Book Review – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling

HP 5Title: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Author: J. K. Rowling 
Genre: Children’s Literature / Young Adult / Fantasy
2010 (2003)
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 766
Started: 27th June 2016
Completed: 27th June 2016
Rating: 3.5/5
Summary: 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…

Contains spoilers.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the fifth book in J. K. Rowling’s series about a young wizard and his friends. It was adapted into a film in 2007.

Order of the Phoenix is the longest of the seven novels that make up the Harry Potter series and it is almost a turning point as the threat of Voldemort becomes more realistic to the rest of the Wizarding World and it’s the novel that reveals the prophecy.

I have previously reviewed the first four novels in the series. Click the book covers below to read them.

HP 1          HP 2          hp-3          hp-4

Order of the Phoenix is my least favourite Harry Potter novel. There’s a whole range of things that I dislike about it but I did give it a 3.5/5 rating so I did like the novel in some capacity. I don’t hate it or anything. (I hate the film adaptation though. What a snoozefest. Except when Sirius dies. That makes me cry.)

educational-decre-68One of the things I love about this book is the introduction of Dolores Umbridge. She’s awful and it’s wonderful. It’s true that this book is mostly just about her taking over Hogwarts with her Educational Decrees but she’s such a deliciously evil character and I just love to hate her. It was nice to see a proper female villain in this series and it can definitely be argued that more people hate Umbridge than they do Voldemort. I think that everyone can relate to having a teacher that they absolutely despise(d) whereas not many people can relate to having a megalomaniac stalking you since birth. It was also nice to see that the students took control of their own learning and formed the DA. This was one aspect of the book that I really enjoyed because it shows that students do want to learn when they go to school, they just don’t necessarily like the teaching methods that they have to endure.

The scenes in the Ministry of Magic were interesting and I liked them. I enjoyed the new setting as it’s away from Hogwarts and it’s nice to see Rowling expanding the Harry Potter universe further. I also liked that this is where the majority of the action took place. The battle between Harry and his friends and the Death Eaters really showed how inexperienced the students were. You almost expect them to win because they’re the good guys, no matter how unrealistic that it, but it was good to see that the Order had to intervene to save the children. Usually Harry saves the day but not in this case.

I also liked the setting of 12 Grimmauld Place and the scene with the Black family tapestry. This gives the reader more information about the traditions of the Wizarding World and gives some insight into how Pureblood families, such as the Blacks and the Malfoys, work. It’s also a lovely bonding moment between Harry and Sirius and there aren’t enough of those in the series.

There are some really lovely aspects to the novel but there just isn’t enough of them for me.

This novel is incredibly long and, in my opinion, most of it is just pointless. It’s just far too long. I can’t believe that my edition is over 700 pages long. That’s longer than Homer’s The Iliad. It’s longer than Great Expectations. It’s not as long as War and Peace though. The length of Order of the Phoenix is excruciating. I was only able to read it in a day because I’ve read it before and so I skimmed over most of it.

Also, due to it’s length this novel can be incredibly boring. I was forever waiting for the action to begin and it just took forever to get to the good bit of the novel. It almost felt like two novels in one because you have the whole Umbridge plotline and then you have the plotline about the Order and the prophecy. Perhaps that’s why it feels so drawn out and boring.

One last thing, I hated Sirius’ death. It wasn’t even a proper death scene. He just floated into the veil. It was awful. Sirius is one of my favourite characters out of the series and I would have preferred for him to be honoured with a proper death. In the film they have Bellatrix cast the killing curse on him which is better than him being knocked into the Veil with an unidentified curse.

Order of the Phoenix is a decent book. It’s not amazing and it’s far too long. I did sort of enjoy both of the plotlines going on in this novel but even though it had two (interconnected) plots it was pretty dull. I enjoyed small aspects such as the DA lessons, Umbridge, the bonding between Harry and Sirius, and the new settings but this book didn’t wow me in any way.

Of course I’d recommend it because I love the other books in the series. I just wish that it was either shorter or had more substance to it.


6 thoughts on “Book Review – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling

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