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"'You are sharing the Dark Lord's thoughts and emotions. The Headmaster thinks it inadvisable for this to continue. He wishes me to teach you how to close your mind to the Dark Lord.'"
Dark times have come to Hogwarts. After the Dementors' attack on his cousin Dudley, Harry Potter knows that Voldemort will stop at nothing to find him. There are many who deny the Dark Lord's return, but Harry is not alone: a secret order gathers at Grimmauld Place to fight against the Dark forces. Harry must allow Professor Snape to teach him how to protect himself from Voldemort's savage assaults on his mind. But they are growing stronger by the day and Harry is running out of time....
"To call Dale a 'reader' of books is like saying Monet was a Sunday painter." (Los Angeles Times)
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Best Book You'll Read This Year
Total Chaos Threatens.
Pivotal Volume in Series.
Never Saw it Coming!!!
This volume forms the crux of the overall Harry Potter saga, as the tension builds inexorably from the beginning of the novel (when only Harry, alone of the magical community, has firsthand knowledge not only that the Dark Lord has risen but that he has begun attacks within the muggle community) and the end (when....NO SPOILERS, but let's just say the cat is out of the bag on the Voldemort question). In between, Harry must endure not only the scorn and ridicule of those whom he once counted as friends, not only ceaseless mockery in the corrupt press, not only official legal action against him brought by corrupt and ignorant ministry officials...but also actual physical torture at the hands of at least one secret Death Eater/sympathizer who has managed to infiltrate the Hogwarts faculty.
Among the most crucial scene in this, the pivotal Harry Potter volume, are the attack on Dudley, the revelation of a secret witch who has been masquerading as a Privet Drive Muggle for Harry's entire lifetime, Harry's trial at the Ministry (with the unforgettable surprise appearance of Dumbledore, to the astonishment of the entire courtroom), Snape's worst memory explored, Rita Skeeter finally getting (thanks to Hermione) the comeuppance she so richly deserves, the intense drama on the stairway when the evil Dolores Umbridge attempts to expel the foolish visionary Professor Trelawney, the unforgettable scene in which the Weasley twins announce a change in their educational plan (during one of the final and most intensely satisfying laugh-out-loud chapters you will ever read, "Career Advice), and the final dramatic confrontation between good and evil within the Ministry, bringing with it, as it does, a complete reversal of feeling about Harry within the magical community at large.
This is a rollicking good read that stands alone as a superb novel for any age reader.
As usual, Jim Dale creates additional magic within an already magical story by bringing each character to life, with never a wrong note, a too-lengthy pause, or a mispronunciation. But in this volume his performances of the female characters are standouts--especially Umbridge, McGonagall, Mrs. Figg, Hermione, Trelawney, and the "journalist," Rita Skeeter.
Out Of the Shadows
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- Gretchen SLP
Don't worry. You're just as sane as I am