For the most part, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is one of the best entries into the series. The worldbuilding and characterization are very cool, expanding on what we’ve already seen and making the magical world come alive in all sorts of wonderful ways. Despite a few immersion-defying ideas scattered thoughout the book (we’ll get to that later), it’s very well written and keeps pulling you through the longest book in the series thus far by almost double.
Okay, nitpick time, since this is getting to be my favorite part of writing these reviews :) Warning: spoilers, stop reading now if that matters to you :
- Why exactly does Harry have to compete? It would only have taken a paragraph to explain that the cup would punish him somehow or something like that (which would be stupid but at least explained). And even in that case, what exactly is stopping them from just making him sit on the sidelines of each task and only compete on paper?
- How did everyone watch the second/third tasks? One is underwater, the other is in giant mazes. Again, this could have been explained in universe in a paragraph as ‘magical viewing portals, following the champions around’. Weird, potentially world breaking depending on how they work, but perfectly functional.
- What did the students from the other schools do for school work? They were there an entire year and we never see them in classes. Did they just skip a year of schooling for a single one of them to compete? Did their headmasters (who also apparently left their schools for an entire year…) teach them? Did they join the upper years in classes and were just all older than Harry?
- And finally: Is that really Voldemort’s plan? It works, but it’s kind of crazy that it does go off more or less without a hitch. I thought he was supposed to be smarter than that…