5 books in one series in a week, and The Order of the Phoenix took the longest to read, in part because it’s the longest book in the series by over 100 pages and in part because I still work Sunday nights and I bowl on Monday nights. On with the review.
Book 5 in the Harry Potter series (sequel to Sorcerer’s Stone, Chamber of Secrects, Prisoner of Azkaban, and Goblet of Fire)
Our same three characters are now 15, and Rowling does an excellent job showing that they’ve been growing up throughout the course of the series. Harry specifically has a romantic interest throughout the book. Harry also finally shows some frustration with his situation at the school. Rowling does an excellent job of throwing everything in the book at Harry and making him more and more frustrated throughout the course of the book. It got to the point where the book was frustrating me for a while, which looking back was the whole point. Another character who was introduced in this book who I really liked was Luna Lovegood. She was a bit loopy but had a very charming personality and played a fairly big part in the book. Ron’s sister Ginny also plays a bigger role in this book and she was also fun to read about throughout the book.
The same Hogwarts we’re used to, although we also see some of the Ministry of Magic as well. The book also introduces some new magical creatures and gives some explanation to some of the setting aspects of the previous books. Again the continuity is very good with all of the other books and it works well.
Voldemort has returned! Which of course we all knew from the end of the fourth book. The new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is Dolores Umbridge, who works for the Ministry of Magic. The only problem with Voldemort coming back is that the Ministry is trying to hide it from the rest of the world which causes the rest of the wizarding world to thing that Harry was lying about Voldemort and his return. In the meantime, Dumbledore has re-instituted the Order of the Phoenix, which was the organization that fought against Voldemort years ago. The book follows Harry throughout the school year as he is constantly put under more pressure as school and as he becomes increasingly frustrated as the Ministry continues to interfere with daily life at Hogwarts.
This book frustrated me a lot for the first half of the book or so. I was getting continuously upset at Dumbledore’s lack of involvement throughout the story and the free reign that other characters had to pick on Harry throughout the book. Specifically some of the parts with Umbridge were annoying. I enjoyed the fact that this book really showed Harry and several other students being proactive and preparing for their encounters well in advance because they recognize the danger that they all are going to face in the near future. I really thought that the sections involving Neville were wonderful in this book, and she set up the possibility of a truly wonderful moment for Neville in the future, and I’m eagerly hoping that she will give him his chance to shine in the last two books. All in all, most of the purpose of this book was to move the characters towards the end of the series. While the book explored a lot of what was going on in the world, it left a lot of things open for the rest of the series, I thought it still had a fairly satisfying ending.
There were large parts of this book that annoyed me, but it was supposed to. While it may not be the strongest book in the series, it is still very good.