Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter Book 5 of 7)

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5) - J.K. Rowling,  Mary GrandPré

Well, this was the book that reached that elusive “taking over my life” point and earned a full 5 stars. All my spare time went toward reading this book, and I stayed up past my bedtime a couple of nights because I couldn’t put it down.


One of the things I had really enjoyed in the previous books was their “twistiness” as I tried to unravel who was responsible for what. This book actually felt much less twisty to me. There were definitely things that happened that I didn’t expect (and one that I absolutely hated!) but I never really felt the need to speculate or make predictions while reading because I felt like it was pretty clear what was what. Instead, I raced through the book always anxiously wanting to know what would happen next. I guess I’d say this book had less mystery and more thriller in it as compared to previous books in the series. I also thought it was far more emotionally exhausting than the previous books.


There really isn’t any more I can say that doesn’t encroach upon spoiler territory, so the rest of my comments are in spoiler tags. Please keep your mouse far, far away from the Spoiler link if you haven’t read the series.



Aaaaaarrrrgh! Ok, I just had to get that off my chest. I hated that Sirius died. Actually, I think what I hated most was how he died. I would have been sad if he’d died in any manner, but the fact that Harry was in large part responsible for bringing it about made it so much worse. I definitely understand and agree that Dumbledore should shoulder some of the blame, but that really makes it even worse because I feel horrible on both of their fictional behalves. It really made the end of the book a downer for me. I’m glad though that the author didn’t do much to try to make things feel all cheerful and upbeat at the end. It would have rung false.


I usually get exasperated when authors create drama by having characters withhold things from other characters. But in this case I actually found it pretty touching how Dumbledore withheld information that he knew he needed to give Harry because of how much he cared about him. I do wish the books had more Dumbledore in them, because he’s such a great character. It always makes me happy when he shows up. But I guess too much of him might also take some of the specialness away from his appearances.


Please don’t tell me, I’ll find out for myself soon enough, but I really hope the whole Harry/Cho thing is dead now. The Cho infatuation was a little annoying in the previous book, but their “relationship” in this book was downright obnoxious. I was glad Harry seemed to have lost interest in her and that Cho had started seeing somebody else by the end of the book. Please let things stay that way.


I was really happy to have Lupin back in this story because I loved his character in the third book, but I wish we had seen more of him. I wanted to see more of Sirius too. And, like I mentioned above, I wanted more Dumbledore. I also would have liked to see more of Hagrid, and I would have liked to have seen more Moody too since we never got to see the real Moody in the previous book and I want to get to know him better. This was almost a 900-page book and I still wanted more pages to fit in more scenes with the secondary characters! I also liked Luna. She seems like a cool character and I hope we find out more about her in the next book.


I’m more ambivalent about the whole prophecy thing. Prophecies often add an element of frustration for me because they’re usually talked or thought about so often that it gets tiresome, and they can make things feel more predictable. Even in books where there's a twist in the end about how things turn out with the prophecy, it still feels predictable up to that point. When the orb broke, my initial reaction was “Good! I don’t want to know.” When Dumbledore revealed the prophecy to Harry, though, it basically just predicted what I already figured would be coming by the end of the series and explained a tiny bit more about past events, so it didn’t bother me too much. But still… prophecies are one commonly-used fantasy plot device that I could do without.


Ok, I have to stop typing now so I can go start the next book. :)

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