Review: The Goblet of Fire

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Three books in three weeks!  Maybe reading isn’t as hard and as terrible as I thought…

The Goblet of Fire is the first book in this series written for adults.  I think it’s officially classified as a Young Adult novel, and that’s fine.  While reading this book I laughed, I thought, I tried to figure out the mysteries before they resolved in the books, and I think I got something in my eye towards the end.  It’s twice the length of any of the prior books in the series, and the technical writing skill of Rowling steps up a notch to match the page count.  There is also a lot more differences between the book and the movie and I’ll talk about one of those in a minute here.

The whole story is fanciful and magical.  Rowling spends many chapters describing amazing events and how various characters approach them differently.  This book grapples with the fact that we don’t all think the same, and it still works out well!  The rest of this review will contain spoilers, so you may wish to stop here if you plan on reading it.

I only have two complaints with this book.  The first is that there’s a scene the movie did better.  In the movie Neville Longbottom gives Harry some gillyweed to get him through a challenge, but in the book Neville doesn’t not help Harry at all.  Why is this important?  Because Neville is a klutz in the early parts of this story; he is literally the worst wizard at Hogwarts.  But from seeing the movies we know he grows into one of the bravest wizards in the school.  The scene where he helps Harry out is one of the very few places in the movies where we see any growth in Neville’s character.  Granted there’s still plenty of time for Rowling to prove me wrong, but that scene is so crucial to the movies, it’s a shame we don’t see it here.  In fact, we see very little character growth in Neville in this book.

The second complaint is really more with a character than with the story at large.  Harry has some terrible challenges in this book and he knows someone is trying to kill him, but he puts practically no effort in to making sure he can survive.  I know there are people like this, and it’s just that I don’t relate to them.  I just can’t fathom how someone could spend their time lying to their friends and avoiding trying to solve a riddle just because it’s easier.  Your friends would help you if you let them!  Don’t die you foolish little boy!

Overall, I give this book five stars.  It is absolutely fantastic!

I have a lot to do in the next week or two, so I’ll probably going to put my reading on hold and switch my focus to getting stuff done.  When I come back to reading it will be February 1st and I’ll be starting The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.  I was originally skeptical of being able to get through its 1300 pages in 28 days, but considering I’ve read three books in the first 18 days of this month, I might just have a shot.

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