Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5)

by J. K. Rowling

Other authorsMary GrandPre (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2003





Arthur A. Levine Books (2003), Edition: First Edition, 896 pages


When the government of the magic world and authorities at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry refuse to believe in the growing threat of a freshly revived Lord Voldemort, fifteen-year-old Harry Potter finds support from his loyal friends in facing the evil wizard and other new terrors.



Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

896 p.; 9.25 inches

Media reviews

The New York Times
The family romance is a latency-period fantasy, belonging to the drowsy years between 7 and adolescence. In ''Order of the Phoenix,'' Harry, now 15, is meant to be adolescent. He spends a lot of the book becoming excessively angry with his protectors and tormentors alike. He discovers that his late
Show More
(and ''real'') father was not a perfect magical role model, but someone who went in for fits of nasty playground bullying. He also discovers that his mind is linked to the evil Lord Voldemort, thereby making him responsible in some measure for acts of violence his nemesis commits... Ms. Rowling's magic world has no place for the numinous. It is written for people whose imaginative lives are confined to TV cartoons, and the exaggerated (more exciting, not threatening) mirror-worlds of soaps, reality TV and celebrity gossip. Its values, and everything in it, are, as Gatsby said of his own world when the light had gone out of his dream, ''only personal.'' Nobody is trying to save or destroy anything beyond Harry Potter and his friends and family.
Show Less
1 more
Las tediosas vacaciones de verano en casa de sus tíos todavía no han acabado y Harry se encuentra más inquieto que nunca. Apenas ha tenido noticias de Ron y Hermione, y presiente que algo extraño está sucediendo en Hogwarts. En efecto, cuando por fin comienza otro curso en el famoso colegio de
Show More
magia y hechicería, sus temores se vuelven realidad. El Ministerio de Magia niega que Voldemort haya regresado y ha iniciado una campaña de desprestigio contra Harry y Dumbledore, para lo cual ha asignado a la horrible profesora Dolores Umbridge la tarea de vigilar todos sus movimientos. Así pues, además de sentirse solo e incomprendido, Harry sospecha que Voldemort puede adivinar sus pensamientos, e intuye que el temible mago trata de apoderarse de un objeto secreto que le permitiría recuperar su poder destructivo.
Show Less

User reviews

LibraryThing member magemanda
I have to confess that, on my first reading of the Order of the Phoenix, I was disappointed but, on reflection, I think that this might be because of the excitement on the lead-up to the book's release. Certainly on this read I found the book extremely gripping and exciting, with a great deal of
Show More
plot progression.

Here Harry is dealing with the aftermath of the return of Lord Voldemort, and coping with the fact that he is kept very much in the dark about what is happening. While at the Dursley's over the summer, he has been relying on the Muggle news to see whether Voldemort has started the expected killing spree and reign of terror. When Harry and his cousin Dudley are attacked by Dementors, Harry is forced to do magic outside of Hogwarts - something expressly forbidden - and is summoned to a hearing. This is where he begins to learn that times are changing - his relationship with Dumbledore is strained and distant; the Minister of Magic refuses to believe that Voldemort is back and a truly chilling new character (Delores Umbridge) takes on the role of Defence of the Dark Arts professor.

Harry's fifth year at Hogwarts is dark, dark, DARK! He is reviled by many of his previously friendly classmates for telling stories to gain attention; he starts having dreams that leads him to believe that he is starting to feel what Voldemort is feeling (including his glee as he commits murder); and he suffers a massive setback in his Quidditch career.

A lot of characters really develop through this book and it is fantastic to read more indepth plotlines for Ron, Fred and George, Ginny and Snape amongst others. Here we have, for example, an extremely illuminating glimpse into one of the reasons why Snape hates Harry so intensely. Ginny becomes a feisty and very effective witch, while the Weasley boys provide much of the comic relief. I was rather pleased to see Ron, in particular, step out of Harry's shadow in a subplot about him joining the Quidditch team. Neville Longbottom, also, is treated well in this book and we finally learn more about him.

Two new characters really steal the show though. One of these is the dreamy Luna Lovegood - piercingly honest at times, but also believes in fairytale creatures and gossipy stories from the wizarding world. The other is the aforementioned Umbridge - for once Harry is struggling against a person who is not part of Voldemort's group of Death Eaters. Umbridge is cruel, vindictive, truly repulsive to read about. You feel like cheering when George and Fred take her on! There are some sickening moments in the story where Harry and Umbridge have quiet scenes together, such as his string of detentions at the start of the school year - these made me shudder.

Obviously there are faults with the book. This is the one where Harry develops teenage angst. For a long period at the beginning of the book he is sulky, sullen and often shouts in CAPITALS to make his point - I guess he is quite accurately written in terms of becoming a teenage, but it becomes tiresome very quickly.

The subplot with Harry and Cho's 'romance' goes nowhere fast, and fizzles out rapidly when Rowling decides who she would most like to see Harry with - a relationship that has been signposted since the second book, but is none the less welcome for starting to take shape.

The beginning of the book is slow and dragging, up to and including where Harry meets the Order in Sirius' house. Lots of names are thrown in quickly and some of the characters suffer from not being fleshed out at all.

Unlike the fourth book in the series, these are really minor quibbles. Considering that Rowling is now dealing with a large ensemble cast, each of them seemed to get enough 'screentime' in this book. It was an extremely long book to read, but here I savoured each page rather than skipping through filler as I did with Goblet of Fire. Even the owls Hedwig and Pigwidgeon are given enough character for us to grow ever-more fond of them.

The DA lessons were incredibly funny and heartening to read about in the midst of all the gloom. Rowling also writes very effectively about the heavy workload of the students as they study for their OWLs (I love that OWLs and NEWTs correspond to our GCSEs and A Levels). It is also fun watching the three leads start to think about life after Hogwarts.

I think the real high point of this book is the fact that Rowling no longer feels the need to explain every little detail of the past four books - it is as though she now assumes that those picking up the book have already devoured her previous novels in the HP series, and so she steams straight into the plot. And the plot leads us on a rollarcoaster ride that culminates in the most dramatic climax yet (although Rowling still can't resist the big reveal between Harry and Dumbledore - however, here I can forgive her much since Dumbledore's quiet and dignified explanation had me close to tears).

As I have commented on in prior reviews it is the little details of the wizarding world that, I believe, makes these books so beloved. I shall pull out here the example of the students having to write a certain amount of feet or inches of parchment for essays rather than using a page or word count.

Finally, I leave you with a quote that had me giggling from Ron's description of his practical Divination examination: "He (Ron) had just made Harry feel rather better by telling him how he had told the examiner in detail about the ugly man with a wart on his nose in his crystal ball, only to look up and realise he had been describing his examiner's reflection."

A great addition to the Harry Potter series.
Show Less
LibraryThing member bardsfingertips
Here is where we see the potential adult stemming from the child hero of the Harry Potter series. In the last book, Harry was left feeling left out, enraged, confused, and basically all of the emotional trappings of adolescent life. And to add further to his what is not a well tempered young man,
Show More
he is expected to behave as though nothing has happened; thus his personal rage begins to boil over, and Harry even explores (through the deus ex machina of an outside and evil influence) an urge, a base desire to do harm onto others.

Nevertheless, the other aspect of his character also spurs out: to do good, to protect and teach protection. Though, sometimes the reasons behind these seemingly selfless actions are actually selfish, he does turn protector much to the expectation of his enemies and the caution of his friends. And, of course, his desire to protect both saves and help to destroy: a memory he is forced to live with for the rest of his life and experience at such a young age.

The end of the book I found the most fascinating. The Potter series moves from an adventure epic to a Bildungsroman from which I feel a large number of budding young adults can relate to; especially those who feel as though they have been treated unfairly.

Lately I have stated that Prisoner has been my favorite within the series. Nevertheless, I am seeing the evolution here more than ever of the writer's skills and ability to convey emotion and of Harry's Development into a man. As Lev Tolstoy said said of his Anna Karenina, I feel that The Order of the Phoenix is Rowling's first true novel.
Show Less
LibraryThing member tjsjohanna
More so than any other book in the series thus far, this story makes a huge point of showing that good and evil aren't lined up in neat rows. In the world of Harry Potter, you don't have to be a supporter of Voldemort to be evil or cowardly or power-hungry. And even the best of people are human -
Show More
with character flaws and things they are ashamed of. Even Harry is a bit of a twit in this novel - unwilling to trust others, angry that he's being "left out" and not appreciated for his abilities - a great illustration of just what is happening in this novel. So then, what does separate good from evil? Dumbledore suggests it is the ability to love and to sacrifice for that love - or at least that is what I'm taking it as. While there are some funny moments, this book is pretty long on serious matters - even the good things that happen (the students learning Defense against the Dark arts with Harry is a good example) occur in an atmosphere of oppression. The ending is heartbreaking.
Show Less
LibraryThing member bookworm12
**If you haven’t read this book, just skip this review. I tried to avoid spoilers, but there is just too much to talk about.**

The fifth installment of the Harry Potter series gets a lot of flack. Harry whines too much, it’s too long, too much Quidditch, Hagrid and Dumbledore are almost
Show More
completely absent from the first 2/3 of the book, etc. I don’t disagree with these assessments and it’s always been one of my least favorite books of the series, (my least favorite HP novel is still one of my favorite books).

However, while re-reading it this month I’ve developed a real appreciation for Rowling’s portrayal of women. Clover’s post at Fluttering Butterflies had me thinking about the great female characters in Harry Potter and I feel like the Order of the Phoenix is the pinnacle example of this.

Not only do we have favorite characters like the brilliant Hermione, who’s wonderful in every book, but we meet many of the best women for the first time. Both Luna Lovegood, so wonderfully comfortable in her own skin, and Tonks, a young auror, equal parts friendly and clumsy, are newcomers in this novel. We also get to know Mrs. Weasley better. We learn how much she both cares for and fears for her family. She is fiercely protective of her loved ones.

Professor McGonagall is also an under-appreciated character. She has a steely reserve, and although she sometimes seems cold, she really loves the school and her students. Her undying loyalty to Dumbledore, in the harshest of circumstances, is inspiring. I loved how she stood up to Umbridge and told Harry she would help him become an auror if that’s what he wanted. She’s just wonderful.

We get to know Ginny better in this book as well. Instead of simply being the youngest Weasley and Ron’s little sister, she’s part of the story. She trains in Dumbledore’s Army and goes with the group to the Ministry of Magic in the end. She’s also protective of her friends, defending both Neville and Luna during this book.

Then there are the deliciously dark villains. We meet Bellatrix LeStrange, Voldemort’s devoted follower and Professor Umbridge, a sickly sweet atrocity, who believes the ends will always justify the means.

One thing I hadn’t thought about last time I read the series is Lupin’s loses. His three closet friends are all taken from him, first James, then Peter (so he thinks), and finally Sirius is taken to prison. Then he realizes Sirius is innocent and he gets him back, only to lose him again. Lupin is already a social outcast because he’s a werewolf. He finds three people who accept him for who he is, but ends up alone anyway. His life is one of the most tragic in the series and I’ve always had a soft spot for him.

A few things I'd forgotten about the fifth book:

1) Mrs. Weasley’s greatest fear, when she’s trying to get rid of a boggart, is seeing her family members die. It’s heartbreaking to read that section and know who lives and dies in the final book.

2) We meet Dumbledore’s brother Aberforth for the first time. We don’t know who he is yet, but he’s mentioned as the barman at the Hog’s Head, “He was tall and thin and looked vaguely familiar.”

3) When a boy tries to go up the stairs to the girl’s dormitory they turn into a slide.

4) Dobby is the one who warns Harry that Umbridge is about to break into the D.A. meeting, proving once again what a loyal friend he is.

One hilarious line…”Enough – effing – owls –” Uncle Vernon.
Show Less
LibraryThing member lycomayflower
A touch spoilery, this.

I have long said HP5 ought to have been called "Harry Potter and the No-Good, Awful, Terrible Bad Year: Dumbledore Screws Up." While there are parts of this book that I love (the encounter with the Dementors in Privet Drive, Grimmauld Place, the interaction between Harry and
Show More
Snape during Occlumency lessons, the D.A., Fred and George's brilliant departure from Hogwarts), for the most part I find it rather a chore to get through the thing. It is, as many have said, over long (though I think this may be a perception that results from some less than tight sentence-level writing; I don't know that I can point to any plot or character development that I think ought to have been excised), but that is not my chief complaint. Part of what makes Harry Potter so good is the atmosphere Rowling creates. All the books set at Hogwarts have significant sections in which little happens (or little appears to happen), but I don't lose interest during those sections because Rowling has created a fascinating, charming setting which I would love to visit and which I am content to hear about, even if the plot doesn't seem to be getting along. I'm happy to spend some time just watching these characters exist in their environment. Rowling wrecks that handily with the introduction of Dolores Umbridge. I HATE her. I'm meant to, I know. But I hate her so much that I can hardly stand to read about her. I suppose this is a testament to Rowling's ability to create a nasty character (and to make the reader feel sharply precisely what the characters feel), but it also marks a failing at creating a wholly entertaining and satisfying read.
Show Less
LibraryThing member littlegeek
The least successful of the series. Too long, many plot holes, whiney protagonist.
LibraryThing member TheLostEntwife
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix things start to get a bit.. well.. hairy. Dumbledore and Harry are being discredited, mocked and watched and things at Hogwarts are making those first few years, basilisks, creepy two-faced men and all look, well, downright cheerful.

And all of this, in
Show More
due part, to the introduction of a woman named Dolores Umbridge.

First, before I talk about the oh-so-sweet-want-to-kill-her-Dolores, let me just talk about how well Rowling managed to get across the frustration of Harry. Like Harry, while reading the opening of this book, we don't know.. well, anything. What has Lord Voldemort been doing? What are Ron and Hermione hiding? What is going on!?

And then there's the notice of being expelled. Argh!

So, Dolores Umbridge. Honestly, I think this was one of the most well-cast parts in the movies. The woman chosen to play Umbridge made the hairs on the back of my neck rise up and I have never felt the desire to wring someones neck that much. While the movie cast her so well, however, it did a great injustice to the fantastic Weasley twins. Because, frankly, they shine in the book beyond measure. The swamp, the tricks, the shop idea, their backing up of Harry (and by the way, what's with not even mentioning Quidditch or the teams disbanding. After so many movies do they just think we've forgotten all about it?) Fred and George are not given their credit in the movie, nor is (again) Dobby, the elf who found the Room of Requirement, not Neville (who I like, but still.. it was Dobby!)

I really love the book - but the movie is a bit mediocre to me. Aside from Umbridge and the final battle scene, I find that it did an injustice to many of the more notable parts of the books (don't even get me started on Tonks). I hope that they do a better job when it comes to the second half of Book 7.
Show Less
LibraryThing member TadAD
It's still a good read...but petulant Harry's no longer quite so lovable, the book is too long for the amount of plot, and most of the characters we've come to know and love just seem to be making token appearances.

It's a bit more realistic portrayal of a teenage boy...but who said I was reading
Show More
this series for realism?
Show Less
LibraryThing member jbushnell
The first book in the series where Rowling assumes that the readers have read the previous books. Freed of the necessity to ponderously re-establish the backstory-- the flaw that weighed down Goblet of Fire --Rowling is freed up to hit the ground running: the turbulence begins to hit with the first
Show More
chapter. As with the earlier books in the series, the book is centered around a mystery here, although unlike the earlier books, it doesn't truly belong the the genre of The Mystery as such--there is no real way to puzzle out the solution, for instance. But the series doesn't really need to rely on mystery structure any longer anyway: by this point the long-form plot has amassed enough potential energy that it can soar simply by exploiting the conflicts already set up in its first four installments. Which isn't to say that there aren't new ones as well, notably in the form of Dolores Umbridge, whose petty abuses of power, disdain for the autonomy of young people, and Kafkaesque punishment schemes make her all-too-familiar: possibly my favorite villain in the series. Recommended.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Zommbie1
This is one of my favourite books mainly because it is the introduction of one of my favourite characters: Tonks. I also love the deliciously evil Dolores Umbridge and the mischief of Fred and George. It is a funny book but at the same time dark. I find the balance between the two perfectly managed
Show More
in this book. I also find Harry's burgeoning realisation of what friends really are to be an important lesson to be learned. The fact that at the start of the book he wants to be seen with the cool kids but towards the end he reaches an understanding and appreciation of Luna and Neville, two of the not so cool kids.Audio version: I am a bit meh about this audio version. I listened to the British Stephen Fry version a few years ago and I suppose I fell in love with it. What I find particularly grating in this one is the accents. Dale reads Dean Thomas with a Scottish accent. As a Harry Potter fan who has lived in the UK I find this grating since Dean Thomas is an Aston Villa fan and therefore, in my mind, from London. He should not have such a Scottish accent. I also do not read Bellatrix to have such a french accent. To me she was British too. She is probably one of the few characters in the book where I really see the actress who played her because that was so very well cast. Helena Bonham Carter is PERFECT in the role. But that isn't what I was going to talk about. Yes so I have a problem with the accent. One day I will definitely buy the British versions instead.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Pool_Boy
I really enjoyed the book. The characters are getting even more developed, and it is finally getting a bit more Sirius, er, serious. Nicely done.
LibraryThing member polarbear123
Really good once it gets going this is the book that defeated me last time I tried to read the series. Its just the first couple of hundred pages that seem to move slowly but after that things move along at a mery pace and we get into darker teritory in the last chapter. WHy didn't Harry use the
Show More
two way mirror thing to contact Sirius instead of trying to break into Dolores Umbridge's office? Have I missed something?
Show Less
LibraryThing member mt256
After the last book, Goblet of Fire, this series became darker. The Order of the Phoenix is full on dark. Harry himself is in a dark place as well. He feels forgotten, left out and ostracized. Harry is angry at practically everybody. His relationship with Ron and Hermione has suffered also. In this
Show More
book Harry is introduced to the Order of the Phoenix, which is a secret group of wizards and witches that are preparing to fight against the Dark Lord. They are in secret because the Minister of Magic refuses to believe Harry or Dumbledore. This sets the ominous tone for this novel.
J.K. Rowling has brought back many of the characters that I love plus has introduced some new characters. One of my new favorites is Luna Lovegood. She seems like an airhead on the surface but she's much more astute than anyone gives her credit for. The new character that I love to hate is Deloris Umbridge. I think Voldemort might have some competition in a who is more evil contest.
Some of the students at Hogwarts decide to take matters in their hands and form a secret group called Dumbledore's Army. The plan is to practice some Defense Against the Dark Arts spells themselves because the Ministry refuses. I really like the gumption of the Hogwarts students, especially Neville Longbottom. He has come a long way since the first book. He's still a bit of a klutz but he's also very brave.
I love the way J.K. Rowling has written these characters. I feel like I'm literally watching them evolve on paper. I think these books are some of the most well written books out there.
Show Less
LibraryThing member justabookreader
It’s taking me longer than I thought to finish my Harry Potter re-read this year but that’s all right, I’m in no hurry. Let’s face it; it’s not as if I don’t know the story. :-) In all honesty, I was hoping to re-read the entire series before seeing the latest movie but that’s not
Show More
going to happen so now I’m just enjoying the story.

The short re-cap: Harry is waiting patiently to return to Hogwarts when he’s attacked by dementors, almost gets expelled for performing underage magic in front of a muggle, gets off by a slim margin, heads back to Hogwarts to find out that the Ministry of Magic is slowing doing its best to take over the school. And there’s that small little matter of Voldermort who would like to see him dead.

As always, spoilers below. You’ve been forewarned.

The Order of the Phoenix, I hate to admit, is not my favorite book in the series. Not to say it isn’t good but I forgot just how moody and cranky everyone is in this installment. I can’t blame either Harry (who’s got a price on his head and feels everyone is lying to him, which in some ways they are) or Sirius (who’s still in hiding and unable to do anything to help the cause or Harry) for their dark moods but there is only so much male PMS I can take. However, the Weasley twins stepped up and provided enough lightness to make me remember why I fell in love with the series --- the magic these two manage is wonderfully silly, and so disgusting, that it makes me want to procure a flyer and order a few of their concoctions. Umbridge is so mean, annoying, and sniveling that I somehow found myself enjoying her character this time around. I won’t say like because that would go too far but her attitude brings out some wonderful qualities in others characters such as Professor McGonagall who goes to great means to control her temper. Snape. I didn’t plan on mentioning him but he does play a critical role in Harry’s fifth year and his actions only keep me securely on the hate Snape bandwagon. I’m so very done with him, except I’m not really and I have two more books to fully loathe him, which I plan to do.

In some ways, I feel as though there is too much going on in this book. It’s long, and that’s not a bad thing because we do get to know a few characters better --- Luna and Ginny who are among my favorites --- so I don’t want to point to that as the main reason for my lack of overflowing love. So many sub-plots show up here and it’s a major turning point in the tome. The danger is much more palpable in this one than the proceeding books and it carries on with the sadness that made its way into the series when Cedric was killed by Voldermort. But Harry’s attitude is sometimes too much for me. I do have to admit that

I did enjoy the fight at the Ministry of Magic though. The rooms in the Department of Mysteries are so fascinating.

Well, on to hunting horcruxes.
Show Less
LibraryThing member jjtyler
Originally pulped almost 5 years ago now, this book has just been read in our household. We are really, really late to the Harry Potter party, but isn't that the best way to be? Considering that we would have to have waited 3 years between books four and five, and now we get to dive into the 6th
Show More
book the night after finishing the latter, is a fortunate thing for us.

Order of the Phoenix is the longest of the series, and culminates in an epic battle at the end which does not let down in the action department. There are new enemies introduced in The Order: both Dark Eaters and one enemy who is an apathetic/insane bureaucrat. And whether or not we can trust Snape has still not been entirely hammered out for us.

By the fifth book, our hero has turned from a child to a young man. He is dealing with much more complex issues than most have to deal with (predestination, seeing a friend die, issues of orphan hood) and yet when he lashes out in anger we still click out tongues at him. Rowling makes sure to show that Harry Potter is human (a magical human) and although he is destined to save us all, he still can't understand girls, really hasn't learned how to study for a test, and can't keep from feeling jealous when friends do better than him.

The pattern is followed here, just as it was in the past four books. Harry deals with his hateful biological family, goes to school, danger ensues, and there is a battle at the end--Just a regular school year for the students at Hogwarts.

There's one thing that I think this series does best, perception. In the fifth book, the war is well under way in the normal world, but the reader has to go to school and deal with everyday issues with the three heroes, despite the ever hanging anxiety that the world is falling down outside the school grounds.

The characters are funnier and truer than ever. And if we had to be honest, the brain behind this entire operation is Herminie. She is rarely wrong, and always knows what to do. Harry just has the talent to carry out the ideas and Ron cracks jokes and nearly kills himself along the way.

It's a great read, especially for fans of the series who have not made it this far.
Show Less
LibraryThing member jshillingford
Though I enjoyed Phoenix, it ranks as one of my least favorite of the series. Harry spent most of the book angry and whining, and while this was quite realistic for a teenage boy going through puberty and with his issues, it was still annoying and depressing. Even worst for me was the secondary
Show More
"plot" with Hagrid and his Giant brother. This was utterly boring, and completely irrelevant to the main story. Halfway through the book, I actually started skipping the chapters with Hagrid to get back to Harry.

However, the good parts were REALLY good and made the novel a must-read. Dolores Umbridge is a fantastic villain. There's just something about evil disguised in pepto bismol-pink outfits that made her even more scary, and a real menace for Harry. And Dumbledore's Army? An awesome story idea! Seeing Harry take a leadership role was wonderful, plus it showcased his classmates who will become pivotal in the final battle with Voldemort. They will have to fight to save their world, and this makes it plausible that they could actually win. I also loved learning about the Order, the current and past members, what happened to Neville's parents and of course, more Sirius Black. The scenes between him and Harry are poignant and make the ending all the more powerful.

Though I had issues with the book, overall it is a strong entry to the series, with great advances to the story arc.
Show Less
LibraryThing member truncoxx
I was driven to tears with this book as the ending broke my heart. I cannot express how wonderful the series is . It has so much emotion and realism in it despite it being a magical, fictional world. Definitely a must read!
LibraryThing member 391
Book 5 has a lot of teenage angst, which is slightly irritating but very, very acceptable, especially for Harry who spends the entire series getting his life ripped apart on a yearly basis. The only thing that made me angry (besides Umbridge, the only character in a book I have ever truly LOATHED)
Show More
was how Harry dealt with the news of Sirius before the big showdown. "Why didn't he use the mirror!" I wanted to shout at my book. It almost felt silly, a plot device too conveniently set up for Rowling to do her magic through. So, I haven't re-read it since my initial midnight reading. But I do respect it for what it establishes in the canon.
Show Less
LibraryThing member ArsLegendi
*spoilers ahead*

I have to admit that the first time I read Order of the Phoenix, I didn't really like it as much as the previous books. When it came out, I was a brand new fan of the series, and did the whole "wait outside the bookstore" thing for its release. My first reading left me a little
Show More
cold, though now that I've been through the series a few times, I've actually come to appreciate this volume a little more.

My main complaint is the same as many others: Harry's snotty attitude got on my nerves very quickly. Granted, I kind of see this as smart writing on Rowling's part; with all of the magic and Hero's Journey epic stuff going on in these books, it's easy to forget that by this point in the series, Harry is a punk teenager. He's also had an abusive upbringing, and the last few years at Hogwarts haven't exactly been a lot of fun, either... Harry was due for a little old-fashioned teenage angst. With that said, I wanted to shake him by the front of his shirt a few times during this one (and, unfortunately, he doesn't get any better through the rest of the series).

On a broader scale, Order of the Phoenix is slower than previous books. The story takes place in a kind of limbo between the return of Voldemort and the beginning of the next wizarding war, and so most of the book tends to focus more on exposition than anything else. There's a lot of sitting around, waiting, wondering, and doing nothing on the part of the characters this time around, and more emphasis is placed on introducing the Good Guys and Bad Guys for the rest of the series than on moving the overarching story forward. Now that I'm familiar with said overarching story, I was able to study these mounds of exposition more closely, and found a lot more to like this time through.

The last chapters of the book ramp up in intensity rather quickly, with a climactic meeting between Voldemort and Dumbledore that remains one of my favorite scenes in the entire series. The falling action at the end is emotionally satisfying (Harry's stupid sulking notwithstanding), and does a fine job at setting the stage for the final two books. I think this is why I didn't like it so much the first time I read it, because without the perspective of knowing what's coming next, Order of the Phoenix feels very heavy on filler. It definitely improves on repeat readings, though; it felt like a big volume of foreshadowing this time, which I found to be very effective.

I can't discuss Order of the Phoenix without talking about Sirius Black, I suppose, but I've never really been a part of that bandwagon. His character was never quite deep enough for my liking, and he actually isn't really present in most of the story before he meets his sudden end (which, as we come to see later, follows Rowling's pattern of depicting death in a stark fashion, with no warning and no lingering on what occurred). I simply wasn't attached enough to him to be affected, for some reason, because he spent most of the book lurking "off-screen."

I know Order of the Phoenix is the favorite of some Harry Potter fans; I think it's the weakest, but I think it serves a necessary purpose: definitively establishing the newer, darker tone for the last three books, and drawing the lines in the sand for the buildup to the series conclusion. I criticize it only as compared to the other books in the series, though; I still think this is a wonderful escapist book in its own right, just like the rest of the Harry Potter books.
Show Less
LibraryThing member susanbevans
With the fifth book, we become more engaged in the darker side of Harry's world. This is my second favorite book in the series behind #4.
LibraryThing member harpua
Book 5 came and went and I feel that it moved the story along nicely. Not the best book by far and it seemed that the story could have been told in far less than 800+ pages that it took. I do like how the series is getting darker and is growing as Harry ages. The questions left open in the previous
Show More
four books are starting to be answered here and I'm looking forward to the final two books in the series.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Cailin
I loved this book...I love the way the mysteries from the beginning of the series are subtly unfolded in this book. I'm hesitant to start the sixth book because I don't want the series to end! There were a few really humorous parts - the Weasley's are fantastic. I love the movies too but they don't
Show More
do the books justice!
Show Less
LibraryThing member francescadefreitas
I've just reread this in anticipation of the book seven. This was the first Harry Potter book that I didn't absorb faster than a bag of Malteasers. I found myself wanting to tell Harry to cop himself on quite a it of the time - I thought he was sulky, self-important, and annoying. BUT I wasn't
Show More
exactly a pile of fun every day as a teenager either . What was bugging me was actually a realistic portrayal of a kid having a bad year. Also, after watching the film, I also understand a bit better how badly Dumbledore's avoiding Harry would have felt.
Show Less
LibraryThing member fufuakaspeechless
My favorite of the series. I find Umbridge deliciously evil and I'm glad Harry finally gets a backbone in this book. The Order, the DA, the entire secret conspiracy--I love it.
LibraryThing member JCO123
Another great book in the series, probably the best so far. The plot is thick with mystery throughout and has a great ending as usual. Leaves you waiting for the next one!

Similar in this library




(24989 ratings; 4.3)
Page: 1.2837 seconds