Sorry about the abbreviated title above. The full title is too
long for our RDF file to handle without choking.

General Information

Title: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Author: J. K. Rowling

Original Publication Date: 2003

ISBN: 1-55192-570-2

Cover Price: $43.00 Can

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Premise

Harry’s fifth year at Hogwarts includes threats for Lord
Voldemort,
pranks from the Weasley twins, a new Defense of the Dark
Arts teacher,
Hagrid caring for unusual animals, and more.

High Point

The departure from Hogwarts at the end of chapter 29.

Low Point

This is not as much fun as the other books, as vanyel
mentioned in the
spoiler-ridden
discussion column.
It’s true to the nature of the story,
but it’s
not quite what I was hoping for. Most of the dreary parts
are early
in the book, so just keep reading and that’ll sort itself out,
for the
most part.

The Scores

I’m going to stick with our original scoring system for this
review.
I agree that it needs modification (or at least, a standard
set of
rubrics available to all), but it’ll have to do until we get the
new
model sorted out.

As you might be able to tell from the Premise above, the
sweeping plot
is not even an original plan compared to the
other books.
Significant events tend to happen through the course of
the school
year, happening primarily in the first week of school and at
major
holidays. Some of the finer details are new to the series,
but others
are things that the readers of previous books would know
are coming.
I give it 2 out of 6. (Entries in a series seem to suffer in
this
category, too.)


The imagery is the minimal detail that we had
in the previous
books. It’s good enough, but not earth-shattering. I give it
4 out
of 6.

The story is similar in tone and planning to the
fourth book.
It seems like Goblet of Fire was where
Rowling decided to
step it up a notch, bringing the series into more mature
territory.
Mysteries have been revealed that were hinted at in the
last volume,
but others (like the specific source of Dumbledore’s trust of
Snape
have been mentioned again, but left until later. Most of the
plot
threads introduced here have been wrapped up, and some
of the
seemingly pointless offhand dialogue from the last book
has been
brought into this one. (In one case, rather forceibly.) I
give it 5
out of 6.



The characterization has some developments
for James Potter,
Sirius Snape, Cho Chang, Neville Longbottom, Severus
Snape, Albus
Dumbledore, Percy Weasley, and (in particular) Minerva
McGonagall.
(Professor McGonagall, in particular, has some excellent
moments in
this book.) New characters, like the new Defense of the
Dark Arts
teacher, are fairly well developed. Harry, Ron, and
Hermione are
virtually unchanged, which is unfortunate in the main cast.
I give it
4 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced was
fairly good. I was
miserable when Harry was miserable (which happened a
bit too often, in
my opinion,) and I laughed out loud at several times,
particularly
when there were staff disagreements or when the Weasley
twins were
involved. I give it 5 out of 6.



The editing could have used a trim. For
example, neither
Dumbledore’s comment at least year’s Yule Ball nor the
follow-up
explaining that comment this year need have been
included; that
segment stands up well enough on its own without it. I like
the
hinting at things to come, but the repetition in describing
dreams and
such was a bit much. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a welcome addition to a series
that just can’t
get published fast enough. I recommend it to any fan of
the series.
I give it 5 out of 6. Yes, it starts out dreary, but it looks like
it’s set to just move forward with events rather than
exposition for
the rest of the series.

In total, Harry Potter and the Order of the
Phoenix
receives
28 out of 42.