Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
*****Warning: I do not normally post reviews that have spoilers in them, and I really try to avoid any kind of spoiler when I talk about a book. However, I don’t feel like it’s possible to discuss this book without spoiling it. Most people have read this series, so I’m not too worried. But if you haven’t read it yet, you may want to just stop now and read the series before you read my review.*****
Synopsis: Harry Potter is midway through both his training as a wizard and his coming-of-age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the Quidditch World Cup with Hermione, Ron, and the Weasleys. He wants to dream about Cho Chang, his crush (and maybe do more than dream). He wants to find out about the mysterious event that’s supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn’t happened for hundreds of years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. But unfortunately for Harry Potter, he’s not normal – even by Wizarding standards.
And in his case, different can be deadly.
My Review: Every time I read the next Harry Potter book, I find it’s my new favorite. This is the first book in the series I can genuinely say that I loved, and it really makes me want to grab the next one right away.
I loved this one for a variety of reasons: far less Quidditch (ugh, I am so not a sports person); more getting at what I consider to be the meat of this series with learning more about the Death Eaters and Voldemort; lots of betrayal and secret identities. We learned about and met a lot of the characters who will be more important in the coming books, and those who were portrayed as bad people really started to show that behavior in this one.
I really only had one complaint, which is that because Cedric Diggory was relatively important in this one, I would have liked to see more of him in the earlier books. I’ve seen parts of the Goblet of Fire movie, so I knew that Cedric was not going to last to the end of this book, but it didn’t really prepare me for the events of the last third or so of this book. This was such an emotional book for me, with Cedric’s death and the ceremony bringing about the rise of Lord Voldemort – not to mention the fight that came after that ceremony. In past books I did honestly feel like Harry was a bit annoying, just a meddling kid (do you see Snape coming out in me?), but I genuinely felt for him in this one and liked that we got to see more of what makes him into the hero of this series.
Not many people seem to like Voldemort, understandably, but he’s a very interesting character to me and I really enjoyed seeing just how he came back to power. It’s not often that you see someone like him, who doesn’t take his “loyal” supporters at face value, and punishes them all equally. It’s just so deliciously evil, and very intriguing to read about. I like that Rowling forces us to look at both sides of the story, and I would love it if some day, she’d write a second series more about him, or from his point of view.
I don’t really have the words to describe exactly how I feel, but I think this one will sit with me for a long time. I haven’t cried through the end of a book like that in awhile, it was such a lovely ending and I’m looking forward to how the rest of the series unfolds.
Read this book if: This is a fantastic continuation of the series, if you haven’t read the series yet I definitely say you should just because this one is so fabulous.
My Rating: 5/5 – Did I say cool? Make that awesome!