Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling - WARNING! I am reviewing the Harry Potter ooks with the idea that those who read my reviews have read the books. There will be spoilers. If you haven't read Goblet of Fire, read no further.
Harry Potter is midway through 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. 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 a hundred 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. From Amazon US
Prisoner of Azkaban is the book where things start to get pretty exciting because of how dark it gets. Goblet of Fire is the book where things get even more exciting because it's just so much fun! I know it's generally not so great because Harry's been put into the Triwizard Tournament against his will and it's quite dangerous for him, but I just find all the tasks just so much fun to read! You have no idea how much I want to be a student of Hogwarts when I read this book! Of course, I want to be a student of Hogwarts whenever I read a Harry Potter novel, but especially with this one. I seriously cannot help the grin that comes across my face when I'm reading this book.
But then the book shifts. To me, it feels like there are three very distinct parts of the book. It's all fun and exciting while the tournament is happening, but once the Harry and Cedric are transported to the cemetery where Voldemort returns it shifts and becomes even darker than Prisoner of Azkaban. I love Voldemort's long talk before he and Harry start fighting. So much is explained! But it also shows just how evil he really is, how he taunts him. There's the wonderful connecting wands thing, and then it shifts again once Harry returns to Hogwarts. Just when you thought everything was going to be ok and Harry will be safe, then bam! Moody isn't Moody! It's just wonderful! I love each section, it just takes the story further, and keeps you on your toes. I love it!
I know he isn't actually Moody, but I can't help but love Moody anyway. If you think about it, he is actually trying to act how Moody would act, so it's pretty similar, and he's just awesome. He's mental, yet is completely for making sure everyone knows how to defend themselves, and he's just great. And who can forget Malfoy, the amazing bouncing ferret? Just classic.
This book also takes a step up from the others because this is the first book we actually see someone die. And not just one person either; Harry dreams Frank, the Riddle House's gardener’s death as well as Cedric's. There's a third death that happens that we don't see, that of Mr Crouch, but still, that's three deaths that happen in one book, where there weren't any deaths of those on the right side in previous books. It's a turning point both for Harry and for the reader. People are actually dying now, the threat of Voldemort means so much more.; The only that bothers me is that in Order of the Phoenix, when Harry arrives at Hogwar's he sees the Theastrals because he's witnessed death, yet in Goblet of Fire, it actually says he waits with the others for the carriages pulled by invisible horses - why couldn't he see them then? Little plot hole.
Anyway, this book is just brilliant, and might actually be my favourite of the whole series. I'll let you know if that's still true as I continue reading the series.
Buy on Amazon US
J.K. Rowling's Website
Other reviews of the series:
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban