The Bookworm Club Review

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Bookworm by Amy the Ant

This review is from The H2G2 Bookworm's Club. All reviews are taken from opinions published in the Club's threads. As such, some interesting comments appear on all sorts of topics. We hope this review is helpful and that we'll see you airing your views at the Club soon.

'Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix' by JK

Love it or loathe it, the Harry Potter phenomenon continues. And who was I to ignore it? No, h2g2's loyal researchers came out in force, and busily typed up their opinions on what must surely be the most eagerly anticipated book of the year. The big question was, did 'Phoenix' live up to great expectations, or has Rowling lost the plot?

Jodan started the debate with a conventional list of likes and dislikes.

I had no intention of reading this book, so excuse me if I sound a bit... forced. I didn't see anything better about this book than the first four. The vague hints of people who had seen Rowling on TV and of even faster readers than I ruined it.

Perhaps you've heard that someone dies in this? In the first 200 pages, I became just annoyed with this book because of the hints. The part where a bunch of important dead people are lying there comes early in the book and excites you, making you think that this is the important part where someone dies. But, of course this ends up not being the important part.

Unfortunately, the books length meant that clues were forgotten, which wrecks the reading experience. Jodan's best thing about the book appeared to be that it'll knock Hillary Clinton's book off the top best seller position. Poor Hillary.

To return to my bad jokes, Master B couldn't find the plot, reckoning that the biggest twist was the big death, which we all know about anyway. He brought up an odd happening; suddenly, Harry and friends have turned into Cockneys, calling each other mate. Whether it's an 'English school thing' or just 'something that's caught on in the wizarding world' this sudden appearance was very unwelcome.

Not to be outdone, Little Mischief leapt in full of praise for the way Rowling tackled Harry's teenage outlook.

He's 15 now, coming into all of that misunderstood teenaged angst and I thought Rowling handled it rather well. After all, being 'the boy who lived' he does have somewhat more than the standard set of coming-of-age woes. Of course it's not the same Harry who was in Philosophers Stone... it's because he's growing up.

She went on to describe how she felt about Rowlings much publicised critique of OFSTED.

And having no knowledge whatsoever of the British government's tendencies to insert itself in school affairs, I had more of a tendency to relate certain aspects to the American government's attempts to invade even more into our personal lives (re: the Patriot
Act and the department of Homeland Security, etc.).

So, confusing to non Brits, but what about the British? Well, David B enjoyed it.

Finally, I give you miserycord's succinct review. Apologies for the lack of character explanations, but we don't want to spoil the plot.

All in all I enjoyed it. I actually preferred the more adult, stroppy teenage Harry to the younger Harry of the earlier books. Also, with it being the length it was and having the detail it did, I didn't feel as if I was reading a children's book. Not sure if JKRs getting wordier or if my vocabulary is just shrinking down to her level!

Hated Umbridge with a passion. She seemed so real. I feel she must have been based on a real teacher, she really took me back to the horrible impotence of an authority figure abusing their power and not being able to do a thing about it.

Liked the way characters other than Harry, Ron and Hermione developed. Especially those Weasleys still at school, Snape and Neville. Felt more could have been done to develop Cho, she still seemed two dimensional.

I thought there were a lot of red-herrings, things you felt had been put there to make you think 'Oooh, is this the death scene' but then turned out not to be (can't specify without spoiling), but they did all add to the plot.

Thought the ministry/press/Umbridge relationship worked very well.

Wouldn't recommend it to anyone who hasn't read the others, I think you need to know what Harry's been through to understand why he behaves the way he does here.

I'm not a huge Harry Potter fan, I enjoyed all of them, but see them as a series, I couldn't pick one favourite. This book really brought the whole story on, and although I spotted the odd disappointment and apparent contradiction I enjoyed it.

The general consensus seems to be that 'it's not a bad book'. But we wouldn't recommend it to someone who hadn't read the other four. Yes, we'll await book six with something at least akin to bated breath, but, perhaps Harry Potter is nearing the end. Fond though we are, I think the public is reaching the end of it's tether with the media overdrive each year. The books are great, often brilliant, and we'll treasure them for a long while yet. But let us enjoy them at our own pace, instead of force feeding us Potter mania until we choke in the corridors of Hogwarts, while Snape grins unpleasantly on.

The Bookworm Club Review

10.07.03 Front Page

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