Monday, September 10, 2012

Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
by J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter #4)
Published September 28th 2002 by Bloomsbury

When the Quidditch World Cup is disrupted by Voldemort's rampaging supporters and the terrifying Dark Mark is resurrected, it is obvious to Harry that, far from failing, Voldemort is getting stronger. The ultimate symbol to the magic world of the evil Lord's return would be if the one and only survivor of his death curse, Harry Potter, could finally be beaten. So when Harry is entered for the Triwizard Tournament - a competition between three wizarding schools to find the ultimate magician - he knows that rather than win it, he just has to get through the trials alive.
Goblet of Fire is the middle book of the Harry Potter Series, and in many ways it is very unique from other previous offerings from. With it's first chapter, it sets the tone for a darker storyline by far than books 1 through 3 had ever been. If Rowling ever decides to write an adult book, she could definitely pull off some suuuuuper scary stuff. Chapter 1- The Riddle House still creeps me out, after multiple readings. It's the way JKR builds the suspense with the chapter. It's not like you can't guess where it's going...even just with the chapter's title. Even still, there's a mounting unease as the chapter progresses, the way you'd feel if you'd been dreading something for months only to slowly watch it unfold before your eyes. Eeep!

Goblet of Fire finds Harry in his fourth year at Hogwarts and he is now 14; not a little boy anymore, GoF starts off with a more confident Harry as he manages to get his uncle to agree to let him attend the Quidditch World Cup. Once there, Harry Ron & Hermione; and everyone else in attendance, will witness bizarre and unsettling events that set the tone for many events to come. Upon returning to Hogwarts, it becomes apparent how different this book will be. This year, Hogwarts will host and participate in the Triwizard Tournament. An epic tournament that pits 3 champions, from 3 Wizarding schools against each other for 3 extremely difficult, dangerous (and sometimes deadly) tasks. I loved reading about the different tasks, and getting to know students from different schools than Hogwarts; it really changes up the usual dynamics of a year in the life of Harry Potter.

GoF is like a huge puzzle with it's pieces all jumbled up....once you start to figure out one section of the picture, you still have a HUGE mess of other stuff to figure out. Upon my first few readings of the series, GoF was never one of my favorites of the series. Now I've come to realize that that's probably because the movie version is almost a completely different story and I let that version cloud my judgement.  Not only that but Dumbledore's portrayal in this particular film is so drastically different from the real Dumbledore - which is jarring, to say the least. o.O Considering the book on it's own, this is a very engaging and important chapter in Harry's story arc and the real Dumbledore is more impressive than even he's ever been thus far. I'm thinking specifically of the moment when Harry fully appreciates why people have always said Dumbledore was the only wizard Voldemort ever feared. during the rescue from imposter Moody at the end, when Dumbledore McGonagall and Snape burst in the office.
 '' ...the sense of power that radiated from Dumbledore as though he was giving off burning heat. (...) again he seemed to radiate that indefinable sense of power (...) the aura of power around him palpable, his eyes blazing.''
Goblet of Fire is absolutely brilliant in it's originality, plot and mystery - how cool is the introduction of the pensive?! I mean seriously, the colour description, the airy liquidy substance, the fact that it contains memories, and in this case Dumbledore's memories?! Awesome. The final chapters are well worth the wait (the book is huge compared to it's predecessors) and will leave every single reader ready to jump into book 5 as soon as they read the final word.

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