Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K.Rowling
Created: Mon Mar 22 18:24:05 2010 | Last modified: Mon Mar 22 18:24:05 2010
The whole of this book's length could have easily been reduced by half or more and the story could still have been told without missing out any important details - this is the single biggest inference that you get after plodding through 700+ pages.
This particular book starts off on such a promising note that you keep reading it in the hope that somewhere along the line something dramatic will be revealed. Unfortunately this book just keeps building up and building up only to let the reader down with a thud finally. Without revealing much of the plot, I think it's safe to say that there's nothing in this book that we didn't know about HP already. The sequence at the end with Lord Voldemort was one of the tamest in the series and even the death of HP's closest friend does nothing to shock the reader. The matter-of-fact narration which Rowling uses does nothing to help either - there's something one-dimensional about the whole narrative which makes the reader shake his/her head in disbelief. After all that build-up of suspense there's nothing really to it all and the number of loose ends left dangling like a rope are quite astonishing when you look back at the tighter plots of earlier books like "Chamber of Secrets". Agreed that it's a series and one particular book shouldn't be judged on its own. But the greatest authors write complete stories even if they're part of a series. In the end it almost looked like JKR wanted to desperately finish the book after committing to so many plot threads and complications so finally there's precious little about the title of the book - the Order itself.
Harry Potter finds everything ranged against him this time at Hogwarts and to complicate matters, he finds that Dumbledore has fallen out of favour with those in power. To make matters worse, a new teacher has been appointed by the Ministry of Magic who does everything possible to make life difficult for Dumbledore and his loyalists - Harry Potter included. So much of dead detail has gone into the book that at the end it adds up really to nothing much. Harry Potter's repetitive "dreams" and "visions" get tiring to the reader after a while and his attitude irks the reader - he's constantly either angry, irritated, frustrated or down in the dumps. At the end, the reader certainly has no sympathy whatsoever for this brat of an adoloscent who behaves in the most foolish and impulsive way almost as though he wants to get into trouble - and even the death of his one true well-wisher is just another event in a hollow narrative sequence. And the level of Dumbledore's stupidity is almost laughable as he does his "explaining his actions" sequence to Harry. The reader definitely wishes that Lord Voldemort would succeed in finishing off the stupid brat and his even stupider mentor.
All in all, the poorest book I've read in the series so far. Maybe Half-Blood Prince would be better, but I'm certainly not going to rush off to buy it after being subject to 700+ pages of utterly tiring and inconsequential insignificance.