Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Reading: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

The fourth installment in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, marks a change in the atmosphere in J.K. Rowling's style of writing.  No longer is Harry considered a child's fantasy book series but rather a distinguished young adult series.  The big difference between this fourth book and it's predecessors is the length.  Being a hefty 734 pages, this book took a step up from it's usual 300-400 pages.  The style of writing improved as well.
Alright...time for my background story with this book.  I received this book as a gift for Christmas from my aunt when I was 11.  I do not have that original hardcover...I sold it on Ebay.  The reason I sold it is because my copy was, for some reason, smaller than the typical publications.  It turns out, it must have been a very rare copy though I don't think it was worth a lot.  Never the less, I kinda wish I had kept it.  Anyway, there isn't much for me to say about this book except that I read it when I was 12.  I remember reading the first chapter on the bus to school and being really confused but it was a good kind of confused because it meant that this book was distinguished and that I was reading a more mature text.  Ironically, I now consider the first chapter of this book to be one of my favorite chapters in the entire series.
Goblet of Fire takes the Potter series in a brand new, exciting and mature direction.  There is much more depth to the book than the previous three, brand new characters and story-lines, and at the same time, readers still have the same element of mystery and humor that they have come to know and love.  Rowling has a great way of dropping hints and foreshadowing throughout her writing.  This book is very special because it is literally the center of the series - it is the moment when the books change from adventures at Hogwarts to darkness and evil.  It is a nice look at the psychology behind why we do what we do - whether it be Ron's jealousy of Harry's fame and Hermione dating Victor Krum, Cedric's want to help Harry after Harry helped him, Fudge's choice to not believe Voldemort
has returned, or Voldemort's choice to choose Harry's blood over a random person's when he returns.  Another great aspect to this book is the introduction of S.P.E.W!  Hermione's call to act for the house elves is arguably (next to Dumbledore's Army in book 5) the biggest call to action that has inspired young readers to also act for what is right.
While Goblet of Fire is an excellent fourth novel, it has it's inconsistencies.  Many are specific events and I am not going to sit here and write them all out but they are there.  It is no secret that Rowling felt rushed when writing this novel and it has been said that she still is not satisfied with it.  Regardless, this novel is still hands down the best thus far and I am giving it 5 out of 5 stars.

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