• Book: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Author: J.K. Rowling
  • Genre: Fiction (Modern Literature)
  • Year of Release: 2000
  • Read 636-page hardcover edition in June 2013.

Book Description: Harry Potter has returned to his fourth year at Hogwarts, and the dangers inside Hogwarts have increased with the Triwizard Tournament coming to the school, which is a series of challenging magical tests for those deemed brave enough to represent their school.  This means representatives from two other schools from abroad have also been brought to the school for the year.  But with increasing speculation of Voldemort supporters gathering, and with lingering questions about where loyalties truly lie with students like Malfoy, teachers like Professor Snape, and visitors to the school, Harry and his friends know this will be a year fraught with danger and risk, as they seek to uncover the truth.

Book Review: After the first three shorter books in the series, this is the first novel in the Harry Potter universe where Rowling expands the word count and really starts to provide greater detail, character development, and info on the mythology of her universe.  And for the most part, this has worked well, as she has created a very pure adventure-type story with clear contests that will appeal to her more youthful audience, while increasing the detail and back story that will appeal to older audiences.  The result is a strong novel that has broad appeal, with enhanced character development, new characters, and more information on the wizarding world and where this tale may be going.  The level of suspense and tension is cranked up a notch, certainly, in this novel.  The characters are all showing their teenage years with some romance and drama that is appropriate to their age, and Rowling does a good job weaving this into the novel with the right amount and at the right times in the narrative.  One minor complaint to the story is that this novel had a couple major plot points that one could easily wonder “why would Dumbledore and the wizarding powers that be allow this to occur given safety concerns?”  It is a practical question that never gets fully answered, and basically the reader who picks up on those questions has to set them aside and just enjoy the novel without worrying about them.  But overall, this novel does succeed in taking the Harry Potter universe to the next level.

Overall: 4 stars out of 5.