1)The Carpet Copy was verified
2) Everyone else had had a chance to read it so they wouldn't have to go back through the Flist.
So now it seems like the right time to do this.
The book was really good. Stylistically, no, JKR has not become a great writer of prose. I don't know that prose is her strength. I don't expect it to be. But on the whole, the writing style was far tighter than HBP and just chugged along. It was a sharp contrast to HBP, where I got the book at midnight and went home to race through it and got through the first couple chapters and had to put it down because IT COULD NOT KEEP ME AWAKE. This one, I plunged into expecting to read a little bit at a time and COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN EVEN AT 4 AM WHEN I HAD TO WORK IN THE MORNING Monday and Tuesday nights.
The biggest thing for me was STILL the transformation with Neville. That just totally floored me. And it was completely in-character, but I NEVER expected him to become like a Resistance Leader. That was incredible. I was just so pleased with the development for his character. And his Gran! And when his Gran was proud of him. It was just so phenomenal. And while I had expected him to become the herbology teacher, once that happened, him going to become a professor seemed like a bit of a letdown. But maybe he'll be headmaster someday! Whoo!
I was also really, really happy to see Hermione take such a big role. I have always liked her, but I really didn't like how little she did in HBP. That was the thing that frustrated me the most about HBP, was that everyone took a backseat to Harry, and the thing I've always liked best about the books is the group dynamics and Harry's friendships. After OotP, where the group played such a huge role, seeing the group dissolve into petty teenaged shit had disappointed me. So seeing Hermione reassert herself as Harry's right-hand woman was AWESOME. Pleased me so much.
--Remus and Tonks totally got married because she got knocked up and Andromeda held a shotgun to Remus' back. Totally.
The book was great. It was predictable in the sense that nothing that happened was a surprise, but HOW the things in the book happened were very surprising and kept me guessing. The how was so much more important than the what.
The other major thing I really want to talk about is Dumbledore. I have NEVER liked Dumbledore. I have always felt that something was off about him, that he was a manipulative git who fucked with his students and kept things from people who needed to know them. I always struggled with his character and I was so pleased to find out that in some sense, some of my suspicions about him were true. To me, this validated the character so much as an ACTUAL PERSON and not just a literary device who ended up getting his personality twisted for the benefit of the plot. Now, after six books, to discover that NO, HE ACTUALLY WAS HIDING THINGS, was SO FUCKING COOL. And now I actually love him, after all that. That was perhaps the best revelation ever.
Finally, Snape. I always thought he had a crush on Lily. I never thought of the possibility that the love between them wasn't so much romantic love as the love of a best friend. That was so much more poignant and touching than anything I had expected. So lovely.
And for any Snicket fans: Dumbledore= VFD. TOTALLY. It's CANON NOW.
McGonagall uses the substitutiary locomotion spell on the armor! GO BEDKNOBS!
NOW TO GO OUT AND PARTY SOME MORE.