Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5)

ISBN: 0439358078
ISBN 13: 9780439358071
By: J.K. Rowling Mary GrandPré

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About this book

Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His best friends Ron and Hermione have been very secretive all summer and he is desperate to get back to school and find out what has been going on. However, what Harry discovers is far more devastating than he could ever have expected...Suspense, secrets and thrilling action from the pen of J.K. Rowling ensure an electrifying adventure that is impossible to put down.

Reader's Thoughts

Thomas

Here are some alternative titles I thought of while slogging through this book (spoilers later on in the review):- Harry Potter and His Never-Ending Angst- Harry Potter and the Order of His Angst- Harry Potter and Angst Angst AngstI finished the last three books earlier this week on vacation, so I can definitely say that this one is my least favorite. I get it, I get it - Cedric died, Harry feels like no one is listening to him or keeping him in the loop, he has a lot of dumb stuff to deal with in regard to Umbridge, his mind is not his own, etc. Perhaps that explains his angst, but it did not make him easy to sympathize with, or really care about. He whines to Dumbledore, he yells at Hermione (and everyone else) even though she's right, and he complains that Cho cries too much... even though it's not like he's handling his grief any better.Nothing grabbed me or moved me here - I wish Harry's angst had some resolution to it or played a part in his character growth, but that mostly came in the sixth and seventh books. Which, may I add, were superb, and I can't wait to review them. Unlike this one, in which my favorite scene was when Ginny verbally slapped Harry by reminding him that she was actually controlled by Voldemort... in essence, just get through this installment as quickly as possible, please.

Rachel

** spoiler alert ** This is where I stopped reading the Harry Potter series. I kept up with the happenings enough to know who died and how by the end, but overall, this book sealed my opinion of Rowling and the books she was churning out.This book read like marshmallow fluff cranked out by a money-hungry layabout. There was no substance, Harry was an emotional turd for the entire book (including PAGES of him YELLING IN ALL CAPS AT HIS FRIENDS BECAUSE THEY JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND HIM WAAAAAH), and then there was the "villain" that had to actually TRY to be more annoying than Harry himself for the whole book.She was, of course, but that's not really an accomplishment. And neither was this installment of the HP.

Brett

Well, I really enjoyed the beginning of this book, and thought over the first half that it might wind up being my favorite, but as I read on I found out why many friends of mine said it was the worst of the lot. While I liked it, it ended up not living up to the previous four books. That said, the movie based on it is amongst my favorites, and my be the best Harry Potter movie so far.

Mary JL

With thousands of reviews on this book, I am unlikely to say anything new, so I will just say what I liked.Several freinds of mine stopped reading here because they disliked the change in Harry's character. Actually, I found it realistic. He's a teenager! So one week you act like the adult you almost are and the next week you act like the kid you recently were! Aren't most teenagers like that?I felt JKR also put a lot of needed infomration in this book. I have read some reviews that said it was boring. for me, it was not. I do not need slam bang non stop action to keep me from being broed if other interesting things are happening and they were, imho.I found the character of High Inquisitor Dolores Umbrindge very disturbing and very realistic. Althoug, I did die laughing at the part where Dolores gives that little 'ahem, ahem' cough while Professor Mc Gonagall is speaking and Professor McGonagall snaps "...are you quite sure you wouldn't like a cough drop, Dolores?" (p.663)I like Fred and George Weasley's pranks and harrassment of the High InQuisitor and the scene where they decided higher education was not for them and left with bang.And the part where Harry and Dumbledore argue at the end is well done. It was so unusual for those two to disagree---but it was well written.There were a few minor inconsisties and odds and ends that I did not like--but overall my impression of this book it is is one of the better of the series. In books 1, 2, and 3 we had a (excellent) childrens' story; books 4 and 5 are more substantial, more adult in character and still continue the basic series very well.REcommend for all Harry Potter fans. Don't stop at Book 4--this one is too good to miss.

Litchick (is stuck in the 19th century)

Seriously, don't read this review if you haven't read the books. The biggest compliment I can think to give an 870 page book is that I wish it had been longer. I wish this had been longer. This book has always been my favorite in the series. Up until it, Harry’s story had been filled with light. Yes, yes, there were some tough parts, yes, yes, some darkness tinged the edges of the previous one, but honestly, that was a pretty happy book compared to this. Good still triumphed over evil, our hero surmounted impossible odds in the Triwizard Tournament, and then he managed to escape Voldemort, yet again, and warn the wizarding world of his return. And the BAM! The beginning of this book hits you in the face. Where you expect Harry to be in the know, he’s in the dark, where you expect The Daily Prophet to be filled with stories about the ministry pursuing Voldemort, there’s only silence, where you expect excitement about returning to Hogwarts there is only frustration and angst. And you know what? You get it, you frigging get it, man. Because you were with Harry when he faced Voldemort and his Death Eaters alone, you stood beside him as the shades of his parents appeared from the tip of his enemy’s wand and helped save his life. And when he made it back to safety, you were just as dumbfounded as he was when the minister of magic refused to believe him, refused to believe Dumbledore. So how dare they? How dare they let him rot, alone, in a house full of people that hate and ridicule him, while the murderer of his parents begins to rebuild his army? How dare they feed him snippets like “We can’t tell you anything about what we’ve been doing, and we’ve been doing A LOT. But don’t worry, we’ll see you soon, we just can’t tell you when”? As if he hasn’t been through enough. If anyone has the right to know what’s going on, it’s Harry. Doesn’t anyone KNOW him like we do? Or do they just think that they know what’s best for him better than he does? And that’s part of the genius of this installment. This book grows up. Where the previous four could be labeled as children’s stories, this one cannot. There are so many hard lessons and difficult themes in this, ones that a child’s mind cannot fully grasp. Gone are the heroes, gone are the happy endings. This book teaches you that adults aren’t the perfect protectors you thought they were. Sirius isn’t infallible. James Potter isn’t infallible. Albus frigging Dumbledore isn’t infallible. None of them are. None of them are even fully good. And come to find out, those you thought were fully evil might not be either. This book introduces you to shades of grey and each revelation seems to hit you harder than the last. Normally, I hate angst. This is mostly because I find the vast majority of what I see these days to be a sorry excuse to lengthen a story or a shoddy attempt to distract a reader from glaring issues. Trying to cover up weak characterization? Add some angst! Want to hide those holes in your plot? Add some angst! The only type of angst I can stand, is believable angst. Rowling delivers on this. And that’s one of the many reasons that I love this book. There are a lot of other reasons, Fred and George’s badassery, Ginny Weasley finding her voice and becoming a character in her own right, the undiluted rage that coursed through my body every time I read a scene that included Delores Umbridge, the incredible courage and honesty of Hermione Granger, the loyalty of Ron Weasley, Neville Longbottom coming into his own, the failed Occlumency lessons (I WILL ALWAYS HATE SNAPE) and the way the entire school ended up doing exactly what the sorting hat suggested at the beginning of the year and banded together as one against the ministry’s interference. I even loved the ending. YES, I SAID IT! And do you know why? Because life isn’t sunshine and roses and you don’t always get to say goodbye to those you love. You don’t get the sense that Sirius’s death was a righteous one. You don’t get resolution. He didn’t make some grand sacrifice to save the lives of many others. He died taunting the bad guys, smiling at them, egging them on as though he was still that ego-inflated teenager you glimpsed through the pensieve. And then you find out that it was all for nothing. That there were so many ways that it could have been avoided. How do you deal with that? The best you can, I guess. So while I don’t necessarily "enjoy" this book as much as I do the others, it remains my favorite in the series for the reasons I listed above.

Inés Izal

Si esto sigue así, sufriré una embolia cerebral y moriré antes de terminar la saga.

Keely

This is my favorite installment of the quintessential modern bildungsroman. Nevertheless, it has its problems, familiar to any reader of Rowling's.She never seems to gain control of her writing, which spirals out into thousand-page doorstops filled with unimportant side characters and rambling plots. The story is moved along by arbitrary plot devices, often magic. Instead of using the magic to make her world seem more strange and wondrous, she uses it to cover up plot holes. Why write a consistent plot when you can just put in a spell or two to fix the problems?Likewise her world is poorly defined. She did not start by constructing the 'wizarding world' and then base her stories off of it, rather she changes her setting to fit whatever she needs at the moment. This constantly shifting setting means the world doesn't make much sense if you take the time to sit and think about it.Her fractured plots are not the result of 'realism', which some authors use to create a sense of a 'real world', separate from archetypes. Rowling is just trying to fit in all the disparate ideas and characters she has in her notepad. She becomes so attached to her characters and ideas that she is unwilling to sacrifice them for a more streamlined book.She has problems connecting the many dots of her story, but uses her magical 'plot devices' to keep us from noticing that the scaffolding behind the facade is rather bare (indeed: crumbly). Her rabid plot movement points away from the cracks in her storytelling: "move along, nothing to see here".I find it somewhat ironic that Rowling wants to 'graduate' from Potter to writing adult mysteries. A mystery needs to have a tight plot, based not in the characters but in the events surrounding them. Though many people tried to 'figure out' the Potter books and predict them, in truth there is nothing to figure out. Rowling's foreshadowing is vague and unsupported, and there are just as many clues as red herrings. The only reason some of the elements seem predictable is because there was a crack team of several million people making every guess under the sun. Combine that with the fact that the final book introduces completely new elements to finish the plot, and we can see that Rowling is not really in charge of her own pen. She is a slave to her own sentimentality. Then again, so are millions around the world.The only thing which makes these meandering plots move along at a reasonable pace are her characters. They connect us to the magical world, so that even if it doesn't make sense, at least we can see how it might work for the people who live in it.Her characters are vivid, emotional, motivated, and archetypal without being banal. They may not be psychologically deep, but for a monomyth like this, that is hardly the point. Most people aren't that complex, either.In the series, this book gets the prize for the most psychological depth and also the most consistent mood. Before this, Rowling was still trying to get her footing, figuring out what exactly she was writing, and trying to explain the world to her readers. She finally hit her stride in 'Prisoner of Azkaban', and got much of her unsure world-building out of the way in 'Goblet of Fire'. This is before she started feeling the pressure to wrap things up in a neat package, which again begins to take its toll on her consistency. This is the first, and really the last of her books where Rowling is able to write without being overly concerned with either the beginning or ending of her series.Instead of placing a scattered plot over her characters, Rowling was instead able to let the characters travel through their own path of growth and self-exploration. The change is the most apparent in Harry himself, and though his transformation is somewhat sudden, it is still honest and believable for the character.By focusing chiefly on her strength--character building--and escaping the constraints of the monomyth, if only for a moment, Rowling is able to avoid her weakest points as a writer and turn out her strongest book.My Fantasy Book Suggestions

Chris

Since pretty much everyone I know has read these books, I figure reviewing them is pretty pointless. But with the new book coming out in a couple of days, I have to go through them beginning to end. To make the reviews more entertaining, I will be doing them in a variety of unexpected formats. For this review, I will be writing as an unnamed member of the Bush administration.So, how long until we can get this Rowling woman into Gitmo?I mean really, have you read this book? It's an 800-page diatribe encouraging children to not only question authority, but to actively disobey it! I mean look at what we have here - there's a magical government that is responsible for to oversight and management of magical folk in Britain. Now I'm not entirely sure how this organization works, but I do know this - where there is a government, there is authority, and that authority must be there for a reason. No matter how much you may disagree with it, you have to understand that everything those in authority are doing is for your benefit.It pained me to see how the character of Dolores Umbridge was treated in this book. She single-handedly tried to bring order to Hogwarts and steer it from the liberal-free-thinking path to destruction paved by that long-haired hippie Dumbledore. And what did Umbridge get for her hard work? The Medal of Freedom? No! She got carried off by a pack of wild centaurs. How is that right? Moreover, what kind of example is that setting for American children?Now I don't care if Rowling wants to cripple a generation of readers in Britain. Go ahead, it's not like we need them anyway. But with these books becoming so popular in the United States, there is a very great danger that her insidious brand of rebellion and individualism will infect our children as well, and where will that lead us? Into howling chaos, that's where! Our children will see their favorite characters being disobedient and rebellious with no consequence, and it won't be long until they're thinking they can follow their example. If we let them, our children will become just as uncontrollable as the little monsters in this book.I urge you, if you have children, not to let them read this book. It will do nothing but damage that will take years to undo. All you parents need to do is remind them is that there are people in authority - like yourselves - who know what is right for them. They just have to listen, not question, and obey, not understand.I just hope that this trend doesn't continue in the next couple of books. Personally, I'd like to see all those kids locked up and that Muggle-hugger Dumbledore thrown off a parapet or something. The sooner Hogwarts comes back under Ministry control, the better everything will be.

Ren the Unclean

This is the worst Harry Potter book. The characterization is unbelievable and annoying, taking the various holes in the world J.K. has created with Harry Potter and throwing them in the face of the reader with the expectation that they will accept anything at this point. Events in the world that main characters (and by extension, the reader) find outrageous and crazy are accepted by everyone else in the world without adequate reasons for their acceptance.Harry whines incessantly throughout this book. The entire time he is complaining about not getting what he wants and people not liking him, while turning away attempts by his friends to help him. He sort of acts like this throughout the rest of the series, but his outlook of wanting help from everyone except those who are trying to help him is really stressed in this book.This book also contains one of J.K.'s now signature death scenes. Rather than turning the death of a character into something touching and important to the reader, it happens in one sentence and it is not really apparent what exactly is happening. I had to go back and re-read the death scene after they started talking about it in later chapters because I was not sure that it actually had happened. Every one of the deaths throughout the rest of the book is (poorly) written in exactly this same way.In short, the only reason to read this book is because it is part of the series. I would almost suggest just watching the movie instead, as it is about five times better. I only wish that this book did not bring down the rest of the series by making the inconsistancies and logical problems in J.K.'s world abundantly obvious.

Carmen Maloy

What stands out in book 5:* Harry's outburst to his friends at No. 12 Grimmauld Place. A combination of frustration over being kept in the dark and fear that he will be expelled fuels much of Harry's anger, and it all comes out at once, directly aimed at Ron and Hermione. Rowling perfectly portrays Harry's frustration at being too old to shirk responsibility, but too young to be accepted as part of the fight that he knows is coming. * Harry's detention with Professor Umbridge. Rowling shows her darker side, leading readers to believe that Hogwarts is no longer a safe haven for young wizards. Dolores represents a bureaucratic tyrant capable of real evil, and Harry is forced to endure their private battle of wills alone. * Harry and Cho's painfully awkward interactions. Rowling clearly remembers what it was like to be a teenager. * Harry's Occlumency lessons with Snape. * Dumbledore's confession to Harry.* Harry yet again loses another loved one.* We meet Hagrid's brother and come to love him as much as Hagrid does.* We learn more about the destiny of Harry and Voldemort.* We also see first hand how destructive government can be when predjudice, ignorance, and pride are at the helm. (i.e. Fudge and Umbridge)Amazon ReviewAs his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry approaches, 15-year-old Harry Potter is in full-blown adolescence, complete with regular outbursts of rage, a nearly debilitating crush, and the blooming of a powerful sense of rebellion. It's been yet another infuriating and boring summer with the despicable Dursleys, this time with minimal contact from our hero's non-Muggle friends from school. Harry is feeling especially edgy at the lack of news from the magic world, wondering when the freshly revived evil Lord Voldemort will strike. Returning to Hogwarts will be a relief... or will it?The fifth book in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series follows the darkest year yet for our young wizard, who finds himself knocked down a peg or three after the events of last year. Somehow, over the summer, gossip (usually traced back to the magic world's newspaper, the Daily Prophet) has turned Harry's tragic and heroic encounter with Voldemort at the Triwizard Tournament into an excuse to ridicule and discount the teen. Even Professor Dumbledore, headmaster of the school, has come under scrutiny by the Ministry of Magic, which refuses to officially acknowledge the terrifying truth that Voldemort is back. Enter a particularly loathsome new character: the toadlike and simpering ("hem, hem") Dolores Umbridge, senior undersecretary to the Minister of Magic, who takes over the vacant position of Defense Against Dark Arts teacher--and in no time manages to become the High Inquisitor of Hogwarts, as well. Life isn't getting any easier for Harry Potter. With an overwhelming course load as the fifth years prepare for their Ordinary Wizarding Levels examinations (O.W.Ls), devastating changes in the Gryffindor Quidditch team lineup, vivid dreams about long hallways and closed doors, and increasing pain in his lightning-shaped scar, Harry's resilience is sorely tested.Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, more than any of the four previous novels in the series, is a coming-of-age story. Harry faces the thorny transition into adulthood, when adult heroes are revealed to be fallible, and matters that seemed black-and-white suddenly come out in shades of gray. Gone is the wide-eyed innocent, the whiz kid of Sorcerer's Stone. Here we have an adolescent who's sometimes sullen, often confused (especially about girls), and always self-questioning. Confronting death again, as well as a startling prophecy, Harry ends his year at Hogwarts exhausted and pensive. Readers, on the other hand, will be energized as they enter yet again the long waiting period for the next title in the marvelous, magical series.

Annie

hrrmmpp.This is my least favourite of the Harry Potter series, and almost borders on the "don't bother". It is saved only by the virtue that it is a Harry Potter book and moves the series along to the still yet unknown finale.My issues with it:- deals with complex social/political problems in a simplified, extreme, and dichotomous manner- characterisations are too easy/lazy- all good or all bad (with the exception of Snape who's good/evil intentions are yet unknown), all courageous or cowardly, the righteous or the corrupt. - Malfoy junior is the most incompetent nemesis in the history of evil. And whilst this was acceptable in the earlier books where there was an element of the comical in his attempts to be evil, by book 5, where the themes have become signifantly darker, he and his side-kicks' unchanging and inane attempts to foil Harry's ultimate fate have just become annoying. The only saving grace is that Harry has more than enough true and worthwhile enemies and obstacles for the reader to really get bogged down by Malfoy's silliness. - the laudable themes of power/corruption/propaganda/censorship are played out with such naive characterisations, extreme situations and melodramaticism that it results in inflammatory knee-jerk reactions rather than furthering understanding of the subleties of these ideas. - the plot seems confused, as if JK Rowling has all these ideas, but is unsure of where she ultimately wants to go, thereby leaving in all these subplots that neither has entertainment, wisdom nor story-advancing value. EG what's with Grawp and the freaking giants??Overall- read it only as a part of the greater goal of coming closer to the ending of the series.

Manny

Devon

** spoiler alert ** Last read December 25th, 2013Review from previous reading (November 29th, 2008 or possibly Feb 2nd, 2009): This one didn't start out as slow as 4 and (Oh, GOD) 6 for me...which was surprising because I remembered it as being boring. In fact, I actually like the whole Harry-listens-in-to-Muggle-news thing. And Harry's so sarcastic and bitchy with Dudley at the beginning.See, when I was 12 I read this book for the first time. Harry got on my nerves. He was a royal pain in the ass. But now I'm seventeen and I remember being 15. I remember getting on my own damn nerves with being so teenager-y and annoying. Now I can actually look at the book and realize that Harry's not half as annoying as I actually was at that age. (Although it still annoys me when he's a killjoy for Sirius...but that's a different thing all together.)Feeling like I was on Harry's side (and everyone else's) made this book so more enjoyable than previous readings. I loved Sirius (as per usual - although, this reading, I felt very sad about how bitter he is throughout most of it. My poor dear.) I also love Lupin. The little that he's in here he's at his best. I love how he comforts Molly (not once, but twice!) and is generally awesome - especially reminiscing with James.I LOATHE Umbridge just as much as I ever have and love Fred and George...*sigh*The *characters* are the main focus of this one even more so than any of the others and I love it.I even felt a little proud of Snape when Dumbledore was going over all he'd done for Harry.I got a little sniffly (although I didn't cry, or even tear up) at the normal spots (not when Sirius dies but when Dumbledore and Harry discuss it...several times I get sniffly every time during that. It just destroys my soul.)But....I miss Sirius.

Shannon (Giraffe Days)

After another summer spent stuck at his aunt and uncle's house in Little Whinging, Surrey, Harry is chafing and tense waiting for Lord Voldemort to make his move. But there's nothing in either the wizard news or the Muggle news. Then late one day he and his cousin, Dudley, are attacked by Dementors and Harry is forced to break the under-age use of magic law to defend them. Now facing a hearing at the Ministry of Magic and possible expulsion from Hogwarts, he is brought to number 12 Grimmauld Place in London, ancestral home of his godfather, Sirius Black, and new headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix. The Weasley family is living there, as is Hermione, but Harry only feels more resentful and angry at being left out and kept ignorant. Isn't he the one who saw Voldemort return to full strength and kill Cedric Diggory? Isn't he the one who battled him and escaped to return and warn everyone that Voldemort had returned?But now that he's back in the wizarding world, he learns that the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, is denying it all and making Harry look attention-grabbing and even insane: "Potty Potter." Dumbledore, too, is being vilified for insisting the Dark Lord is back and they must be prepared and united to fight him. In their attempt to control Dumbledore and Harry, the Ministry instates one of their own, Dolores Umbridge, in the cursed position of Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. While Voldemort takes over Harry's dreams at night, Umbridge is determined to ruin his life by day.This is probably my favourite of the series. I love how involved and detailed it is, how it gets immersed in life at the school, and how complex the world has really become. It feels so real to me: Harry, his life, his world. It's also, I find, the most emotionally rich (with the possible exception of the final book, but I've only read that one once so far so I'm not sure). Not only is Harry continuing to mature and grow and is very true to his age - Rowling writes with exceptional skill and nowhere is this more apparent than in bringing Harry to life in each book, a whole year older.This book is all love to me. Yes it's the longest and perhaps the slowest in the series, but it's actually extremely eventful and busy. There's A LOT going on here, and it's a more, shall we say, "adult" plot. One of my favourite lines is when Sirius says to Harry, the world isn't divided into good people and Death Eaters. It's an important distinction for Harry to really learn and understand, especially as in every book he suspects Snape and he's always wrong. Here, he was thinking Umbridge was in league with Voldemort, because she's so awful and cruel, and that's when Sirius tries to explain that the world isn't that straight-forward. It marks Harry's real turning point, leaving childhood and a lingering belief and trust in adults (anyone other than Dark Lord supporters and his relatives) behind. It's not that this wasn't clear to us in the previous books, but until the ministry itself turned on Harry and Dumbledore, he had a naïve trust that the truth always wins. Now, he learns that people can have complex motivations and their own agendas.Umbridge in particular teaches him this harsh lesson. She's a wonderful character, absolutely horrible with no redeeming feature but with a scary certainty that she's in the right. People as inflexible as Umbridge are always dangerous characters in fantasy, and Umbridge takes the cake. Rowling paints a vivid portrait of her, appearance-wise, and it really sticks in your head. Inherently racist, Umbridge has a fear of half-breeds and an arrogant belief in the superiority of wizards and witches over all humans and non-humans alike; add to this her position of power and she becomes quite the enemy. She may be an obvious character (Rowling clearly had some fun in making her so absolutely horrid), but she's sadly representative.Alongside Umbridge, who's a favourite of mine (you just love to hate her!), other things in this fifth book that I love include the thestrals, the skeletal winged horses that only people who've seen death can see; the showdowns between Umbridge and the other teachers; getting an intimate glimpse into Neville's life; Snape's memories from his own days as a student at Hogwarts; the battle at the Department of Mysteries; Fred and George Weasley's send-off mayhem; and the DA meetings. In a way, this instalment gives us some breathing space in the series, especially after Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire , in terms of adventure, yet it's also hugely important in terms of not just the over-arching plot (Harry finally learns the truth about his connection to Voldemort), but in terms of Harry's own personal development.It's also really sad - actually, books 4 to 7 all end sadly, with a death and some hard-hitting stuff. I always felt that the death here was the worst, because it's so personal and so unfair - is Harry never to have family to love?The violence in this book really struck me - it's not that there wasn't danger and a lot of hexes thrown around in the previous books, but somehow here the stakes are so much higher, the spells that much more vicious. It's not just hexes and jinxes to bring on sudden deformities, like those the students inflict each other with, but grown and experienced Death Eaters directing killing curses at Harry and his friends. Those scenes are filled with tension, suspense, danger, and since Cedric died in the previous book, it feels like no one is safe anymore. And I felt absolutely awful for the "baby-headed Death Eater", especially as I had my own 3-month-old asleep on my lap at the time and since becoming a mother, the cries of the floundering, panicking, scared baby-headed Death Eater was really quite upsetting. This was also a real "kick me" story, like when Harry unwraps Sirius' present at the very end of the school year to find a kind of two-way magic mirror with which he could contact Sirius - if only he'd unwrapped it earlier and he would never have been lied to by Kreacher!! I also felt anger at Dumbledore for not being honest with Harry: why should he expect a boy to take occlumency lessons from someone he hates - Snape - without telling him why it's so bloody important? At least Dumbledore apologised and told Harry everything at the end; he became human in that moment, and remains a kind of surrogate father-figure.On a side note, it suddenly occurred to me while reading this big fat book that in all the Harry Potter books, I've never come across a typo. No typos, no missing articles, not even a "ay" instead of "lying" or a "lead" instead of "led". And trust me, if they're there, I always find them. So well-done to the proof-reader, I wish more books were this clean.When I finished reading this book for the third time, I watched the movie which I hadn't seen since it came out in the cinema. I remembered Imelda Staunton (wonderful actress) playing Dolores Umbridge to perfection, and the DA meetings were captured so well - I loved how the Room of Requirement vanished for those who weren't members of the DA, which it didn't do in the book. I remember thinking, the first couple of times I read the book, that I really really wanted to see Snape's memories in the film, but I had misremembered and thought it wasn't included, so seeing it there - even if it was quick - was a nice surprise. But I wasn't satisfied with Michael Gambon's representation of Dumbledore - he seemed so angry and even bitchy, and not as in-control as he is in the book, nor with the kind of sense of humour Dumbledore's always displayed.I never expect - or want - book adaptations to be exact replicas of the book; they need to bring something new, and they need to adapt to a different medium. But with a book of this size and scope full of so much detail, it is sad to see what they decided to leave out, or condense, in order to make it work as a film that's not too long. I'm definitely a bigger fan of the books than the movies.

vLadimiR

The O.W.L.S. (Ordinary Wizarding Levels) are just around the corner as Harry and his friends return to Hogwarts for their fifth year. But while our main characters think about what careers they want to pursue in the future, the Dark Lord and his followers are gathering forces in pursuit of a certain prophecy foretold during Harry's birth. After Harry's rejection from the secret order that Dumbledore established to fight the Dark Lord, due to his age, our young wizard decides to take matters into his hands. With the help of his best friends and a handful of new recruits, Harry is determined to stop Lord Voldemort and his plans by forming an army of their own. This would be easier said than done, however, as the ministry begins to meddle in Hogwarts' affairs through the arrival of the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Dolores Umbridge. Every new installment of the series gets thicker and thicker, and for good reason because there aren't seem to be enough pages to contain all the excitement that this book provides.(view spoiler)[ My favorite scene (which its movie adaptation unfortunately didn't do justice to) was the unbelievable showdown between Dumbledore & Lord Voldemort in the halls of the Ministry. It was the very first time that I got a glimpse of the extent, mastery and sophistication that Dumbledore has over magic. He was described to have just gracefully walked through Lord Voldemort's attacks and performed highly advanced spells with minimal gestures of his wand.<(hide spoiler)] I was also shocked about the revelations in this book such as another friend of Harry's whom he shares the same birthday with who could have been "The Chosen One" instead of our hero. Surprising secrets, exciting adventures and tear jerking moments await anyone who will read this book, both fans and beginners alike. Highly recommended!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

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