When I first read HP7, in a fevered rush to figureoutwhathappenedimmediately, I thought that it was just a touch of a let down. At the time, I agreed a little w/ the people who said Rowling spent too much time in the wilderness, and made too much of an effort to track the school year.
Now that I'm re-reading and have not just waited TWO YEARS for the final conclusion, I have a slightly different perspective. The book is, actually, quite brilliant. It does the series justice, it ends well.
The "wilderness portions" were actually smart because they force the reader to slow down and truly understand the frustrations that the trio was experiencing, the timeline that they were forced to endure, the uncertainty and lack of knowledge, the disheartening truth of a quest too big for them (or so they felt). But there's also enough in there. It is interesting, it is well-paced, it is wonderful.
The last few hundred pages were, of course, fantastic. I think I held the book in a vice-like grip for all final several hundred pages until I was done.
It's such a complete ending. It does justice to the very-much-larger-than-life characters that Rowling created over the series. It does justice to the grand mythology she has created. It does justice to the emotional ties her readers have created with the characters. It doesn't just take the easy way out (all heroes live; all villains die); it is grander than that.
And the "epilogue"? Loved it too. Again, when I first read it, I was frustrated to not know more. But to read it now as a book, a 7th novel completing a series, I understand and appreciated the subtlety of what she did, not quite giving her readers everything they wanted, but giving us enough.
An easy 5-star book.
Sigh, now I can get to re-watching the entire series on dvd... ;)