A Booklist Editors' Choice
An ALA Notable Book
An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
Shortlisted for the WH Smith Books Award
Synopses & Reviews
There is a door at the end of a silent corridor. And it's haunting Harry Potter's dreams. Why else would he be waking in the middle of the night, screaming in terror?
Harry has a lot on his mind for this, his fifth year at Hogwarts: a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher with a personality like poisoned honey; a big surprise on the Gryffindor Quidditch team; and the looming terror of the end-of-term Ordinary Wizarding Level exams. But all of these things pale next to the growing threat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named a threat that neither the magical government nor the authorities at Hogwarts can stop.
As the grasp of darkness tightens, Harry must discover the true depth and strength of his friends, the importance of boundless loyalty, and the shocking price of unbearable sacrifice.
His fate depends on them all.
"Is [Phoenix] as good as the other Harry Potter books? No. This one is actually quite a bit better....[A] slam dunk....Dolores Umbridge...is the greatest make-believe villain to come along since Hannibal Lecter....I think Harry will take his place with Alice, Huck, Frodo, and Dorothy, and this is one series not just for the decade, but for the ages. (Grade: A)" Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly
"No, you can't put it down....Rowling has not lost her flair as a storyteller or her ability to keep coming up with new gimcracks to astound her readers....[A] rich, worthy effort that meets the very high expectations of a world of readers." Booklist (Starred Review)
"[G]o read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix for the...sheer comic exuberance even in the midst of high drama....Jokes, gags and memorable put-downs pop up on nearly every page." Elizabeth Ward, The Washington Post
"Those who have followed Harry thus far will be every bit as eager to discover what happens to him in the sixth and seventh years." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"Rowling does her usual page-turningly good job. Although this is a complex novel, the high energy level almost never flags, thanks in part to the author's ability to create vivid scenes and set pieces." Michael Cart, The Los Angeles Times
"Rowling continues to deliver her unique magic. And while it involves spells, eccentric characters and a wonderful world where we'd all probably like to spend some time, the real magic involves a very personal, often difficult, battle between good and evil that continues to give a reason for hope." Robin Vidimos, The Denver Post
"Rowling hasn't yet written an ungraceful sentence...and her often nasty epic has evolved nicely....Lovely literacy phenom or not, Rowling's books are virtually 100 percent cliché and cliché byproducts....Originality is overrated, it seems, particularly when you're appealing to the madness of crowds." Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice
"J. K. Rowling is the real magician....[The book] starts slow, gathers speed and then skateboards, with somersaults, to its furious conclusion....Order of the Phoenix is rich and satisfying in almost every respect." John Leonard, The New York Times Book Review
"Just when we might have expected author J.K. Rowling's considerable imaginative energies to flag...she has hit peak form and is gaining speed....[Rowling's] prose, always a serviceable, unshowy instrument, is stronger and more confident, and she has become a virtuoso plotter, a master at snappy pacing, able to stun and surprise at will." Lev Grossman, Time
"The book richly deserves the hype....Order of the Phoenix allows the reader to savor Rowling's remarkably fertile imagination." Deirdre Donahue, USA Today
"Although it takes a while for the gears of this immensely long novel to mesh fully, the author's bravura storytelling skills and tirelessly inventive imagination soon take over, braiding together the mundane and the marvelous, the psychological and the allegorical with consummate authority and ease." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"Some authors write series for commercial reasons but this book confirms that, for Rowling, the architecture of a seven-book sequence has always been artistically driven....What remains clear in this fifth installment of the story is that Rowling is a very hard writer to dislike." Mark Lawson, The Guardian (U.K.)
"[A]t 870 turgid pages, [Phoenix] is the least satisfying in the series. The plot is cumbersome. Most characters haven't bloomed; they've only aged. Settings are befogged by vague writing. Worst, though, is the excess....Order of the Phoenix is a case of too much adding up to too little." John Mark Eberhart, Kansas City Star
"It was worth the wait. And then some....[M]ost striking, the range of emotions is larger, and not just Harry's....It all makes for an engrossing read." Deepti Hajela, The Miami Herald
"[Rowling's] Potter saga...positively teems with imagination and creativity." Phil Kloer, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Rowling cheerfully turns her own conventions on their ears, and the result is a surprisingly enjoyable ride....Rowling has managed to make Harry and his fate a bit less predictable, which, in the fifth of a seven-volume series, is a very good thing." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"If [Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
] was the work of a born storyteller still sorting out her technique, Phoenix
is the smooth product of a natural at the top of her game. Phoenix
is even longer than Goblet
, but it never idles or slackens. There's less reliance on startling tricks and reversals and more attention to the underlying organic structures of art. Rowling's hold on the steering wheel doesn't wobble, either. You can feel that she knows just what she's doing, weaving in the threads of the series' larger themes as they grow deeper and richer....With the aptly-named [Dolores] Umbridge...Rowling has created her best bad guy yet....Rowling steps briefly out of the conventions of the genre to send a shiver of reality through her imaginary world. It's a sign that wherever she takes us next, we can't expect the old rules to apply anymore. But that, after all, is what growing up is all about." Laura Miller, Salon.com
(read the entire Salon review
In his fifth year at Hogwart's, 15-year-old Harry faces challenges at every turn, from the dark threat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and the unreliability of the government of the magical world to the rise of Ron Weasley as the keeper of the Gryffindor Quidditch Team. Illustrations.
About the Author
J. K. Rowling has written fiction since she was a child. Jo enjoyed telling her made-up stories to her younger sister and wrote her first "book" at the age of six a story about a rabbit called Rabbit! She started writing the Harry Potter series after the idea occurred to her on a train journey where she admits Harry "just strolled into my head fully formed." Ms. Rowling lives in Scotland with her husband and two children.