Major spoilers to come.
I've thought for some time about what I was going to write now. I was extremely exited about OotP when it came out, but I'm not all that sure that it fulfilled my expectations. After talking about it to Girlfriend isagel, I thought I'd write down what I thought and discuss it with all of you. (wheeeeeeeee! Fun!)
Harry:Puberty!Harry - excellent! I find it a rather realistic description of lil Harry becoming a teenager. All this moody-ness and snide remarks - wonderful.
He's still a little too slow for my taste, though, at least sometimes... there's no OotP-member left at the school? HELLO, Harry? I could have understood him not trusting Snape, but totally forgetting about him was a bit much for me. The same with Sirius' christmas-present - "use this if you want to contact me" - sometimes I wonder how comes HArry doesn't forget his own name, really. *beats Harry with a stick*
Ron & Hermione: Awwww. They're so in love. *LOL*
Fred & George:I adore them. I really do. Loved how they talked Harry down ("Thought we heard your dulcet" and so on). And what an exit! After all the great mayhem, of course - I can't wait to see what they come up with for their shop.
As Girlfried and i discussed, despite their not-many OWLs they seem to be ingenious wizards who are able to do quite complicated magic - and wile it sill seems as though they're only making fun, they show that they can handle difficult situations with their very own brand of creative magic. I'm sure this will be crucial later on.
Oh, apropos: When did this "mate"-mania come up? I haven't read GoF ina while, but I'm almost sure that they didn't call everyone "mate" in that one. It was so much in OotP that it almost threw me out of the story at times.
Neville: I'd like to see more of him. Loved the scene in St Mungo's, especially the part with the bubblegum wrapper. so tender and sad. It seems that NEville will finally manage to draw strength out of this ionstead of just being dragged down by it. Also, his part in the prophecy - it would be great if something came of it.
Cho: Cute in the beginning, but... *yawn*. Really. Get a life, girl.
Ginny: That's the one for HArry. Great to see her grow up a little. She seems to become a Cool Chick. Serious KickAss!Potential here.
Tonk: Heh. I like her. Hopefully she'll play a bigger role in the next books.
Remus: Aw. There should have been more of him. Me and Girlfriend = Big Lupin Lovers.
Sirius: Sheesh. I mean, really, how annoying can you get? Boo-hoo, evil Dumbledore, won't let me out of the house, just cause everyone wants to kill me, poor ME...*yawn*.
I didn't like him in this book. All this constant, childish whining.
And his attitude about him and James bullying Snape - there was far too little insight in this for me. HArry was more mature than him in this book. I can't even bring myself to feel sorry about his death.
One reason - the biggest one - for that is tha tI don't think that scene is very well written. I've read somewhere that irt was well-handled as an anti-climax... well, if it's supposd to be an anti-climax, it isn't a good one. I know that jKR can make me sob without a problem, and she didn't even get me involved here. I was rather disappointed about that.
I found the entire Ministry of MAgic-scene too long, especially the fight ending with Sirius' death. (The archway is interesting, though. Former death penalty device sprang t o mind while reading it.)
After the first read, wat with badly done anti-climax, I was convinced she would bring Sirius back in one of he later books. I can't believe she would kill him off so badly if she intended him to really be gone. Hope never dies. *LOL*
(And, of course, as Girlfriend opointed out, the whole aspect of the archway being in the Department of Mysteries and the things going on with time there - maybe they will manage to bring him back.)
Dumbledore: WOW, he kicks ass. Calling Voldemort Tom - what a simple, quiet, but oh so effective way to show that Dumbledore, like, totally rocks.
Found the whole explanation of the prophecy lame, though. Not very surprising, except for the Neville-part.
Luna: errrrrr...I hope she'll be of some importance in the next parts, because she was too annoying for her small role in this one. I didn't think she was all that funny or all that interesting for being thre so much. Hm. But then, I found one can trust JKR to not introduce characters for nothing.
Umbridge: Hm. Difficult case. I talked to Girlfriend about it, and we thought that she isn't such a great character per se, at least not if one compares her to other Defence teachers JKR wrote.
She is creepy, though. Her sadism actually slightly disturbed me at some points. The detentions with the blood-drawing quill - God, so creepy! Very well written.
Hagrid: I like Hagrid, but here... what was the point??? It seems like sj´he needs to have a weird Hagrid-monster-plot in every book, but here for the first time it seemed do much like a plot-device that it got very uninteresting. No doubt the giants-plot will be important later on, but in the context of this book, I found it plain boring.
Snape: Whew. Talk about save the best for last and all. Now, I have the habit of liking the semi-evil guys best. Mostly because those are the ones with room for character development. And they have the best lines. *GGG*
IMHO, the Occlumency lessons are the strongest part of the book. I've always liked the Harry-Snape confrontations, but this is by far the best interaction between them in all the books.
And, of course - you knew this was coming - God, the Pensieve-scene. Absolutely love it, have to read it again, have to write stories about it.
Love also HArry's disillusionment about his father. I like it that James is pictured as a really mean bully, that it isn't immediately followed by something that would excuse his behaviour. Bold move. Very, very good.
Overall I liked it, but not as much as the others. I loved Snape (had to say it agian), and Harry, as long as he is using his brain. It's too long though. And a good deal too predictable. In the earlier books, I loved the sudden plot twists at the end which seemed to make everything fall in the place. Here, everything was somehow expected. Not really satisfactory, plotwise.
Tell me what you think? *big blue eyes*