Saturday, April 05, 2008

#12 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling

My Rating: 10 out of 10 stars

Harry is starting his 4th year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and already the mischief has started before he's even arrived at the school. It starts with Harry having strange dreams—or are they visions?—of Lord Voldemort, which leave him with a scorching pain in his forehead scar. And at the Quidditch World Cup, someone conjures the Dark Mark, Voldemort's sign, right in front of Harry and his friends. Do all these signs point to the imminent return and rise to power of Voldemort? Or are they just coincidence?

Well, it just so happens that Hogwarts will be hosting a very special event this year, a competition which hasn't taken place for several hundred years—the Triwizard Tournament. Perhaps that'll take Harry's mind off his problems. Or maybe it'll just make them worse since someone has decided to enter him as a Hogwarts Champion, an honour normally reserved only for older students with more experience. But since the Goblet of Fire has given his name, he is obliged to compete, whether he wants to or not. And perhaps someone is hoping that Harry just may die for it!

After finishing Goblet of Fire, I immediately wanted to see the movie again because I felt I understood so much more than when I saw it initially. Many of the new characters and some of the things that happened in this one seemed rather random to me when I saw the movie, but after reading the book, I see how everything (and everyone) all fits together. Since Goblet of Fire was a hefty 734 pages, whereas the previous three books were quite a bit shorter, I can see how a two-hour movie might not quite do this book proper justice. I'm glad to hear that the movie deal made for book seven is going to be done in two parts instead of trying to squish it all into one.

So though I was initially thinking this was the weakest one so far, after having only seen the movie, I now have to retract that thought after reading the book. There is some additional depth given to many of the characters here, and we learn a few new secrets about some of them. A lot of it is very mysterious and dark. We also start to see hints of a burgeoning romance between Ron and Hermione....

I really enjoyed this one a lot, so much so that I immediately wanted to start reading Order of the Phoenix right away. (And I'm holding off on seeing that movie until I read the book first.) Unfortunately, I have a number of other books I really need to get read before the end of the month; this was my short, quick detour to read one of my personal collection books that has been sorely neglected because it doesn't have an agenda after, or I don't owe a review for it, or something like that. ;-)

BookCrossing journal page for this book