Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I know I'm in the minority for only giving this three stars. But I don't know how I can give it more. The world-building is still first rate. There is enough story and character development here for a five-star read. The problem is that it's well hidden inside of an overblown, over-sized book where nothing much happens for pages and pages. Yes, it's often fascinating and I did make it to the end. And the end is where it all becomes worth the while. But it was a bit of a slog.
Knock off a half a star just for being so long. Editing, people, editing. Knock off another half star for quite a few clinks and clunks in the writing. Adverbs, he said, disapprovingly. These are the same issues that started creeping in with the previous volume.
Now knock off a full star for story-killing character traits. Harry is just too much of a dunderhead in this. I understand that one of the main themes is his growing teenage angst. It just was not done well. He was argumentative for the sake of being argumentative, often just because that would move the story forward. Not because it fit his character. Umbridge was evil just for the sake of being evil. We never found out what she was truly up to. Again, I felt cheated because it seemed that everything she did to make Harry's life harder was done merely because the story need her to do it. And what the heck is up with Dumbledore? He was just too aloof in this, swooping in at the odd moment to save the day in an odd way. At least he explains it all in the end.
Only two more books to go. I hope they don't feel like five.
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