The Order of the Phoenix is the 5th year in the story of Harry Potter and the adventures at Hogwarts. This book happens to be the thickest of all the novels, as a result it has the most content that doesn’t make it to the movies. It’s weird to me that the films have the last book broken out into two movies but this one with more than 100 pages of extra content over that book and is crammed into one short film.
The story begins to take a turn in this book. You learn of a secret order of witches and wizards who have dedicated themselves to stopping the evil that is Lord Voldemort (yeah, I used his name).
This book involves several key plot twists. It’s the first book where an important character dies, and you see several power battles play out and how they effect the world at Hogwarts. We also get to see Harry develop as a leader, though it’s clear he doesn’t want it. Hermione seems much more suited to it.
In this book I feel Rowling develops the main characters much more that she had in the previous 4 books combined. But, more importantly she begins, for the first time, to develop the side characters. They’re no longer just the boys who sleep in Harry’s dorm, they each have wants, fears, and desires. We begin to see what has made them who they are. This development is so key to the story and where it is going. Without that development we might be lead to believe that only Ron, Hermione, and Harry have a personality.
I have one complaint with this book. In the beginning of the book there’s a comment made about how they didn’t travel by portkey as that would be a lifetime’s work to accomplish. But we see in the end of the last book that one of the death eater’s made a portkey with no more than a year of lead time. And then at the end of the book Dumbledore makes a port key in about half a second and sends Harry though it to wait for him. Are we to believe that Voldemort’s Death Eaters can make a portkey fairly easily, but a normal wizard needs a life time to accomplish it? I just can’t follow that logic. This is a fairly big plot hole and presents all kinds of other issues. Why didn’t Voldemort use a portkey to enter Hogwarts at any point in the story? Surely while Dumbledore lived it makes sense that he didn’t, but once he’s dead why do we have the huge battle scene if he could enter silently in the night? Perhaps this is answered later in the books, but I find that doubtful.
Overall, I give this book five stars. I’ll review book six next week, but having already read it I can easily say that this is my favorite of the first 6 books.
Next Up: The Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling