I've just finished the 5th book in the fantasy series my daughters loved so much.
It was ok. I much preferred the first 4 to this one. Hopefully the last 2 are better.
Harry is now 15 years old and in the midst of normal teenage angst.
One thing that keeps happening, is he keeps dreaming about a dark room and a door at the end of a dark hallway. This dream wakes him up in the middle of the night, screaming! Is this reality or just a figment of his imagination??
He has a lot on his mind. He has been thinking about Lord Voldermort, a.k.a. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. He is being made fun of for saying the Dark Lord is alive again and has come back. No one really believes him other than Dumbledore and his best friends Ron and Hermione.
He is also thinking about the horrible, evil, new professor of the Defense Against the Dark Arts, along with a horribly acting house-elf named Kreacher, Ron as Keeper of the Quidditch team, and the upcoming spring exams called OWLS (Ordinary Wizarding Level exams) that all the 5th year students must pass as well as his career pursuits.
This is a lot for a 15 year old boy to take on...especially one with whom Lord Voldemort wants dead.
I wasn't a fan of how long this book was.....yes, it is fast-paced in some parts but until the last 3-4 chapters, it just dragged on and on. There were way too many details for a children's book in my opinion and the author just dragged out this plot line! My oldest daughter has explained to me that many questions that pop up from the first 4 books are answered in this 5th book but it just wasn't exciting to me. Maybe because I am an adult.
I did love that the author focused on the evil professor as a somewhat Hitler type person. It showed the way the government of the magical world operates and that like many governments, cannot always be relied upon!
This book does draw upon many themes like in the past: good over evil, light over dark, loyalty, friendship, sacrifice and death of a loved one. There is even a kind of parallel between Lily/Voldemort and Harry with Mary/Satan and Jesus. It's subtle and not offensive and probably isn't even the author's intention but my daughters noticed it as well. So, yes, you can tie a spiritual significance to this book.
I won't reveal who dies in this book but it was very sad. I love how Harry showed some real emotion in this particular book.
There are some very funny parts in this book as well.
I'm looking forward to now watching movie #5 and then later on in the spring finishing up this series.
In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 9 and older although it is VERY long winded.
On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 8.