Fantasy, Fiction, Low Fantasy, Young Adults
Harry Potter, Book # 5
June 21st, 2003
November 28, 2019 December 5, 2019
Harry is furious that he is stuck at the Dursleys’ house for the summer, when he suspects that Voldemort is gathering an army, and the wizarding authorities seem unwilling to do anything. Harry’s so-called friends are trying to keep him in the dark. But he knows that Voldemort’s forces can find him wherever he is; he could be attacked at any moment. Harry is finally rescued from Privet Drive by members of the Order of the Phoenix – a secret society first formed years ago to fight Voldemort – and discovers that maybe he is not alone in this battle after all.
About the book
Fifth book in the series and I think this is the book that I liked the least. And it can be seen by the two stars. This review will be a bit incoherent because I honestly don’t know where to start or what logical thread to follow. I wrote my thoughts while reading (first time I do this with the series) so now I have to try and put it all together and I don’t know if I can do it.
As said, I didn’t like this book, or rather what I will say below made me “lose” the purpose of the story. If I think back on the plot and let go of “what I will say later”, perhaps I could say that I liked it, but I can’t change how I felt when reading it.
Now with the live commentary:
We are in the fifth book, in the fifth year of school and the fifth year with these characters, so is it possible that Harry is still being bullied? I’m on page 239 and we’re still at the same point, both at the beginning of the book and at the beginning of the series. Harry, who suffered the pains of hell the previous year but nobody believes him, is mistreated by everyone including teachers and should I accept it like this? But what kind of school is it? and don’t get me started on Snape… he can’t see Harry on one side, but on the other he does everything Dumbledore says and protects him. It’s stronger than me, I can’t stand reading about these attitudes. And to think that I started to like the series more… Just the thought that I still have 600 pages to read, makes me want to throw the book out of the window…
I don’t know, I’m in the fifth book and no one yet takes Harry seriously… the whole thing is so depressing that a dementor seems to be present and hidden anytime, anywhere. I was hoping this “let’s tease Harry” thing was over, but I see it’s not… but will the “bad guys” be punished in the end? Because Malfoy is never punished here, let’s nor forget about Snape, but even in the third book Malfoy and his gang try to sabotage Harry’s game of quiddich when they disguise themselves as dementors and are not even punished or disqualified! They only punish the righteous ones and never who is wrong.
About Quiddich: first game of the fifth year. Except I believe it’s a nonsense game (but let’s not talk about that). Is it possible that teachers are so deaf? and is it possible that we are in the fifth book and the bad guys are never punished? and I know that Umbridge is placed there as an antagonist, but she is too much. It is very probable that at the end of the book (I am halfway through while I’m writing this) all works out or at least I hope because all the enthusiasm I had in reading this series with this book is gone.
And then half the book is missing Hagrid which is absurd, or rather I understand what he had to do, but reduce this giant book a little and shorten the time? Not that I don’t like long books huh! I read The Way of Kings and it’s a 1100 page book, but this is really boring. For half the book nothing happens.
Another question, why does Harry see the Thestrals only now and not from the second year? He had already lost his parents in the second year and even before…
Now, I’d like to know if Rowling thought before writing about how the school should be organised. First of all, the main subjects aren’t taught or at least not named. Are all wizards ignorant in maths? Since they enter the school of magic at 11 years of age, their knowledge of mathematics is practically elementary. Or history. Or maybe I don’t know, of a foreign language (which is not essential if you don’t travel abroad or in any case since they are English it is not so useful). But let’s talk about magical subjects. I don’t know how English school works, if students in real life choose subjects in their school career, however I find that choosing at 14-15 years optional subjects without knowing what you want to do in the future is stupid. And here we see it. Students must choose their future career and each career has specific magical subjects. And only now do you say that? If I want to choose a career that requires arithmancy (which I still don’t understand what it is about) and I have not chosen it two years before, what do I do? I can’t choose that career. I know that a book cannot be 100% perfect, there will always be plot holes, but this is a canyon.
I don’t want to finish this book, but I can’t because I need it to continue the series. It seems more like a manual to teach bullies how to be bullies.
Another thing I really don’t like is how certain professors treat students. But are schools in England so terrifying? Because it is not possible for the students here to be afraid of certain professors. It is not possible for the custodian to be happy because a decree has been issued authorising him to whip the students. I understand that it is fiction and that everything is exaggerated, but this is a book for children and books for children should also teach something or it is me who have a completely wrong view of the world. Or it is me who is reading as an adult and I only see certain attitudes as punishment because I am too distant from how young people behave.
And the plot never goes on! 60% of the book is all about the quarter before Christmas, if not more, it is repetitive, it’s all about Harry being teased, well not only Harry, but anyway I’d like a change of scenery. And then Snape. I understand the past, I understand that you are angry with Potter, but given the past, wouldn’t it be better punishing the bullies instead of punishing Potter? no? okay and let’s go on like this… This book will end sooner or later…
But now let’s talk about the plot that, if we don’t consider everything else, is reduced to two or three chapters. I really liked the prophecy (so much so that I read the last 200 pages in one day – don’t look at me like that! I wanted this torture to end -) so the book became interesting in chapter, what number? 32? Maybe even later. The fact is I liked the end, more than the rest of the book, of course.
Now, Harry. Okay he’s 15, but wake up. Everyone tells him that he has to learn to close his mind and what does he do? He wants to get to the end of the “dream”. But it’s obvious that he is in the head of “you know who” and what does he do? Ah yes “I have to get to the end”. And don’t get me wrong he saved lives, but at least first learn how to close your mind, then you can always leave it open… I know that without this, there would be no book, but it seems to me that there are other things to talk about without reading about Harry who dreams every time he sleeps and only because he hasn’t closed his mind.
Serius. Am I the only one who doesn’t see him as Harry’s godfather or father figure? I mean, he met him for 3 seconds two books ago and I understand why Harry wanted to go and live with him, but hell, he’s a stranger! Then he had to disappear again and now he reappears and seems the most important person in his life… I know he is the only person who really cares about Harry, however I don’t see him as a father figure.
There are also positive things eh! Like Ron playing Quiddich, Hermione becoming prefect (pity that nothing has been seen of her work, I know that Ron is one, too, but it seems to me like throwing a bone), the two friends and Neville, all three believe Harry unconditionally, “Fred and George and the great escape”, the club where a number of students learn the dark arts and the final group that leaves for the ministry and how, thanks to the club, they manage to “stupefy” some Death Eaters.
Can we keep Firenze (is he really called like our city in English, too?) as a divination professor? What about Fred and George? Do they return in the sixth book? I find the twins the cutest characters in the book.
Now, I have to see the film, but honestly I don’t want too… Anyway, although I didn’t like this book I will continue with the two remaining books, first because they are only two, second because I still have a few weeks of Kindle Unlimited for free