Sunday, May 4, 2014

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

First Line: “The hottest day of the summer so far was drawing to a close and a drowsy silence lay over the large, square houses of Privet Drive.”

Romance: 2/5 – There is some kissing and dating described.

Profanity: 3/5 – There’s a lot of use of “D**n,” “H*ll,” and several inappropriate jokes—maybe one or two uses of words like “Bloody,” and “Blimey.”

Violence: 2/5 – As in the other books, there is a character who desperately wants Harry Potter dead, and will go to great lengths to see him so.

Other parental concerns: Use of magic.

“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? Here are just a few things on Harry’s mind: 1) A Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher with a personality like poisoned honey; 2) A venomous, disgruntled house-elf; 3) Ron as keeper of the Gryffindor Quidditch team; 4) The looming terror of the end-of-term Ordinary Wizarding Level exams . . . and, of course, the growing threat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. In the richest installment yet of J.K. Rowling’s seven-part story, Harry Potter is faced with the unreliability of the very government of the magical world and the impotence of the authorities at Hogwarts. Despite this (or perhaps because of it), he finds depth and strength in his friends, beyond what even he knew; boundless loyalty; and unbearable sacrifice. Though thick runs the plot (as well as the spine), readers will race through these pages and leave Hogwarts, like Harry, wishing only for the next train back.” – Scholastic, Inc.

After The Goblet of Fire’s 190,000+ words, which probably could have been cut down to 150,000, I was a little unsure about tackling about 257,000 in its sequel, The Order of the Phoenix. But, thankfully, I did find The Order of the Phoenix more fulfilling than its precedent. Rowling’s writing could, admittedly, use improvement—such as, let’s take away all those dialogue-and-adverb-tags, shall we? But with the faults in her writing, her plotting has improved as she begins to reveal more and more about Harry Potter’s relationship to the evil Lord Voldemort. And I know this is bad, but I really enjoyed Harry’s rebellion against Professor Umbridge with the D.A. I’m a rebellious soul, I guess. . . . :) (I probably shouldn’t have smiled at that.) I found the connection between Professor Snape and Harry very interesting, too, and longed for that impenetrable connection to break into Harry’s thick skull. I mean, seriously, kid, how much dumber can you get sometimes. . . . But the way Rowling handled Harry’s emotions in the last couple of chapters was masterful, and in spite of my debating between four and a half and five, I’m going to go with. . . .

harry potter 5 rating

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