Monday, 29 February 2016

Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
by J.K. Rowling
YA Fantasy
5 Stars


Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His best friends Ron and Hermione have been very secretive all summer and he is desperate to get back to school and find out what has been going on. However, what Harry discovers is far more devastating than he could ever have expected...

Suspense, secrets and thrilling action from the pen of J.K. Rowling ensure an electrifying adventure that is impossible to put down.

5 Stars

If someone asked me to pick which Harry Potter book is my favourite, I would dither for a while and finally say it is Order of the Phoenix. I'm re-reading them all and this one is still the one I would pick.

Harry is eagerly awaiting his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The holidays are no fun stuck with his Muggle (non-magical) relations. Why does he have to spend every summer with them anyway? He hates it and the way he is constantly mistreated by them. He has been miserable ever since school broke up, with worry over You-Know-Who's return at the end of the fourth book. He's also missing his friends, Ron and Hermione, who have been sending him cryptic letters full of hints at secrets they can't or won't reveal. 

Then to top it all, someone wants Harry dead and has sent Dementors after him, magical creatures that suck the happiness from a person leaving them only despair and madness. Harry has to use magic to get rid of the creatures, (in front of his cousin Dudley) but then he gets in trouble with the Ministry of Magic for using magic outside of school and in front of a Muggle too! 

Harry thinks that things can't surely get any worse, but he would be wrong... 

Oh, I loved this book. It's one of my favourites from the Harry Potter series. It was a darker book than the other four, but I still enjoyed it. Here was a Harry who was getting so fed up at everything the world had been throwing at him for the past four years and he snapped. I'm not surprised at all, and he still remained sympathetic, even though at times his temper flared so often it was a wonder he had any friends left! 

You bristle at all the unfairness heaped upon him, especially by Professor Snape and Professor Dolores Umbridge (the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher), who was appointed by the Ministry and she wasn't a favourite with the staff either. 

Not only has Harry to take all this abuse from his teachers, it's his O.W.L. year (Ordinary Wizarding Levels), he suffers horrible nightmares and visions of his friends' deaths and the newspapers are hinting that he has gone mad and is unstable. Maybe a stay at St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies may be in order? 

We discover a few new characters in the book, as well as some secrets from old ones, which keeps the suspense going. Although the overall tone of the book is dark, there are some welcome moments of comic relief. 

Is it a good book? Put it this way, the book is over 700 pages long and the first time I read it, I read it in one day. I just had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next. Nothing on television was as interesting as finishing the book that night. 

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