Friday, January 28, 2011

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

There is a door at the end of a silent corridor. And it's haunting Harry Potter's dreams. Why else would he be waking in the middle of the night, screaming in terror?
Harry has a lot on his mind for this, his fifth year at Hogwarts: a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher with a personality like poisoned honey; a big surprise on the Gryffindor Quidditch team; and the looming terror of the Ordinary Wizarding Level exams. But all these things pale next to the growing threat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named--a threat that neither the magical government nor the authorities at Hogwarts can stop.
As the grasp of darkness tightens, Harry must discover the true depth and strength of his friends, the importance of boundless loyalty, and the shocking price of unbearable sacrifice.
His fate depends on them all.

I'm not really sure what I want to say here. I'm wondering if, when these came out, there was such a tremendous HP fever that few noticed how incredibly boring this book was. I've been trying to get through it for over a week--which may be a record for me-- and I ended up reading two other books while I was reading this.

I don't think the problem is that I am burnt out on HP. I had a movie marathon and watched the six movies that are out on DVD this last weekend. I was certain that I had never seen the fifth movie.... until I started watching it. I remebered that I hated the movie too, and I must have blocked it out at some point. It honestly was even a struggle to watch the 2+ hour movie.

I hated the character of Professor Umbridge (which I think is the point, but still...) I was bummed that one of my very favorite people died. And because of certain things that took place in book 4, it seemed like Harry was angry at everyone for much of this book, which it explains in this long, drawn out story. What happened to sweet, little Harry Potter? Can he come back now?? I miss him.

The bright spots in the book were Dumbledore's Army and this conversation between Hermione, Ron, and Harry:

"Don't you understand how Cho's feeling at the moment? she asked.
"No," said Harry and Ron together.
Hermione sighed and laid down her quill.
"Well, obviously, she's feeling very sad, because of Cedric dying. Then I expect she's feeling confused because she liked Cedric and now she likes Harry, and she can't work out who she likes best. Then she'll be feeling guilty, thinking it's an insult to Cedric's memory to be kissing Harry at all, and she'll be worrying about what everyone else might say about her if she starts going out with Harry. And she probably can't work out what her feelings toward Harry are anyway, because he was the one who was with Cedric when Cedric died, so that's all mixed up and painful. Oh, and she's afraid she's going to be thrown off the Ravenclaw Quidditch team because she's been flying so badly."
A sightly stunned silence greeted the end of this speech, then Ron said, "One person can't feel all that at once, they'd explode."

I laughed and laughed. This was the silver lining for me. And the conversation took place about halfway through, so it was exactly what I needed to keep me reading. Something light in a doom and gloom sort of story.

It just goes to show you--Bigger is not always better. I'm glad to see the next book is about half the size of this monster. Perhaps the author ran out of steam??

(I never would have made it through this book either without the book on CD, so a big thank you to my mother-in-law for loaning it to me!)

Can't wait to read the next one! (I hear it's tied with the seventh for the best in the series!)

Happy Reading!


Anne said...

Yeah, this one has bee, shall we say, lovingly dubbed Harry Potter and the Pillar of Angst by me and my friends. It's definitely tied with 2 for my least favourite too. Don't worry it gets better.

Amber said...

I and likely the rest of the planet, were with you on the 5th book. By the time you reach the end of the 6th though you discover how necessary it was. If you ever reread the series, the 5th book isn't so bad.