Well, first off, this is a book about terrorism. From the alert system to the pamphlets to the reporting suspicious behavior to the twins working as defense contractors and preying on folks’ fear, to the imprisonment without trial, to the young child being accused of being under the imperius curse and killing its grandparents, it’s a quality fictional tale (dare I say allegory?) on the nature of this “war on terror.” The resonance with our current situation and the absurdity of the administration’s approach is downright chilling — more scathing a criticism could not have been written, and with luck the youth (and adults) reading this book will be subtly nudged into realizing how absurd the behavior of the administration over the last several years.
But, enough on terrorism. Good book! I like how Rowling hasn’t bent to the pressure to try to make things easy or soft, and has in fact written a dark and disturbing novel that operates on several levels. Despite what must be monumental pressure, she still seems to be maintaining her sense of individual writing, and has not let the story suffer. While she has certainly worked the terror angle into the novel, this has not come at the expense of the plot. A fantastic read, if you’ve enjoyed the preceding works.
There are of course a few questions left over, some never to be answered, and some that will be resolved in the next book, but I for one am not yet convinced that Snape is evil. We’ll see, I suppose. 9/10.