Alternative American Titles:
Harry Potter and the Flaming Cup
Harry Potter and the Chalice of Embers
Harry Potter and the Burning Cuppa Hot Heat That is Also Quiet the Inferno
Okay, I'll admit it. This book is pretty rad. Some of the chapters were overly lengthy and the monologues at the end were long winded even for my liking (I've written my fair share of villains monologuing, as Gregor Xane has pointed out on numerous occasions, but this was riddikulus!). Overall, though, I enjoyed myself.
It took me nearly six months to read this book. After 200 pages, I put it down because I felt like it was more of the same. I'd grown tired of whiny-ass Potter and his insufferable adopted family. I thoroughly despise the beginning of every Potter novel because the Dursley's seem so over-the-top stupid. They are completely unbelievable in how terrible they are to a kid who could grant them every wish under the sun if they were only nicer to him. I mean, they are greedy narcissists. Wouldn't it be more likely that they'd treat Potter's magical ability like a fifty-cent hooker on Half-Off Whoreday? Them wanting to hide his magical magery simply to save face doesn't gel with me, and probably never will. Oh well, moving on...
When I picked this fourth book back up (I'm determined to finish this series before the end of 2015) the next 300 pages were... so-so. I didn't hate them. There was a cool part here and there, but I was sorta just hoping it would end. It wasn't until the final third of the book that The Gobbler for Hire gets impossible to put down. And let's be honest. That bit in the graveyard was fucking awesome. I loved how brutal that section was.
But what I liked most about this book is the development of the characters. Ron and Hermione especially. If these were older characters I would have been screaming "Get a fuckin' room already!" about halfway through the novel. Oh, and the fact that Potter isn't a whiny-ass by the end was a major plus. I dug that none of his friends were able to help this time. Made his character finally shine for me.
In summation: This is the best book in the series... so far. I'm really not looking forward to the 850+ doorstop that is book five, but I will nevertheless jump into it next month. At this point, I've forgotten what the last three movies were about. I'm going in with fresh eyes and an open heart. Let's just hope it doesn't eat the booty like a fatman at a porkbutt barbecue.