Callista 's Reviews > Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
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First read in 2003; re-read in 2006.
I know some people who complained about Harry being so angry in this book, but I think he has the right to be. He’s traumatized over Voldemort’s return and Cedric’s death, very few people believe he’s telling the truth about Voldemort, and he’s being kept in the dark by the people he trusts and cares about. The formation of Dumbledore’s Army is enjoyable because it finally gives Harry a chance to take on a leadership role, and his fellow students get to learn valuable skills that the foolish Ministry of Magic, deep in denial, won’t teach them. Hermione, Ron, Neville, and Luna also all really start to bloom throughout this sequence of events.
However, Rowling doesn’t skimp on exploring the consequences of human faults and weaknesses, and her characters make some truly painful and tragic decisions. Dumbledore’s distancing himself from Harry, Snape’s and Sirius’s inability to let go of the past, the adults’ failure to impress upon Harry how very important it is that he shield his mind from Voldemort, and Harry’s own impulsive tendency to leap to his loved ones’ defense all combine and result in terrible outcomes.
To top it off, making everything worse, is Umbridge, the bureaucrat from hell. I’ve heard it said and agree that for most of the book, Umbridge’s evil, deluded ways upstage the danger of the Voldemort situation. There she is, centre stage, literally torturing children in the name of following the rules. I love everyone’s attempts to outmaneuver her. The way McGonagall especially deals with Umbridge is priceless, and the Weasley twins’ fireworks assault and final departure are fabulous.
I wanted to dock this book one star for a long time because of the way certain plot twists broke my heart, but I have to give Rowling credit for creating such a complex, nuanced story and such interesting, believable characters. If she didn’t do such a good job, I wouldn’t care so much about what happens to the characters.
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Quotes Callista Liked

J.K. Rowling
“You do not seek to kill me, Dumbledore?” called Voldemort, his scarlet eyes narrowed. “Above such brutality, are you?”
“We both know that there are other ways of destroying a man, Tom,” Dumbledore said calmly. “Merely taking your life would not satisfy me, I admit —”
“There is nothing worse than death, Dumbledore!” snarled Voldemort.
“You are quite wrong,” said Dumbledore, speaking as lightly as though they were discussing the matter over drinks. “Indeed, your failure to understand that there are things much worse than death has always been your greatest weakness..”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Micheline (Lunar Rainbows Reviews) Brilliant review. I won't list all the points I agree with you on, cause it's pretty much the whole review. I will say I'm with you especially on Harry's anger, his newfound leadership role and Umbridge omnipresence (lol).

Oh and I too initially felt this book to be flawed in some way, but upon this current re-read I have a whole new appreciation for it's every plot twist. Rowling is sheer genius!


Callista Thanks for the feedback! :)


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