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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

The fifth novel in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series.

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Relax, it's just Harry Potter ;-)

  • Jun 25, 2003
  • by
Pros: Now you can pick up where you’ve left off.

Cons: Some characters drove me nuts.

The Bottom Line: Let the fun of reading take you away! It’s no fun picking it apart – let the story sweep you along! Relax and revel in this world of fantasy!

Welcome back to the wild world of Harry Potter! The fifth installment of J.K. Rowling’s extremely popular book series. If you haven't read any of the books before this one, I highly recommend reading the first four before checking out this one. If you'd like, see my review of 4 book reviews for one product!

This time we’re faced with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix! It’s been three years since we’ve hid with Harry under his Invisibility Cloak and taken classes with straight “A” Hermione Granger and have wanted to punch Malfoy in the face (though I daresay he gets his comeuppance a few times!).

This book returns us to a world we can see, taste, smell, and hear with clarity and eagerness. J.K. Rowling has not lost her touch to bring this fantasy world (and yet, it’s still London) right to us.

In this book there is much going on and much to take in. Some things might come to your attention, but you won’t realize until later. Here we see Harry, scraping for information about his eternal enemy, Lord Voldemort. But we see something else we’ve never really seen before – Harry is angry and he doesn’t want to take anymore guff from anyone, which I can completely understand (I would have snapped a long time ago). Harry is 15 now and Voldemort is on the rise, gathering power and followers. He’s after his fellow Death Eaters, the dementors, and the giants. But Harry and Dumbledore know he has a plan of some kind once again. The only problem is that no one believes them this time. The only people who have any faith in them are friends of Dumbledore and Harry – and even that list is growing shorter by the moment.

The book has many seemingly backward things going on. The Ministry of Magic is taking over Hogwarts though a absolutely revolting woman, Dolores Umbridge. She’s one of those characters you just can’t wait, to see get their comeuppance in the end. Cornelius Fudge, head of the Ministry of Magic, doesn’t believe Voldemort is back and because of his (and many others’) stubbornness, Hogwarts slowly goes down the drain in the ways of being a good school. Teachers could be sacked at any moment, O.W.Ls are coming up (Ordinary Wizarding Level tests), and kids seem to be revolting everywhere at what is happening to their beloved school. Harry, however, is having his own problems. His scar is forever hurting, Dumbledore seems to think he’s fallen off the planet, and everything else possible just seems to be going wrong and there’s not a thing he can do about it.

I don’t want to go into too much detail about this book – I really think you ought to take it on yourself! But you do get this: Harry and his friends, Hogwarts, thestrals, giants, Death Eaters, Mad-Eye Moody, Padfoot, Moony, Malfoy with a fist in his face (if not more), anger, betrayal, love, hatred, fighting, triumph – and the one thing you thought might happen and perhaps a few you didn’t think would.

At the end I very nearly gave way to a few tears. It wasn’t to the death Rowling announced would happen (in fact, I had to read that twice just to make sure it’d happened and it actually didn’t faze me at all – I’d actually expected it and for many of you who don’t like it – this is war, $20 says you’d better get ready for more), but Dumbledore’s plight in the end, the poor old soul.

So take up the book, find out what Voldemort is after this time, and whisk yourself away once again to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! Become one of Harry’s classmates (though invisible though you may be) and join in his classes, trials, and be prepared for a burden you might not want – but might have expected in the end.

I was reading a few of the previous reviews and I can say that I feel highly affronted at what this book has been getting. I don’t say this just because I am a Harry Potter fan (I’m sure there are people much more crazy about him than I am – I just like the story) but people have been complaining about things that are “wrong” that they should have known would always be there. (and for people who don’t care or don’t want to read it, I apologize for the following – er – essay).

First of all, there have been complaints that the book is “too dark.” I wonder if anyone has been paying attention to what the author, J.K. Rowling, has said at all. Many times has she warned the public that the book (and the two still yet to come) was indeed going to grow darker – and after all, darker times are upon Harry and his fellow wizards. What can one expect when the Dark Lord Voldemort is back on track and plotting revenge for who knows how many wizards? And after the last book left off with the head of the Ministry of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, refusing to believe Harry’s story, how else would one expect the Ministry to take things?

Then there is Harry’s teenage angst to be considered. Think about his position. He has been the focal point of Voldemort’s attacks the past four years, he’s stuck with the horrible Dursley’s all summer, he’s getting absolutely no news from anyone and seems to be slightly forgotten. Honestly, I could perfectly understand Harry’s anger. Sometimes, I do admit, he was unnecessarily angry at times, but things weren’t exactly peaches and cream for him when he went back to Hogwarts either. Teenagers have this problem sometimes – do we want Harry to be problem free all the time and turn into a cardboard character? No way – we want him to have issues (to a certain extent) and we want him to be real.

As for the complaint, “too long,” perhaps at times people not accustomed to reading long books due to long plots think so. Even some people who are used to long books may think so. However, I received the book Saturday the 21st, started it Sunday, and I’ve finished today (the 24th), and I’m not bragging to be a fast reader either. But think for a moment, when you have the villain who’s just returned from near death, he’s not going to simply just jump into battle now is he? He needs time to plan, gather people, grow stronger, and as Dumbledore concluded in the fourth book, there was much to do, and he listed them: do something with the dementors before Voldemort gathered them up, make friends with giants once again before Voldemort gained a hold of them also, alert people to Voldemort’s return, and begin preparations in the Ministry to counter his return. If Rowling had simply skipped these ideas, as well as things such as Harry’s summer, wouldn’t people be wondering, “Hey, but what about (such and such)?” I have a funny feeling they would. Naturally, I’m sure some bits and pieces could have been clipped, but what book couldn’t use a little trimming? Trust me, sometimes it drives a writer nuts to chuck in filler material, but it has to be there for some reason.

Besides, children read the fourth book, did they not? This book is only about a hundred pages more– you think that’s going to stop them?

To be perfectly honest with you, if people wish to chuck out one of Rowling’s books as unproductive and the like, I’d do away with the second one – the only major purpose it served was to fill in Harry’s second year and free Dobby the house-elf (who has only made himself useful a few times since).


P.S. And even if we adults pick out all the flaws in it – if the kids like it, isn’t that what matters most anyway?


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More Harry Potter and the Order of ... reviews
review by . January 26, 2010
I titled my review of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4) "Harry Potter grows up" because J. K. Rowling had done a masterful job of bringing Harry from a little boy to a strong young man over the course of the four books of the series. I titled this review as I did because in the Phoenix J. K. Rowling herself shows her maturing skill as a writer in penning the longest of the seven books of the series. This is the point at which I stopped admiring the framework of the story, and fell into …
review by . July 10, 2010
i may spoil some parts of the book for those of you who have not read it yet. that being said lets get on with it=).      Harry Potter is not your normal kid now is he? if youve read the first couple, or now, seen the movies, you will know that hes always had wierd things happen to him, and that now he attends hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry. in the fifth year, everything starts to change. the order of the phoenix has there own headquarters at sirius blacks house, …
Quick Tip by . October 14, 2010
There's a lot of exciting stuff that happens in this book. However, there's also a lot of political stuff. The book is an interesting hodge-podge of exciting action/adventure/thriller story and a political treatise of the World of Magic.
Quick Tip by . September 29, 2010
Another classic--dark and strong, like good coffee and rich chocolate.
Quick Tip by . September 04, 2010
There's a lot of politics in this book. I like the plot, but the political motivations and goings-ons of the magical world dragged the story down for me.
Quick Tip by . July 19, 2010
Loved this book. I read it before Harry Potter even became popular.
review by . July 15, 2010
Brilliant Book And Movie!!!!
Harry potters name is filled with magic..I was sooooo happy when i read this book..Theres soo much and soo muny great things go on these books..I am very happy and proud to have such great authors around..and i love these books...I loved to meet the cast and the author really bad...Herminey is really gorgeous...I wish i  could be one of the wizards in the movie too...LOL..They are really great actors specially harry...I liked the part where harry is sitting on the swing..i am soo crazy abouttt …
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
Read this entire series. Great take on the magic world.
Quick Tip by . July 04, 2010
the longest and most drawn out harry potter book known to man, almost, i repeat, almost as bad as eragon. but that didnt change how anyone felt about hp as a whole. i literally stayed up all night reading about harrys "possesion" by voldemort when they cover all that in five minutes in the movie.
Quick Tip by . July 03, 2010
you cant help but hurt with harry when his godfather dies. its a good book but has a sad ending.
About the reviewer
Nicole ()
Age: 27 Currently: Freelancing my butt off and querying my other novel, Blood for Wolves. Who likes seriously factured fairy tales? =D      Like books? Then take it from a real, live … more
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As his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry approaches, 15-year-old Harry Potter is in full-blown adolescence, complete with regular outbursts of rage, a nearly debilitating crush, and the blooming of a powerful sense of rebellion. It's been yet another infuriating and boring summer with the despicable Dursleys, this time with minimal contact from our hero's non-Muggle friends from school. Harry is feeling especially edgy at the lack of news from the magic world, wondering when the freshly revived evil Lord Voldemort will strike. Returning to Hogwarts will be a relief... or will it?

The fifth book in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series follows the darkest year yet for our young wizard, who finds himself knocked down a peg or three after the events of last year. Somehow, over the summer, gossip (usually traced back to the magic world's newspaper, the Daily Prophet) has turned Harry's tragic and heroic encounter with Voldemort at the Triwizard Tournament into an excuse to ridicule and discount the teen. Even Professor Dumbledore, headmaster of the school, has come under scrutiny by the Ministry of Magic, which refuses to officially acknowledge the terrifying truth that Voldemort is back. Enter a particularly loathsome new character: the toadlike and simpering ("hem, hem") Dolores Umbridge, senior undersecretary to the Minister of Magic, who takes over the vacant position of Defense Against Dark Arts teacher--and in no time...

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ISBN-13: 978-0613999168
Author: J. K. Rowling
Genre: Juvenile Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic
Date Published: August 10, 2004
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