Monday, April 19, 2010

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Book 15 of 52 in 52

At 700 plus pages, the size alone of the fourth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, is a bit intimidating. In it, Voldemort hatches a plan to get Harry and restore himself to power in the process. Harry catches bits of the plan in a dream, wakes up with his scar burning, and casually mentions the occurrence to his godfather, Sirius Black, in a letter to get his opinion. Other strange events including the disappearance of a witch from the Ministry of Magic, the appearance of Voldemort's sign in the sky the night after the world Quidditch cup, and the possible attack on an old auror who had captured many dark wizards in his younger years add to the mystery and quickly draw readers into the plot. As Sirius settles down as close to Hogwarts as he can to be able to help Harry, Hogwarts prepares to host an old inter-school competition called the Triwizard Tournament. The tournament gets off to a bad start as the goblet of fire spits out not three but four names for the competition with Harry being the fourth even though he had not tried to enter. With help from his friends and the new dark arts teacher, Harry successfully passes each of the competition challenges not by focusing on winning but rather by focusing on doing the right thing. Just as Harry thinks the tournament is finished, he and the other Hogwarts champion touch the goblet of fire and find themselves transported to Voldemort. Voldemort kills Cedric, uses blood from Harry to restore himself into a body, and prepares to finish Harry off in a duel. Harry escapes with Cedric's body back to Hogwarts where Dumbledore saves him from one of Voldemort's followers. Then Dumbledore begins to make preparations for fighting Voldemort as the head of the Ministry of Magic tries to deny the truth, and the school year comes to a close.

While this was my least favorite movie, it is probably my favorite book of the series so far. There is a definite progression the simple good versus evil with good triumphing in the first book to a more mature, more complex plot in this book. Unlike the first three books, which could stand on their own as separate stories, book four seems to be the link that ties the entire series together. All of the characters have now been introduced and taken their position. The scene is set for the true conflict between good and evil to begin. As with the other books, there are plenty of lighter scenes to balance out the more intense ones, and the descriptions in the book aren't nearly as vivid as the visuals of the movie. I'm still not fond of the divination class, but it takes a much smaller place in this book. There's a definite change in the relationship between Ron and Hermione that's seems to be setting up for more of a dating relationship than just a friendship (I haven't seen any movies after this one so I can't say for sure). While the plot is more complex, I don't find the book to be too mature at this point. So it's 4 down, and 3 very large books left to go. (I need a few more 20 plus inning baseball games to keep DH's attention so I can read later at night.)

1 comment:

Robin McCormack said...

I had a harder time reading this one. At least I think it was #4. Seemed very dark to me.