.. is that it?
JK Rowling seems to be giving up on plot, richness of the world, or infact anything that made the first 4 books so good.
All the problems of the 5th book are in the 6th, except perhaps that it is slower. Much slower. And dumber. It's not till around 400 pages in that anything that isn't just fan service actually shows.
It would have made a much better book if it was at least 200 pages shorter.
That said I didn't hate it, it's interesting to see what happens to the characters. However there are NO surprises in this book. The twists are obvious. The big death is predictable (if you think you know who dies... you do, seriously - this is not a shock), and frankly the whole thing reads a bit like a fan-fic.
Lack of editorial pressure I think. Much like the two Matrix sequels, there needed to be someone willing to go "Whoa.. now I know you're the hot-shit right now, but you really need to try a bit harder and tighten this up. It's a sprawling mess."
Sadly, no such luck. As far as I'm concerned the 4th is still my favourite, tho the third is good too.