[To see an updated review of when I re-read this in August 2018 click here.]
This is the book where everything changes. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban really shows the wider wizarding world, but Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire really sets the stage for the rest of the series. It’s funny though that I didn’t really get this until Fiona, over at The Book Coop, shared her views about Book 3. I definitely agree with her that Book 3 shows that these are going to be a much broader series than just about a boy wizard at school, but what I think this book does is it shows just how dark this series has the potential to become.
Let’s face it Harry Potter is a dark series. It’s about good versus evil and surviving the lowest lows to get to the highest highs. Book 4 starts with a murder and it’s a plain fact. Every book prior to this mentions deaths and murders, but there are none that happen on the pages of the book and with this book it happens within the first 30 pages setting the tone for the rest of the series.
As the books were released this was my favorite novel, but each time I’ve gone back to re-read it, it’s awesomeness has worn a little thin. I’m not sure if it’s because the book itself feels rushed, so much happens in such quick spurts and then there is a lot of extra to-do, or that some of the other novels have outshone it. What I missed most in the film version was S.P.E.W. and learning more about the foreign wizards. The film took the four action points (Quidditch World Cup, Task 1, Task 2 and Task 3) and built the movie around them without going into some of the other great things the novel offers.
I’m going to close with an apology for the half-hearted response. I finished the book over the weekend and didn’t immediately sit down and write my response because I dove right into Book 5. It doesn’t help work is crazy busy and I currently have a headache, but I want to get this response up for July so I feel less guilty about reading three Harry Potter novels in August too. So, apologies! And hopefully my next response will be up to scratch.
However to make it up to you, check out this AWESOMENESS. It’s a graphic of all of the chapter graphics in the American Harry Potter books (one of the reasons I DO love this version).
Recommendation: READ IT! (Again and again and again.)
Opening Line: “The villages of Little Hangleton still called it ‘the Riddle House,’ even though it had been many years since the Riddle family lived there.”
Closing Line: “As Hagrid had said, what would come, would come…and he would have to meet it when it did.” (Whited out.)