Harry Potter (4) and the Goblet of Fire (J.K. Rowling)

And we’re off! Playtime is over, it’s time to enter the big boys’ playground. It was bound to happen sooner or later – you’d be sticking your head in the sand if you said otherwise – and here it is: what started as what can be described as the most adventurous epoch in the series so far, suddenly turned into the beginning of the end, the moment where shit hits the fan and people get hurt.

For the first time in the series, women hit the stage, as some sort of unknown aliens that are even scarier than the big You-Know-Who himself. If you’re getting the impressions that you want to shake and slap Harry and Ron in the face, that means Rowling’s magic is working: the boys have finally entered puberty, the stage we’ve all learned to embrace and hate at the same time. Victim of the illness is poor Hermione – but if you can’t see something on the horizon, then you’re blind.

The fourth book also sets up the element of wand lore – which will be of massive importance in the final book. I’m not a big fan of wand lore, it all feels a bit convenient in the final part, but at least she told us it was coming in advance. And I have to admit: the Priori Incantatem chapter was pretty rad, even if they got the order of Harry’s parents mixed up.

I think that, of all seven books, this one has the most shocker ending. Cedric Diggory’s death is something I did not want to believe when I first read the book: he was the first one to go (even if only a foreboding for the massive slaughter that is yet to come at that point) and seeing how he was set up as an almost perfect hero, that’s harsh. I mean: if it says “Cedric Diggory was dead” black on white and you still won’t believe it, that means it stuck.