At first I was worried that the books were going to very Harry Potter-esque. They aren't. I think they are better. First of all there are only 5 books, and they are not very long. And the main characters are very different. I enjoy Percy's sense of humor over Harry's lack there of.. also the supporting characters are much more interesting, and have their own subplots.
Like most YA books there are some predictable plot twists, but there are a lot of surprises.
The movie is being released at the end of June. I didn't see the movie, and I heard that a lot of changes were made. Don't they always make a lot of changes?