This book was a lot more interesting then I remembered. While it does introduce the most hated character in the series, it still has a lot to offer both plot, character and theme-wise.
This is the first time that we really begin to see the world outside of Hogwarts and how our beloved heroes behave outside the restrictions of a school environment. For example, we see several of Harry’s previous defence against the dark arts teachers showing the skills that they claimed to have had during their tenure at Hogwarts. It also allows them to show other motivations besides giving Harry a good education.
Plot-wise the story gets even darker as the ministry turns against Harry. It is interesting to see what would happen if the government loses trust in our education system. It is also interesting to see what happens when Gryffindor is not the favourite house anymore.
Thematically it was interesting to watch the discrimination and prejudice affect the different characters in this book.