cover Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
What is it?: "Children's" book, 5th in the Harry Potter series, which is breaking every hardcover book sales record imaginable.
Price: $29.99 list, although
Amazon lists it for $17.99.
by Adam Griffin, Entertainment Editor,

    It’s been three years since the world has been treated to Harry Potter’s latest adventure, and during that time author J.K. Rowling has amassed enough money to buy several people’s lives several times over.  Needless to say, with the release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the money will keep rolling in for Rowling; the fifth book in the Harry Potter series more than lives up to the material that preceded it, as well as makes some serious progress in furthering the Potter mythos.  In Phoenix, the stakes are higher, the battles are more fierce than ever before, and once again, Harry himself is put through more torment and peril than one fifteen year old boy should be able to bear.  Rowling manages to avoid the previously-annoying trait of taking the first five chapters of this latest installment to recap the previous book’s events; as the book begins, Harry Potter’s suffered another unbearable summer at home, and things fly from there.

    If you’re the type that loves it when “reviewers” point out faults in a book, movie, or major CD release, then here’s something for you:  I’d have to say that at this point in the series, Harry’s on the verge of becoming a very-unlikable protagonist.  Due to everything that’s happened to the character, he’s pretty hard for young readers to identify with, and it doesn’t really help when young mister Potter is blowing up at everything and everyone every twenty five pages or so.  Yes, the kid’s angry a lot in this book, but that’s quite all right with this reviewer.  Show me a fifteen year old boy that’s got his head screwed on properly and treats every day like it’s the best day ever, and I’ll be sure to pick the kid out a therapist when he hits his mid-twenties.  It’s good that Rowling has Harry blow his stack more than fifteen times during the course of the novel- he’s had a very rough existence, and the events in this novel serve as his breaking point.  Harry’s kept in the dark constantly, he finds himself up against the worst type of administrative adversaries at Hogwarts’, and he even learns a few things about his parents that he might have been better off not knowing.  However, true to heroic form, the kid with the lightning-bolt shaped scar just keeps on trudging forward, this time backed up by a cast of characters that almost seems to grow exponentially with each installment of the series.

    The “Order of the Phoenix” in question is introduced quickly and brought to the forefront before being regulated to “supporting player” status as Harry and company tackle a series of obstacles at Hogwarts’; after four books of Harry and Ron struggling through classes while Hermione lives up to the definition of “overachiever”, you’d think a fifth run-through of the same old shenanigans would be tiring, but it actually isn’t.  More than a few things are switched around this year, and the novel does a great job of hauling its’ thick self along to its’ action-packed climax, as Harry and a few unlikely characters square off against a group of baddies that do not pull any punches, and the consequences of such a battle are quite high.

    Order of the Phoenix pulls a “Goblet of Fire” and once again makes this series just a tad bit darker than your average “kid” fare, and by the end of the novel, one’s left wondering if Harry can take any more of what’s heaped on him in the future, because there’s something huge that’s dropped at the end of the novel that will definitely be at the forefront of the next book, as well as the seventh and final installment of the series.

    Of course, J.K. Rowling could vow to stop writing tomorrow, and she’d still make oodles and oodles of money off of this book, but since there’s oodles and oodles of more money to be made off of the final two books, odds are she won’t.  But, since she didn’t phone it in after three years and a delay in between novels, it’s a safe bet that books six and seven of the Potter series will deliver, and bring this phenomenon to a close.

    Until then, all we can do is wonder how Hollywood is going to translate seven hundred and sixty two pages of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire into a two and a half hour movie.  Should they succeed, I can’t wait to see how they deal with the eight hundred and seventy pages that make up Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

    They better pray that someone develops a “Stay-Young” spray so they can administer it to their pint-sized Potter franchise stars ASAP.

    Adam Griffin is still a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, and he wishes that he had enough money so he could buy someone’s life several times over.  Due to his lack of monetary funds, he currently resides in a hole in the ground somewhere on the East Coast.  


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