The muggle prime minister gets a visit from Cornelius Fudge and discovers that all the problems he's been dealing with in the past week (transport disasters, murders, unseasonal weather. Unseasonal weather?) are the result of the return of Lord Voldemort and the chaos in the wizarding world. Bet Tony Blair wishes he had that excuse.
Little girl: But I'm not on line for Harry Potter; I want to go to the bathroom!
--Barnes & Noble, Astor Place
Poor girl...she's going nowhere.
The book you say? Well, I'm going to break with the crowd a bit and say that I loved it. Folks are saying that it is slower than the others, or that it is mostly a recap of book 5. I disagree--I think it overcomes a lot of 5's weakness and is one of the stronger books in the series. Very good plot twists--I hate how I never see them in advance. My prediction before the book came out was this book would be in trouble, as it forced JK to rely on the weakest part of her writing. She is stellar at the expressionist aspects of HP--the little flourishes and details that make her world "real." She's above average on plots (with a flair for good twists), and below average on character development. As she wrote more, I figured the creative part would fall away (eventually, the world becomes pretty well formed in the eyes of the reader), and the character part would become more important. This was worrisome, but she rose mightily to the occassion, with another good plot and a passable portrayal of the characters.
The best reaction I've read so far, with regards to sorting out the big events at the end, comes from Letters of Marquee (WARNING: SPOILERS). If you've already read the book, I highly recommend it.