This contains spoilers about the last Harry Potter book. Read beyond at your own peril
I lost a lot of respect for Marvel Comics when they introduced the Legacy Virus. A veiled analogy to AIDS or cancer that allowed comics to talk about a serious issue. Normally I go gaga over this kind of commentary, but the reason I hated the Legacy Virus is because rather than kill main characters it seemed to target really interesting secondary characters only. By the time the Legacy had run its course it had claimed the lives of countless really fascinating second tier characters: leaving the world devoid of substance. Meanwhile the top guys lived as if nothing had happened. It felt so slapdash and left the world so hollow. Which leads me to the Deathly Hollows.
I admire the fact that J.K. is willing to kill characters, particularly given this is a children book. All too often war is portrayed with this happy go luck blue lasers vs. red lasers, heroes win, bad guys loose, and their isn't a drop of blood (let alone a fatality) to be seen. It is all so sterile and gratifying. It is therefore nice to see someone that shows war as something with horrible consequences. Yet, J.K. really seemed to go out of her way to destroy every good secondary character that existed in her world leaving her top people pretty much unscarred as it where. Perhaps I am a little bitter because I love secondary characters more than mains. I dislike Harry, and despise Hagrad (whose character amounts to, I swear, "I'm big and stupid!"). The two toughest deaths for me were Mad Eye and Dobby. Mad Eye I was happy with. He died a hero: fighting for Harry. He was always meant to die in battle. It was the way he would have wanted to die. But killing Dobby really upset me. Particularly when Hagred was allowed to live. I hate Hagred.
The world felt lessoned a great deal after the Deathly Hollows. I mean look who is gone: Mad Eye, Dobby, Tonks, Lupin, Colin, Fred, Snape, and probably more that I have missed. Who is really left? Not a whole lot. It just kind of felt like she built them all up to kill them off for Harry, EXACTLY as Voldemort said. Perhaps I always sympathize with villians.
All in all, I did really like Deathly Hollows. It was a fun time from start to finish. Yes it would have been better if Hagred had been killed and Dobby had lived, but these things happen. I enjoyed the Potter series a great deal. Though, like most of my friends, I am not sold on the last epilogue bit. It seemed tacked on with a "see I didn't really destroy my universe! life went on!" kind of feel to it.
Despite my disappointments, I am most definitely a Potterhead, and I loved the series. I'm tempted to start it over again and read them all, back to back to four more backs!
I wonder what JK's next project is?