In his fifth year at Hogwart's, Harry faces challenges at every turn, from the dark threat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be- Named and the unreliability of the government of the magical world to the rise of Ron Weasley as the keeper of the Gryffindor Quidditch Team. Along the way he learns about the strength of his friends, the fierceness of his enemies, and the meaning of sacrifice.
Well, its been slow goings for me getting through these books. The first 3 flew by, as they really were not that different from the movies at all (kudos to the screenwriter[s]). The fourth book was much more detailed than the movie, but remarkably similar with not too much pertinent information left out of it. But this review isn't about those books. Its about The Order of the Phoenix.
I have to admit, when I first picked up this book, I was thinking I have to skim through this as quickly as possible so I can read The Half Blood Prince before the movie comes out (at this point I've seen all the movies before reading the books). However, with my work schedule and my free time being taken up by other things, this book took me well over a month to read! So, you'll have to excuse me if I leave things out.
I was rather impressed by the detail and depth that went into this particular HP book (can I call it a novel? It's somewhere in the 800 page-range...). I was also a little surprised how dark the book got. Yes, The Goblet of Fire started getting there, but with You-Know-Who now in full physical form it seems to be getting darker (I've started reading HP6, and wow). I'm also seeing things in the book that I didn't really notice in the movie. Ron and Hermoine? Harry and Ginny (it seems to be hinted at a couple times in HP5)?
I love how the DA meets several times in the book, and the character of Neville is heard from much more. For an "Independent Reader" or "Young Adult" type book, this is an exceptionally good read. I was slightly startled at the darkness shown in young Harry during the last 100 pages or so - my beloved, young Harry is being so mean? Thinking such evil things? Not to mention throughout the whole book is actually seeing things You-Know-Who is doing, and feeling things he's feeling. How interesting. My only qualm here is this: wouldn't such a powerful wizard know that was going on and nip it in the bud? I mean, you can't be one of the most powerful wizards and not know something as simple as that. Especially when you already know that you are connected to this person mentally (as we found out in HP4). Does this make sense to you? I didn't think so. Also, if the Dark Lord was in his full power however many years ago when the prophecy was made, why didn't he storm the Hall of Prophecies and steal it? Did he not know it was there? Because that seems to be the only reason he wouldn't have been able to get it. So maybe that's more than one thing...
Overall, I suggest this to anyone I know who's read the Twilight Saga and loved it (and is looking for something else that is a rather easy read). Quite a bit of detail was put into this book... the most so far. It should be interesting to see what the last two have to give me! I think I'm going to have to read HP5 over again once I'm done with the series.