Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince -- J. K. Rowling

I felt a little weird about it, to be honest.  It didn't really click with me until about page 500--it felt like she was just going through the motions.  It didn't really feel inspired until three-quarters of the way through.  (Of course, there were fabulous moments of inspiration before that--Luna doing the Quidditch commentary was priceless).

But then I was completely blindsided.  I didn't find WHO died surprising--it was HOW it happened that floored me.  So much so that I'm going to read it again and I think I'll like it more the second time around.

I'm not going to write any more, because I'll end up giving something away.  I'll leave the comments to be spoiler-land.  (I'll start).