Reviewing the Pages: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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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.

Oh Harry. Angsty, teenage Harry. I forgot how bad your mood swings get in this book. Order of the Phoenix is the book that really sets the stage for the rest of the series. We now know that there is an end game for the fight for good versus evil, and that there is nothing that will stop evil from conquering good.

There are some scenes in this that could have greatly enhanced the film more, as good as the film is. Mainly scenes involving McGonagall. Her interactions involving Umbridge, particularly the one in her office as she is trying to advise Harry about his future schooling plans. In fact, McGonagall was quite sassy when it came to her inactions with Umbridge, which made me adore her much more than any other point in the story.

There are a lot of themes here that this installment touches upon, from loss to puberty; politics in schools to discrimination. All are handled well, and some topics are so deep that this book only scratches the surface. I can’t tell you to jump into a series while we’re this deep into it, but if you haven’t made it this far into the series, I highly recommend it. Just make sure you can put up with a lot of teenage angst.

Ok.  Not much to spoil here.  All things considered.  If you haven’t read this book, either you aren’t into this series, or you’re getting to this point.

Harry was quite a loathsome character in this book, going rapidly from angry to not in a matter of a paragraph; the constant lashing out at those who are the closest to him was rather irritating.  Not nearly as infuriating as Umbridge.  Her character’s devolvement from one who is willing to do the Ministry’s bidding to flat our psychopath (or is it sociopath, I can never remember the distinction).  Either way, it’s the little things here and there that really make Umbridge stand out as a character here.

One scene that I really want to point out is the very end, as Dumbledore is talking to a grief-stricken Harry.  As Harry’s rage increases, not only at Dumbledore, but the entire world, Dumbledore seems to slowly, and quietly break down.  And that speaks volumes.  A man, who tried to help Harry as best as he could, could only watch as the boy that he had been watching over since he was really little go through this heart-breaking event.  The tear that Harry notices at the very end speaks volumes.

Really, I could go on and on about this book, but if you haven’t done so, or haven’t visited this year in a long while, should do so.  Dive back into the magic.

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