Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{December 22, 2019}   {Review} Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4)

From Goodreads: Harry Potter is midway through his 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. He wants to find out about the mysterious event that’s supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn’t happened for a hundred years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. But unfortunately for Harry Potter, he’s not normal – even by wizarding standards. And in his case, different can be deadly.


Opening with a murder, death eaters terrorizing muggles, and then the advent of deadly games, this novel is the first to put a darker spin on these lovable MG/YA novels. And I love it. While I do love the first three novels in this series, this one takes a fun world and makes it darker, adding real threats and testing the reader’s emotions on a whole new level. Readers know from the getgo that something sinister is afoot and that the dark lord is well on his way to returning once again, a fear that has slowly been coming to fruition over the course of the last three novels.

Goblet of Fire is the first of the series to make me cry, and it’s also the first of the series to really focus on the death eaters, giving them enough substance to strike fear in the reader’s heart. Yet, the novel is not all dark, and Rowling’s creation of the Tri-Wizard tournament was a fantastic plotline that makes this novel one of my favorites in the series. The mystery behind how Harry’s name entered the cup, who within the castle would want Harry dead (aside from Snape and Malfoy), and how Harry and his friends discover the upcoming tasks in the tournament is always fun, no matter how many times I’ve read this, though if you’ve never read it, then you’re in for a really delightful read! I always walk away from these novels with new tidbits of information that I either didn’t originally notice or just plain forgot, and reliving it all with Harry and his friends is such a treat for me.

Of course, I have to wonder WHY anyone in their right mind would decide to have these games in the first place. The dangers are real, and it’s been 100 years since the last games for a reason–too many deaths. So why have them? And why do it now? Yes, Dumbledore gives the reasoning, but it’s clear to me that there’s more sinister reasons at work that Rowling subtly alludes to, but never states: the selfishness and yearning to protect oneself ultimately opens to the gateway for Voldemort’s return. And yet–it’s time. Up until now, Voldemort has only been a fear of the past, with whisperings and attempts, but no “serious” danger… but in this novel, Rowling finally brings these fears to the forefront, unleashing the terror of the dark lord on the wizarding world, and though terrible, it’s something I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time, because there are only so many times that “he who must not be named” can “almost” return before it becomes monotonous.

Of course, if we want to be petty, we could go right back to Prisoner of Azkaban and blame Ron for this entire thing. I mean, really now… if he’d just have turned over his rat the first time he was asked… ;)

Goblet of Fire is a fun read with dark undertones coming to fruition, and it’s superb. Yes, the movie is good, but you already know the book is much better, so if you haven’t read it yet, give yourself a treat and do. Five stars.

I own this beloved novel and entire series in both hardcover and audible.

Did you know that you can listen to this novel for FREE with a FREE TRIAL of Audible for 30 days? Try it today!

Kindle | Audible | Paperback | Hardcover

Have you read the short prequel to the Harry Potter series, yet?

And if you missed them, read my review of:

The Sorcerer’s Stone #1

The Chamber of Secrets #2

The Prisoner of Azkaban #3

The Order of the Pheonix #5

The Half-Blood Prince #6

The Deathly Hallows #7

For me, the magic of Harry Potter is a Christmastime story. The first time I ever read the series, the first time I ever watched the movies, I just felt like they were definitely Christmas stories, ones of magic and beauty, and I’ve held onto that feeling for years, possibly because the earlier movies tended to come out around the holidays, or perhaps because J.K. Rowling always included Christmas in some way in each novel, but regardless, Christmas means it’s time for Harry Potter once again. Or at least, it did. It used to be that every Christmas season, I’d rewatch all the movies (usually in one sitting), and if I had the time, I’d re-read the entire series as well leading up to the holiday. But it’s been years since I’ve done this due to life and some other personal things. This year, however, the pull of nostalgia for my teenage years and the feelings of happiness Harry Potter always brought to me came flooding back, and I decided that I’d once again re-read the entire series, re-watch every movie (including the extended versions of some that I’d never seen before), and oh my, the magic of Christmas lives once again. And with that, I decided that since I’m back into blogging after so many years away, and since I haven’t posted about Harry Potter since 2013, that this Christmas season, I’d go in order and re-review each book from the prequel to the final novel as we lead up to Christmas day, partially for myself, and partially to spread the joy and cheer of Harry Potter as I know it this Christmas. Enjoy!



et cetera
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