I finished reading the new Harry Potter book last night. Throughout the book I had a notion in my head of the answers to two of the mysteries; who the half-blood prince is, and who dies in the book (don’t yell at me about spoilers; the death is commonly known!). I was wrong on both counts, and regarding the half-blood prince, I shouldn’t have been at all. I should have guessed that one right away (and so should Harry and Hermione, frankly.)
I was so certain about both answers, though, that it colored my impression of the book, and I kept telling Stephanie all the way through that “this is my favorite of all of them!” Well when I found out the answers I was surprised, and it did change the way I feel. I was expecting a quite different ending.
I also thought there was way too much unresolved at the end of it; more so than in any of the others, and I hate that; it’s one of my pet peeves of sci-fi fantasy series novels, that they don’t wrap everything up from one book to the next so you’re left hanging for the release of the next book. If you’re going to do that, just write one big book, instead of chunking it up into pieces. My mind is littered with the half-way points of fantasy series that I gave up on in disgust because they insisted on dragging everything out for the cash from one more mass-market paperback. (Robert Jordan, I’m talking to you!)
In the case of Harry Potter, I’ve never felt like that with any of the rest of the books, and this series doesn’t follow any other sci-fi fantasy genre clichés, either, which makes them enjoyable to read. I know that the next book is the final one, and there’s no way I would miss it.