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I love the Harry Potter books, and “The Order of the Phoenix”, the fifth instalment of the Harry Potter series, was my personal favourite. It is slightly longer than the other instalments, so perseverance is definitely needed.
I like this book especially due to the slightly darker nature of the story. It’s not too dark obviously, being a children’s book. Never the less, it did have some themes in it that connected more with a mature audience than the previous 4 did. Although it is darker than other Harry Potter books, I wouldn’t say it is in any way inappropriate for kids. I was first read it when I was a child and it was absolutely fine. The darker themes just make the book a more interesting read.
Despite the darker themes in this particular Harry Potter book, it is really funny too. One issue I have with the Harry Potter movies, is that quite a lot of the funny lines from the books are missed out in the movies. Mostly Harry’s more ‘sassy’ lines. This book in particular had some very funny ones, that worked great to lighten up the book, increasing the reader’s enjoyment. I liked the funny lines, because they added a balance to the book, yet didn’t feel out of place in the plot.
In my opinion, books are normally (in nearly every case) better than the movies they inspire. The Order of the Phoenix was 100% better than the movie and a fantastic read. Despite its size, it didn’t feel too long of a book. The words, sentences, pages, and chapters flowed into each other so succinctly, that it made the books so easy to read.
Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix is the 5th book in the series about boy wizard Harry Potter as he is educated at Hogwarts School of Wizardry. This book was published in the summer of 2003. This was 3 years after book 4 (The Goblet of Fire) was released, and it was very much looked forward to by the fans of this series.
By this stage, I was a big fan of the series, and I had worked for one year as a teacher, so I was over the moon to get this at the start of the six week holidays when I could spend as long as I wanted to re-reading the earlier books and enjoying this episode.
Like book 4, this is a weighty tome, with an incredible 766 pages in my copy of the hardback book. Remember the days before kindles when you actually had to hold books this size to read?
This one starts like the previous 4 - Harry is at his Aunt and Uncle's house for the summer holidays. Harry has lived with them since his parents were killed when he was small. These days he only has to live there for some of the summer holidays, but Harry hates it there as he is not really wanted.
This book sees Harry in a dark place emotionally after the events at the Triwizard tournament a few weeks earlier. He is desperate for news from the Wizarding community to let him know what is happening, but he has been in the dark for weeks, and he is miserable. However, that all changes when he is assaulted while with his cousin by two dementors and he is forced to use magic to protect them both.
This starts a fraught time for Harry when he thinks he might be expelled from school, but it does force the magical community to take him to the headquarters of The Order of the Phoenix to try and protect him more. This group are a band of Wizards who are trying to prevent Lord Voldemort returning to power, but it has to be a secret group as most people don't want to believe he is returning to full strength again and a threat to them.
The headquarter for the group is a miserable house that was owned by a dark wizarding family, but now in posession of Harry's godfather - Sirius Black. The summer is not a fun one, but the house is really busy as the members of the group move back and forth trying to establish what is going on.
Things do not get any more fun for Harry when he returns to school. The Ministry For Magic have appointed a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. She is a horrible woman who is basically trying to control the students through barbaric means, systematically removing all the things that made Hogwarts a fun place to be. At the same time, Harry and his friends are studying for their O.W.L. exams, and she is not teaching them practical magical skills that would not only help them pass their exams, but also protect themselves from Lord Voldemort if the need arose, so Harry forms his own secret society at school to teach his fellow students some things that he knows.
This is a hard year for the students - there is a lot going on, and it is not much fun. For the reader, this is a busy book where you are bombarded with lots of names and characters over the course of the novel. Some are familiar from previous books, but there is a lot of people to keep track of in your head as you are reading and to follow their actions in the plot. Firstly, there are all the Ministry people - some of who are completely new, then there are new members of The Order, plus members of Harry's group, and Lord Voldemorts supporters. Then there are also people in the new setting within the book - the wizarding hospital St Mungo's. Some characters you last met several books ago re-appear, like Gilderoy Lockhart, the teacher from book 2 who was hit by a rogue spell that addled his brain.
I personally loved this book as there is a lot of action, and I never found it boring, but I can see that it would be a lot to take in and keep in order in your brain as you read, so I think by this book, you are better off being around 14 plus to have the mental processing power.
Events in this book are still quite scary, and now Harry has experienced death once at close hand, it seems that it is going to become more prevalent as most of the people he is now close to are in a very dangerous position fighting directly against Lord Voldemort's followers. I think the child characters are all beginning to blossom - its nice to see characters like Ginny Weasley, Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood being better used and developed.
Like the previous books, there is some attempt to lighten the mood at times in this serious plot - here, the Weasley twins Fred and George are devoloping a range of products for the joke shop they want to open. There is a lot of humour surrounding how they test them out within school. I find this is much more humourous than is depicted in the film of the book, though I can see why it was edited before it was made into a script.
I think this is very readable, and much stronger than book 4 in the series, and it was worth waiting 3 years for Rowling to release it.
HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX
There are 7 Harry Potter books in total, with this one being the 5th. Here's a quick list so you know which order to read them in:
1. Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone
2. Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets
3. Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban
4. Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire
5. Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix
6. Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince
7. Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows
This book was first published in 2003 in hardback and in 2010 in paperback. I have been reading the paperback version as the books seem to get longer as the series goes on and I find the hardback a bit bulky and heavy to carry around as I read a lot when travelling etc.
My copy is 766 pages long and has an R.R.P of £8.99. There has been a film made of each of these books.
J.K. Rowling is a female author and mother of three who shot to fame with the Harry Potter books, breaking many sales records for the Harry Potter books. She used her initials as her pen name as she didn't think that being a female author would appeal to young boys who the books were aimed at. She has recently released her first adult novel.
Who is the book for?
I think the target audience for these books was originally children, but they have proved to be hugely successful with readers of all ages. I think some of the words and names used in the books would be difficult for younger children to read but they would still enjoy the story so it would be a good one for parents and children to read together.
I was an adult by the time I got round to reading the books and as much as I enjoyed the previous 4 books, I had been putting off reading this one for a while, partly due to the length of the book and partly because I had sped through the others in a couple of weeks and was sick of Harry Potter and fancied reading something different.
A bit of background
From the previous books we have learned that......
Harry Potter was only small when his parent were killed by a dark wizard named Lord Voldermort. Harry was sent to live with the Dursley's, his mothers sister Aunt Petunia, her husband Uncle Vernon and their son Dudley.
None of them wanted Harry and used to keep him hidden in a cupboard under the stairs until he was 12 years old when he was invited to join Hogwarts School of Wizardry and he learnt that he was a wizard.
The Dursley's didn't want him to go as they thought magic was a load of nonsense but strange things started to happen and eventually they gave in and let him go. Although they were still mean to Harry, they let him have a bedroom during his school holidays as they were afraid he might use magic on him if they continued to keep him under the stairs.
Harry's best friends are Hermoine Granger and Ron Weasley and his favourite hobby is playing for the school Quidditch.
The book starts in Privet Drive, at the home of the Dursley's, where Harry is spending his school holidays. When out walking Dudley and Harry some Death eaters attempt to attack Harry and Dudley and Harry has to fight them off. Harry then gets picked up by a group of wizards and taken to the home of Sirius (his godfather) away from danger.
Here he finds the Weasley family, Hermoine, Sirius and other wizards who have formed an order to try and track the movements of Lord Voldemort and prevent him from rising to power again.
Harry has to face a hearing at the Ministry of Magic to determine whether he will be able to return to Hogwarts or if he will be expelled for his use of underage magic outside school. Due to the fact that he was using the magic as self defense Harry is allowed to return to the school and Harry stays at the house until it is time to catch the train back to Hogwarts.
This year is an important one for the friends as they are to take their O.W.Ls exams. When they return to the school they find a new teacher called Professor Umbridge, who takes an instant dislike to Harry and keeps on giving him detentions.
Umbridge teaches defense against the dark arts, but refuses to teach the students how to defend themselves. So Hermoine, Ron and Harry decide to form a group so Harry can help to teach the other students. Somehow Umbridge hears about this and puts a ban on all school clubs and groups.
Umbridge continues to cause trouble in the school, enforcing all sorts of new rules, banning Harry from playing his beloved quidditch and trying to force out some of the teachers.
The book includes some interesting magical creatures, some inportant quidditch matches and quite a few side stories including some romances for the students.
As with the other books Harry's scar on his head, which he got when Voldemort attacked his parents, keeps hurting. He is also getting strange dreams and he knows that these things mean something bad is about to happen which makes it all the more important that Harry and the other students to be able to defend themselves. Will Harrys training help the students or will an attack from Voldermort and his followers prove too strong? I will let you find out the rest yourself.
Normally I don't really rate films in comparison with books but the amount of characters in the book is a bit of an issue for me so I find that watching the film can help as you can visualise the characters you are reading about. Not only do I find there to be too many characters in the book, but the strange names do not help when it comes to remembering who is who.
Along with Harry, his best friends, his godfather and the entire Weasley family there are also teachers in the school, other students in classes, quidditch team mates, people working in the ministry of magic and other characters mentioned from previous books.
In my opinion there are far too many characters to keep track of, especially for children, this is obviously made easier having read the previous books as we have met some of them before.
I really enjoyed the book but have to say I found it a bit too long and with too many characters. There was a 3 year gap between the fourth book and this, and I think it would have worked better if this were two smaller books as there is so much happening in the one book. These books are not books that you could read in any order and if you are thinking of reading Harry Potter you really have to read them all from the start to understand them fully.
I didn't get through this half as fast as I did with the previous books, I find with the longer books they are very slow to get into them and drag on a bit too much, however, it was a really good read and the further on I got the more exciting and gripping it got.
This one of the only books where i can say the film is better. In my opinion it's not one of Rowling's best examples of writing as opposed to say The Prisoner of Azkaban or The Half Blood Prince. This book is about Harry's fifth year at Hogwarts where he gets attacked by dementors, accused of being a liar, has to put up with a psychotic cat lady as the new defence against the dark arts teacher, along with having to put up with a lack of Dumbledore and a petrified-into-ignorance Minister for magic, and learns about the prophecy that was made at his birth along with learning more about his parents. Oh, and Sirius dies.
Although this book is important to the plot line, for it raises the question on how far a community, magic or not, will go to not believe the inevitable, it is far too drawn out where it doesn't need to be, and although the conflicts make the reader question who are the good guys and who are the bad, it's nog written with the correct amount of emotional language to portray such issues. For example, Dumbledore is seemingly completely ignored in places just because he isn't as prominent in this book than he is in the other books, along with the aftermath of Sirius' death isn't gone into with enough depth, for Rowling appears to prefer to place greater attention into the Ministry and it's members.
My comment about this book not being Rowling's best example of writing is due to the fact that draws a lot of attention on things that don't exactly need as much depth of explanation, and pretty much skims over things that could do with a little more depth. Along with this, there's no real individual plot line within this book as opposed to the rest of the books, like The Goblet of Fire, where there's the quest of winning the tournament. This particular book is mostly about moral conflicts of those with power and those without.
Along with all of this, the main action of the story, ie, the battle if the Dept of mysteries didn't have much build up to it and seemed very rushed as opposed to the film. In the Philosopher's Stone there are hints throughout the book that Voldemort will show himself to Harry and Harry will have to overcome him. In this book all the hints really just lead to Harry being proven right, which isn't like the outcomes of the other books.
All in all compared to the other books this one, although still important to the main plot line, is a bit of a letdown.
I am the ultimate Harry Potter fan therefore this review is probably fairly biased because I like the stories. However, I will attempt to remain objective throughout!
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (HPATOOTP as we will call it herein) is the fifth of seven books in the Harry Potter series written by J.K.Rowling. The book itself is 766 pages in length and is the longest of all seven books. For me, this was the most hotly anticipated book of all. I had finished reading the other 4 books by 2000 and had to wait three long years for this book to come out in 2003. I was desperate for a juicy update to the HP story.
[Please be aware, there are mild spoilers ahead - just a warning for people who have not read any of the books]
HPATOOTP for me is when the novels turn from children's books to adult books. Obviously we have followed Harry growing up aged 11-14, then we see 'death' introduced more prominently at the end of book 4 and this dark mood seems to continue into book 5,6 and 7. The "golden days" of childhood are over and this book sets the mood for the war and grim times ahead.
I found the book of HPATOOTP to be so much better than the film. I thought a lot of the lovely descriptive details so lovingly written by JKRowling were lacking in the film version and that is why I love the book so dearly. I won't lie, it is a long book and can be a bit depressing in some places. Essentially, the plot surrounds Harry who has been ignored over the summer by his Hogwarts friends for (apparently) good reason, he comes back to school only to find his "friends" and the Wizarding community do not believe what happened at the end of the 4th book (i.e. the return of Voldemort). The writing is slightly opressive and I found myself longing to get happy-go-lucky Harry back, but that doesn't happen until a good half way through the book when he finally mans up and gets on with the task in hand.
I love this book because we start to see other places in the wizarding world, the Ministry of Magic, we meet Mrs Figg and find characters we thought we knew well (Dumbledore) to behave very differently. We find out more about Snape and his relationship with Harry's father and Sirius when he was at school and the darkness of Harry's relationship with Voldemort becomes apparent.
JK Rowling's writing style captivates me. It is descriptive and I could picture everything perfectly before I saw the films. She makes the characters so endearing, the writing style easy to follow but keeps enough mystery throughout, I always find myself wanting more and more details.
It isn't my favourite book out of the seven, but I always see it as the bridge between childhood Harry and adult Harry. Give it a read, but read the other four first. P.S. Read the others first...this is not a stand alone book!
Also posted on Ciao as rosaliecullen6
I've been a fan of Harry Potter for most of my childhood - I basically grew up with Harry Potter. I know most of the books nearly off by heart, that's how many times I've read them.
I feel that the books are far better than the films - the books give more detail and you actually know what's going on. The movies are pretty vague and you don't have a narrator telling you what's happening.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is yet another amazing book by JK Rowling. Harry goes back to Hogwarts for his fifth year. He tries to tell everyone that Voldemort has come back, but no one believes him. No matter how hard he tries, everyone thinks Harry has gone mad. They have a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Dolores Umbridge, who is pretty much evil. She gives Harry detention for backchatting and makes him write lines with a special quill. The thing that makes this quill special, is the fact that when he writes, he's actually writing with his own blood, and it's carving the words he writes into the hand of his hand. Harry and his friends create a group called Dumbledore's Army (the DA) where Harry teaches them Defence Against the Dark Arts properly, not by using books like Umbridge does, but actually making them have practical lessons. Umbridge takes over the school and makes lots of new school rules, including that it's prohibited to have organizations of groups of more than 2 students. But Dumbledore's Army continues, regardless of the new school rule. Soon, Umbridge finds out about Dumbledore's Army, Dumbledore escapes with Fawkes the Phoenix, and Harry and Hermione lead Umbridge to Dumbledore's 'secret weapon' (which doesn't really exist). Instead, it's Grawp the Giant, Hagrid's half brother. He picks her up and won't put her down, and soon the Centaurs come to attack her. Harry and Hermione escape, to go to the Ministry with Ron, Neville, Ginny and Luna, to find the prophecy that Voldemort is after. It soon turns into a fight with the Death Eaters, the Order of the Phoenix turn up, and soon Bellatrix kills Sirius Black, Harry's godfather.
Dumbledore turns up at the Ministry, and so does Voldemort, and they have a huge duel.
Voldemort escapes from the ministry, and Dumbledore, Harry, the members of the Order of the Phoenix, Ron, Hermione, Luna, Neville and Ginny return to Hogwarts.
This book is the longest book in the series, and it is packed with action and adventure, and it's so interesting. JK Rowling has charted Harry's adventures in such a breathtaking way, with loads of interesting and exciting words. This is an another amazing book by JK Rowling!
Written by the talented writer J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix is the fifth book in the Harry Potter series. This is a children's book found all over the world.
Harry Potter returns from Privet Drive to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for his Fifth year after a deadly summer where he was attacked by Dementors which is the first sign that Voldemort is really back. The world does not believe Dumbledore and Harry on his return and are forced to carry on like normal.
Harry learns that his god farther Sirius Black is part of the Order of The Phoenix, a secret organisation devoted to finding and killing Voldermort. Returning to Hogwarts however Harry becomes frustrated that he can't help the Order when he starts having dreams of Lord Voldemort killing people.
Harry sees Voldermort killing Sirius and goes to help only to find he was tricked into going to the Ministry of Magic to save him. Voldemorts Death Eaters attack the kids and kill Sirius. Harry chases Bellatrix Lestrange away from the group where Voldermort attacks him. Dumbledore has a massive fight before the Ministry return finding they were right all along.
Amazon is selling this book for £10.00 where Play is selling it for £5.00 so it's always worth looking around
This is one of my favourite Harry Potter books. It is also the longest. I have heard it said that it is perhaps too long but I disagree. The length of the book means that the story is action packed and is full of interesting sub-plots and interesting characters.
Following the return of Voldermort in 'The Goblet of Fire' the main story this time concerns the refusal of the Ministry of Magic to admit that Voldermort has returned and Harry pursuit of the truth. We find out a lot more about the characters and in particular about the connection between Harry and Voldermort in this book. There is also some fun to be had as Harry and his friends, now teenagers, deal with growing up and enter the dating world.
This book introduces us to the hideous Professor Umbridge as well as a selection of other new characters and places. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the Ministry of Magic and St Mungo's hospital and the various departments and jobs within them. This book leads on to the final two in the series perfectly and adds much to the reader's understanding of the magical world and those who populate it.
Once again, J.K. Rowling combines action, comedy and even some poignant moments to create a engaging story which adds much to the story of Harry Potter and leaves you eager for the next book in the series.
I have to say, even with how much I had enjoyed the first four books in the series I was not in a rush to read the fifth, Order of the phoenix, due mostly to how many pages it contains, this being nearly 1000!
The story starts with a very despondent Harry Potter, who feels as though he has been abandoned by his friends, and being left to brood and stew slowly with his blood muggle (none magic) family, the Dursley's, who detest him as much as he detests them.
After seeing his cousin Dudley and his gang at the local park, and knowing his cousin is unlikely to start on him due to his magic, he decides to vent his frustration on him, though very soon finds himself saving his cousins life, after a dementer ( a large cross between the grim reaper an a ghost) appears with a mate, and tries to kill them both.
This starts a chain of events that soon shows that Harry is no longer well thought of at his school of magic Hogwarts, with even his friend and mentor Dumbledore (head teacher of Hogwarts) seemingly abandoning him.
Harry now has his so-called friends to content with alongside the supposed return of Lord Voldermort (a big bad wizard who has a real penchant for killing people, and has been trying to kill Harry since he was a baby, hence the reason Harry Potter is a name most magic people already know!), will he survive, hell, will he even find out what is going on, instead of being kept in the dark by everyone?
As I said earlier I wasn't relishing reading such a long book, but soon found myself completely immersed into the story, with me being unable to put it down until completed (I was up one night with my daughter, she went to bed around midnight, and I stayed up the entire night to finish it!).
There is so much going on in this book, it feels as if it could quite easily have been made into two books, so I really feel as if I have had my moneys worth with it.
There are plenty of the old characters returning for a new term at Hogwarts, with a few newbies who will literally make your blood boil, with the sugary sweet Mrs Umbridge being passed off as the devil, but is in actual fact a minister of magic who has been placed within Hogwarts as a spy/teacher, though as one of the main characters states, "..there is no black and white, you are not either Dumbledore or a death eater..", this meaning that evil comes in many guises!
As with the previous books this is of course aimed towards children, though as the series has progressed the books have got darker in content, but that can only be so, as the baddie of the series is responsible for many murders of innocents, muggles and magic's alike, so there is only so many ways the content can be kept light.
The text though is at times fantastically funny, with the fantastic Ron Weasley either being laughed at or with but with any book that contains teenage characters, the inevitable hormones kick in, or should that be hermoines, with there being a quite apparent (to the readers though, not the characters!) love story brewing.
This is a fantastic book that I would go as far as saying is my favourite so far, with there being much more storyline going on behind the scenes at Hogwarts school, and the inevitable "fight to the death" being tangibly close, recommended!
Price wise these are available from www.amazon.co.uk for around the £4.99 mark.
Thanks for reading xx
'The Order of the Phoenix', the fifth book in the series, narrates the period between He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named coming back to power and the rest of the wizarding world coming round to face that fact.
Harry is fed up. He has had to spend all summer with the Dursleys, cut off from the wizarding community after watching Cedric Digory die and You-Know-Who come back from near-dead.
However the wizarding world soon finds him as two dementors descend on him and his muggle (non-magical person) cousin, Dudley, in an allyway.
Forced to summon the Patronus charm, Harry is now in trouble with the ministry and faces expulsion for using magic when he is underage and in front of a muggle. As Dumbledore comes to defend him it becomes clear that none of the Ministry for Magic are prepared to believe Harry and Dumbledore that the Dark Lord has returned, and Cornelius Fudge (the minister) is convinced the headmaster is just fear mongering so he can get his job.
Following this Dumbledore is replaced as headmaster by the ridiculously strict Dolores Umbridge, whose actions force Harry to take matters into his own hands by training other students with skills that will actually help them against Death Eaters.
Then there is the prophecy. One about Harry and You-Know-Who, and the Dark Lord wants it, but are Dumbledore's Army enough to take on the Death Eaters without the help of their adult counterpart the Order of the Phoenix?
Well the series is certainly gaining in excitement and length book by book, it's a good job J.K. Rowling makes these books so impossible to put down, or it would take years to finish them at its 766 pages, compared to the second book's ('The Chamber of Secrets') 251.
The book starts off with Harry stuck at 'home' with the Dursleys, scavenging newspapers from bins and hiding in bushes to hear the news, just to find something out about what the Dark Lord is doing. You can really feel and understand Harry's frustration at being kept in the dark, when he is the one who has so often faced the danger. However the arrival of dementors in Little Whinging give the reader a real idea of how much the return of You-Know-Who will affect the lives of Harry and his friends.
I enjoyed the creation of Dumbledore's Army as you got to see how much Harry has learnt through his extra-curricular activities and I like the feel of unity it gave in the face of You-Know-Who and Dolores Umbridge's tyrannical rule of Hogwarts.
J.K. shows that she hasn't exhausted her imagination in the first four books as she comes up with names like Kingsley Shacklebolt and Nymphadora Tonks who is a metamorphmagus, meaning she can change her appearance at will, similar to her previous creation from the third book 'The Prisoner of Askaban' the animagus that can change into the form of an animal.
'The Order of the Phoenix' does a good job of turning the series from the relatively light hearted story of a boy learning about magic, to the darker themes brought in at the end of the previous book.
I have to confess that, on my first reading of the Order of the Phoenix, I was disappointed but, on reflection, I think that this might be because of the excitement on the lead-up to the book's release. Certainly on this read I found the book extremely gripping and exciting, with a great deal of plot progression.
Here Harry is dealing with the aftermath of the return of Lord Voldemort, and coping with the fact that he is kept very much in the dark about what is happening. While at the Dursley's over the summer, he has been relying on the Muggle news to see whether Voldemort has started the expected killing spree and reign of terror. When Harry and his cousin Dudley are attacked by Dementors, Harry is forced to do magic outside of Hogwarts - something expressly forbidden - and is summoned to a hearing. This is where he begins to learn that times are changing - his relationship with Dumbledore is strained and distant; the Minister of Magic refuses to believe that Voldemort is back and a truly chilling new character (Delores Umbridge) takes on the role of Defence of the Dark Arts professor.
Harry's fifth year at Hogwarts is dark, dark, DARK! He is reviled by many of his previously friendly classmates for telling stories to gain attention; he starts having dreams that leads him to believe that he is starting to feel what Voldemort is feeling (including his glee as he commits murder); and he suffers a massive setback in his Quidditch career.
A lot of characters really develop through this book and it is fantastic to read more indepth plotlines for Ron, Fred and George, Ginny and Snape amongst others. Here we have, for example, an extremely illuminating glimpse into one of the reasons why Snape hates Harry so intensely. Ginny becomes a feisty and very effective witch, while the Weasley boys provide much of the comic relief. I was rather pleased to see Ron, in particular, step out of Harry's shadow in a subplot about him joining the Quidditch team. Neville Longbottom, also, is treated well in this book and we finally learn more about him.
Two new characters really steal the show though. One of these is the dreamy Luna Lovegood - piercingly honest at times, but also believes in fairytale creatures and gossipy stories from the wizarding world. The other is the aforementioned Umbridge - for once Harry is struggling against a person who is not part of Voldemort's group of Death Eaters. Umbridge is cruel, vindictive, truly repulsive to read about. You feel like cheering when George and Fred take her on! There are some sickening moments in the story where Harry and Umbridge have quiet scenes together, such as his string of detentions at the start of the school year - these made me shudder.
Obviously there are faults with the book. This is the one where Harry develops teenage angst. For a long period at the beginning of the book he is sulky, sullen and often shouts in CAPITALS to make his point - I guess he is quite accurately written in terms of becoming a teenage, but it becomes tiresome very quickly.
The subplot with Harry and Cho's 'romance' goes nowhere fast, and fizzles out rapidly when Rowling decides who she would most like to see Harry with - a relationship that has been signposted since the second book, but is none the less welcome for starting to take shape.
The beginning of the book is slow and dragging, up to and including where Harry meets the Order in Sirius' house. Lots of names are thrown in quickly and some of the characters suffer from not being fleshed out at all.
Unlike the fourth book in the series, these are really minor quibbles. Considering that Rowling is now dealing with a large ensemble cast, each of them seemed to get enough 'screentime' in this book. It was an extremely long book to read, but here I savoured each page rather than skipping through filler as I did with Goblet of Fire. Even the owls Hedwig and Pigwidgeon are given enough character for us to grow ever-more fond of them.
The DA lessons were incredibly funny and heartening to read about in the midst of all the gloom. Rowling also writes very effectively about the heavy workload of the students as they study for their OWLs (I love that OWLs and NEWTs correspond to our GCSEs and A Levels). It is also fun watching the three leads start to think about life after Hogwarts.
I think the real high point of this book is the fact that Rowling no longer feels the need to explain every little detail of the past four books - it is as though she now assumes that those picking up the book have already devoured her previous novels in the HP series, and so she steams straight into the plot. And the plot leads us on a rollarcoaster ride that culminates in the most dramatic climax yet (although Rowling still can't resist the big reveal between Harry and Dumbledore - however, here I can forgive her much since Dumbledore's quiet and dignified explanation had me close to tears).
As I have commented on in prior reviews it is the little details of the wizarding world that, I believe, makes these books so beloved. I shall pull out here the example of the students having to write a certain amount of feet or inches of parchment for essays rather than using a page or word count.
Finally, I leave you with a quote that had me giggling from Ron's description of his practical Divination examination: "He (Ron) had just made Harry feel rather better by telling him how he had told the examiner in detail about the ugly man with a wart on his nose in his crystal ball, only to look up and realise he had been describing his examiner's reflection."
A great addition to the Harry Potter series.
This review has been posted to Floor to Ceiling Books
The postman rattled my letter-box impatiently on the morning of the twenty first. When I finally opened the door, in my jammies, wiping sleep from my eyes, he was busily writing out a card saying how sorry he was to miss me. He looked up, recoiled somewhat from my 6.30am face, then recovered bravely.
"There's your Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." He announced and thrust the Amazon package into my hands. I can only imagine the number of times he got to say that, throughout that day. The Harry Potter books have been rather popular in our house since the first of the series was published in 1997. My eldest was ten at the time and took to the world of JK immediately. Since, I have read every new adventure after she's devoured it and two years ago started reading them to my younger daughter. None of us is wildly keen on the films, preferring our imaginary visions of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
When I was a child, I was hooked to the Chalet School series of books. The Harry Potter books remind me strongly of these. The action takes place in a boarding school in each. An adventure will begin, necessitating the bending or breaking of rules, and our protagonists risk punishment. There are school houses to root for, sports to follow and school bullies to watch out for. The children we sympathise with are at the mercy of teachers who dislike them, or can gain sympathy from those who understand them better. Of course, it is a long time since I read the Chalet School series, but I don't recall the girls forming a coven at any point. The introduction of magic is what gives Harry Potter that little bit more excitement and mystery, in a child's eyes. "The Order of the Phoenix" is the size of a small house. I implored Jill not to say anything, or even show any expression on her face, as she read. Like the rest of us, I knew that a regular character would be killed off in this book. I wanted to discover who it would be, by myself. Some two days later, she passed it over, looking smug.
I ordered her to clean her room and started reading. The structure of the book is as before, following the school term, with the bulk of the story taking place at Hogwarts. Harry has spent the summer holiday at his hateful relatives, the Dursley's, home and is not being treated any more kindly than usual. Immediately, we can tell that both Harry and cousin Dudley are beginning to grow up. Unfortunately, Dudley had taken to hanging around with a group of thugs, enjoying such past-times as vandalising property and bullying children younger than himself.
Harry is huffy and angry, because he has had no real word from his friends, Hermione and Ron. His attempts to follow the news are thwarted and he has difficulty in keeping tabs on whether Voldemort has made a move on his plans to overthrow the wizard world. Following an attack by the dreaded Dementors on Harry and his cousin one night, Harry is brought to the headquarters of The Order of the Phoenix, for safety. This turns out to be the family house of his godfather, the handsome Sirius Black. He is put out to find that Ron and Hermione have been ensconced there for much of the holiday and is angry with them for keeping information from him, although this was on the orders of Dumbledore, the Headmaster of Hogwarts. Because he has used magic out of school, to save himself and his cousin, he must attend a hearing to decide whether he will be expelled from school. Of course, Harry makes it back to Hogwarts for his fifth year, when he must sit his dreaded OWL exams.
I like Harry in this book. He has definitely become a teenage boy. His moods swing erratically and he is often dealing with anger and frustration. Much of the story deals with Harry's quest to find out exactly what's going on in the fight against Voldemort and he rails against the decision of the adults to keep information from him. He wants to be respected, as the young man who has already defeated the Dark Lord more than once, and included in their plans. Harry is disappointed to find that he has not been made a prefect, although Ron and Hermione have been awarded the position. Much of his frustration is vented on his closest friends, who cope admirably, but are obviously tiring of his moods. All of the fifth year pupils are under tremendous exam pressure, and homework takes up much of their time, energy and emotional well being. As a reader, I found myself berating Harry, who on many occasions doesn't follow the advice given to him by people who obviously do know the full situation and have a plan formed with which to handle it.
As many of us do at this time of our lives, Harry has to reassess his view of his parents, particularly his father, who does not appear to be the saintly figure Harry has previously supposed. He has his first kiss, too, along with his first botched relationship. The school in this book has changed from the welcoming haven Harry has always found it, to a place of punishment and imprisonment. He has to accept a lifelong ban on Quidditch, an enormous blow for sports fans. At one point, Harry would even prefer to be in Privet Drive, rather than Hogwarts.
Hagrid is missing for the start of term, off on his own adventure, and a new teacher, Dolores Umbridge, has appeared to take up the jinxed Professor in Defence of the Dark Arts post. Dolores dresses in pink fluffy cardigans and has pictures of gambolling kittens on her office walls. Don't let this fool you, she has a toad like quality and has been sent there by the Ministry of Magic, to keep an eye on Dumbledore and bring some discipline to the school. McGonagall is her supportive self, Snape is greasy and treats Harry with disdain as usual, and Draco Malfoy and his gang are again present to threaten Harry and his friends.
Despite the warnings from the Sorting Hat that the school must stick together because they are in a time of great danger, the children cannot help but split into factions. Some believe the warnings about Voldemort that Harry and Dumbledore have been giving during the previous year, while the majority have a view, actively encouraged by the establishment and the Daily Prophet, that they are both either slightly mad or plain attention seeking. The story fairly gallops along, while the protagonists try to find ways of fighting the establishment. They must spread the truth of Voldemort's return whilst trying to ensure that they have covered all of the work required for their OWL's, not an easy task when practical exercises are banned from the Defence of the Dark Arts class. Harry Potter's dreams become more and more disturbing, as it seems a link has been forged between himself and the Dark Lord. Harry has to deal with his increasingly bad temper alone, and is frustrated and hurt that Dumbledore has kept aloof from him throughout the year. The activities of The Order of the Phoenix, designed to thwart Voldemort's efforts, do not appear to be particularly successful to Harry and he feels forced to take action in order to save the day, again. As Hermione says, "Are you sure you don't have a "Saving People thing"?" Ah, of course he has, and it is his fatal flaw.
Yes, one of the regular characters is killed off. I have to say that JK does a good job in throwing in a few false leads along the way.
All in all, I enjoyed Harry's latest outing and appreciated the evolution of the younger characters. I hope that his next will show how his experience with the "Order of the Phoenix" has matured him. I'd like to see him trust someone else's judgement, for a change
In my opinion, this is without a doubt the best Harry Potter book. Along with Harry and his friends, you will laugh, cry, mourn and smile. This book is full of non-stop excitement - with the return of Lord Voldemort, everything in the world of Harry Potter suddenly becomes more intense, and this makes for a great read.
Rowling draws us into Harry's frustration with being isolated all summer, his fear of being expelled from Hogwarts, and the feeling he gets when dementors are near. I have always found, in all the books from Prisoner of Azkaban onwards, that the dementors are wonderfully described and paint a haunting picture.
Even those of you who haven't read the book probably know that a major character dies at the end - this death and its aftermath are brilliantly executed. I cried. A lot.
The largest of all the Harry Potter books, this is well worth a read. It may make you temporarily go hungry as you will not be able to put it down to eat until you finish it, but I think that's a worthwhile sacrifice. In this book, Rowling continues to develop her already vivid characters (we see a lot more of Remus Lupin than we have before), and adds some important and exciting new ones (Tonks and Umbridge are two that particularly stand out). Rowling shows us what happens when the only real home Harry has ever known, Hogwarts, is turned upside down by a totalitarian regime. We feel sorry for Harry and his comrades, and we triumph in their efforts to overthrow the system.
This really is such a great book, and well worth reading all 766 pages. Five stars from me!
Order of the Pheonix is perhaps my least favourite book of the series, because Harry seems to get very angsty and angry at everything. He doesn't listen to his teachers, who are older and wiser than him and falls out with his friends. But these are the same reasons I love this book, because he is so unbelievably wrong at points. It's natural and understandable that after the death of his school chum Cedric that he should be feeling a bit angry about it, seeing as he blames himself for it. it's natural amd understandable that Harry doesn't listen to his elders. We've all done it at some point. And we have all argued with friends and said things we didn't mean.
The book is full of emotion, a theme which Rowling has explored before but not in as much detail is this. After reading this book I felt I knew Harry a lot better as a person, not just some words on a page. And at the big climatic scene, Harry is with his friends. Showing us that friends can become family too.
You can learn a lot about real life in fantasy books.
Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoneix
Harry is now getting older and his life is getting much more complex. Harry feels completely separated from the magical world at the start of the summer apart from a surprise encounter from an unwanted guest. While he is stuck at private drive, Hermione and Ron are living in London at Sirius' house which is the new headquarters for the Order of The Phoneix. When he finally moves down to London, he finds out that he's not been missing out on much, and an upcoming hearing with the ministry causes him much apprehension.
Once he arrives at Hogwarts he finds it is all change again, with the introduction of Doroles Umbridge, a high up member of the ministry, everyone is worried about the future of their education as the ministry is started interferring at Hogwarts. Harry takes it upon himself (under the considerable influence of Hermione) to form The DA (Dumbledore's Army) in which he teaches fellow classmates a variety of defense curses and jinx's.
This book delivers all the excitment and fast paced action that we are used to and the characters are as lifelike as before, with Harry especially going through lots of different emotions as he grows up.
A great read, highly reccomended.
Dumbledore lowered his hands and surveyed Harry through his half-moon glasses. It is time, he said, for me to tell you what I should have told you five years ago, Harry. Please sit down. I am going to tell you everything.