“Youth can not know how age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young.”
Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix has always been my least favorite Harry Potter book of the bunch. Don’t get me wrong; I still love the series, but I guess the main problem I have with this fifth book is that I absolutely despise Umbridge. Her character isn’t supposed to be likeable, but still… Both the last chapters of the fourth book and fifth book mark a turning point in the life of Harry, where he is forced to deal with death and the fact that Lord Voldemort has returned. Harry is growing up, and the books get only darker as the story continues. The initial innocence is gone, and the last few books of the series are definitely not suited for the youngest audience. I remember crying the first time I read the ending… Sirius has always been one of my favorite characters and sometimes I wish J.K. Rowling would have mentioned him and the other Animagi characters more frequently. Who knows, maybe one day?
WARNING: Spoilers! Please don’t read this summary if you haven’t read the previous books yet...
After Harry Potter’s fourth year at Hogwarts ended terribly with the death of Cedric and return of Voldemort, he still had to go back to his aunt and uncle during summer. His friends and godfather Sirius seem to have forgotten him as they are busy with the order of the phoenix; a group of witches and Wizards working together to fight Voldemort. Things change when two Dementors show up and attack both Harry and his cousin, forcing the young wizard to protect both of them and use magic in front of a Muggle. The Ministry Of Magic tried to expell him, but Dumbledore interfered and Harry has to go to a hearing instead deciding his fate. The problem is that Harry is the only one who actually saw Voldemort’s return, and The Ministry Of Magic doesn’t want people to believe Harry and let the panic of his return spread. All summer long they have been running an anti-Harry and Dumbledore campaign, but it hasn’t been completely succesful… For now.
Things are about to change at Hogwarts as the Ministry decides to interfere. They have appointed Umbridge as the new Defense Against The Dark Arts teacher, and soon it shows that the Ministry doesn’t want the students to know how to defend themselves. Paranoid that Dumbledore is trying to create an army to fight against the Ministry, Umbridge has the task to slowly take control of the school and make sure everything is up to standard… And she turns out to be a true dictator in pink disguise. Harry now has to fight both against the numerous decrees of Umbridge and the all too real dreams he has been having… How long will it be before Voldemort shows himself again?
The prose is as good as ever even though the story gets darker as Harry ages. The parts with Umbridge read slower and I found them annoying in general, but that is probably mostly because of my dislike for this character. While this is my least favorite Harry Potter book, I still enjoyed reading it and even discovered a few facts I didn’t remember. All in all this reread was another magical journey to the world of Harry Potter; one I cannot get enough of. Recommended as it’s part of the series and necessary to understand the rest of the books!