Simon's Bookcase

Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: J.K. Rowing, June 13—June 23, 2016

My rating: ♦♦♦♦◊

HarryPotterOrderPhoenixThere’s more Potter for your pound in this, the longest instalment of the Harry Potter series. The fifth book introduces the Order of The Phoenix, a resistance to Voldermort that reforms in view of the Dark Lord’s return.

At Hogwarts, things get extremely interesting with the arrival of Delores Umbridge as the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, at the Minister of Magic’s behest. Political interference is rife and it falls to Harry to lead a secret resistance of his own. It’s an absolutely delicious development, and painful to watch Dumbledore and Hogwarts be stripped to its core by the usurper. Her iron grip provokes reactions from all the major players true to their natures and every new change is more shocking, more loaded and more game-changing than the last.

Many of the series’ arcs continue on a micro- and macro-level, from Sirius’ continued fugitive status, now at the Order, to Harry’s romance with Cho Chang. But it is Rowling’s ability to expand the universe with each book that gives context and grounding. We are treated to multiple trips to the Ministry of Magic itself, as well as St Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries (holla Gilderoy!), while the Daily Prophet and women’s magazine The Quibbler play an increasing role.

Snape’s greater role is an absolute gift. He’s a standout of the series and comes into his own here, basking in the ambiguity of his actions. His backstory is explored, contextualising in part his bitter animosity towards Black and Potter, and his present-day malevolence is tantalising with every appearance, and even mention.

The totality of Phoenix has humour and heartbreak. It’s a thrilling ride, for sure, but the story is less complex than Goblet despite its longer running time. Though it’s so easy to remain in Potter’s universe for as long as possible, the odd section drags a little and a trim here and there wouldn’t be unwelcome, especially around Hagrid’s storytelling.

The ante is upped yet again in Phoenix and Rowling’s world keeps on giving. Another phenomenal adventure, with brilliant character development combined with yet more unforgettable additions.


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This entry was posted on June 23, 2016 by in 4 star, Harry Potter and tagged .

Author Cloud

@Queen_UK Adolf Hitler agatha christie Alan Clements Alastair Campbell Aldous Huxley Aleksandr Orlov Alex Shaffer Andrew Neiderman Anthony Burgess Arthur Miller Bateman Ben Brooks Ben Elton Bram Stoker Bret Easton Ellis C.J. Cherryh Carolyn Jess-Cooke Charles Dickens Chuck Palahniuk Dan Brown Dante Alighieri dashiell hammett david baldacci David Brin David Glattauer David Kirkpatrick David Line David Tennant David Wolstencroft Dylan Jones E.L. James Edgar Allen Poe Emilia Fox Eoin Colfer Erica Spindler Frank Peretti Gabrielle Lord Gareth Roberts Geoff Ryman George Orwell George R. R. Martin George W. Bush Gillian Flynn Gillian Slovo Graham Greene Guy Piran Harper Lee Harriet Lane Herman Koch Ian Rankin J.K. Rowling Jack Thorne Jacqueline Rayner James Herbert James Patterson Jasper Fforde Jeff Green Jeff Kinney Jeffrey Archer Jem Lester Jenny Robson Jeremy Clarkson Jerry B. Jenkins Jim Thompson John Crowther John Green John Grisham John Tiffany John Verdon Jonas Jonasson Judith Kerr Juliana Foster Justin Richards Kaci Hill Karen Levine Keeley Bolger Louis Walsh malorie blackman Marissa Meyer Mark Haddon Mark Z. Danielewski Martin Sixsmith Mary Higgins Clark Mary McNamara Matt Haig Matthew Ravden Michael Berry Michael Connelly Michael Morpurgo Michael Quirke Miguel de Cervantes Mike Lancaster Morris Gleitzman Morton Rhue Neil Sinclair Nick Hornby Nick Page Patricia Cornwell Patricia Stotley Patrick Ness Paula Hawkins Paul Johnston Peter James Phil Allcock R.J. Palacio Rachelle Dekker Raymond Chandler Richard Bachman Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Ludlum Robin Cook Robin Kirkpatrick sandra brown Sebastian Beaumont Sharon Osbourne Stella Rimmington Stephen Cole Stephen King Steve Lookner Steve Lyons Stuart MacBride Sue Townsend Suzanne Collins ted dekker Terry Pratchett Tim LaHaye Tim Randall Todd Strasser Tom Avery Tom Bower Tom Cain Tom Hoyle tony blair William Golding William P. Young William Shakespeare