The summer holidays seem never-ending and Harry Potter can’t wait for the start of the school term. It is his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and there are spells to learn and (unluckily) Potions and Divination lessons to attend. But Harry needs to be on his guard at all times – his worst enemy is preparing a horrifying fate for him.
Whereas the previous three books in the series were getting progressively darker, leading to this (and the future books), there’s a huge jump in scope and size of this novel. And this book is most definitely darker. You wouldn’t realize it when you start off with the Quidditch World Cup to look forward to. It’s that, as much as anything, I think, that sets the tone for the book.
Excitement, nerves, joy, and terror all rolled into one.
I love how the clues, if you’re able to add them all up to the right answer, are all cleverly imparted within the text. Never does it feel like extraneous information, but it also doesn’t feel important – Of course, we come to find out later just how important those pieces of information were.
If you’re one that’s only been watching the movies (and don’t get me wrong, I love the movies), you’re missing out – a lot – here in this story. The book is so incredibly big that they had to cut some of the storylines, had to shorten and paraphrase others, and I think, overall, it really does suffer for it. Yes, yes, I know – SPEW isn’t necessary and doesn’t really matter, but *shrugs* I love it. I love that storyline, I love what it implies, and I love what it shows of a certain character. That’s by no means the only cut that this book suffered when it was translated to the big-screen, though.
There are other things that are softened, or made less horrible in the movies – I remember the first time I read the books after having seen the movies. I love Snape. I always have and always will, but it’s easier to love Rickman’s portrayal of him in the movies. He’s an ass in the books – abusive, at best, to his students. (And let me clarify here, I don’t love what he does, always, but he’s an excellent character.) In the movies, though, he’s still a jerk, but the ‘best intentions’ are written all over him. And that’s kind of unfortunate, too. Another loss is Ron’s shitty behaviour. Honestly, I’d nearly forgotten about his behaviour in this one, but his character really stands out to me as … not good. He constantly believes the stereotypes and rumors and things other people have told him about other magical beings and people. He is very hard pressed to form his own opinions. He believes the absolute worse of his BEST FRIEND and treats him like shit. He mocks and berates his other BEST FRIEND. Ugh. I don’t like you, Ron. And every time I read the books that dislike gets a little more intense.
Anywho – let me get off that rant. I love this book. I love the suspense, the tension, the mystery. I love the tasks – even if there are only three of them. I loved learning more about other wizards and their cultures. This book really builds towards the climax – and I remember exactly how shocked I was when I reached it the first time. I felt sure that it couldn’t happen, it shouldn’t so it wouldn’t.
This book definitely brings out the emotions in me. I still tear up near the end, and cheer when Harry faces his first task. It’s hard for me to be objective while reading, or reviewing, because I love this world so damn much.
- Weasleys’ picking Harry up
- Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes
- The Amazing Bouncing Ferret
- Tri-Wizard Tournament
- Rita Skeeter
- Yule Ball
- Priori Incantatem
And I can’t wait to start Order of the Phoenix next.