Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: YA/Adult
Star Rating: 4/5 Stars
Series: Yes - book 5

*SPOILER ALERT: Contains SPOILERS for the previous book in the series*


harry potter and the order of the phoenix

“You are sharing the Dark Lord’s thoughts and emotions. The Headmaster thinks it inadvisable for this to continue. He wishes me to teach you how to close your mind to the Dark Lord.”

DARK TIMES have come to Hogwarts. After the Dementors’ ATTACK on his cousin Dudley, Harry Potter knows that Voldemort will stop at NOTHING to find him. There are many who deny the Dark Lord’s return, but Harry is not alone: a SECRET ORDER gathers at Grimmauld Place to fight against the Dark forces. Harry must allow Professor Snape to teach him how to PROTECT himself from Voldemort’s savage assaults on his mind. But they are growing STRONGER by the day and Harry is running out of time…


The pre-existing reviews are getting worse…

An accurate depiction of exam stress and teenage hormones, along with the ultimate shift to darkness in this series. As wonderfully written as the others

In all seriousness, we’ve reached my least favourite of the Harry Potters (a 4 rather than a 5). However, it has a higher book-love to film-love ratio than all the others (because Fred and George!)

So why do I only really like this book rather than love it? The teenage hormones. Yes, it’s accurate, but him being angry ALL the time feels a little over the top. Hand in the air, I was a bit grumpy, but not on this level (I’m not asking my mum to verify this claim, though!). The first time I read this, I was ten/eleven (not sure…), so Harry shouting and being a teenage seemed very silly to me (“He’s just yelling and not letting them speak, so of course they can’t give him an explanation”), which probably has clouded my judgement a little.

Also the Cho sub-plot didn’t add anything to the story. I was never invested in their romance, because it was obviously doomed from the start (because there was no real reason given for why she liked him. Or why he liked her, for that matter). I don’t romance in books, but I need to like the characters, think they’ll be good together and become invested in their relationship. That didn’t happen here.

This book is long. I loved KINGDOM OF ASH, and that’s 1000 pages, but it didn’t once feel long. Things like Cho and the ‘Christmas on the closed ward’ chapter felt a bit unnecessary at times.

Arg, all negatives! I hate starting with negatives. Positives and gushing first, then the negatives.

Despite these negatives above, I really do like this book (it’s 4/5 stars after all). Voldemort is back, but he’s no where to be seen until the very end. However, his presence can be felt everywhere. From the Order scrambling to stay ahead of him, to the ministry trying to quash all rumours to Harry’s scar prickling, Voldemort’s fingerprints are everywhere. Being in the shadows but inexplicably felt makes him such a potent – and terrifying – villain.

Of course, there are more visible villain/antagonists – including Umbridge. I think she’s the best antagonist in the entire series. She’s just horrible, but she has her ‘principles’ and reasons for everything. The fact that she’s interfering at Hogwarts and ruining the one place Harry’s always felt safe and happy is one of the worst crimes committed in all the books. I love her interactions with McGonagall because of the way McGonagall shut her down and treated her with all the polite disdain.

Fred and George’s pranks, particularly the way they make Umbridge’s tenure as Headmistress horrible, are brilliant. They make this book seem every bit as magical as #1, despite the far more serious tone. It’s why I vastly prefer this book over the film (#2 and #3 and pretty even book-film toss ups).

I re-read this series during both GCSEs (the Muggle version of O.W.L.S.) and then again during A-Levels (Our N.E.W.T.S.), and wow does this book capture the stress and panicky revision of exam years. I must say, it felt a little more similar to A-Levels but it was so relateable to read Harry going through the same things as me then. Though, I’m glad that I never had to fight Death Eaters or deal with an evil teacher…

Read my reviews of other books by J. K. Rowling:

Harry Potter (this series):

One thought on “Book Review: HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX by J. K. Rowling

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