08/2011, 2*. Liked this one a little better the second time around, probably because I read it right on the heels of the previous installment in the series. The book is entertaining, but I felt the first 2/3 dragged on so much with no major plot in sight. However, the 1/3 was great and Rowling really captured Harry's grief well at the end. Another major plot hole in this one though: Why did Lord Voldemort have to lure Harry to retrieve the prophecy? Couldn't one of the Death Eaters just knock over a shelf, and then the prophecy crystal ball would just fall right off where they could grab it?
12/2010, 2*. Most of this book seemed like it was just setting things up for the next ones, considering how much unnecessary attention was paid to things that seemingly had little to do with the plot. Not that there was much of a plot. Or maybe all these things come together at the very end, I don't know. Either that or JKR had all these ideas but couldn't cut out the unnecessary parts in order to focus on the plot, so she just left all of them in, which made for a rather chunky, somewhat messy story. Also Dumbledore's big explanation near the end of the book was kind of a 'duh!' moment for me. Seriously, was anybody surprised by what he revealed?