i'm comparing it to, as you said,
all of the other new books out there.
it's not one of the best new books out there. it's not it's not it's just not.
do you want a list of contemporary authors who have published fiction in the past several years that are better than rowlings? eek...i could start with chabon, proulx, kundera, delillo, le carre, sebold, mcewen, eggers, franzen, even stephen king for crying out loud. all better. hands down. not even close.
yes i've read harry potter (as much as i could take...i tried, i really did). i'm not dissing the appeal of it, just the literary quality of it. it's simply not one of the best new books out there.