Yes, I have been caught up in the Harry Potter madness since day one. Before that actually - I read the first three books before they came out (advanced reading copies for the library at which my mother works). Anyway, I spent the weekend sick at home so I took the opportunity to read the latest in the HP instalment.
I rather liked it. It didn't follow the typical Harry Potter formula (Harry goes to school, Voldermort attacks in one form or another, Harry wins, everyone is happy). It had much more focus on he-who-must-not-be-named's history and was perhaps not as exciting. All the characters are more mature and I think the way it reads is also. There were a few cringable moments though. Like the last conversation between Harry and Ginny I had flashbacks to Spiderman.
I have to say that the person who dies at the end.... I heard the rumors that a faculty member was going to croak, but I never though it would be this one! Wow, that was gutsy. I'm not going to give away who it was, but WOW that was something. And the way it happened, that was kinda surprising because...... well, I can't really explain it without giving it away. Maybe after people have had more of a chance to read it I'll do a second part to this post.