A while before "Deathly Hallows", the seventh and final book of the wildly popular Harry Potter series was released, I decided I should catch up with the rest of the world and find out what it's all about. I got a hold of the audio books (read by Stephen Fry, which is awesome) for the first six books, and then found the seventh soon after release. For the next few weeks I listened intently through all my spare (and not-so-spare) time, following the adventures of Potter and friends from age 11 to 17, from discovering a wizarding world to their Lord-of-the-Rings-ish conclusion. I have had many discussions with friends along the way about how much more evil Snape is in the books compared to the movies, and how hot we think the actresses playing Hermione and Ginny will be once they're old enough that you won't feel guilty about thinking such things.
So now, finally complete and caught up, I can agree that it's a wonderfully imaginative story that's going to last through the ages. It won't hit the literary acclaim of something like, say, Narnia, but it will probably be put on the same shelf in every child's room.
Without revealing any spoilers (no, Voldemort is not really Harry's father or anything like that), one criticism I have seen in several reviews of the final book is something that I actually liked very much: the Epilogue. Some people view epilogues as a way to tie up messy loose ends, or to leave openings for further money-grabbing story extensions. For a tale such as this one, however, where the reader has spent seven years of story-time wrapped in their world, I find the epilogue brings a satisfying sense of continuation. You grow close to these characters, and it's nice to see that for some of those who remain, their lives continue beyond the last chapter, and the last news-worthy adventure. It gives them further life beyond the boundaries of the story. I think of Tim's monologue, at the end of "The Office":
"Life isn't about endings, is it? It's a series of moments. If you turn the camera off, it's not an ending is it? I'm still here. My life is not over. Come back here in ten years. See how I'm doing then... Life just goes on."