Audiobook Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Audiobook)Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

by J.K. Rowling

Narrated by Jim Dale

❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎

Series: Harry Potter (5)
Genres: FantasyChildren’sFiction
Published By: Scholastic in 2003 (First Hardcover Release)
Format: Digital Audiobook (27 hours, 2 minutes)

Goodreads / LibraryThing

Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His best friends Ron and Hermione have been very secretive all summer and he is desperate to get back to school and find out what has been going on. However, what Harry discovers is far more devastating than he could ever have expected…

Review

Confession:  I like some Harry Potter books better than others.  I have read Prisoner of Azkaban a couple dozen times.  … I have read Order of the Phoenix three times.  First, when it came out.  Second, right before the movie came out.  Third, this time.  This time was by far the best, and for one glaring reason:  CAPSLOCK!Harry is a lot more tolerable when you can’t see all the angry capital letters.  There are aspects of OotP that are so cool, and the cast of characters is great, but this is still my least favorite in the series.  That said?  Still four hearts.

Characters

Considering the fact that OotP introduces Luna Lovegood, who is one of my favorite characters in the series, you’d think that this would get a heart.  Considering how perfectly unlikable Umbridge is, and how well-written she is, you’d think this would get a heart.  Fact of the matter is, most of the characters in this book are really good… but Harry.  Harry Potter is the most frustrating, angry, selfish kid.  I get that he’s gone through a lot, and I have to give so many props to Ron and Hermione for putting up with him.  I dislike Harry so much in this book that it took it down a heart for me.

 World

❤︎

The world of Harry Potter continues to enchant.  In as far as setting goes, OotP is one of my favorites, because we get to explore a new corner of the world in the Ministry of Magic.  I love the Department of Mysteries and I feel like there are so many possibilities and stories within the objects the friends come across.  You also really get the feeling that they’ve only begun to brush the surface.  If there was a series that followed a Department of Mysteries employee, I would absolutely read it.

A bit of a mini-rant here – most of the Department of Mysteries was cut from the film version of this book and while I generally like the movie quite a lot, I think the loss of that magic does the story a disservice.

Story

❤︎

The breakdown of the wizarding government and Hogwarts staff is essential to transition the wizarding world into this new, darker shade.  For what it is, it’s done very well, developing characters and showing the true colors of people.  Rowling has a theme to her plots where the ultimate endgame in all of them is “stop Voldemort” (excepting Prisoner of Azkaban) and even though it’s been used, we look forward to it.  Of particular interest this time is that Harry doesn’t go in alone and play the hero.  SPOILERS!  I really, really love that Neville is the last man standing with Harry in the showdown in the Department of Mysteries.  Despite all odds, we finally get to see what this character is made of, and we see a sampling of what ultimately becomes book seven.

 Writing / Narration

❤︎

As much as CAPSLOCK!Harry bothers me, he actually makes perfect sense and the stylistic choices in this book were good ones to suit the characters.  As a narrator, Jim Dale also continues to do an excellent job.  I have a bit of a pet peeve with his female voices (I mentioned this in the SS/PS review with Hermione), and I’m not crazy about Luna’s and Bellatrix’s, but I have a suspicion that I will get used to them.  I sympathize – there’s only so many female voices a male reader can do, and I can always tell who is talking… he doesn’t use them twice.

Actually, I’m going to give extra props to Jim Dale on his reading, because I am simultaneously listening to The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which he also narrates.  Between the two different books the voices still all feel different.  He masterfully uses tone and accent to differentiate between people.  Ten points to Gryffindor!

Personal Thoughts

❤︎

This books is a series of extremes for me.  I really don’t like Harry.  I really love Fred and George.  I really find it frustrating that Harry forgot about that incredibly useful mirror the entire story that could have fixed everything but he doesn’t even realize that.  I love that Umbridge is a pink-cardigan, kitty cat plate villain everyone loves to hate.  The two merge together to make a pretty good book, but it comes up short compared to the rest of the series.

Fred and George’s war against Umbridge is one of my favorite parts of the entire series, so it gets props for that as well.

TL;DR

Nothing my favorite of the series, but there are some really great moments.  It is a turning point for the series.


Source

I get all of my digital audiobooks from Audible… including this one!  However, if you purchase this from Pottermore, I think that a portion of the profits go to the Lumos charity? I may be wrong.


First Sentence

“The hottest day of the summer so far was drawing to a close and a drowsy silence lay over the large, square houses of Privet Drive.”


Some of My Favorite Quotes

“Is it true that you shouted at Professor Umbridge?”

“Yes.”

“You called her a liar?”

“Yes.”

“You told her He Who Must Not Be Named is back?”

“Yes.”

“Have a biscuit, Potter.”

“Give her hell from us, Peeves.”

“But Dumbledore says he doesn’t care what they do as long as they don’t take him off the Chocolate Frog cards.”

“Mistletoe,” said Luna dreamily, pointing at a large clump of white berries placed almost over Harry’s head. He jumped out from under it.

“Good thinking,” said Luna seriously. “It’s often infested with nargles.”


Available At

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / IndieBound / Audible

Book > Film: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them

If you liked Harry Potter and you haven’t seen Fantastic Beasts by now, you’re missing out.

fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them-movie-poster-homepage-size

My husband and I went to see this last weekend because this film is wonderful. A friend of mine and I went to see it back on opening weekend in November and we loved it.  A bit of a gushing review: it has silly points, scary points, is well acted (Queenie + Jacob = <3)

It’s also loosely based on a book!  Very loosely.  As in, why bother.  Which is likely why the script has been released in book-format.  I’m not going to start reviewing movies on this blog, because I think you get enough book reviews, but I think it’s interesting to look at a film based on a book (especially when I’ve read the book) and see how the two stand together.

So this is going to get a little weird because, in this case, they almost aren’t comparable.  One is a film with a plot and characters.  The other is a textbook with amusing notes in the columns by the trio.  Let’s try this anyway.

How They are the Same

  • Both contain magical creatures.
  • Both contain some comedy.
  • Both are somehow related to the book “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” by Newt Scamander.

How They Differ

In the film... there are characters, a plot, and adventure.

In the book the format was not a story, so no need for characters

In the film the story takes place in the 1920s.

In the book the “story” takes place while the trio is at Hogwarts.

Overall?

In the case of Fantastic Beasts, the changes are 100% forgivable.  The story was inspired more by the backstory Rowling had on Newt Scamander than on the actual textbook itself.  I did like that the manuscript made an appearance in the film, but I do think that this new series will be based on something much larger than “fantastic beasts”.

If you haven’t already seen this film, I cannot recommend it enough.  It was my favorite film of 2016, and that’s saying a lot for a year that saw a huge Marvel release and a Star Wars film to boot!

fantastic-beasts-creatures

For more information on the film, original book, and published script, check out:

Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them on IMDB
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2001) on Goodreads
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) on Goodreads