Even though Bloomsbury spent 10 million pounds trying to heavily guard the secrets in this book until its release, on July 16th someone who got an early copy of the novel (two retailers mistakenly sent out about 2,000 copies early) decided to photograph every single page and place it online. The leak has affectionately been named “Carpet Book” by fan sites everywhere, due to the amount of carpet seen underneath the novel in these photos.
Yours truly braved eyesores and migraines to bring you this scoop on the eve of the release. I will try to keep it as spoiler-free as possible, while remaining objective.
First of all… there was waaaaaay too much fluff. 760 pages and I just wasn’t on the edge of my seat until about page 675 when we finally get the full story of a major character. That summarizes my main problem with the final installment. Specifically, the moment we need the most amount of character development for fan favorite, under-appreciated characters - Rowling does not deliver. And it’s not like she doesn’t have the opportunity. Early on in the book there’s a wedding, but it feels way too forced. Almost like these characters are just going through the motions. Most of the book is spent following the three protagonists, but only one of them ever has a moment to face their fears and evolve. As for everyone else, they seem off on the wayside. And yes, a lot of characters die, but it feels like she wrote these deaths as a necessity rather than for a payoff. As a matter of fact, the payoffs seem to come not when certain characters die, but when the lives of those in the heat of battle are threatened.
The wizard world is changing drastically in this book and too many characters feel like mindless drones… I really wanted to know how they really feel about the changing tides, but I just didn’t get it.
What truly bugged me is that Rowling can give us the character development we desire when she truly wants to. In fact, my favorite chapter was when we finally got the full gut-wrenching, unadulterated background story of a certain character as we look through his memories and, quite frankly, it left this reader in tears.
Another disappointment is the epilogue to the story which, even though it shows us in not so many details what happens to the survivors, feels like a work of fan fiction. It’s very sloppily written and hard to make out who are children of whom. It doesn’t feel like the work of a professional writer.
All in all, the story comes to a close in rather anticlimactic fashion. And even though it is a pleasurable ride, I think I won’t be the only one left saying, “I want more… of her secondary characters!” We can only hope JK Rowling expands on the amazing universe she’s created without spending any more time on her three main children.