Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5)
J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter is about to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Unlike most schoolboys, Harry never enjoys his summer holidays, but this summer is even worse than usual. The Dursleys, of course, are making his life a misery, but even his best friends, Ron and Hermione, seem to be neglecting him.

Harry has had enough. He is beginning to think he must do something, anything, to change his situation, when the summer holidays come to an end in a very dramatic fashion. What Harry is about to discover in his new year at Hogwarts will turn his world upside down…

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5) book cover

Order of the Phoenix was the first Harry I saw on CD. For the last time, I got the Adrenaline rush, which faded as I got older, but sitting there listening to the news report with Harry under the window rekindled that feeling. Interestingly, it was also the first time I actually had a novel from the series in print, and the first time I’d read an original potter at the computer before being able to get the audio version.

I say original because of the profusion of fanfiction I’d swallowed. I was first introduced to Harry at the end of 2000, and this one appeared halfway through 2003. I’d of course pounced upon the first four and eaten them quickly and, like many die-hard Potter fans, dived into reading fanfiction because of the huge gap between releases. There’s a whole category of “Post-GOF” fanfic in my archive, none of which I’ve even looked at in over 7 years, but it’s still there, for a day I decide to revisit
my youth.

I liked Order of the Phoenix. Rereading it now, the blend of Harry’s teenage tantrums, interference at Hogwarts, the stress of Sirius and Dumbledore’s distance make for a powerful cocktail. Reading it for the first time I suppose I didn’t look for reasons for the emotion, just enjoyed the story, so that was different.

It’s also huge, of course – the longest by far, and certainly with a wealth of depth and detail. Something was missing – (innocence, the world gets darker, and I think something of the charm of the world Rowling made fades with it, which is sad. Still, it’s a most worthy story, a powerful and compelling book and certainly worthy of more detail and attention than I’ve been able to give it in this brief write-up.

Published by Sean Randall

I am an avid reader, technologist and disability advocate living in the middle of England with my wife, daughter and pets.

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