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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Sucks / Rocks
© RevolutionSF
July 20, 2007

Angst! Death! PADFOOT! And other things we liked (and didn't) about book 5.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Rocks

Umbridge is one of the most delicious villains ever created, and it's her cruel invention of the cutting quill that drives it home swiftly. While not a Death Eater, she represents the ugly, elitist attitude shared by many of his followers and others who believe in Order over Justice. -- staff writer Gary Mitchel

Dolores Umbridge's No Wizard Left Behind program of scholastic terror. Unlike Rowling's conventional hatchet job on journalism through Rita Skeeter, her deconstruction of the modern ills of education through Umbridge is masterful. Too bad Bush doesn't read. -- fiction editor Steve Wilson

The fight between the Death Eaters, the Order and the students is taut, gripping, brutal and amazing. We knew that Rowling could write action, based on her Quidditch matches, but she really outdoes herself. One of the crimes of the movie isn't showing Neville's trying to cast spells, in spite of the shot he took in the face that made it difficult for him to incant. His courage and determination there are some of the reasons I like him more than Harry. -- Gary Mitchel

Secret lessons. Not only Harry's sessions, teaching Defense against the Dark Arts spells to his fellow students, but also Harry's lessons with Snape that show us that Harry's father and Sirius were jerks when they were students, and that Snape was a victim of their bullying. Things used to be all black-and-white in the Wizarding world, but as the readers mature, so does the story grow in complexity and realism. -- David Farnell

Dumbledore's Army. That the kids figure out a way to learn what they need to know to defend themselves is awesome. And the fact that Harry gets to be the teacher is even more awesome. And that Hogwarts has a room of requirement that they can practice in just reminds me why I love this series. And the fact that I want a house that has a room that will appear when I need it and be equipped for what I need. House, I need to hide a body! -- contributing writer Deanna Toxopeus

We already knew that Hermione is more attached to Ron than to Harry, but the expectation-busting rises to new heights when Cho, Harry's longtime love interest, turns out not to be the girl for him. Just because she's cute, and she's Harry's first kiss, doesn't mean she's a hero. And Harry's reached the point where he can see that. -- message board director David Farnell

And the toxic environment Umbridge creates at Hogwarts only makes the exit of the Weasley brothers that much sweeter. -- Steve Wilson

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Sucks

I really wonder why Dumbledore has this great reputation. He's known Harry for four years now, and decides that not telling him anything is the best course of action? The boy who broke into the Chamber of Secrets, sneaked past all the school defenses to protect the Sorcerer's Stone? He forgot Harry does not believe in sitting still when he can, or thinks he must act, and that shows a huge lapse in judgment for the old wizard. -- Gary Mitchel

Cool as the wizard battle is at the end, it's kinda depressing to realize that the adult wizards cast the same spells as the kids. Granted, they put more umph behind them, but you'd think Sirius Black would have a few more tricks up his sleeve than "impedimentum!" or what have you. -- Steve Wilson

Sirius' death felt way too telegraphed. It was like he had to die. As such, it didn't bother me a bit. In fact, it was sort of a relief. And that's not how you should feel when a character like that dies. -- David Farnell

(sniffle) PADFOOT! -- Gary Mitchel

There is so much here. I hate this book. It's Harry's turn to whine his through the book. He also needs a good slapping. And the Umbridge clampdown on the school is just ridiculous. Do wizards have no human rights? Where are the freaking lawyers? -- Deanna Toxopeus

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