If GOF was enthralling, then the Order of the Phoenix could only be exciting, exhilarating, there was no lengthy building of scenes. Instead, readers were treated to action right in the first chapter which saw Harry and his cousin being attacked by Dementors. The action continued in subsequent chapters at the HQ of the Order, and even at Hogwarts.
Matters are much more complex during this their fifth year at Hogwarts, what with the Ministry going all out to discredit Dumbledore and Harry as liars out to create pandemonium and panic with their rumour mongering. We also see an impetuous Harry being taught a lesson of patience and control, even while hints of the dark art began to surface in him. There’s also plenty of teenage angst and misunderstandings as Harry gets his first taste at boy-girl relationship, while both parties deal with the feelings of guilt.
I also like how Harry has matured in this book. He learnt to shoulder responsibility as his peers’ secret DADA teacher since the Ministry has forbidden the practical teaching of this vital defence skill. He also learnt restraint and endurance for the sake of the greater good … except towards the end when anxiety for his Godfather’s safety made him threw caution to the wind and lead his fellow DA members straight into a trap.
What I like most about Order is the suspense and intrigue — lots of guessing as to whether Severus Snape isn’t double dealing – and all that action, especially the young wizards and witches fight against the death eaters towards the last few chapters. It was magnificently wrought and the youths acquitted themselves brilliantly.
My head is still buzzing with all the hexes, jinxes and curses, and in my mind’s eye, I could already envision how it’ll be shot in the movie. It will be one of the scenes that I’ll look forward to eagerly.
So, contrary to most book series, this one just keeps getting better and better. No wonder Rowling has garnered such a strong and loyal following of fans.