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This is the fifth book in the series and the darkest so far and the longest. For most of the book Harry must try and deal with the fact that he knows Voldemort is back and just about everyone else doesn't believe him. The Daily Prophet continues to announce that Harry is mad and doesn't know what he's talking about.

There are major changes at Hogwarts with Professor Umbridge seeming to make up the rules as she goes along and she is constantly on watch for Harry and his friends doing anything wrong. Harry, Hermione and Ron along with several other decide to set up their own class to learn practical defence against the dark arts when their lessons are changed to theory only.

I found the book quite upsetting at times as Harry struggles with many aspects of life which adults find difficult to deal with including unfairness exhibited by people he trusts. The book conveys very well indeed the feeling most people have when they are fifteen that they know the truth and everyone else is missing the obvious. The book really absorbed me and I found I was practically holding my breath at the end as the tension mounts and you just know it is going to take everyone's best efforts to extricate them all safely from a very dangerous situation.
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on 31 January 2018
I am 78 but I read all the Potter books and love the characters. I had to keep up with the grandchildren, so thank you JK Rowling for writing such an interesting series. I love the imagination and inventiveness involved in these stories. They are all page-turners, and I couldn't wait to read the next story in the series.... This one is a little bit sad, but so much happens that I cant wait to see what happens in the next book...
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!
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on 30 April 2018
I searched for audio version narrated by Stephen Fry and it took me to audible edition. I changed it to audio CD and placed order. When it came it is the US version narrated by Jim Dale. If you zoom in on pic it does say this in blurry writing at bottom of cover but nowhere in the written description did it tell me by changing format the narrator had changed. Jim Dale may be fine but we've been listening to Fry so have ordered his version from elsewhere as no idea which you get through third parties on Amazon. In fairness returns are easy with Amazon.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 September 2014
The fifth instalment in the Harry Potter series is the longest yet. They hype around the books was firmly established by the time this one was published and expectations were impossibly high. I ordered it from Amazon as well as queuing in the rain to buy it just in case my local store ran out of books - and I know plenty of others who went to similar lengths. Looking back now, objectively, it wouldn't be worth such extremes - but it does highlight just how much this series came to mean to readers, and not just because it was fashionable.

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.
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on 10 August 2016
My favourite of the entire Harry Potter series! (and that's a hard title to claim)
For the price, you'd be crazy not to get this book right away!
I know the Order of the Phoenix gets a lot of flack for being the longest book in the series, and reportedly not having a lot happening but it's the quieter moments in Hogwarts amongst the staff and students that make this an excellent read. The worldbuilding in this one adds even more to the grand spectacle that is the Wizarding World.
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on 12 August 2016
For me the world of harry potter really comes to live now! The books before have been a long prequel to the next two books in the series. The last two books gain a darkness and a adultness about them that separates them to the first four books. The books seem to grow up with the story and makes for much easier reading for an adult. Can't wait to read the next two. That'll be three times read all way through and a fourth for the deathly Hallows. Have fun!
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on 18 March 2016
This was bought for my daughter in 2011. She is a big harry potter fan. So far I think she read this book about 3-4 times. Not only this but all other harry potter books. Big thumbs up for the author!
Not only my daughter, my son is also a harry potter fan and now this book is in his bookshelf. He also, read this so many times and love it. Without a doubt, this is one of the best books. These are the books which help kids to fell in love with reading. So, I can highly recommend this book!!!
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on 26 June 2003
After a length of time that seemed like an ice age to most Harry Potter fans, J.K Rowling, finally gives us the fifth and latest Harry Potter novel.
The first thing that you're going to notice is that the book is huge in comparison to the previous instalments, but fans will be glad to note that size has not lowered the quality of the work at all.
In The Order of the Phoenix we find that Harry starts the book feeling angry and frustrated from a summer at home with the Dursleys', due to the fact that he has had little contact with any one from Hogwarts, and anything that has come has been trivial, with nothing concerning the threat of the newly returned to health Lord Voldermort.
Things don't start to really move for Harry until he is attacked at home and he has to use magic to defend himself, which of course is not allowed for any underage wizard. This lands Harry in trouble, and he soon finds that the summer has had a profound change on how people view him. No longer is he the darling child who survived an attack by "he who can't be named", but he is viewed by a large segment of the wizard world as an ego driven boy who makes up stories to make himself appear a hero.
This turn of events is largely due to the fact that Harry is being used as a pawn by the minister of magic who for some reason has decided that Dumbledore wants his job, and so he is trying to discredit Harry and Dumbledore's claims that Voldermort is indeed back by having damning stories published in the wizard papers about how it seems Harry is in fact a little mad and should not be believed, and as we know people do tend to believe what they read. All of this leads to a hard year at Hogwarts for Harry, where everything he enjoys about being a wizard is taken from him, and the things he hates about being a wizard are compounded, and then of course to make matters worse its OWL's year (exams year).
The plot is excellent with a great climatic battle and more than a little sorrow. The humour is plentiful, as you would expect from a Harry Potter book, with Ron getting most of the comic lines, and Fred and George causing most of the comedic mayhem.
Harry is far more aggressive in this instalment, which is no surprise from a teenager, though I did find that some of his outbursts towards Ron and Hermione were without cause and a little unlikely. I remember being an angry teen myself, but it was not so often that the anger got directed at my closest friends without a lot of reason.
I did also find that Harry reminds me more of a thirteen-year-old girl emotionally than he does of a fifteen-year-old boy. This could be a lot to do with the fact it is written of course by a woman who doesn't have a clue as to what hormones are raging in the body of a fifteen year old boy, but this is my only couple of complaints in an otherwise brilliant read.
I doubt anyone will need prodding to buy this excellent book, but just in case you do, BUY IT NOW!
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VINE VOICEon 24 June 2003
I had been eagerly waiting for this book for two years, having just got into the Harry Potter series a year or so after the fourth book came out. The suspension and they hype kept building and in the end I have to say it was definitely worth the wait.
A week before the release date I decided to read the first four books again and I'm really glad I did. Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix has Harry facing more exciting adventures and dangers than ever before and the excellent writing of J K Rowling keeps you wanting more the entire time. I actually read this book in a day and a half because I just couldn't put it down (and it's a heavy book ,my arms are aching now!).
I don't want to give away too much about the book, despite all of the spoilers that are already circulating so I'll try to keep this review a bit nondescript. In this book we find Harry continuing through adolescence and because of this, there are certain elements of the book that will not appeal as greatly to younger children as much as the first four have done. However, J K Rowling seems to have realised this and kept the book as interesting and exciting as she can for all readers.
As you will have noticed through the Harry Potter series, the books gradually take on a heavier theme and this book is no exception. The plot definitely starts to thicken and there are a few surprises, some of which may have been given away slightly by the end of the fourth book.
There are also a lot of new characters that are introduced in this book, a fair few of them appearing in the first few chapters and all the old favourites from previous books are back such as Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, 'Mad Eye' Moody, Cho Chang and many more.
If you are a fan of the Harry Potter series then you obviously can't go wrong with this book. If you are new to the series then...where have you been!? You really need to start from the start but when you get to this book you wont be disappointed.
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on 18 May 2013
I've been reading the whole series, one after an other, to my 8 and 10 yr old at bedtime and this has been one of their favourites so far. The odious character of Prof Dolores Umbridge really gets our blood boiling! Her particular brand of detention punishments are in a class of their own and the descriptions of her highly annoying 'ahem ahem' cough, purely pink outfits and 'bulging toad eyes' really show that J.K. Rowling had fun creating her. However Prof McGonagall doesn't suffer fools gladly and it's hilarious reading her scathing put downs! This is a huge book and it seems as if we've been reading it for months. But nevertheless we'll be sad when it finishes!
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