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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on July 8, 2003
I thought that this book was positively amazing. Not only has Ms. Rowling continued to manage the complex wizarding world she has created in the last 4 books, but she has continued to make the emotions and lives of her characters real and down to earth. Creating an entire society with laws, governments, thousands of citizens, as well as dramatic events and problems, while managing to keep all the details straight cannot be easy. Also in this book you can truly see how the characters are growing and changing with the times. Harry's rage, while at first annoying and unwelcome, later shows the response of any humane person. He is worried about the safety of his friends, he is cut off from any useful information, he is put under enormous pressure in preparation for O.W.L.s, he is being called a liar, many beliefs and ideals he has clung to for support have recently been crushed, and much more. Perhaps it is just me but under those circumstances I'd be upset and full of rage too. I'm fifteen and a sophomore in high school and it took me about 15 hours to read the book (I'm somewhat sorry I read so fast). I firmly believe that while many of the decisions Ms. Rowling made in the writing of this book were widely unpopular (as is evident by many of these reviews), it was honest, realistic, and absolutely amazing. If anything had been changed or left out of the book I think that it would have lost much of the realism and brutal honesty we have come to expect for the wonderful world of Harry Potter.
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on July 2, 2003
Why would an adult be interested in Harry Potter? Because J. K. Rowling is the best storyteller since Tolkien. Part of the reason is that like Tolkein, Rowling prepared her world prior to writing the books. The reported outline of the seven episodes allows her to develop richness in plot and character development with which other series cannot compare.
Order of the Phoenix is the best yet. The quality of the character development is superb. Her description of the frustration and anger of the adolescent Harry is outstanding. Hermione's development rivals Harry's in scope and her quip to Ron about his inability to fathom Cho's emotions probably is one of the more succinct descriptions of the differences between the sexes in existence. Ron's dealing with an increasingly complex relationship with his friends and his tenure at Hogwarts is well done.
Additionally, we are treated to a developing depth of prose. Rowling's description of the change from October to November is almost poetic.
Aside from a great imagination combined with a great storyteller's gift, Rowling is just fun to read.
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on July 13, 2003
Jim Dale does an amazing job bringing Rowling's characters to life!! He gives each charater his or her own voice and personality. I know that I would not appreciate the Potter books half as much if I read them in the print edition. For example, I found myself laughing out loud when Dale described Loona Lovegood on the Hogworts Express-- I know that I probably would have just breezed right through this part in the print edition without much thought.
The story itself is awesome-- each book has become more "adult" and is much better than the last. I can't wait for the next installment!
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on June 24, 2003
I took the day off of work to read this book basically cover to cover, so obviously I'm a big fan. That said, the end of book four set up a great expansion of the scope of the story that would be covered in this series, and I had some trepidation as to whether or not J.K. Rowling would be able to pull it off (especially under the immense pressure of currently being the world's most popular author, among her many other commitments). To my great delight, she succeeded brilliantly! In my mind, each book of the Harry Potter series as been better than the ones preceding it, and J.K. Rowling has accomplished this feat yet again. Book five is the best of the series so far, and I fully expect this trend to continue through books six and seven. While I found the first book in the series (particularly the beginning) to be somewhat formulaic, this series has really grown in the telling. The characters in book five become more complex and the sense of Harry and his friends going through their teenage years is well conveyed. The stakes are higher, the emotions deeper, and the intricacies of the plot increased. The heart of the story remains the courage and friendship of youth overcoming adversity. I recommend this book (and the entire series) whole-heartedly to children and adults alike.
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on June 23, 2003
I just recently finished a second reading of "The Order of the Phoenix." And I must say that everything Rowling said would happen, is a big down-play to what actually happens. The normal array of twists and turns in the plot kept me reading the thing straight through, at 870 pgs. this took awhile. I was amazed at the revelations Rowling reveals. I wasn't expecting to find out about many of the things till her last book.
This book has grown-up with Harry. Rowling doesn't play the kids as little sweet boys and girls, but gives them raw teenage emotions. Plus you get to meet all your old friends. Almost everyone from the previous books comes back into this one, even Lockhart in a small, but amusing, role.
This books has many joyous times but also has its sad. Like Rowling has said someone dies. She wasn't kidding. Many people will be upset to see this character gone. But their death brings up many questions in Harry, that add to the wonderful book this is. I recommend that anyone and everyone read it. Though you don't have to read the other books before you read this one, I think you should. Happy Reading.
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on June 25, 2003
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book. J.K. Rowling has risen above the 'Harry Hype' to deliver an in-depth, mature and somewhat darker novel than her previous works, that still contains the imagination and wonder that made the previous 4 books so magical.
Harry Potter himself has undergone some major character development. Now an angst-filled and somewhat moody teen the reader is introduced to sides of Harry's character not previously seen as he undergoes another tumultuous year at Hogwarts. The story line is gripping and suspenseful, punctuated by a tragic twist that will leave few dry eyes.
Although containing 800+ pages this is a definite children's classic, can't recommend it highly enough.
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on June 25, 2003
I am always surprised to see that these books are meant for 9-12 year olds. I'm 29 and I've loved them all! This one is definately the best and even though it's well over 800 pages I finised it in two days. J.K. Rowling's imagination is simply amazing and her talent unquestionable. No doubt you've heard that there's a death in this one and I was quite surprised to find out who it was. I wasn't expecting it to be that particular character. Harry's frustration with girls keeps things light though and I actually didn't find it to be as dark as what the reviews have been saying. Great book, I highly recommend it.
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on August 11, 2004
I have to disagree with the recommended reading ages. Nine might be a tad young for what Harry encounters and deals with in this book, unless a parent is able to spend the time discussing the book. There is certainly no maximum age for this book. Rowling doesn't lose her characters in the wizarding world, as amazing as that world is. She never forgets who Harry is and really begins to explore the darker nature of the life he lives and the world around him.
Most teenage years are best forgotten and Harry has it more difficult than most. Rowling is brilliant as she reveals more and more of the complex characters within the series. She doesn't shy away from any topic, though it may be dark and unsettling.
This is an amazing book, further proof that Rowling has more than just great ideas. She's a writer to the bone. However, if you're expecting something more akin to the first few books, put that out of your mind.
She is true to her characters in every way and displays amazing range as an author. Rowling's characters are evolving and growing and I'm sad it's almost at an end.
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on June 25, 2003
Just for kids, or just for adults? _Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix_ has the most sophisticated and passion-inducing plot of the series. Through the thin veneer of broomsticks and teenage crushes, Hogwarts sees the rise of a fascist regime on its very own grounds. Harry faces a world terrified of war and renewed strife, filled with closed-minded, powerful people who would rather throw Dumbledore in Azkaban than look beyond their own front doors.
Not for the nervous or faint of heart, _Order of the Pheonix_ shares the usual Harry Potter medley of fun and games mixed in with battles of good vs. evil, life vs. death, but the struggle against Voldemort is clearly becoming the main focus of the series. We see the last four years of strife finally catching up with Harry's psyche, and even catch a few long-awaited glances into the nobility, strength, and sheer power that is Dumbledore.
This is a book of transition: transition for Harry from innocent youth to adulthood, transition for the wizarding world from safety into mortal peril, and transition for the series from fun-loving adventure to profound lessons and insights that both the characters and we the readers must acknowledge and confront about both the wizarding and the real worlds.
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on June 21, 2003
After a long, highly anticipted wait for the fifth installment in the Harry Potter Series, I finally laid hands on my copy at just past midnight last night. I promptly began to read, and I have to say....I am somewhat disappointed in it. Though I believe J K Rowling to be an excellent writer in general, I found the fifth book not nearly as engrossing as the last three. In fact, throughout the entire first half I was left wondering, "when is something going to HAPPEN?!". I found Harry to be more irritating than anything else, what with his constant outbursts, lack of judgement, and incessant whining. Hermione seems to be the only character that is maturing at all. The plot was not as well developed as I thought it could have been (c'mon, there are like nine hundred pages here!), and frankly the resolution (if you can call it that) took an absurdly long time to arrive. [...] Don't get me wrong, it was nice to hear what Harry has been up to, and I genuinely adore this series as a whole. I just felt that JK Rowling's talent is seriously under-utilized here. There is a persistent lack of focus, a rambling, largely unexciting plot, and for the most part the characters become lost in the jumble. This could've been better!! I rate it 3 out of 5.
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