Sci-Fi Storm

Mini-Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

by on Jul.21, 2003, under Books

I actually finished it a while ago, but I’m finally typing in a mini-review for the fifth and largest of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. In summation, I think it is probably the best book of all 5, even though it pretty much crams in every character ever mentioned before that wasn’t dead, but that didn’t stop Nearly-Headless Nick anyways…

Man, that was a long book, but one you don’t mind reading – in fact, one of those you don’t want to stop reading. Word of advice – if you haven’t read Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire recently, read them again before this one as there are several references and characters from those books. Professor Lupin, the third-year Defense of the Dark Arts professor appears along with Sirius Black, Mad-Eye Moody (the real one), all of the Weasleys (except Charlie), and even Professor Lockhart (although he’s not all there…) makes a cameo. And yes, someone dies again, but its not a one shot character like in Goblet of Fire. Some new characters appear as well – Tonks, the usually pink-haired young female Auror with shape-changing ability, and Dolores Umbridge, the Deputy Minister of Magic, then Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, and more, who appears to have the sole purpose of punishing Harry and dismantling Hogwarts piece by piece.

Harry returns to Hogwarts after a harrowing experience that nearly has him expelled before ever arriving. As time passes the interference of the Ministry of Magic in Hogwarts to the point of Harry being banned from Quidditch and even driving Dumbledore from the school grounds. All while Harry is trying to study for his O.W.L.s and has continuous dreams that actually appear to be him seeing through He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’s eyes…forcing him to spend even more time with his least favorite professor, Snape. And on the background is the Order of the Phoenix, a group of wizards and witches sworn to fight against He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

What I found the be the amazing part of this book, and I’m not sure exactly how it provoked such a response from me, is that you actually get angry reading the book at what’s going on. How could the Ministry be so blind? How could Umbridge get away with that? etc. And I’m not the only one to feel that way. I think it depends upon your connection to the story. Maybe I shouldn’t admit this…

Sometimes there were a few too many minor characters to keep track of, and an awful lot of major characters. But its good to see some character progression in characters like Neville. And I think come movie time, Tonks will be a fan favorite character, so I’m expecting more in the next book. Of course I understand why she doesn’t like using her first name (who’d want to go through school as “Nymphadora”?)

A definite must-read, but read all the others first. You can be forgiven for skipping the first two if you at least have seen the movies.

1 Comment for this entry

  • Anonymous Coward

    not so much angry as saddened.

    I kept reading that book thinking “gee…you can tell rowling was writing this these last two years, watching governments strip away our freedoms one by one with the excuse that they’re protecting us”. I didn’t get mad, because I’ve already gotten as mad as I can get get, watching it actually happen in my own country. I did, however, feel that she has an amazing grasp of what it feels like to be going through puberty, right down to the fact that, to the person involved, nothing seems OBVIOUSLY different – it’s not like you just wake up one morning and think “hey! puberty!”. in fact, the word was never used through the entire book – but to anyone who’s been through it, it’s obvious that that’s what was happening. I was, needless to say, impressed.

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