'Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.'- Angela Carter

Monday, 8 July 2013

REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)
Harry Potter, along with his best friends, Ron and Hermione, is about to start his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry can't wait to get back to school after the summer holidays. (Who wouldn't if they lived with the horrible Dursleys?) But when Harry gets to Hogwarts, the atmosphere is tense. There's an escaped mass murderer on the loose, and the sinister prison guards of Azkaban have been called in to guard the school...
This (as well as Deathly Hallows) is one of my very favourite Harry Potter books. It is through reading Prisoner of Azkaban that I became addicted to this well-loved series and it is still one that I really cannot get enough of. Our heroes develop even further into completely lovable characters and it also introduces two of characters which I absolutely adore into the mix; Sirius Black and Remus Lupin.

“You don't understand!" whined Pettigrew. "He would have killed me, Sirius!"
"THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE DIED!" roared Black. "DIED, RATHER THAN BETRAY YOUR FRIENDS, AS WE WOULD HAVE DONE FOR YOU!"
Black and Lupin stood shoulder to shoulder, wands raised.
"You should have realized," said Lupin quietly. "If Voldemort didn't kill you, we would. Goodbye, Peter.”

It is this novel that we finally begin to learn more of what happened on the night of Harry's parents deaths. Things begin to develop further and the series begins to darken. The introduction of the Dementors (probably one of the worst creatures created by Rowling) sends shivers up my spine and - despite knowing the ending - still find myself holding my breath during the final Dementor scene within the book:

“Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them. Even Muggles feel their presence, though they can’t see them. Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you. If it can, the Dementor will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself — soul-less and evil. You’ll be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life.”

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban allows us to join our heroes within their third year at Hogwarts. This is the year in which they begin new subjects (with one of them being the interesting Divination) and we begin to see the maturation of Harry, Ron and Hermione. Not only has Hagrid been made a teacher, but trouble is surrounding Hogwarts and the wizarding world. Sirius Black, a mass murderer, has escaped the wizarding prison of Azkaban and is now on the run. Naturally, Harry is dragged once again into this mess as he learns some unsettling theories about the murders and actions of Sirius Black. 

I really love this book. I love that Hagrid is a teacher. I love the reunion of Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs within the grounds of Hogwarts. Ideally, Ms. Rowling would give these characters their own stories. I also love the Quidditch battles this book entails and the tensions which arise amongst our heroes. Hermione is not only taking more subjects than any other student - and is mysteriously present in each lesson despite timetable clashes - but she also ends up creating friction between herself and Ron. This is created either through Firebolt (Harry's new broom) issues or Crookshanks. vs. Scabbers issues (Hermione and Ron's pets). I really felt for Hermione in this book. She was only trying to take care of her friends and I found myself feeling increasingly frustrated at the selfishness of Ron.

A book which deals with various issues; human rights, imprisonment, corruption, animal rights, broken families, deceit, there is plenty to keep the reader turning the pages. As one of my favourite books ever, I highly recommend this book to anyone (if there is anyone) that has not read this! 

6 comments:

  1. This is definitely my favorite out of all the books in the series because I loved all the info we got from them! It was amazing and I'm glad you loved it too. But then again, it's Harry Potter so who doesn't love it?

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  2. I loved the new characters and a nigger glimpse at the family Harry lost, that was great part of the book. But personally I just never connected to the book as much as I did with the rest in the series.
    I love how all the books cover so many modern issues we are all familiar with and should be even more.
    Lovely review. :)

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  3. I love the Prisoner of Azkaban. Then my hopes for Sirius were just 'siriusly' shattered by the next book :(

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  4. This is my favorite Harry Potter book :)

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  5. The Prisoner of Azkaban is my favourite book in the series, it's not my favourite film however...

    My Book Bubble

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  6. Prisoner of Azkaban is one of my favorite books in the series too! I just love everything about it, how it's darker and more mature. The introduction of favorite characters like Lupin, Sirius...and horrifying thinks like the Dementors *shudder* and Azkaban. Harry learns & grows a lot in this on, there are a lot of gains but things also get quite a bit darker, and I like that too :) I wish I could read it again for the first time because when you didn't know about Sirius and all that, it was scary to think about an escaped & deranged mass-murderer hunting Harry down! It felt so intense :D

    PoA is also my favorite film of the bunch because I think it's the best adaptation out of all of them. The tone and the direction are fantastic, I would have loved to see what Director Alfonso Cuarón would have done with Deathly Hallows, Half-Blood Prince and Order of the Phoenix...sigh.

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