Overall rating of the whole Harry Potter saga: 9
When I finished reading the latest (and last) Harry Potter novel last night at 4 am, I had a sad feeling: after years of great reading, it was over, and there would be no eighth book. Sadness. :-)
First of all, the novel doesn't end as the now-well-known British hacker told the media a few months ago. That was probably an advertising strategy to increase the sale of what is in any case one of the most commercially successful novels ever published. After finishing off with the 6th episode, I had some suspects on how the whole saga would end: many were confirmed, but I also made many mistakes. Oh, well, I'm not in J.K. Rowling's head, even though this summer I visited the café in Edinburgh where she use to stay while writing the very first book. ;-)
This book is quite different from the other 6: there's no year at Hogwarts, there's no Quidditch, there's a lot of action and a lot of deaths. It also concludes the morphing which began with the second book: the novel is constantly less suitable for children, while becoming more entertaining for teen-agers and, especially, for adults.
The development of the characters is also carried on further, and makes them look like everyday people, even though they are wizards. In general, the good ones always have a bad side, and the evil ones often have a good side. Moreover, you don't know who's really good and who's evil until the end, which is quite nice. :-)
On the downside, the end can be a bit of a disappointment. It's not a matter of events going well or going bad, but a matter of how they turn from well to bad and the other way round. The concepts behind the whole thing, if analyzed just a few minutes more, do fall apart.
All in all, this is not one of the best Harry Potter books, as many would probably expect, but it's still very entertaining and, in some cases, even quite insightful. One should then consider this as part of the greater plan (all the seven books) which is, simply put, a masterpiece.