Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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 manages to become the High Inquisitor of Hogwarts, as well. Life isn't getting any easier for Harry Potter. With an overwhelming course load as the fifth years prepare for their Ordinary Wizarding Levels examinations (O.W.Ls), devastating changes in the Gryffindor Quidditch team lineup, vivid dreams about long hallways and closed doors, and increasing pain in his lightning-shaped scar, Harry's resilience is sorely tested.
from amazon.com
Nathan says 4 stars...
In my opinion, we have arrived at the only non-five star book in the Harry Potter series. After seeing Voldemort's return, one may ask what Harry should do. His answer-mope. I realize that a certain degree of petulance is necessary in a good coming-of-age tale, but I seriously wanted to use an Unforgivable Curse on Harry myself by the middle of the book. The rest of the series is so excellently crafted, and seems to flow so effortlessly; somehow Order of the Phoenix got past Rowling's writing skills and into print. When reading this one I have to wipe my hand every few minutes because the angst is just dripping off the page. I think everyone understands at this point that Harry's combination of attitude and inaction drive me insane. However, the supporting cast is still good and most of the writing is nice. The plot is sort of thin, which is unfortunate for the longest book in the series. I do love the finale of the book, without that redeeming feature it would almost be a total bomb. So, I'm getting very excited for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince film which come out...tomorrow! I'm going to review the book and include a list of things we'd like to see in the movie. I'm getting pretty pumped!


celi.a said...

I have to agree with you about the less-than-stellar Harry in this book. The first time I read it I was just like, "Seriously?" But somehow by the 2nd and 3rd re-read I'd toned it down in my head, and it's actually up there with the rest of them for me now. Must be the whole Sirius thing.

Thanks for the review!

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