Well, I finally finished it! Yep! Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is history. And I must say that I think that Rachel may have been just a little bit hard on Ms. Rowling. Now I will agree with her that this book might have been done in less than half of the pages that it wound up taking up (870!!). There is an awful lot of "fluff" in it. However, some might say that about Stephen King's It, or The Stand. A writer is entitled to write whatever he or she deems necessary to tell the story. And then the reader is entitled to criticize it. Overall, I found HP5 to be captivating. It was different than the other four, in that there was not quite as much adventure. There was more mystery, or perhaps the mystery was just drawn out a bit more. Ghostiness complained about character development. Granted, there wasn't much. However, we know all of these characters. In fact, who among us that are real HP fans can read one of these books and read about Hermione without seeing the girl's face that is in the movie? I can't. I can't read about Albus Dumbledore without seeing Richard Harris. *sad sigh* (Just about had tears, there. Gonna miss him terribly!!) These characters have been developed already. And there aren't many new characters in this book. Now, here is a slight complaint. Rowling uses her book to make a philosophical/political statement. I must admit that I agree wholeheartedly with the statement that I think I see her making, but is that permissible in a book/series that was supposed to be juvenile?? Here is what I think she is trying to say. Government should keep its hands the hell off of education!!!!! *Ooohhhh....Daddy cussed!!!* Write it down, it doesn't happen very often. You see, the "Ministry of Magic" decides that it knows what is best for the students and sticks it bloody nose into the affairs of Hogwarts, even to the point of not allowing students to learn spells in their Defense Against the Dark Arts class. That's like not allowing a Driver's Ed student to get behind the wheel of a car because he might hurt himself. Theory is good and must be learned. But the ultimate education comes from "hands-on" experience. The Ministry was also lying about V-Voldemort's *gasp* return. Sound familiar? Ever heard the guv'mint tell you that things aren't as bad as you think they are? Hmmm? So I agree. Government should keep it's hands off of education. One reason why I think that it may be time for public education as we know it to come to an end in this country. But that's a whole 'nother discussion. Back to HP5. There is humor, of course, just as in the other four books. Fred and George pull off something that will make them legends in the history of Hogwarts. And they decide that they have had enough of the Ministry's meddling with newly appointed headmistress Dolores Umbridge, and exit with style. Hagrid inroduces us to his brother, the giant, named Grawp. At one point in the book, Grawp appears and says, "HAGGER!" Harry doesn't know what he means. PULLLLEEEEESE!!! Who cannot tell (even having not read the book) that if Hagrid's brother, the giant, yells "HAGGER," that he is not calling his brother, Hagrid?? Ok...*WARNING**WARNING**WARNING**SPOILERS AHEAD**SPOILERS AHEAD* If you have not read the book and don't want it spoiled, you must not read any further!!!
I almost shouted out loud when "Professor" Umbridge got carried off by the Centaurs in the Forbidden Forest. That was a truly great moment. I was furious with her and was glad to see her removed from the picture. I actually wish that she had died. Sadly, she was "rescued" by Dumbledore, himself. He is a better man than I. Now, I had heard rumors of an important death in this book. In fact, initially, I had heard of two deaths. There is only one. And, for me, it turned out to be not as devastating as I expected. First, I thought it was going to be Hagrid. (NOOO!) Then I thought it was going to be MacGonagal. (Double NOOOO!!) Then I thought surely it would be Dumbledore. (Sad, but, hey, his movie actor died.) THEN...I thought it was going to be HERMIONE!!! AAAAUUUGGHHH!!!! THEN.....I THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE RON WEASLEY!! AAAAAUUUUGGGHHHHH!!!! Turns out, it was only Sirius Black. "Only Sirius Black," you say? I know. Some of you really liked him. I liked him, too. But, to me, he was not what I would call a major player. However, it is rather gut-wrenching when Potter has it out with Dumbledore after Black's death. Harry is devastated, and I shed tears right along with him. But it was more because of his pain than because I missed Sirius Black.
I give the book a high rating. I enjoyed it thoroughly and look forward to another installment, although, I wonder how Hogwarts is going to recover from almost being destroyed by the foolishness of the meddling of the Ministry. (And, I wonder how long the next book will be. If we make it to book 7, I think it will be roughly as long as The Bible.) And, yes...Harry winds up once again in the clutches of his idiot muggle family from Privet Drive! But, at least, we now understand why he must return there each year. We also understand now why Snape hates Potter so much. Read the book. If you are a Potter fan, I promise...you won't want to put it down.