Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire  - Stephen Fry, J.K. Rowling If I could give this book 3 1/2 stars I would, as I didn't like it as much as numbers 1 and 3 in the series, but I thought it was better than number 2.

Stephen Fry continues to do a magnficent job with the voices: each character's voice is distinct and appropriate. I really could listen to him read all day.

What I liked most about this book was the chance for further immersion into the world Rowling has created. In my reviews of the earlier books in the series I have referred to the obvious influences on the writer. However, I am well and truly past being concerned about any lack of originality. The Hogwarts world and the magical world outside Hogwarts now appears as a genuine creation. I love all of the details of the world and the further filling-in of the back story of several of the characters. I was also genuinely surprised by some elements of the resolution, which was great because I thought I had worked it out. I love it when a resolution can provoke an involuntary gasp!

What I didn't like was the book's length (although I guess if I'm going to finish the series I need to get over that objection). It's not that I don't like long books, but this just seemed over-long. I am also not a fan of big reveals being in the form of long speeches by baddies. As a device this is old and tired. I'm sick of scenes where the baddie basically says: "I'm going to kill you now, but before I do I'll embark on a painstakingly detailed explanation of everything I have done to get to this point in the narrative". Rowling does this kind of scene to death. In this book, she adds a variation: a long and detailed explanation offered by a character to whom truth serum has been administered. I just wished the truth serum was one which made the person affected by it spill the beans a bit more expeditiously.

Overall, though, the elements of the book I am not so keen on did not stop me from enjoying it quite a lot. Roll on number 5!