Book Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Book Synopsis

Once returned to Hogwarts after his summer holiday with the dreadful Dursleys and an extraordinary outing to the Quidditch World Cup, the 14-year-old Harry and his fellow pupils are enraptured by the promise of the Triwizard Tournament: an ancient, ritualistic tournament that brings Hogwarts together with two other schools of wizardry--Durmstrang and Beauxbatons--in heated competition. But when Harry's name is pulled from the Goblet of Fire, and he is chosen to champion Hogwarts in the tournament, the trouble really begins. Still reeling from the effects of a terrifying nightmare that has left him shaken, and with the lightning-shaped scar on his head throbbing with pain (a sure sign that the evil Voldemort, Harry's sworn enemy, is close), Harry becomes at once the most popular boy in school. Yet, despite his fame, he is totally unprepared for the furore that follows.

This is an excerpt from the Amazon product description.

Sharon's Rating

Sharon's Review

This is the fourth book in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Harry has grown up, as has the storyline. This book is the longest, and the the one that generated the most media frenzy up to that point. It also got me interested in the Harry potter series to begin with. All the hooplah made me acquire the first three books, which were decidedly geared more to children. This was the first story of the series that I could really sink my teeth into as an adult. That said, its sentence structure and easy language still made it kid friendly.

There are quite a few new characters this time. There are house elves, dragons, and a rather comical character named Mad Eye Moodie. I liked him, even if he turned out to be something other than what I thought him to be. There is a very exciting tri-school competition that challenges Harry to the very limits of his endurance. There are several twists and turns in the storyline, along with a few nail biting scenes of suspense, particularly during the third task, that makes the reader worry about the outcome for poor Harry.

The plot has become decidedly darker in tone. The death of a popular, if not main character, was a first in this instalment. The main characters really became fleshed out, to the point that the reader really roots for the success of Harry, Hermione, and Ron. At the end, Lord Voldemort becomes an even bigger threat, not only to Harry, but to the entire wizarding world. Yet again, Harry triumphs, but not unscathed. There is now an even stronger blood bond between Harry and the dark Lord. J.K. Rowling has really shown her masterful storytelling skill in this tale.

Harry's adventures are becoming more advanced, and more focused toward the adult reader. At Fourteen, Harry has become interested in girls. He's growing up along with many of the children who were the same age as Harry when the first book of the series came out. There's an underlying adult theme of media harassment by Rita Skeeter, that might not be understood by younger readers. The story not only deals with magic, it is magic, in every sense of the word. All in all though, this is by far the greatest book of the series, in my opinion.

Disclaimer: May not be appropriate for young children due to violence. There is a fair amount of violence. Even though it isn't graphic, it would be disturbing to children under ten or so.