Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mini-Review of HP and the Goblet of Fire

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 International Quidditch 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 a Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn't happened for a hundred years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. Unfortunately for Harry Potter, he's not normal - even by wizarding standards.

And in this case, different can be deadly.
 [from Goodreads]

Rating:  4.5 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience: Muggles of all ages
High point:  The action and suspense
Reader maturity:  13+

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a turning point in the series. With Voldemort's return imminent and danger lurking around every corner (and in every Triwizard Tournament event), Harry is forced to grow up, just as his readership was doing. Adults cease to be the bastions of strength that they're supposed to be (see:  Skeeter, Rita and Crouch, Barty as Mad-Eye Moody). Harry stares death in the face once again, but this time he's old enough to have to deal with the emotional consequences.

There are a few moments of levity, of course, due mainly to the antics of Fred and George, but J. K. Rowling also includes a few tongue-in-cheek descriptions to brighten up the pages. Out of context, it doesn't have the same impact, but I've included one of my favorite passages below.

"Colin, I fell in!" [Dennis Creevey] said shrilly, throwing himself into an empty seat. "It was brilliant! And something in the water grabbed me and pushed me back in the boat!"

"Cool!" said Colin, just as excitedly. "It was probably the giant squid, Dennis!"

"Wow!" said Dennis, as though nobody in their wildest dreams could hope for more than being throw into a storm-tossed, fathoms-deep lake, and pushed out of it again by a giant sea monster. (pgs. 178-179, 2002 Scholastic Trade paperback)

HP & the Goblet of Fire took me several days longer to get through than I thought it would, not because it was slow but because there was so much going on that I couldn't process all of the Tournament or Hogwarts goings-on in one sitting. I wanted to savor all the details (unlike last time, where I read like crazy in order to find out what happens to Harry). My patience paid off--several details that escaped me last time, such as Snape's strange errand at the end of the novel and Ginny's increasing appearances hint at what is to come.

What did you think of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire? If you've reread it, are your thoughts on it different than before you saw the movie/read the rest of the series? Why does Voldemort wage war on Muggles and Mudbloods when he himself is half-Muggle? Why isn't Harry as persecuted for being a Mudblood as Hermione is (his mother was Muggle-born, after all)? Why is Harry sometimes referred to as being Muggle-born even though both his parents were wizards?

Title:  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Author:  J. K. Rowling
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Year:  2000
Book Source:  Purchased

1 comment:

  1. i don't know if any of these books will EVER disappoint me. I've read them all 4 times. lol.

    stop by my post?! I have a cover reveal up :)