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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Magic, 24 Feb 2007
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This review is from: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter 5): 5/7 (Paperback)
This is the fifth instalmet of Harry Potter and until Harry Potter and until the Deathly Hallows is published this summer it is also the longest.

It is important to point out that to really appreciate this book you should read the Goblet of Fire because it is more or less a continuation from that. Though many may beg to differ, I think this is the best book of the lot. Admittedly there are some unneccesary storylines and it can be slow paced at times, but there are so many complicated twists and turns in the stories it is easily forgiven.

I loved the scene early on in the book with Harry and the dreadful Dursleys discussing the wizarding world. The way J.K Rowling draws you into Harry's world is nothing short of genius.

The wizardry and magic become second place to the superb characters and storylines that ordinary people (or Muggles) like us can relate to. Despite having spells, sorcery and fantasy running through the tales it is still set in our world and you're bound to come across characters you've known or met in your life. Professor McGonagall, Neville Longbottom, even the nefarious Dolores Umbridge are all believable characters.

After a few hours reading you will be fully absorbed into the world of Harry Potter. You will care about the characters, feel injustice of the Ministry of Magic and not want to put it down.

The Order of the Phoenix delves into the pasts of other characters such as Professor Snape, James and Lily Potter (Harry's parents), even Professor Trelawney the not very good Divination teacher. The relations between seemingly far apart characters in the story are also revealed and pay particular attention to Sirius' family tree. His cousins Bellatrix and Narcissa are to become very prominent in the series.

It can be quite difficult to keep up with the tortuous nature of the characters and what happened to who and side stories. However the character who is most notable in this (for being horrid) is the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher and Senior Undersecretary to the Minister of Magic Dolores Umbridge. She is simpering smug and reallly very cold and unscrupulous. The scenes involving her and Professor McGonagall are brilliant, as is Hermione's who gets rather rebellious in this book.

It's true however that actual action is not as frequent in this book. The emphasis is more on secrets and relations between characters. If you like the magic and heroics part to Harry Potter then you'll probably prefer one of the first three books. I myself think that this is an essential read.
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