Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix

The wonder that is Harry Potter continues in the fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, where Harry returns to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry after a summer break filled with nightmares about the Triwizard Tournament, the death of Cedric Diggory and the return of Lord Voldemort only to find his beloved school slightly changed. Professor Dumbledore has not said a word to Harry since the end of the last school year and Harry has a lot of questions to him, not least about the Order of the Phoenix. Hagrid is nowhere to be found at the school, but another professor shines as the new Defense against the Dark Arts teacher. While things are getting tougher for Harry, not just since it's his O.W.L year but also because few around the school seems to believe him when he says that Voldemort really is back, his dreams leads him down a long corridor night after night, a dream that gets more and more important for him each time he has it, but will it lead him down the wrong path?

I adore Harry Potter, like so many other people in the world, and there really isn't much left to say, neither about the books nor the story itself. The only thing that's bothered me a bit while reading this one is that it's really, really long and seemed to take forever to finish. I can't decide if there is too many details and if some could've been left out, or it it's just great that the story was so detailed. In the end it's a great novel with a lot of twists and turns and I very much enjoyed reading it.

 

The Dream Thieves

Right after I finished The Raven Boys for a second time I picked up its sequel, The Dream Thieves, just as I said. Here are my thoughts about the book and a quick summery of it; for the original review from last year, click here.

Amidst Gansey's quest of finding the sleeping Welsh king, Owen Glendower, Ronan is battling a war of his own. He has a secret and that secret is that he can bring things out of his dreams. For the most part, those things are crazy weird or downright horrible, but at times they can prove themselves useful. He doesn't know quite what he is but realizes that his ability is far from normal. And, with all things not normal, he attract attention from curious people. They call him the Greywaren but they don't know that they're looking for a boy rather than an object. However, it isn't as much a question of if rather than when someone will realize that he is the thing they've been searching for.

After the foundation in The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater brings us along on a journey slightly darker and mostly seen from Ronan's perspective. The Dream Thieves tells a story about nightmares and the darkest creatures living inside someone's head. It's a story about all the things you want and all the things you can't have. A story quite unlike anything I've read before and, I'm pretty certain, anything you've read as well. Loveable characters from the first book reappears, all four of the raven boys, Blue and of course most women at 300 Fox Way. We meet the Gray Man and Joseph Kavinsky for the first time and each of them brings something new to the story. It's still all about the search for Glendower and all about the friendship between Gansey, Ronan, Adam, Noah and Blue. But on top of that we get more insight on Ronan, which I found invaluable. It's a freaky nightmare of a book in every sense, but it might just be better than its predecessor. Definitely worth a read.

The Raven Boys

Rereading favorite novels is something I don't do nearly often enough. I did, however, felt a need to pick up The Raven Boys and revisit Henrietta and all the weirdness that happens in the little Virginia town. I've written a full-on review of it earlier, which can be found here. Now I'll quickly tell you what the story is about and a few hasty thoughts before I start reading the sequel, The Dream Thieves.

Since she was little, Blue has been told by many, many psychics that if she kisses her true love, he will die. She lives in a house full of psychics and it used to weird and unbelievable things. Every St. Mark's Eve, Blue and her mother sit watch on the corpse road to gather the names of the spirits passing by; the people who are to die in the following twelve months. It's said that the only way for a none-psychic to see a spirit on the corpse road on that night is if he's either your true love or if you've killed him. So when Blue sees Gansey she's quite surprised and more than a little afraid. When Gansey then appears in real life a little while later, Blue finds it immensely difficult staying away from him even though she knows that he will be dead within a year. But Gansey isn't just like any rich, privileged Aligonby boy. Together with his friends, Ronan, Adam and Noah, he's searching for a sleeping king who just might be in Henrietta. When Blue gets tangled up in Gansey and his restless search she realizes that maybe, just maybe it's better to be friends with him then to ignore him. That way she might be able to save him.

This is excellence bottled in a book. Maggie Stiefvater sure knows how to write a thrilling story that isn't just about one thing. It's about all of the boys, about Blue, about their families. About what happens when they're looking for their king and what happens when they're not. It's is, in some aspect, a romance, but it is a very slow one and the main focus isn't on that but rather on their friendships. There are also tough subjects’ arising, like moral and abusing relationships. It's a well-rounded novel that surely will touch your heart if only you give it a chance. I strongly recommend this amazing and out of the world read.