Saturday, October 9, 2010

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Title: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Author: J. K. Rowling
Pages: 734
Genre: YA, Fiction, Fantasy
What you'll love: Fantastic ending - completely different than the previous books.
What will bug you: Some loose ends.

I remember reading this for the first time. It was about 10:30 pm - on a work night. I turned on my booklight and propped myself up in bed to read a chapter. The ending became so intense I couldn't stop until the last page. I then tip-toed into the living room. Put HP and the Goblet of Fire on the shelf. Grabbed HP and the Order of the Phoenix and read the next few chapters.

I was floored and needed to continue the story - just a little - to find out what happens next.

This is the mark of a good book. But before I continue gushing, a (very brief) summary and a disclaimer...

Harry Potter enters his fourth year at Hogwarts. Right before the school year begins, he attends the Quidditch World Cup with the Weasleys and Hermione. Events unfold which begin Harry's most dangerous year at Hogwarts yet. The big news at school is that H
ogwarts will be hosting the Triwizard Tournament - a competition involving two other schools of witchcraft and wizardry. The tournament ends in a complete flurry - making this story the pivotal in Harry's journey through Hogwarts.

Disclaimer - I'm not holding back on the spoilers. They are everywhere! You've been warned...

This book is what really hooked me on this series. It's so completely different from the other books.

We'll start with the fact that it's so much LONGER than the others - 734 pages! It's a real chunkster.

The opening is different than the first two books. Opening straight off with Voldemort, Wormtail and Nagini pulls the reader in, foreshadowes that this will not be like the o
ther Harry Potter books. We spend very little time with the Dursleys and jump straight into the action. There's not a lot of recap from the previous three books (which I really like...).

There are some occasional swears (GASP!) in the story. Language doesn't offend me - I can keep up with the dirtiest sailor. (Wait... well... you know what I mean.) So, "damn" being sprinkled here and there is no big thing, but it's a subtle sign that Rowling is writing for more than kids.

The story -
especially the ending - is downright scary. A second sign that this is no longer just for kidos. For the first time in the series we are ending with ends left untied. Lots of questions. It's not a happy beginning to summer vacation.

There are so many different themes running at once. Of course, there is Harry and the tournament. There is the first glimpse of a future relationship between Ron and Hermione. The battle Hermione is raging on behalf of the house elves. Backstory on Crouch. The rise of Voldemort.

So much of this book is fantastic - but I want to talk about the end. O. M. G. is it fast paced and good. The scene has been so expertly laid out, and so well described.
"The thing Wormtail had been carrying had the shape of a crouched human child, except that Harry had never seen anything less like a child. It was hairless and scaly-looking, a dark, raw, reddish black. Its arms and legs were thin and feeble, and its face - no child alive ever had a face like that - flat and snakelike, with gleaming red eyes."

If this does not give you the shivers, I don't know what will.

After Harry gets back to the portkey there is pure confusion - which completely matches what the reader is feeling. Once Moody is revealed for what he truly is, there are so many "aha!" moments for the reader. Everything begins to click into place, and Rowling's amazing writing skills really shine through.

I also get the shivers (in a good way) on how Dumbledore is beginning to rally the troops.
There is a feeling that there will be much more to come.

My highlights - when someone says "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" I think of...

1. The Quidditch World Cup, and the dark mark being cast in the sky. I picture the complete terror that people are feeling at that moment.

The veelas! I picture these wispy-haired hookers/showgirls with swaying hips.

3. Mad-Eye Moody. Best. Character. Ever. He's slightly creepy, yet you have this incredible respect for him. Like Fred and George say - "He's been there." He's totally kickass and not afraid of anything.

4. The students from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang - they're exotic and interesting.

5. Harry fin
ding out that he will compete as a champion.

6. The yule ball! Ron in his silly dress robes. Hermione showing up with Krum - I'm a fan of anything where the brainy girl with poofy hair gets the guy! (I also love how Harry and Ron are being typical young teenagers - more interested in sitting and talking than dancing).

7. Harry in the prefect's bathroom. I WANT THIS BATHROOM!

8. Harry doing the second task - growing gills and saving his friends.

9. The Pensieve. How cool is this? Rowling has found a perfect way to give backstory without being dorky about it.

10. Voldemort returning. He rises from a cauldron. Yeah. A cauldron. Best ending to a chapter ever?
"The thin man stepped out of the cauldron, staring at Harry... and Harry stared back into the face that had haunted his nightmares for three years. Whiter than a skull, with wide, livid scarlet eyes and a nose that was flat as a snake's with slits for nostrils...
Lord Voldemort had risen again."

(Picture me making a creeped out noise - eeeehhh - hands furiously turning the page...)

11. Harry seeing Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle return as Death Eaters.

12. Dumb
ledore finding the real Mad-Eye at the bottom of that trunk.

Do you want to re-read it yet? Yeah... I figured! Have you reviewed this? Leave us a link!

See you at the end of book 5!

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