Review: Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and The Goblet of FireTitle: Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire
Author: J.K. Rowling
Published: July 2000
Author’s Website: http://www.jkrowling.com/
Genre: Fantasy, YA, teen

Review:  The Quidditch World Cup comes to England during the summer before Harry’s fourth year at Hogwarts and Mr. Weasley has managed to procure top tier seats.  After a great match, the celebration gets a bit out of hand with a rowdy bunch tumbling muggles before all chaos break loose and someone releases a Dark Mark.

And then, without warning, the silence was rent by a voice unlike any they had heard in the wood; and it uttered, not a panicked shout, but what sounded like a spell.

“MORSMORDRE!”

As if the events at the Quidditch World Cup weren’t enough excitement for Harry’s fourth year in the wizarding world, Hogwarts hosts the Triwizard Tournament:  a competition that brings contingents from Durmstrang and Beauxbatons, the two other European wizarding schools.  Due to the dangerous nature of the tournament, students under age 17 were prevented from putting their names into the Goblet of Fire to try to become their school’s champion.  Somehow, though, after Cedric Diggory for Hogwarts, Viktor Krum for Durmstrang, and Fleur Delacour from Beauxbatons, the goblet spews forth a fourth champion, Harry Potter.

Rita Skeeter, reporter for the Daily Prophet corners Harry while the judges debate whether he will be allowed/required to participate in the tournament.  It’s from this interview that I got my second Teaser Tuesday of this book:

Frowning, he avoided her gaze and looked down at words the quill had just written:  Tears fill those startlingly green eyes as our conversation turns to the parents he can barely remember.

“I have NOT got tears in my eyes!” said Harry loudly.

Between nearly getting thrashed by a Hungarian Horntail in the first challenge and having to figure out how to breathe underwater to pass the second, Harry has to learn to dance for the Yule Ball…and find a date.  With all of the champions still in the game, they enter the third and final challenge: a giant maze, at the center of which lies the Triwizard Cup.  It’s a race that ends with Harry watching Voldemort rise again in human form.

A swishing noise and a second voice, which screeched the words to the night: “Avada Kedavra!”

A blast of green light blazed through Harry’s eyelids, and he heard something heavy fall to the ground beside him; the pain in his scar reached such a pitch that he retched, and then it diminished; terrified of what he wad about to see, he opened his stinging eyes.

After he’s risen, Voldemort attempts to kill Harry, only to find himself thwarted as Harry escapes.  Harry brings news of Voldemort’s return to Dumbledore and the Minister of Magic, who take opposite stances on the veracity of Harry’s tale.  While the Minister of Magic refuses to acknowledge publicly that Voldemort has returned, Dumbledore informs the students about the Dark Lord before they leave the school for their summer break.

Bottom Line:
The fourth year of Hogwarts, while still filled with humor, adds a bit more mortal peril, even a bit of murder.  We are also introduced to a number of characters that remain through the end of the books, some more significant than others.  Another great story that I highly recommend.

Advertisements

Teaser Tuesday: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows (again)

Teaser Tuesday post for 6 January 2015:

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows by J. K. RowlingHarry had his retort ready for when they asked him why he had not simply created a perfect grave with his wand, but he did not need it.  They jumped down into the hole he had made with spades of their own, and together they worked in silence until the hole seemed deep enough.

from Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

 

Teaser Tuesday logo

———————————————————————————–

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

—————————————————————————————————————————

Teaser Tuesday: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows

Teaser Tuesday post for 30 December 2014:

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling“I hate it, I hate the fact that he can get inside me, that I have to watch him when he’s most dangerous. But I’m going to use it.”

from Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

 

Teaser Tuesday logo

———————————————————————————–

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

—————————————————————————————————————————

Review: Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of AzkabanTitle: Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban
Author: J.K. Rowling
Published: July 1998 (June 1999 in USA)
Author’s Website: http://www.jkrowling.com/
Genre: Fantasy, YA, teen

Review:  Sirius Black has escaped from the wizard prison Azkaban and the Ministry of Magic is convinced he’s going to coming after Harry Potter –so worried that they forgive his (unintentional) use of magic, underage and in front of muggles, send the Knight Bus to pick him up, and put him up in the Leaky Cauldron for the end of the summer.

Harry, Hermione, and Ron meet the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Remus Lupin, on the Hogwarts Express and learn first hand what dementors, the guardians of Azkaban, look like when one decides to try to join them in their train compartment.  It turns out the dementors have been set to guarding the perimeter of Hogwarts in hope of recapturing Sirius Black.

Their third year at school comes with new courses, a lot of new courses for Hermione.  She’s taking so many that Ron and Harry can’t understand how she can possibly be doing it.  One new course they all share is Divination with Professor Sybill Trelawny, a kooky, crazy-looking woman who has a habit of predicting dire situations and death in just about every class.

Professor McGonnegal’s response to the trio’s reaction to  their first divination class was my only Teaser Tuesday from The Prisoner of Azkaban:

“There is no need to say any more, Miss Granger. Tell me, which of you will be dying this year?”

As the year progresses, the hunt for Sirius Black continues while the students enjoy their best Defense Against the Dark Arts classes so far with Professor Lupin, which includes the creepy, shape-changing Boggart.  While the students very much enjoy classes with Professor Lupin, when he experiences health issues, they aren’t as thrilled with the substitute, Professor Snape.

When Harry isn’t allowed to go to Hogsmeade, a little town near Hogwarts where students get weekend passes to visit, the Weasley twins, Ron’s older brothers, provide Harry a great tool to sneak around and find secret passages out of the castle:  the Marauder’s Map, which he puts to great use over the next few years.

As it turns out, Hermione’s trick for taking so many classes also comes in handy saving the day.

Bottom Line:
With this third story, Ms. Rowling has created a trend in this series of each book being slightly darker than the previous books.  Not only do we have Dementors attempting to suck the joy and life out of people, but we also have rumors of wizards blowing up crowds of muggles.  It appears sometimes during this book that there are too many sub-plots to follow, but they are all pulled together in the end.  Another great story that I highly recommend.

Teaser Tuesday: Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince (one more time)

Teaser Tuesday post for 23 December 2014:

Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince by J. K. RowlingAnd without thinking, without planning it, without worrying about the fact that fifty people were watching, Harry kissed her.
After several long moments — or it might have been half an hour — or possibly several sunlit days — they broke apart.

from Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling

 

Teaser Tuesday logo

———————————————————————————–

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

—————————————————————————————————————————

Review: Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and The Chamber of SecretsTitle: Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets
Author: J.K. Rowling
Published: July 1998 (June 1999 in USA)
Author’s Website: http://www.jkrowling.com/
Genre: Fantasy, YA, teen

Review:  When Harry ignores Dobby the house elf’s pleas to not return to Hogwarts for his second year, the comical elf creates a bit of mischief that gets Harry locked in his room at 4 Privet Drive.  Luckily, his best friend, Ron, and Ron’s brothers bust him out and it isn’t long after their second year starts that trouble begins.

No sooner have they returned to Hogwarts than Harry begins to hear whispery voices in the walls.  Shortly thereafter, the first student turns up petrified with a message scrawled on the wall proclaiming “The Chamber of Secrets” has been opened.  Harry, Ron, and Hermione again find themselves trying to solve another mystery at Hogwarts.  As Hagrid is arrested as the one who opened the Chamber of Secrets*, he gives Harry and Ron a clue, which leads them to follow a trail of spiders into the Forbidden Forest where they meet Aragog, the leader of a clan of giant spiders. As the plot thickens, one of the trio ends up petrified and Ginny Weasley goes missing.  Once again, with a little help from unexpected sources, Harry has to save the day.

One of the things that makes this series great is J.K. Rowling’s ability to have her core characters interact believably, right down to the insults they hurl at each other, while introducing one or two characters in each book that are only main for the one book.  In The Chamber of Secrets, this character is the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Gilderoy Lockhart.  His Colgate smile and pompously charming personality endear him to some, while others wonder how someone so self-absorbed could have possibly done all he claims to have done in his books.

While The Chamber of Secrets is longer than The Sorcerer’s Stone, I only had one Teaser Tuesday:

He rolled up his sleeves, brandished his wand, and bellowed, “Peskipiksi Pesternomi!

It had absolutely no effect; one of the pixies seized his wand and threw it out of the window, too.

*To find out if Hagrid’s guilty of what he was arrested for, you’ll have to read the book.

Bottom Line:
Another great story.  We begin to see a bit of how magic can be used for nefarious purposes, and we are introduced to a few nastier creatures.  As most of the characters have returned from The Sorcerer’s Stone, there isn’t as much time devoted to setting up the world and introducing characters, leaving more time for building a story with a few twists and distractions, which Ms. Rowling does wonderfully.  The slightly darker story is still mostly light-hearted and is, again, easily recommended to everyone.

Teaser Tuesday: Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince (again)

Teaser Tuesday post for 16 December 2014:

Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling“Oh, come on, Harry,” said Hermione, suddenly impatient.  “It’s not Quidditch that’s popular, it’s you!  You’ve never been more interesting, and frankly, you’ve never been more fanciable.”

from Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling

 

Teaser Tuesday logo

———————————————————————————–

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

—————————————————————————————————————————

Review: Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's StoneTitle: Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone
Author: J.K. Rowling
Published: June 1997 (November 1998 in USA)
Author’s Website: http://www.jkrowling.com/
Genre: Fantasy, YA, teen

Review: In Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone.  Our introduction to “The Boy Who Lived”, Quidditch, Hogwarts and the Hogwarts Express, platform 9 3/4, wizard chess, Albus Dumbledore, Rubeus Hagrid, Severus Snape, 4 Privet Drive, the Dursleys, Parseltongue, Diagon Alley, Gringots and its goblin bankers, chocolate frogs, Bernie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans, myriad other teachers and classmates, and, of course, Lord Voldemort.

Infant Harry is deposited on his aunt’s doorstep after his parents are murdered.  About eleven years later, the much maligned Harry is invited to attend Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft where he meets his future best friends, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, and his nemesis, Draco Malfoy.

Once the introduction to the characters and the world take place, which takes about the first half of the book, the main plot line of the first book gets rolling along.  Harry, Ron, and Hermione work together to overcome a series of challenges and prevent Lord Voldemort from getting his hands on The Sorcerer’s Stone.

With this book being relatively short, I only had one Teaser Tuesday:

“But from that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend.  There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.”

Bottom Line:
I enjoy every one of the books in the Harry Potter series, and while I like some of the stories in other books better than the Sorcerer’s Stone bit, it’s difficult to not hold this book up as one of my favorites simply because it introduces us to the magical world and wonderful characters.  This book is so easy to recommend to everyone, kids, teens, adults, fans of the genre or not.

Teaser Tuesday: Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince

Teaser Tuesday post for 9 December 2014:

Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince by J. K. RowlingAt this, Fudge had actually laughed.
“My dear Prime Minister, are you ever going to tell anybody?”

from Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling

 

 

 

 

Teaser Tuesday logo

———————————————————————————–

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

—————————————————————————————————————————

Teaser Tuesday: Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix (one more time)

Teaser Tuesday post for 2 December 2014:

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling“Wait for what?” said Sirius coolly.  “What’re you going to do, Snivelly, wipe your nose on us?”

from Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling

 

 

 

 

Teaser Tuesday logo

———————————————————————————–

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

—————————————————————————————————————————