Read: July 2003
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a massive tome. It is immense, and bitter, and very, very dark. Although it could have benefited from a good editing to remove about a third of its ramblings, it is a better book than I thought after reading it the first time. J.K. Rowling should be commended for her skill in portraying Harry's teenage stroppyness, and for letting her little heroes grow up at all. How often in fiction do you get a hero who is simultaneously the leader of a vast underground army and a petulant kid who spurns the help of all who offer it and ends up responsible for the death of one of his most loved comrades? Yes, Order of the Phoenix may be dark, but it is gloriously so.
What’s more there is a great battle coming and the promise of a big revelation in the form of an as yet unheard prophecy. Why did Voldemort need to kill Harry when he was so young? And why exactly are they linked in the form of the scar on Harry’s head? In Order of the Phoenix we travel to the Ministry of Magic, and a St Mungo’s wizard hospital, take a ride on the back of an invisible Thestral, and travel with Hagrid in search of his fellow giants. New characters develop and come the end, we know far more about exactly where the series is heading.
7 out of 10