Sorry to be a little late posting; I’ve had to do some reading for grad school before classes begin. This might become a more frequent occurence as the semester progresses. I apologize in advance. Onto the summary!
When we last left off in Goblet of Fire, Cedric Diggory had been killed, Alistair Moody turned out to be a polyjuice using Barty Crouch Jr, and Lord Voldemort had returned. But despite all of that, the wizarding world seems fairly normal. No unusual killings, no unusual disappearances, no one seems worried.
Except Harry Potter and his companions…or maybe just Harry since he hasn’t heard from anyone all summer.
As usual, Harry spends his summer at Privet Drive avoiding Dudley – who has now taken up boxing and bullying – and attempting to discern any wizarding news from the muggle news. He is also having nightmares of Cedrics death and an unknown door at the end of a long corridor. Things change rapidly when Harry and Dudley find themselves attacked by a pair of dementors. Harry is forced to use the patronus charm to save them, but is soon sent a letter by the Ministry that he used magic in the presence of a muggle while underaged and is expelled from Hogwarts.
Harry is soon rescued by a group called the Order of the Phoenix and brought to 12 Grimmauld Place, the headquarters of the Order and his godfather Sirius’ family home. He learns that the Ministry of Magic has not told the public of Lord Voldemort’s return but is instead vilifying Harry and Dumbledore, saying they are lying about the Dark Lord’s return. Eventually Harry goes to trial for his underaged magic, but is soon free of charges and returns to Hogwarts.
But Hogwarts is no longer the happy place he remembers. Harry loses a few friends due to the Daily Prophet’s constant publication of his “lies.” The new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is none other than Ministry undersecretary Dolores Umbridge, who quickly uses her position to try and reform the school and refusal to teach actual defensive magic. Harry’s nightmares haven’t stopped either, but instead become more detailed and vivid. As more and more students slowly realize the aren’t getting the education they need to defend themselves, they turn to the only person who they know has had adequate experience: Harry.
Now Harry must secretly teach his friends the spells to keep them safe while attempting to decipher his odd nightmares – which may not actually be nightmares. But the one man Harry has always turn to for help is no longer able – or willing – to aid him. Dumbledore’s continued absence soon angers Harry. But the question is why?
While I love Harry and I completely understand his anger and frustration, Order of the Phoenix ranks as one of my least favorite books in the series. I think my main source of anger mimics Harry’s; why Dumbledore continues to refuse to see him. While I understand Dumbledore’s motives (and Rowling’s), from Harry’s viewpoint is was needless.
One of the things I really did enjoy from this book is the scene’s with Dumbledore’s Army as they learn defensive magic from Harry. These scenes really showed that even though Harry isn’t as bookish as Hermione, he is still quite adept at magic.
Overall I still really liked Order of the Phoenix. Who am I kidding? I like all of the Harry Potter novels.
My rating: 3.75/5