Or, rather, since I seem to be uncapable of a coherent review, a list of remarks.
- There's so much there about the trouble of growing up, and the specific case of doing so in a boarding school. Very british, all that, including the division in houses.
- I have staid in a student dorm for years. We didn't have four houses, but a clear cut division science/humanities. I really felt at home at Hogwarts. (I know, this contradicts the above. So sue me).
- I didn't like very much the writing style. Some parts are just too long, to my taste. Luckily I read really fast.
- I love the new words she invents. I wish we could hire J.K. Rowling and have her name all new mathematical concepts.
- I disliked the epilogue. Sorry. Too much information, and at the same time not enough.
- I am kind of impressed that such a mainstream novel is completely and totally atheistic. In particular the characters face a lot of life-and-death choices in a very moral (or immoral, as the case may be) way without the need to refer to any organized religion. I am wondering in particular whether JKR purposefully wanted to show that life and death can have a sense even without a belief in a life after death. A question that I never found easy.
- I find the atmosphere of loss of democracy through/followed by ad hoc laws and a control of the media extremely disturbing. Maybe because I see so much media control in reality. Of course in fact she's just giving as a history course, and the worst things she mentions are in our past and (hopefully) not in our future.
- I want to make a final remark which contains a spoiler. So I am putting it as first comment.