I cant believe that it is over. Having collected my copy early in the morning from Odyssey(a pleasant aside was that Red Bull was having a promotion - as I was leaving a pretty gal walks up to me and asks me if I wanted a free can of Redbull - who would say no???), I reached home and sat down with it. Non-stop fever pitch reading and I finished it in 11 hours. And then, when I finally put it aside, it took me a while for the feeling to sink in. Without any spoilers, all I would like to say is that Rowling has delivered a fitting and rousing finale to the incredible yarn she has woven over the last decade.
There was one description that I read recently which said 'ROWLING’S REAL TRIUMPH is in rooting all this fantasy in an instantly recognisable reality, in setting this magic amidst the mundane'. Her Hogwarts is reached by train and a lot of contemporary english children will remember their first train journey. I personally heard one such recollection, down to the school houses and their sorting (not with the sorting hat of course!) and how getting into a particular house was a very very important family tradition. The magic world has the same values that keep the tapestry of civilization whole - love, friendship and trust. The kids go through the same phases as do all muggle kids. The parents are all the same, fussing over the kids, the couples are all still the same, the quibbles that affect them very identifiable. I could go on and on but Im sure the general drift is clear enough!
Having spun so intricate a yarn over the course of the last six books, it was obvious that somewhere along the line Book 7 would become more of an exercise in answering the questions that have been posed so far than a bit of exciting straight forward story telling. Rowling left herself loads of loose ends to tie up in Book 7 and does an incredible job of answering the unanswered. She delves deeper into the magical world, explaining the world of house elves, goblins and other creatures that she has created in satisfying detail. The fact that Hogwarts would not play host to the finale was a minor groan that I had lurking in some corner of my mind, but the battle at Hogwarts more than compensates for that. That one chapter set the adrenaline pumping like no other.
Most of the characters had their moments, though some of it contributed to making the book sag for a few precious pages. Im still soaking in the detail, need to read it one more time so I can fully appreciate the fact that it is over finally...Hats off to JK Rowling, for having put the reading habit back in vogue and for giving us a tale to remember for generations to come!
PS: The last chapter did seem like an afterthought, but it was brilliant neverthless!