Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J. K. Rowling

2012 Book 162: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Written by J. K. Rowling, Narrated by Jim Dale

Reason for Reading: Harry Potter Read-along hosted by Lost Generation Reader.





Review

In this fourth installment of the Harry Potter series, Harry is thrust against his will into the Triwizard Tournament – a competition for which he is his underaged and underqualified. Is someone trying to get him killed? Furthermore, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are experiencing the first pangs of teenaged angst. They all feel misunderstood and a bit angry at times. Will they be able to overcome their emotions in order to quash the rising power of Lord Voldemort? Well, at least they’ll have a lot of adventure while they’re trying. One of the highlights of this book is meeting the students of the two other large wizarding schools in Europe: The dark and broody students from Durmstrang and the too-formal sissies from Beauxbatons. (Ok, maybe they’re not ALL sissies.) 😉 This is my favorite book of the series because it has *swoon* Viktor Krum. It is also the first book in the series with “mature” content. It’s longer, moodier, and more dangerous than the first three. And, it’s the first book in the series to leave significant strings untied – leaving room for more plot development. I’m SO glad Rowling knew what to tie up and what to leave open though. She’s managed to leave a reasonable opening without cliffhangers. I really appreciate that. Thank you Ms. Rowling!


The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, by N. K. Jemisin

written by N. K. Jemisin, narrated by Casaundra Freeman


Reason for Reading:

First of all, let me thank Morphi who recommended this book a few weeks ago when I said I was reading authors-of-color…-of-speculative-fiction for the Diverse Universe Tour. This is EXACTLY what I needed after reading all those heavy literary works. This book was fun brain candy, but it also had some interesting messages as well. 🙂 





My Review:

When Yeine Darr’s mother dies, she is called for an unexpected interview with her estranged maternal grandfather, the ruler of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Under the guise of adopting her into the family, her grandfather’s twisted family holds Yeine against her will in the city of Sky. Presumably, she is a third contender to take her grandfather’s place as ruler–but what are his motivations for accepting her (as outcast) into the family? On top of that, Yeine is also being seduced by the charms of the “gods” of Sky…and one of them is the ultimate bad-boy. These gods have been treated as slaves by Yeine’s family for two thousand years, and they want their own piece of Yeine’s new life. Yeine must weave her way through a maze of deceit to decide who her allies are. I loved this book because I was in great need of some brain candy right about now. It’s light, fun, fluffy…as long as you approach it like brain candy, you’ll really love it. 🙂 Despite it’s fun fluffy nature, Jemisin manged to weave in messages about unbendingly dogmatic religions, slavery, women’s rights, and abuse of power. These messages do not overpower the story, but they’re there if you want to think about them. In my mind, this was a perfect mixture and just what I needed right now. 🙂

About the Author:
N. K. Jemisin was born in Iowa city in a year un-noted by Wikipedia. 😉 She grew up in New York City and Mobile, Alabama. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is her debut book…it was considered for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards the year it came out. I look forward to watching as Jemisin’s writing develops. 🙂 If her first book is so good, then perhaps her writing will get even better as time progresses!