I agree with the New York Times reviewer that the book gives good, old fashioned closure and ties up all the major loose ends, answers the significant questions, and gives a lot of new information, chiefly about Dumbledore and Snape and their relationship, much of which is quite daring. (Not THAT way—Rowling is not writing “slash”, here--.)
As a plotter, I was NOT on the same wavelength as Rowling on significant points. Not that I don’t think MY version would have been literarily valid, but hers works with a few flaws. My most radical prophecies did not come to pass—perhaps a good thing, but Rowling has an addiction to “contrived” plot devices, which mean that at some points the heroes’ progress only continues by virtue of sheer luck. Chapter Fifteen, “The Goblin’s Revenge,” is the most glaring example, though not the only one. Pacing is uneven: there are some long stretches where not much happens, and then a LOT happens. That being said, it’s still a thumping good read.
(Yes, several significant characters are killed—it is war, of a sort, but I really didn’t keep track. I was more interested in the problem posed by the Horcruxes and how that would be solved. In that regard, I was pleased I had divined the hiding place of the last one correctly. )