Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Book 30 of 2014: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

I've long since accepted that I'm going to be writing this year's book review posts well into the middle of next year. A couple of years ago that would've bothered me and I would've scrambled to merge them all into shorter book reviews to get them all completed by the end of the year. Then I probably would've ended up reading some great big thick tome of a book and not had anything to post for the first three Tuesdays of the year.

I'm looking set to finish the year on 64 books so at least this way I know I've got blog posts to write for the next six months!

In a way writing these blog posts is a little bit like time travelling. Back in July and August of this year I was reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This is the one where Umbridge takes over the school and is a bit of a bitch. Meanwhile Voldemort's back but no one wants to believe that and Harry is being a generally hormonal teenager. It's a laugh a minute this one.

I'll keep this one short because it's one that I've read before and I've not really got anything new to say about it. I did enjoy this reread. It's a fair chunk of a book so it's a little bit awkward to read. Portability is becoming an increasingly important factor when I pick books now. Books that are heavy to carry around in my bag take longer to read because I'm less inclined to take them out with me if we're just nipping into town. Whereas with the earlier books they're a whole lot more portable so you can sneak a couple of pages in between shops.

I like that by this stage in the series things have become significantly darker and it is a far more grown up book than what has come previously. It's a shift that started in earnest in the last book and it continues to a very dark ending. I always think the cover of this edition looks like quite a cheerful book by contrast.

One of my favourite things about the Harry Potter books is looking out for teeny little references to things that are significant in later books. Even now, when I've read these books too many times to count, I still notice things that I don't think I've spotted before (or things that I have but have forgotten about). It's like a little challenge to myself now to see how many things from future books I can pick up on.

In my book journal review for this one I added a note to myself that I kept on thinking of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows while I was reading it. I suppose part of that is because it's starting to set Harry up as the Chosen One, a role that he plays out to its conclusion in the final book. I suspect that it's also because there's kind of a parallel here of Harry (and his friends) against authority, something which is ramped up to eleven in the last book as Voldemort takes over the Ministry.

While this isn't my favourite book in the series, I still enjoy my regular reread of it, and I really appreciate how well it slots into the series as a whole.

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