This is the fifth book in the enormously popular Harry Potter series. When I read the first four, I felt like it just got better and better with each new books. I had heard that the fifth was a step down hill and that, due to its longer length, it was actually a little boring at times too. So I was pretty happy when I read this and I found that the pattern of improving with each new book had continued.
I’m going to assume that if you are reading this review, you already know about everything that happens in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, namely, the cliffhanger of Voldemort’s return. With Voldemort back, the entire novel has a much darker tone. As soon as you start reading, you’ll find that the writing style seems quite a lot different. There was a certain light-hearted aspect to all of the previous ones which is noticeably absent this time (not entirely, but to a large extent) and it really helps to reflect the more serious story of this book.
The main focus of the book is the formation of the titular “Order of the Phoenix” which is a group of people who are secretly working together to stop Voldemort as soon as he strikes. The problem is that the Ministry of Magic does not accept the fact that Voldemort has returned and cause lots of problems for anybody who tries to claim that he has. There’s a really interesting political aspect to this book which I enjoyed very much. There are things like the Daily Prophet newspaper, which completely misrepresent what’s happening and have a strong Ministry-bias. It all felt like it was saying something about real world politics and I love to see criticism of real world problems in fantastical settings.
As usual for this series, the book is full of loveable characters. Hermione continues to be my favourite of the main three and I have to say that Harry suddenly seems like a much more miserable person, but I suppose that’s a fairly reasonable change, considering that he had witnessed the murder of a friend! Dumbledore was already somebody I loved, but after this book he took a few steps up and became even more charming and amazing in my mind. A new character named Umbridge is also introduced; Umbridge is very unlikable but brings a very interesting dimension to things which I appreciated a lot. Luna Lovegood is another character who’s pushed into the spotlight in this book and I have to say that I very quickly took a shine to her too!
So, overall, this book provides what all of the previous four did: a fleshed out world full of well developed characters. As things move along, the stakes grow higher and higher and I was “reading at the edge of my seat” throughout the whole book! A fantastic read.
(Don’t miss today’s Finger Puppet Show!)