Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling - WARNING! I am reviewing the Harry Potter ooks with the idea that those who read my reviews have read the books. There will be spoilers. If you haven't read Prisoner of Azkaban, read no further.
Harry Potter is a wizard. He is in his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It's always a relief after summer with the Dursleys, however, Harry doesn't realise that this year will be just as eventful as the last two! The atmosphere at Hogwarts is tense. There's an escaped mass murderer on the loose, even the Muggles have been warned. The sinister prison guards of Azkaban have been called in to guard the school and Harry, Ron and Hermione rapidly discover why all witches and wizards live in fear of being sent to Azkaban. Lessons, however, must go on and there are lots of new subjects in third year - Care of Magical Creatures and Divination among others. Plus the delights of Hogsmeade, the only village in the UK entirely populated by the magical community. From Amazon UK
Words will never be able to describe how much I love this book! This is the book where the series really takes a strong turning point for me. Harry has faced danger in the past, but not in such a huge scale.
There are the Dementors, which, even now, as an adult, I find really creepy. Harry hear's his parents being murdered by Voldemort whenever the Dementors are around. Prisoner Sirius Black, believed to be Voldemort's right-hand man when he was at his full power, has broken out of prison with the sole purpose of going to Hogwarts to commit murder. Everyone is terrified. All of which excites me and has me glued to the book!
The Dementors have got to be one of the best "creatures" in this series. As Lupin says when he and Harry discuss what the Boggart would turn into when it saw Harry, Harry fears fear itself. That's what the Demetors are, the embodiment of fear, fear personified. You never really know what they look like, happiness evaporates, and they bring terribly bad weather with them. What could be worse? It's the last one that I really like, the weather. Like the Dementors cause physical pathetic fallacy (for those who don't know, pathetic fallacy is a literary device in which the weather reflects the mood of the characters). It's not coincidence that the weather is fitting when the Dementors are around, the actually cause it. So clever! I love it! And how cool is it that the thing that will help most after being in the presence of a Dementor is chocolate? All those endorphins it releases, I imagine!
I also love Lupin. Lupin is just amazing! He is fun, he is kind, he's just awesome! Who doesn't want to have Defence Against the Dark Arts classes with Lupin?! They sound like the best lessons ever! He also brings some humour to the book with his Boggart lesson - Snape in women's clothing? Just brilliant! But so does Professor Trelawney. That women is completely barking, but I love her for it. And then you have Sirius, who turns out to be the most amazing person in the world, because he's Harry's chance of a completely happy life. That conversation when Sirius offers to take Harry in is one of the most emotional parts of the series, because for a few glorious minutes, Harry believes he will have a proper, loving family... and then it's taken away from him. So sad!
What I haven't mentioned in any of my previous reviews is Rowling's writing, but that's because it's effect is more obvious in this book. It's dark, it's scary, it's really quite creepy and at times very dangerous, yet as I turn every page, the magic Rowling weaves with her words is like warmth. I can't explain it any other way. No matter what's happening in the books, whenever I read a Harry Potter book, I am filled with warmth. They're also gold. I am unable to put into words what I mean by gold, but Rowling's novels are just warmth and gold, and reading them feels like coming home.
Publisher: Ted Smart/The Book Peopl (My edition. Normally Bloomsbury.)
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J.K. Rowling's Website
Other reviews of the series:
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets