After I was not too fond of the Order of the Phoenix and the Half Blood Prince because of their many unnecessary lengths I think Rowling managed to write a suspense-packed last volume with many thrilling twists and turns and also various very sad moments. I was gripped by the whole atmosphere of dread that evaporates from You-know-who and his death eaters who have taken to hunting down muggle-borns.
With Dumbledore always being my favourite character I was happy about his presence and to see him become more three-dimensional by exploring his past and his encounter with Harry in the "King's Cross" Chapter. The same goes for Snape whom I always found a very interesting character.
I always liked the mysterious, "ancient" magic stuff: the horcruxes and how wands work for example, therefore I really liked the story about and behind the Elder Wand, the other Deathly Hallows and Grindelwald. I also liked the many referrals to the earlier Hogwarts Years and especially that Rowling didn't drop but finally resolved the crucial scene from the end of vol. IV where Dumbledore had shown a glint of triumph when he had learned that Voldemort had taken Harry's blood. All the various plotlines are now joined together and make sense.
I was a bit bugged by the striking similarities to The Lord of the Rings to name but one: the locket weighing its wearers down and affecting them, the big battle of Hogwarts, Harry the Hero on his own etc. But it has been said before, that, while Rowling has some good ideas on her own, she also uses many different sources and combines them in her story.
I really could have done without the soppy epilogue, though, which is too much 'All's weel that ends well' for my taste, but then this might be a concession to Rowling's young readers.
So, how do you like it? Are you disappointed? Does it meet your expectations? Lokking forward to your comments!