- Also check our best rated Children’s Book reviews
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5) Hardcover – 26 Apr 2003
|New from||Used from|
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
As his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry approaches in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 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?
Book five in JK 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. 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 teenager. Even Professor Dumbledore, headmaster of the school, has come under scrutiny from the Ministry of Magic, which refuses to officially acknowledge the terrifying truth: that Voldemort is back. Enter a particularly loathsome new character: the toad-like and simpering ("hem, hem") Dolores Umbridge, senior undersecretary to the minister of Magic, who takes over the vacant position of defence against dark arts teacher--and in no time manages to become the high inquisitor of Hogwarts. Life isn't getting any easier for Harry Potter. With an overwhelming course load as the fifth years prepare for their examinations, devastating changes in the Gryffindor Quidditch team line-up, vivid dreams about long hallways and closed doors, and increasing pain in his lightning-shaped scar, Harry's resilience is sorely tested.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, more than any of the four previous novels in the series, is a coming-of-age story. Harry faces the thorny transition into adulthood, when adult heroes are revealed to be fallible, and matters that seemed black and white suddenly come out in shades of gray. Gone is the wide-eyed innocent, the whiz kid of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Here we have an adolescent who's sometimes sullen, often confused (especially about girls), and always self-questioning. Confronting death again, as well as a startling prophecy, Harry ends his year at Hogwarts exhausted and pensive. Readers, on the other hand, will be energised as they enter yet again the long waiting period for the next title in the marvellous magical series. --Emilie Coulter
This is the fifth book in this award-winning and multi-best-selling series, supported by a dramatic marketing campaign.See all Product description
1,709 customer reviews
Review this product
Read reviews that mention
Showing 1-5 of 1,709 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The story in this episode is rather slow developing, and frankly the editor must have been asleep on the job. There are numerous scenes that could have been removed and offer little to advance the story. It was really quite repetitive in places, and there are some many scenes that I felt I'd read before in other episodes. In this book Harry becomes an angst-ridden and often angry teenager whilst Hermione and Ron offer some stability, and Snape shows his usual over the top nastiness.
Although the plotting of the Prisoner of Azkhaban (Vol. 3) was well done and quite clever, I thought the Goblet of Fire was a little creaky in this regard, but here it becomes almost silly. There is no credible explanation why The Ministry turn against Dumbledore so spectacularly and the actions of Dolores Umbridge seem unbelievable. Also the sinister Death Eaters seem comically inept in the climatic scenes. The later books seem to me that the series isn't well mapped out and we are introduced to some characters and details that had no mention in previous books.
However, I guess I shouldn't lose sight of the fact that this is basically a series for children who won't over analyse the plotting. But then at 800 pages of text that is sometimes slow moving and repetitive, maybe JKR shouldn't either!
This is my least favourite in the series so far; Prisoner of Azkhaban is the one I most enjoyed.
JK Rowling must go down as one of our best story writers for children. The books are a large chunk of a young boys life, peppered with witchcraft, and the skills necessary to fight the dark side. Hermione and Ron, Harry's friends are an essential part of the stories. The relationship between the 3 is absorbing and intriguing. Its as much about relationships as it is about witchcraft!
This was the first novel in the series that I feel suffered from lack of an editor. It is overlong and I know of younger readers (the 8-10 age group mainly) who had enjoyed the earlier books but struggled to keep the thread through this one. It is less cohesive and tightly plotted than the preceding stories, and introduces a whole host of new characters. Some become firm favourites and pivotal to the final part of the series. I particularly like Luna Lovegood, who first appears in this book, and also Kinglsey Shacklebolt. It sees the return also of Remus Lupin, a fan favourite from the third book who did not appear in book four. Many of characters introduced are adults and it expands the number of adult characters in the series considerably.
The themes are 'darker' (every successive Harry Potter instalment is described as 'darker' generally). Abuse of power is an important theme. There's also a lot about the politics of the magical world underlying this story, and for some young readers this may be their introduction to some concepts about the world of politics in general. We see corruption, institutional prejudice, manipulation of the media, politicians lying, and politicians doing the wrong thing in order to protect their own jobs. Injustice is another key topic.
Harry Potter himself shows more 'teenage' tendencies in this book - he gets a bit shouty a few times and spends rather a lot of time thinking things are SO unfair. Of course, it's slightly undermined by the fact that things genuinely are. He gets his first girlfriend, and he sits his exams. There is a sinister element in the nightmares and visions which he suffers throughout the book, implying that he may be at risk of possession. In fact, he is viewed as mad and unstable by most of his fellow students throughout the novel. There is a character death at the end and several other characters are injured or in peril at various times.
The story has less of the innocent joyfulness and sparkle of some of the earlier stories, but it does tackle some more meaty themes and is still a great fun read. I would recommend it more for readers of age 10 and upwards, because I think younger children will find the length and structure more daunting, but of course it depends on the child. Adults will also enjoy the book. There are a few plot holes and a few inconsistencies introduced here that create problems later in the series - but overall, the Potter stories are always fun to read and virtually a required rite of passage for children in the 2000s. So sit back, enjoy, and don't think too hard about the details.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?