The 4th Harry Potter book is my very favorite in the series so far. It’s the first move into a more adult world, and you get your first glimpses into the world outside London & Hogwarts — you get introduced to the other wizarding schools, learn more about the other groups (like the House Elves & the Giants), and the coming war. Up until this point, the books have really been mostly about Harry & his friends learning what it means to grow up — but this book marks a shift towards the bigger conflict & context. Reading this book is the first time when I really felt like there was a huge universe outside of just what Rowling has written.
One of the interesting things I’m finding is that I wanted to pace myself on these books, reading maybe one a month leading up to the 6th book release in July, but they’ve got such a great momentum that I’m going much faster than I thought. I’m already almost finished with the fifth one — will have to find something else to keep me amused until July, I suppose. 🙂