"Well, Bob, here we are at the main event!"
"Yes, John, this certainly is it. Rowling's threatened to do this stunt before, and it's her last chance now. She's retiring from the sport following this performance, you know."
"And that'll disappoint whole legions of fans, that's for sure. Hey, looks like they've got a hell of a setup!"
"Indeed they do, John. With her fanbase and the potential for disaster, no ordinary setup would do! So she contacted Crichton and a few others, and got John Hammond to clone THIS up just in time for the performance!"
"Whoa! Bob, I don't believe what I'm seeing here! Is that a Megalodon?!"
"Not just one, not two, but three Megalodons, John -- the smallest one's sixty-two feet long, the largest over eighty feet and almost a hundred tons of giant shark!"
"Now, I understand she's also got special equipment for the jump?"
"Everything about this one's custom, John. Our viewers, and her fans, would expect no less. The ramps leading up to the edge of the water were designed and built by the Mythbusters, who've had help from Caltech to calculate all the loading and flight variables. Adam and Jamie, what do you think about this stunt?"
"Personally? We think she's screwed. No way she can resist this setup."
"Yeah, I agree with Adam. Look at Lucas; he had a setup only about half this fancy and he couldn't keep from doing the stunt not once, but three times."
"Thanks, Adam, Jamie. John, by the sound of the crowd... Here she comes!"
"Here she comes indeed, Bob, on a custom cycle built by Johnny Blaze and his team. Look at the dragonfire striping on that baby!"
"Rocket-assisted with a base 500 horsepower -- and none too much to make that 1.2 mile jump!"
"She's waiting at the top.... the crowd's gone quiet."
"You can feel the tension, Bob. Seventh and last chance, after all these years."
"She's revved the engine... she's headed down the ramp! Here she goes, John, she's going to do it this time!"
"I think you're right, Bob, look at her go! one hundred... two hundred -- SHE SLAMS ON THE BRAKES!"
"She's aborted! Off the ramp at the lowest point! SHE'S NOT GOING TO JUMP THE SHARK!"
"And the crowd goes wild!"
My first comment on this book is: Rowling tells the truth like a Jedi. She worked the rumors -- just like she had before -- to give totally deceptive impressions of the book.
This is a Good Ending. This is not an ending without cost, of course; Voldemort and his Death Eaters are not to be defeated without danger, pain, death, betrayal, and fear. They are too powerful, too established, and their main opposition already damaged and scattered. And -- as any good author knows -- you have to make things a lot worse before you let them get better. The Order of the Phoenix is basically scattered, Harry's support network broken, only a few friends left to depend on. But in the end, the three friends who began the adventures together -- Harry, Ron, and Hermione -- finish them, alive and well, on the other side of the valley of Death, so to speak.
Snape: Greatest. Actor. EVAR. Fooled Voldemort to the very end, and managed -- even when the Dark Lord had killed him -- to get the most critical information to Harry.
Rowling draws together all the threads from the prior books and ties them together with a neat bow.
And despite being dead, Dumbledore gets in on the action ANYWAY. He's like Kaos from Yoroiden Samurai Troopers.
Overall, this was a great book, a grand finish. I'm happy. :)