Oh, and I'm meta-complaining about people complaining about the phenomenon that is Harry Potter. I think it's nifty that there's a pop culture phenomenon that involves reading, yes. So there. Yes, there are better-written books out there, but so what? Sharing the reading experience with others can be fun, that's why there are book clubs.
Everything else goes behind the lj-cut.
I really really enjoyed that. So much better than Phoenix, I'm in fact surprised at the quality of it. I read that the BBC "review as you read" guy thought it rambled pointlessly, so I went in with lowered expectations and they were certainly exceeded.
What, time for a new Dark Arts instructor *again*? I'm shocked, shocked I tell you.
Dumbledore and Snape. Well, quoting Blake's 7:
Cally: My people have a saying: A man who trusts can never be betrayed, only mistaken.
Avon: Life expectancy must be fairly short among your people.
But was he mistaken? I don't think so, given the scene near the gates of Hogwarts, where Snape still hasn't stopped acting as Harry's teacher, even in his own emotional turmoil.
I sure hope there was more to Dumbledore's trust in Snape than what he told us, about Snape being (seeming) remorseful about the Potters' deaths. That's really quite thin, it is.
Anyway, in terms of the overall arc I figured Dumbledore had to die in book 6. Harry's coming-of-age wouldn't be complete without that, and Rowling wouldn't want to put that downer in book 7.
The Draco part of the story was quite satisfying for me, though. I can buy that he's not really a killer, but he's always clearly been a mama's boy, so if she were at risk, who knows what he'd manage to do.
Snape doesn't know anyone knows he killed Dumbledore, does he? Or does he? That could be interesting--but not for long with his mind-reading skills. Summer cram course in Occlumency, everyone!
I really really liked the romance stuff in this book. I wasn't invested in any 'ship other than that Harry/Hermione never seemed likely, but the way Ginny was depicted in this book I totally fell for her with Harry. I've read other fan reactions that it was all rather lame but I thought the Harry/Ginny stuff was good, while Ron was a bit predictable but then he's often a bit predictable.
No great nuggets of wisdom here. Off to read what others are saying.
EDIT 3 hours later: Ah yes, R.A.B. must surely be Regulus Black. Which leads to many intriguing things. Does Harry have the Horcrux somewhere in the estate he inherited from Sirius (or was it there but now sold off by the thieving whatsisname)? Whose help did Regulus have in getting the Horcrux, since we learned that no one person could do it? Did Snape help hide Regulus so that nobody could find him, as Dumbledore promised Draco they could do for him?
All the R.A.B. stuff ganked from georgevna and garlandgraves, though I haven't even attempted to read the comments thread at http://www.livejournal.com/users/garlandgraves/3409.html