No spoilers here. Move along. Nothing to see.

Picked up Harry Potter VII for George today and, frankly, couldn’t really resist reading it first (She’s working her way through the audiobooks, and I’m a much faster reader). Not because I’m a crazed Potter fan (which I’m not)– but because they’re entertaining pageturning fantasies that manage to draw you in despite their many flaws (and their turn towards flabbiness in the more recent volumes). And because I can’t stand being spoiled on stories that I’ve enjoyed, and with the amount of Internet I look at, it’d only be a matter of time before I happen across some important detail that makes me go “AHHH! MY EYES!!! IT BURNSSSS!!!!”

So, got it at 12, finished by 9.30. And the verdict?

It’s a great ending. It’s flawed, rambling in places with some of the clumsiest exposition that Rowling’s used yet, but it’s also ridiculously epic, packed full of stuff, and with a dark attitude that takes no prisoners. It’s not going to change any Potter-haters into fans of the series, but as a cap to the series, it rounds off virtually all the loose ends with lashings of action, a handful of great character moments, and some surprisingly grim violence. The Potter books haven’t changed my life, but they’ve given me plenty of fun entertainment, and sometimes that’s all you need.

And if the movies had trouble fitting everything in with the earlier books, I don’t know how in hell they’re going to turn this into a film that isn’t just a ‘Greatest Hits’ compilation. I forsee many scriptwriting headaches ahead come 2009…