie.
I can’t say much more without spoiling (and/or taking more time over this post than I should). But Liz Hand can, and did in the WashPost. She does tell you more than I do, but I regard her review as a fine example of telling much about a book without spoiling it.
I haven’t been seeking out blog posts about the book. I did read one by Nicholas, which spoils only stuff that happens very early in the book. I did follow its link to another post, of which I’ll give you a spoiler-free summary.
- “Estimated reading time: 72 minutes or so.” Even my wife didn’t read it that fast.
- “I thought it was probably the best of the last three books, tied up all the loose ends to a point of reader satisfaction and generally gave us the ending that has been building since book one.” As you can see from the above, I agree with this.
- Then there’s a bunch of things that happen (i.e. spoilers), followed by: “I’ve read every single one of them in fanfiction, better built up and better realised.” There are no links to specific fanfic, and I’ve never read any Potter fanfic.
My thanks to Jen Stewart for the Potter picture, which she took in the courtyard of the Boston Public Library. I believe that the BPL has many copies, but that’s not the reason why HP7 won’t be the Number One book on The New York Times Bestseller list.