Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
The summer holidays are dragging on and Harry Potter can't wait for the start of the school year. It is his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and there are spells to be learnt and (unluckily) Potions and Divination lessons to be attended. But Harry can't know that the atmosphere is darkening around him, and his worst enemy is preparing a fate that it seems will be inescapable.
Another one done and dusted, and it's still getting steadily more exciting! Goblet of Fire has always been my favourite in the series, and nothing has changed.
I think that here, Rowling is really beginning to find her voice. The readers were getting older along with Harry, and she resolved it was time to delve into more serious, complex matters. The fact that Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) is tiny in comparison to Goblet of Fire is a clear example of this. For these reasons, I find this particular book to be much more moving than the previous three. The death of a character is a huge consequence in a young adult novel, and I feel the fourth book in a series of seven is an excellent time to introduce dark themes such as this one.
Since Harry, Ron and Hermione are maturing throughout the series, I particularly like the way Rowling portrays them as teenagers with typical issues, rather than presenting them as amazing, wonderful kids with powers. Harry and Ron's stress at asking a girl to the Yule Ball made me smile, as did Ron's jealousy at Harry's constant fame.
I also loved the Tri-Wizard tournament, and this is another reason for Goblet of Fire being a favourite. I loved meeting the new, foreign characters from the other wizarding schools and learning about their cultures. I also loved the new spells and techniques that were mentioned here.
I do, however, have a couple of gripes about some things in the book. In the first task, Harry uses a summoning charm to bring his broomstick to him, so he can fly past a dragon to reach a golden egg. Why couldn't Harry summon the egg instead of his broomstick? Is that too easy? Secondly, Voldemort is described as a mere creature, a disgusting little thing that I began to imagine as looking like a scabby foetus. How was he able to keep hold of his wand for thirteen years if this was the case? And thirdly, Harry seems to be the only person in the world who can resist the Imperius curse. Is there no end to his talents? I found that part a bit hard to believe, he's good, but he's not that good. Despite these mild wanderings of my brain, I did thoroughly enjoy the whole novel.
Reading these books in quick succession is doing crazy things to my brain. I keep dreaming about things like parchment, and lighting my way down dark corridors with a wand. I've even been muttering curses under my breath when I come across the smallest inconvenience. I'm not letting these minor threats deter me, though. The tale is just getting far too intense now, and much more intriguing.
32 / 66 books. 48% done!