Like Goblet of Fire, OTP (Order of the Phoenix, for short) was a hefty tome of myriad characters and further setting development and overall story arch as it relates to YOU-KNOW-WHO. It seems to me that the last two books have been more along this theme then the stand-alone, gripping adventures of the previous three books. Of course, the first three books were an excellent adventure of a boy trying to find his place in two worlds, haunted by his past; the last two books are of a marketing juggernaut trying to make the world shout out the words, "cha ching!" Review from gauvaine Usually, I don't give book reviews. After all, every person is different, their opinions fluttering here and there like mad ducks on the wing, meandering all over a bright blue sky. But with all the recent madness of the launch of HPATOOTP (Harry Potter and the Order the Phoenix, for the uninitiated) I deemed it noteworthy to post my thoughts, unfocused as they might be. Keep in mind that Potterage is supposedly meant for kids, i.e., adolescents and teens, though it's obvious every demographic is now affected by this phenomenon. After all, 90 percent of the books purchased since last week have undoubtedly been done so by adults doing so for themselves, their children and grandchildren. So opining from the point of view of an adult should be given some consideration. A smidgen. Just a drop. Like Goblet of Fire, OTP (Order of the Phoenix, for short) was a hefty tome of myriad characters and further setting development and overall story arch as it relates to YOU-KNOW-WHO. It seems to me that the last two books have been more along this theme then the stand-alone, gripping adventures of the previous three books. Of course, the first three books were an excellent adventure of a boy trying to find his place in two worlds, haunted by his past; the last two books are of a marketing juggernaut trying to make the world shout out the words, "cha ching!" Has JKR started to believe her own immortality and infallibility? Has she lost her focus as a writer and embraced the capitalist ethic of intrepid enterprise? Who knows, but it seems obvious that more is definitely not better. Our intrepid hero, our noble man thrust once more unto the breach, dear friends . . . is a belligerent, whining, spastic, bi-polar git. How the mighty have fallen. Within the 879 pages, I am quite certain that Harry lost his temper 1234 times. I'm not sure. That comes out to roughly 1.4 times per page. Anger management therapy is definitely an option in book six, rumored to be titled "Harry Potter and the Bi-Polar Flubberworms of Death." Granted, 15 year old boys are moody and conflicted with hormones and tangled emotions, but not like this manic-depressive Munchausen Syndrome candidate. Our modest Harry, our victim of circumstance, our protector of the common weal, makes Bronte's Heathcliff look like Tony Robbins. He fumes. He rages. He yells. When he is not being quiet, self-absorbed, and withdrawn, of course. A couple of times he was happy and smiled. Such mood swings are symptoms of something much more serious than pubescent metamorphosis. Maybe Madame Pomfrey has some Prozac in the medical wing of Hogwarts that she can grind up into some Bertie Bott's Every Flavor beans. Of course, the whole gang was in this book, plus some new faces. Sirius Black, Professor Lupin, Mad-Eye Moody, the Weasley's and Malfoys. Even Dobby turned up here and there. All good things, if not a bit disappointing for their 2-dimensional standing. Characterization is not one of JFK's strong points, after all. Protagonists don't protag as much as they are steered by secondary characters that have no life or color to them. For example, after nearly losing his life and still being in mortal danger, Arthur Weasley had no epiphanies or emotional outbursts. Neither did his wife. It seems emotion is only sparked from Molly Weasley when she is needed for comic relief to yell at Fred or George, or just to yell in general. She visits her husband in the hospital and pats him on the shoulder after his near murder. No tears. No emotional scenes of love and endearment. That would have been too deep and normal. I guess only Muggles act like they have committed, loving relationships, if even then—the Dursley’s leave that to question; everything else is the stock, juvenile gobbledygook that represents life in the adult world of JFK's books. Her attempt at darkness and making Harry have to overcome real world, life and death choices has turned into a mish mash of bad characterization, inconsistent theme, and long-winded plotting. It's a disappointment. Having said that, there are, of course, some highpoints. Ron and Hermione had more to do, though they still remain 2-dimensional, as does everyone else, though some clarity was given to Snape and his hatred of everything Potter. Neville Longbottom had a larger role to play, as did Ginny Weasley and several others. Dumbledore was absent until the end, when there was the rollicking, Gunfight at the O.K. Coral finale. And Hagrid was a non-entity except to fill a plot hole that Rowling had backed herself into and couldn't seem to get out of very adroitly. There was a lot to this book. A lot happening. And nothing happening. That's the only way to explain it. Much Ado About Nothing. It was like watching the Matrix Reloaded. It was okay, but you knew that there was another movie coming that was going to be a lot more clearer and exciting. Treading water. The rumors of writer's block were true, I’m afraid. A post-adolescent diatribe about the merits of fame, fortune and destiny only can go so far. Dialogue, characters, and theme . . . they all matter. You can't coast on expectation and fame. Even Harry knows that.