Harry Potter's fourth year at Hogwarts. His enemies still want to kill him (what else is new?) and this time they use a very elaborate scheme to do just that. Poor Boy Who Lived have to fight ever more difficult challenges on the top of his ever more difficult classes.
In case somebody still did not get a clue that the series left children book territory in the end of the previous book, this one begins with a chapter seemingly taken straight from an adult horror story instead of showing Harry's misery with his life with his adoptive parents as was always the case before. The said misery starts in the second chapter. This novel is also practically as big as the first three put together.
The structure of the book looks strange if you stop the (exciting) read and think about it. The beginning and the end of it are quite gloomy and contain some horror elements while the middle part is actually quite humorous and lighthearted at times. Surprisingly it actually works.
We finally got to see other schools of wizardry, their headmasters and some of their pupils. Some new fascinating (both in good and bad sense) and important people are introduced. Some interesting people/creatures are back (go Dobby!!!). Good people die. No resolution is in sight by the end and the situation became much worth than it was in the beginning.
Somebody mentioned that in this book the reader gets to live in Hogwarts; I missed this the first time around rushing through all the excitement of the events, but I noticed this during the reread. The freaking School of Wizardry feels alive and real!
This is not a small feat of the author. This is also the reason I gave the higher rating this time.
Harry Potter: read it; experience it; live it.