Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK RowlingTitle: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Author: JK Rowling (Website, Twitter, Facebook)
Series: Harry Potter #5
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Pages: 768
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Format: Paperback
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Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He is desperate to return to Hogwarts and find out why his friends, Ron and Hermione, have been so secretive all summer. But before he even gets to school, Harry survives a terrifying encounter with two Dementors, attends a court hearing at the Ministry of Magic and is escorted on a nighttime broomstick ride to the secret headquarters of a mysterious group called the Order of the Phoenix. Summary from Back of UK Signature Edition

There are a few minor spoilers in this review, mostly for the four previous books.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was the first Harry Potter book that I had to wait to be published. When I started to read the series, the first four books were already out. When I finished Goblet of Fire, I didn’t think I could wait the two long years, which turned into three, for Order of Phoenix to be published because Goblet of Fire ended in such a cliffhanger. If I felt I’d get resolution with Order of Phoenix, I was much mistaken. Resolution doesn’t come for a while.

I know many Harry Potter fans didn’t like Order of the Phoenix very much. They didn’t like how angry Harry was. While I enjoy reading about Harry when he’s in a better mood, I understood where he was coming from. If I had been in his shoes, experiencing everything he did, dealing with Umbridge, I’m sure I would’ve been angry too. It just didn’t bother me. In fact, I think Order of the Phoenix is a fantastic book for many reasons.

First, I love to hate Dolores Umbridge. She is such a well written character. I hate her even more than I hate Voldemort because while both Voldemort and Umbridge are hungry for power, Umbridge, being a member of the ministry and not being looked upon as a dark wizard, has the ability to inflict harm and misery upon Harry (and everyone at Hogwarts) throughout the entire year. Hogwarts is supposed to be a happy place for Harry, but Umbridge thwarts that on many occasions. Oooh! I just hate her!

Second, the end-of-the-school-year-chat with Dumbledore is my favorite of all the previous ones. I love the amount of insight we get into Dumbledore’s character during this chat. I think it makes it much more poignant that he’s “ignored” Harry throughout the year. You can really see how much he cares for Harry when he finally discusses everything with him. And, even though he has to prepare Harry for what’s to come in the future, something Dumbledore isn’t at all eager to do, his love for Harry is more apparent in this novel than any of the others.

Third, I love meeting the members of the Order and spending as much time with Sirius as we do (and learning about his past). It’s so intriguing to see the inner workings of the Order. Even though we don’t get to see a lot of it because Dumbledore doesn’t want Harry knowing everything, we still get to see a lot of how the Order functions–guard detail, throwing off the Ministry of Magic, spying on Voldemort, etc.

Finally, as with every other book in the series, I love the awesome foreshadowing that JK Rowling writes into the story. I love the subtle mention of the locket and the subtle mention (just noticed during this read) of Lily’s relationship with a certain someone still at Hogwarts. I also love that you get a glimpse of what’s to come in Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows with Harry’s role in Voldemort’s downfall. She’s a genius. That’s all there is to it.

While Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix isn’t my favorite book of the series, it isn’t my least favorite either. The complexity of the story is a wonderful addition and integral part of Harry’s life while he’s at Hogwarts. And, with all the darkness in this book, it makes you appreciate the lighthearted atmosphere in the others more.

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Comments

  1. says

    Goblet of Fire was the first Harry Potter book I waited for. I got the bug really early, and I went to the midnight release for the 4th book at Media Play…back when we had a Media Play.

    Sadly, the 5th is my least favorite. I thought Rowley wrote Harry more like a 15 year old girl rather than a boy. He was just too emotional for me. I love to hate Umbridge too! I can’t stand her little “hem hem!!!”

    • says

      I can totally understand why you thought he acted like a 15-year-old girl. I would’ve normally thought the same thing, except that I think any 15-year-old, boy or girl, would’ve been angry, hurt, annoyed, frustrated, etc. at everything he had to go through. He had to slip at some point, and for him it was after facing the full-bodied Voldemort face-to-face and watching Cedric Diggory be murdered in front of him.

  2. says

    When I first read OOTP, it was one of my least favorites. Now it’s one of my favorite in the series. Harry’s anger is frustrating, but entirely realistic. I’m glad she had it in there. It’s also nice to have our hero being less than perfect. OOTP is such an important book for the world building. I adore Umbridge – in a love to hate way. And this is where Fred and George shine.

  3. says

    Oh, I just loved all the subtleties that came out in this book. Dumbledore’s conversation with Harry at the end, does definitely stand out. In fact, I may have shed a year or two (but don’t tell anyone). And Delores Umbridge–ooh, that woman! I just love to hate her. :) And I really love your last sentence. This book does make you appreciate the atmosphere of the other books, a bit more.

    Thanks for participating!

    • says

      I’m so glad you loved this book! I’m always so sad or distraught when people say they didn’t like it. You have to have the good with the bad and I think this book shows that perfectly! :)

  4. says

    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is quite possibly my favorite book of the series. Although, it’s kind of in a tie with Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I never really could figure out why so many people liked the fifth book the least. I assumed that it was because of Harry’s angst, but I thought there were so many other factors in this book that wold over shadow Harry’s tendency to be whiny (and in all honesty, considering the situations he found himself in in the previous book as well as the one’s in book five, I’d say he has an excuse for being a bit whiny).

    Order of the Phoenix introduced me to my favorite villain of all times– Umbridge. Voldy is pretty darn evil (understatement, I know), but Umbridge actually incited rage in me. No villain has ever done that. And she just gets worse over time *shudders*.

    Like you, I appreciate the complexity in Order of the Phoenix. The reader is introduced to the bigger picture. Voldemort isn’t just affecting Harry anymore. He’s starting to affect every witch and wizard. On top of that, book five starts to bring to light the politics of the wizarding world, and I just gobbled that up.

    Gah! I can’t wait to re (re-re-re-re)- read this book. I love it!

    • says

      I completely agree with you about Umbridge. I hate her more than I hate Voldemort. I expected the things Voldemort did. But, Umbridge was supposed to be a teacher, someone from the ministry, and she ends up being more evil than Voldy in some respects. I wanted her dead more than I wanted Voldemort dead.

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