"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

08 January 2017

2017 Book Review #1: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire



I'm reading through the Harry Potter series which I began last year and although my daughters have read them all, I just finished book 4 in the series. I'm not reading them back to back as I find I just can't read fantasy continuously.  Most people I know, who like fantasy, have already read all of these books.  Our oldest was only in 3rd grade when they first started appearing here in the USA and we had her wait until she was in junior high before we allowed her to read them, for a variety of reasons.

Once she convinced me they are more like "good vs. evil" along the lines of Chronicles of Narnia (which I LOVE) without all the Christian symbolism, I decided to start the series last spring.  I'm glad I did but I just can't read fantasy back to back so it will be awhile before I start Book 5.

So far I am really enjoying these children's books and I see why they are so popular!

STORY SUMMARY

Harry is now 14 years old and in his 4th year at the Hogwarts School.  He continues to spend most of his summer with his aunt (his dead mother's sister) and uncle and cousin Dudley.  The Dursleys allow him to spend a month with his best friend Ron Weasley and his large family.  Ron, his twin brothers Fred and George and little sister Ginny are all at Hogwarts as well.  Ron's older brothers also went to Hogwarts and are working in various areas.

All Harry wants to do this summer is go to the International Quidditch Cup games with Hermione, one of his best friends and a very smart girl, and the Weasley family.  He also wants to get to know Cho Chang, the girl he has a crush on.  He wants to find out about the mysterious event that will take place at Hogwarts during his 4th year of school, starting in the fall.

The event will include two other rival schools of magic and a competition that hasn't taken place for 100 years!!

Basically, Harry just wants to be a normal 14 year old wizard........but he is anything but normal.....sometimes, his life can be downright deadly!

Harry's name has been entered into the Goblet of Fire which means he will be competing against 3 other older students, one from each school, for the TriWizard Tournament Cup.  There will be 3 tasks they have to complete before they can earn the Cup.  Only one competitor will reach the Cup.

Harry has many dangerous tasks ahead and the mystery to solve about just who entered his name into the Goblet of Fire.....he is too young to compete yet his name appeared and Dumbledore says he must compete!

Will he take the Cup?  What happens when he enters the maze during the 3rd task??  Will Harry confront his worst enemy, only to find out that he is stronger than he thinks?

Read the book to learn the answers!

MY THOUGHTS

This was, in my opinion, the most exciting of the series thus far.

The story of Harry Potter, his dead parents, Sirius, and Voldemort the most Evil One a.k.a "he who shall not be named" really comes together in this 4th book.

We learn many things about the various professors at Hogwarts.  Some of those things were most surprising to me.

The most action packed chapters were centered around the entire premise of "good vs evil" and love vs hate.  This book is very well written to point the way to true friendships, love, and bravery. The very beginning of the book does have a connection but at first I was very confused.  It all does come together, especially if you go back to the first chapter after you get to the ending.

As usual, the character development of new characters to come into the story line is exquisitely done.  The author is very gifted at describing these characters to give you a very accurate picture.  Last evening, I watched the first movie, which is based on the first book in the series and almost all of the characters were just like I imagined them to be, so Hollywood definitely got this right.

Although this book is the longest one so far in the series, it was very fast-paced except for one section.  But I managed to get through that one section and then enjoyed it again. There is a lot of humor in this book, especially in regards to the quill which some time is spent on but it moves fast and is funny so definitely an attraction for children.

In this particular book, the main characters, Hermione, Ron and Harry, along with 2 new characters, each from the other schools, Viktor from Drumstrang, and Fleur from Beauxbatons, are beginning to notice the opposite sex.  They all go on what is essentially their first date (I won't give details so I don't ruin it for you).  But, the way the author does this is still ok for an 8 year old to read.  It is all done marvelously innocently and with good humor with the normal teen angst regarding dating and friendships.

Overall, with the themes of good, evil, loyalty, bravery, friendship, lots of touches of magic,  and love, you can't go wrong with this series.

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 8 and older.

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 10.







1 comment:

Deb said...

Thanks for the review! I am not a huge fantasy fan myself. My husband is the Sci-Fi and Fantasy reader in the family. I have only read the first Harry Potter and that was years ago when I read it out loud to my son who is now 20. I did enjoy it and don't know why I never read at the rest. Guess I got interested in other things. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the book and have a great week!