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All right. So

Caveat: I read all 759 pages of the American edition in the course of something like the four hours, thirty minutes between 1AM and 5:30AM.

But oh Christ, JKR, it is called PLANNING. DO YOU KNOW IT, WOMAN? MEETING YOUR CHARACTER DEATH QUOTA FOR THE CHAPTER =/= PLANNING FOR A 700+ PAGE NOVEL.

Yeah, there was so much I loved. The foreshadowing about the twins. Kreacher's devotion ot Regulus. Narcissa lying to VOLDEMORT'S FUCKING FACE to save her son and the fascinating contrast between her standard of blood loyalty and that of Bellatrix's. I even shed a tear for Snape, and oh my God, oh my God, Dumbledore, simultaneously want to die and write one hundred million fics about brotherhood and where he doesn't trust Tom Riddle because he sees too much of himself in Tom. The blind, chained-up dragon. The story about wizards and truth being hidden in a children's story.

JKR has so, so, so many awesome ideas. Sweet holy God.

Still, though. Her technical instincts ain't the greatest, and she needed an editor she could trust so, so badly.

The Horcruxes were a bad deal. Cool in theory. Bad in practice to introduce in the penultimate book of a massive seven book series. You and I and the little birds all know it. Once JKR put book six out, she should have fucking rolled with the punches and invested wholeheartedly in the Horcruxes good because Lord knows she's good enough to do it when she's disciplined. I mean, look at the start of the book when she stops fucking around with floating blocks of Death Eater dialogue and comes back to Harry, near and dear and familiar to her heart. The quality of wri is so much higher that it's ridiculous. Maybe she was making some kind of point by contrasting Real Magic Artifiacts versus Voldemort's Shitty Artifacts, Both Born Out of Fear of Death But [insert some appropriate JKR-style point about selflessness and dealing with death], but it was motherfucking painful, especially with the huge expository/explanatory paragraphs where she had to explain the convolutedness of it all. Christ almighty, the stuff about the WAND TESTOSTERONE and so forth.

In fact, the last 200 pages of the book or so were like getting slapped in the face with a trout, what with the Return of the Son of the Bride of the Final Showdown at Hogwarts and Oh This Is a Death Sequence But Not Really and the Epilogue of Ten Thousand Fanfiction.net Chapter Fics. JKR was trying so hard to tie up all the loose ends.

Alas, I just ended up wondering whether there's some kind of wizarding law that requires marriage once you've had sex with somebody _____ number of times.
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December 2010

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