On Poetry, Prose, and Videogames

JLawrence Kenny

Order of the Phoenix Review

on August 10, 2011

Harry Potter is a series that has defined an entire generation, and it is a generation of which I am quite proud to be a part. JK Rowling has inspired millions of children and adults worldwide and revived interest in the written word during a time where technology is slowly rendering all other forms of communication obsolete, and has done so with seeming ease. Her characters are engaging, her plot is riveting, and it manages to bridge the gap between fantasy and reality, all of which combine to create a series of books that is pleasant to read for both casual readers and avid bibliophiles alike.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

The best book of all time.

For those unfamiliar with the Harry Potter series, it is the story of a boy who learns that he has magical powers, is famous for having defeated as a child one of the most evil wizards of all time, Lord Voldemort, and follows his life starting at the time he begins his magical education. Each book in the series has its own distinct flavor, but my personal favorite would have to be the 5th book of the series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It marks a very clear border between the more carefree days of the first four years of Harry’s magical education and the more gritty realism of fighting a war against evil. Gone are the days when young Harry could focus on his studies and live as a normal child. Now he must take on his role as the hero that the wizarding world sees, as he faces opposition from both the newly-resurrected Lord Voldemort and his followers, as well as a corrupt government that would rather ignore the evil that is growing under its very nose than lose face to its citizens. The line between good and evil quickly blurs as the lives of people change beyond the norm.

The main characters find themselves slowly becoming more three-dimensional as they must face down bigotry, fear, and their own emotions as they progress through their teenage years and a myriad of new feelings. Harry in particular seems the most affected by the events as they unfold around him and he must do something in order to prevent his peers from becoming disheartened at the looming war. Even the supporting characters play a very large role in the development of the story, as Harry teaches them spells to help them prepare for what is to come, despite his own misgivings about his role in the conflict.

In short, The Order of the Phoenix is a delightfully fantastical read, as Rowling manages to maintain her wondrous world of magic while treating her readers as the mature people that they are. It is a book that pushes boundaries, and if you haven’t read this series yet, you should definitely stop by your local library and give it a read; you won’t be disappointed, I can promise you that.

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