Monday, May 29, 2017

The Order of the Phoenix~J K Rowling | Review

Title: The Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5)
Author: J K Rowling
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Length: 870 Pages (Hardcover)
Release: June 2003

In November 2016 I started my reread of the Harry Potter series. This is the first time I have read any of the books since reading the seventh one twice within two months of its release, so it's been a while.

The Order of the Phoenix has always been one of my two favorites, normally ranking just beneath The Prisoner of Azkaban. Reading these as an adult, I think it has now surpassed that loved installment to become my favorite.

This fifth installment is much more developed than any of the previous four books, with a more detailed plot and higher stakes. It succeeds where The Goblet of Fire fell flat for me in that everything seems connected from beginning to end. It didn't really feel like it was long just to be long, but because there was legitimately enough story to fill that many pages, which is where that last installment was a bit of a letdown.

There are many things in this book that I don't like. Harry, for one, becomes more and more annoying as the series goes on. I have never really been a fan of his character and find him to be rather selfish. It's understandable that he has problems, after the way he was treated by the Dursley's, but I don't like the direction he took after getting out from under them. I have some similar issues with Ron, but not to the same extent. Hermione is a pretty stellar friend.

The story gets darker and grittier in this installment. You learn more of the history of Voldemort rising to power years ago and what was done to stop him. There are revelations made about certain characters and their families that are not altogether expected. And even Hogwarts is not safe for Harry this time, with the Ministry taking more control. Umbridge is one of the most genuinely evil characters in the entire series.

Just like with previous installments, one of the highlights here is definitely Fred and George. Their characters are absolutely amazing. They are genuinely good people who truly care about their friends and family. They make mistakes, but they aren't cruel. They play jokes but no when to pull back. These two will forever be the highlight of the series for me.

A lot of new and exciting characters are introduced including Luna and Tonks, who are both excellent additions to the cast. We see some of our old favorites. Lots of stupid choices are made, brave things done. The ending isn't is rather bleak, as the previous book was, but there is hope.

I do have to say, while I think that Rowling's writing is good I am not blown away by it. The main characters are hard for me to connect with and I think that has a lot to do with the writing style. It also seems a lot clunkier than I remember when I was younger, probably due to changed perceptions as I've read more widely. I do, however, feel that her writing and story telling improved with each book.

I am not sure when I will be reading book six, but I look forward to delving into the next chapter of Harry's life and seeing what it has to offer. There are many things that I have forgotten through the years and it's nice to revisit some of those old memories.  

1 comment:

  1. I reread this book a few weeks ago. It’s clunkier than I remember, too. I think it could have used more editing to make the story tighter. I still love it, though.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!