|Purchase: Amazon | Chapters|
Genre: Series, YA/fantasy
Start Date: July 15, 2011
Finished Date: July 24, 2011
Where Found: Chapters-Indigo
Why Read: On my TBR list
Summary: In his 5th year at Hogwarts, everyone is on edge after the events of the Triwizard Tournament while Harry suspects that Voldemort is exerting even more control over him, Dumbledore appears to be ignoring him, and the new DADA teacher is wreaking havoc over the school inch by inch.
It seems that many readers find this book, the largest in the series, to have little to show for it by its end with the last two books revving up the story. I was surprised then to find that by the end of OotP to find it much more eye-opening than I expected.
For starters, the tension left over from the tragedy at the Triwizard Tournament leaves many distrusting Harry and he feels very alone, despite continued support from Ron and Hermione. This tension is incredibly influential on the book's mood, sending Hogwarts into a cataclysm after the new DADA teacher, Dolores Umbridge, begins exerting a poisonous influence on the school, starting with Harry. The challenges and changes that Harry faces in this book are reaching a boiling point as he feels lost without Dumbledore's direct support and that his parents were perhaps not everything he expected them to be.
Mind you, Quidditch is once again absent from the book (also from Goblet of Fire, though the Quidditch World Cup more than made up for the loss), replaced with the OWLs, and battling is kept to a minimum, but evil lurks in the despicable Umbridge, whose syrupy demeanor was pitch perfect by Imelda Staunton in the movie version. The history and influence of the Order sets the template for the next two books and we are introduced to the funky Advance Guard, including the sassy Tonks :)
All in all, I would place Order of the Phoenix as my 3rd favourite after Philosopher's Stone and Prisoner of Azkaban, very close to Goblet of Fire which takes 4th place in my favourites now due to the sheer amount of revelations in OotP.
Rank: (A)- Excellent, Highly Recommend