In a seven book series, the 4th and the 5th books really help set the tone for the climax I believe. I had got what I expected from Goblet of Fire. This book added fuel to that fire and pushed it toward the conclusion quickly. Things begin to happen!
At the end of Goblet of Fire, we see the Dark Lord has returned to full strength. While those who have always considered him to be alive and waiting to return take it in their stride and get ready for the battle between good and evil, others who believed him to be gone refuse to accept the news of his return. Harry and Dumbledore are targeted, there is interference at Hogwarts to try and curtail the effect the “news” might have on the wizarding world, an old group of comrades are re-formed to once again take arms (wands) in the battle against He Who Must Not Be Named.
When it comes to character sketches, I love what Rowling accomplishes in this book with the character of Dolores Umbridge. With her appearance in this one book, she (without doubt) becomes the most despised villain in the series. Yes, even more than Voldemort. I love the defiance in the face of the ministry by the DA. I love the DA sessions, the scene during the OWLs and the first “battle” of the series, which happens in this book. Sad moments include a snake attack and the death of a beloved character (the first major death of the series). While that was a mood killer, I felt it added impetus toward the final battle because it makes Harry more determined.
Plot wise, this is my favorite book of the series (though emotionally, I’d still lean toward Prisoner of Azkaban). Enjoyed reading it and rereading it many times. If you’re reading the series, I hope you do too!
Title: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Series: Harry Potter #5
Author: J. K. Rowling
No. of Pages: 901
Rating: 10 out of 10