This book is, as promised, a much darker book than the others have been. In this book, Harry Potter is 16, and about to come of age in the wizarding world.
The themes are, at the same time, a strange mix of adolescent and adult worries and obsessions. It is not a book for small children.
The charming magic of Hogwart's train and the beautiful castle diminsh beside a very complex story that at times is quite distressing with its pinch of reality.
The language is tame enough, the worst word read was 'slut,' but there was a thread of the story to go with it that may not be for small kids.
Harry Potter comes away looking less like the hero, and more like the lazy mediocre lad that Professor Snape often tells him he is.
This is the most gruesome book yet. The dark lord has pretty much taken power, and there is terrorism everywhere. Security themes play a very large role in this book.
There are many more murders in this book, and the magic and potions get a lot more serious, and much more deadly. There is a magic widely discussed that uses murder to commit dark unnatural amulets.
I am sure the religious right will not like THIS book.
I did enjoy the book, but JK Rowling does deliver - maybe too assuredly - on her promise to kill off a very important, loved character.