Double Feature is an occasional feature where I discuss/review two books, often comparing and contrasting characters or elements that were similar or different. I try my best to not include spoilers, or to give a spoiler warning before them, but because these reviews are more in-depth than regular reviews, it is possible there might be some plot points given away. Read at your own risk.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Publication date: June 2003
Source: Library (audiobook)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
Publication date: July 2005
Source: Library (audiobook)
I'm pretty sure these don't need summaries, so I'm not giving them ones :)
Things I Liked about HP5:
This is one where things begin to be very dark. The Order plays a huge part in the book and the kids are so frustrated at not being invited into it, despite all they have accomplished. It is also a pretty complex book with a lot of different things going on at once (Rowling is a master of the multiple plot lines). I also remember when I first read it and I just hated what happened at the end - it was so sad. There didn't seem to be much closure for Sirius' death (I really hope that didn't spoil someone). I honestly thought he wasn't really dead. What is that veil thing anyway?
Things I Didn't Like about HP5:
I really didn't like Harry. Oh, the whining and the getting angry and the yelling were so annoying. Listening to it on audio brought forward just how often he was mad and using that grumpy voice. He has a real anger management issue in this one. I think he does better at managing it in the next book, but he was annoying. Also, the whole problem between Harry and Dumbledore seemed like a contrivance to help out the plot. And it was really stupid on Dumbledore's part.
Things I Liked about HP6:
Being the penultimate book in the series, I think this must have been one of the hardest to write. I remember learning tons of stuff about Horcruxes but still not really getting it. I loved Harry's relationship with Dumbledore and how they seemed to finally work out their issues. There is so much backstory that we finally learn too, but not enough. Rowling saves most of the meat of it for the last book, of course. Definitely the one that was the hardest after I read it to wait for the next book. I love the character Slughorn, who is at once slimy and kind of a jerk and also not a bad guy, per se. And, of course, I totally never saw the Half-Blood Prince coming. A great surprise. (Which, again, Rowling is a master of surprises.)
Things I Didn't Like about HP6:
Don't remember much I didn't like about it, except for the big death scene. It was pretty horrifying. And I don't know how she managed to set it up so it was still possible to wonder about Snape being good or bad. Really, her storytelling abilities are fantastic.
Not like it, but some similar stuff:
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Ranger's Apprentice by John Flanagan
Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
BOOK CONTENT RATINGS for Both:
some, not tons
enough snogging already :)
lots of action and fighting and scary stuff
Overall rating: *****
Sometimes I wish I could read these books again for the first time and experience all the surprises and excitement of learning what will happen next.
If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage