Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Currently reading: "Transmetropolitan" - Warren Ellis, "The Awakening" - Kate Chopin
Next up: "The Crimson Petal and the White" - Michael Faber (I'm going to read it this time, dammit! And nothing's getting in my way!)
******POSSIBLE SPOILERS!!!! (Just in case I'm not the only loser who has yet to finish the Harry Potter books*****************************
I finished reading this a while ago...but here's the review I've been sitting on for a while...
Did JK Rowling lose her editor? I'm serious....did she? 'Cause I'll help her find it. It's gotta be around here somewhere....here editor, editor, editor....
You have in your hands the pivotal fourth novel in the seven part tale of Harry Potter's training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup with Hermione, Ron, and the Weasleys. He wants to dream about Cho Chang, his crush (and maybe do more than dream). He wants to find out about the mysterious event that's supposed to take place at the Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn't happened in a hundred years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen year old wizard. Unfortunately for Harry Potter, he's not normal - even by wizarding standards. And in his case, different can be deadly.
- from Scholastic
I really enjoyed the story - I just thought it could've been about 100 pages shorter. Did we really need Hermione's activism concerning the working conditions of house elves? Did we need the Quiddich World Cup segment to be quite so long? Did the time between Triwizard Tournament tasks need to pass so slowly (watch as Harry climbs the stairs! watch as he walks down the hall!) ?

Now, on to what I did like:

- Harry, Ron, and Hermione are fully-developed characters that I care deeply about, and Rowling is aging them very well...a whinier, adolescent Harry - a Ron who's jealous of the time Hermione spends with Victor Krum - a Hermione who's struggling with becoming a person in the world (possibly the only advantage of her taking up a "cause"). Of the three, I feel like she's the most well-rounded: we see how she deals with school, with boys, with issues in the outside world - and it's all done very realistically.

- I love that this book brought in other wizarding schools, broadening the scope of the characters' lives. I really enjoyed the new characters this device introduced: Madame Maxime in particular. She-and-Hagrid-are-gonna-get-it-o-on...

- I enjoy the fact that having older characters allows for more darkness in the book. I was shocked when Ron's leg was broken in "Azkaban", but that was nothing compared to a character dying, and Harry being sliced for his blood...

- VOLDEMORT!!! Yeah, I said his name. :) Anyway, I'm so excited for him as a flesh-and-blood villain. As they say in wrestling, it's ON...

In short, the plot was great, but the storytelling was unwieldy. And judging by the size of the next two books, it doesn't look like the storytelling gets any "wieldier". I can only hope I'm wrong....(though I won't be reading Order of the Phoenix for a while...I need a Harry Potter break!)


Post a Comment

<< Home