Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Why won't I let myself give this more than 3 stars?! I want to, I really do, but my cursor-moving finger won't budge! Let's investigate the whys!
Length - This is the longest book in the series. I love the Harry Potter series, so I should want more of it, right? I don't know, sometimes a lot is too much. Rowling did her best to pack a lot into this one and it feels too bulgy. If this was carry-on luggage, TSA would make her check it for going over the size limit.
Dolores Umbridge - What a great evil character she is, isn't she? Quite the bitch. And the kicker is she's supposed to be on the good side! I like a well-crafted, dual-natured character as much as the next reader, but I do not like when characters are made to be so blind to what's going on that it's beyond belief. Umbridge's absolute unwillingness to believe in the return of Voldemort is trying to say the least. She's Hitler-esque at times. That's fine, a little over the top, but fine. But she cares sooo very much for the Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts, or at least in her position there, that one would expect her to do her due diligence in investigating any threat to her own power and interests.
Sirius Black - Now, this one's on me. I LOVE Sirius Black and I really wanted to see the development of a strong bond between he and Harry. Since book three I'd been waiting for some Black/Potter tag team action. I wanted to see them hanging out, doing Uncle/Nephew kind of things. That's not quite how it played out. Oh well... It's nobody's fault but mine that I let this missing aspect get me down. Still, a book review is subjective and so I must admit a personal bias that affected my overall enjoyment.
Harry's Yellow Fever - That's so racist! Okay, now that I've got that out of the way... I was disappointed when Harry's love affair with Cho Chang went south. I liked the relationship. It was complicated. It was difficult for him. It could have made for a fine romance. But no, Rowling had other ideas - very British ideas, like "keeping it in the family". Frankly, Harry's eventual attachment to Ginny Weasley felt too close. I mean, Harry and her feel almost like brother and sister. Plus she's a ginger. Eeeewww.
I could give Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix four or even five stars and there are reasons I might drop it as low as two. So, let's give it a very strong three and be done with it!
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