Will include HP7 in my next Realms of Fantasy column.
In general, very much enjoyed the book. Rowling definitely turned it up to 11 for the end.
In the wake of HP7, I hope all those people reading it will turn to some of the many, many other fine YA books out there, a great deal of which have emerged during the Potter era. I'll be compiling a list, at some point, of authors I consider worth watching. Of course, a good number are already on my friendslist, and if you follow my RoF column, you'll see even more. I'd like to think we can keep the ball rolling.
I'm even secretly pleased that Harry Potter is here, and out, and done, because now maybe the hype (save for the movies, and paperback edition release, and so forth) will die down over the next year or so. One gets tired of the hoopla after a while.
I do -almost- feel sorry for Rowling. Whatever she comes up with after this will always be held up to the Harry Potter standard, and will likely never be considered as good, even if it is. She'll be under a great deal of pressure to produce something. If it is Potter-related, she'll never escape the setting; if it's not, she'll always have to live up to Potter. No matter what, it'll be hard for her to live up to expectations and make people happy. So of course, I'm looking forward to seeing what she does next once/if she gets back to writing. Or if she'll take the money and retire for good... (or if she'll resurface under a pseudonym, writing erotica or horror to get as far away from YA as possible...)
Those are just my immediate thoughts. I will give her kudoes: she set out to write a 7 book series, and come hell or high water, she accomplished just that. And accidentally become a major phenomenom in the process. There will be many, many books written about the whole thing for years to come, more than we've seen already, so... that's it for me for now. :>