|Harry Potter & The Order of The Phoenix|
Author: J.K. Rowling
Published: June, 2003
Series: Harry Potter
Review by: CL6 MissMaul
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After waiting for about three years we finally got it: the next Harry Potter book. After all the horrible things that happened in Goblet of Fire Harry finds himself pretty much deprived of news during the summer holidays. He is stuck at the Dursleys again and hasn't got an idea how the resistance against Voldemort is going in the wizarding world. But then one evening Harry is making his way back to Privet Drive together with Dudley when two dementors show up and attempt to kill both of them. Harry is forced to use magic and, not being allowed to do so, he receives a letter from the ministry saying he is expelled. Luckily Dumbledore can sort things out a little, so Harry has to attend a hearing which will decide whether he can stay at Hogwarts or not.
A few days later he is picked up by a number of wizards and witches from something called The Order of the Phoenix (the Dursleys are not at home that evening). Being taken to the Order's Headquarters Harry learns Voldemort is trying to get a weapon of some sort. Something he didn't have last time, something he can only get by stealth But the Ministry of Magic hasn't acknowledged Voldemorts return and claims Harry and Dumbledore aren't to be trusted. Therefore the Order also has to work secretly.
United with his best friends Ron and Hermione again and also with his godfather Sirius there, things start to look up again for Harry. Especially once the Wizengamot (the wizard jury) clears him, though not unanimous.
So to Harry's great relief he returns to Hogwarts at the first of September. But things aren't as happy as they used to be. The Ministry is keeping a close watch on the things that are going on at Hogwarts. And the one who does is the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, professor Umbridge. A horrible witch who will only let them learn the theory of defence. With their OWL's coming up this year, the students aren't at all happy. And on top of that Harry is has an ever more hurting scar and feels it when Voldemort has a particular strong emotion.
I reckon I was very wrong thinking the Harry Potter books couldn't get any thicker than the Goblet of Fire. Order of the Phoenix makes it look like a medium sized book. And still, speed is not gone. Things kick off even faster than usual. This is not a book you can read on it's own, I think Rowling figured everyone has read all the other books by now. The growing of the characters is still there. Harry himself is much angrier and rightly so. And all the other characters have and are changing as well. Again new characters are introduced. The most important one is Professor Umbridge. She is a character I loath very much, she does horrible things but a lot less direct than Snape. So that's why I feel she is worse. And, as we find out a bit more about Snape, he does have his reasons for being this nasty.
I really do not want to spoil much about the story. It is true that a character dies, but I found it happened so sudden I didn't really feel sad. Other than that I think it's brilliant. Some questions that were raised in the previous books are answered. But also new mysteries turn up. Supposedly all the clues as to how it all will end are there, but very well hidden.
The story is speedy, a load happens. And also this part is a pageturner. The humour is still there even though the story is dark. It does deal more with the children though. Especially Hagrid and Dumbledore are a lot more on the background.
So all fans of the previous books: read this. It's better, faster and just downright great.
Title: Harry Potter & The Order of The Phoenix