Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Harry Potter & The Prisoner Of Azkaban by J.K Rowling

Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Pub. Date: September 1999
Age Range: 9 to 12
Pages: 435
Format: hardcover
Source: purchased

For Harry, the Hogwarts campus has always been a sanctuary, but when Black escapes from the horrifying clutches of Azkaban Prison, all clues suggest the madman is headed for Hogwarts and Harry himself. As a result, the school starts to feel more like a prison than a sanctuary as Harry finds himself constantly watched and under guard. What's more, the terrifying Dementors -- the horrifying creatures who guard Azkaban Prison -- are lurking about the campus looking for Black. And their effect on Harry is a devastating one. Still, life at school offers plenty of distractions. Harry really likes the new teacher for Defense Against the Dark Arts, Professor Lupin, who might be able to teach Harry how to defend himself against the Dementors. But Professor Snape's behavior toward Lupin has Harry wondering what secrets the two men are hiding. Harry's friend Hermione is also acting very strangely. And, of course, there is the tension caused by the ongoing Quidditch competition between the Gryffindors and the Slytherins and the never-ending bullying of the Slytherin leader, Draco Malfoy.

To be honest when I chose to accept be a part of Operation Retirement Rescue Challenge I didn't have any ideas of the books I'd review. I hardly have any English books that were released five years ago or more so I was kind of hopeless. Thankfully, HP series suddenly crossed my mind and I picked Book Three immediately.

There're so many reasons why I love HP and The Prisoner Of Azkaban. Firstly, the storyline is so much better than the first and the second book. It's more dangerous, more myterious, yet, close to a life of a normal teenager. Harry has to deal with not only an infamous prisoner who is after him, but also with ordinary problems - the Quidditch Games, the study, the permission to hang out with friends on the village. All of them make the story more interesting but still, do not bring readers feelings of burden or the likes. Actually it's super duper fun.

Secondly, needless to say, J K Rowling writing is just perfect. I love how everything flows. The scenes, vary from natural ones to fighting ones, are so real and just right. This book is like the end of a peaceful period for Harry himself and everyone in the magic world so it's really different. It doesn't have the sadness or the gloominess of death like the next ones, it ain't just innocent as the first two either. To me it's pure and nostagic. It's a nice combination of the joy and the thrill.

I especially adore the family love in book Three. It comes with such a twist that I bet no readers would think of. It's so cute to see Sirius and Harry together, all happy and warm, it also proves how brilliant the author is. Looks like she's planned all the details even from book One because it makes perfect sense, there's not a tiny flaw. One more thing to mention is the investment in fear. It leads you to understand Harry more and more, and at the same time, you can relate to yourself as well.

Thrilling, warm-hearted and fun, HP and The Prisoner Of The Azkaban will always remain my favorite off the series. If you haven't read HP and want to skip a few books to get to the end quicky, I suggest picking this one!

Rating: 4.5/5


So Many Books, So Little Time said...

Your cover is so different to mine! PoA is actually my least favourite of the series, but I still loved it, if you know what I mean!

robin_titan said...

ahh how I miss my sweet sweet harry potter hehe I'm going to try to re-read them this summer. :)

prophecygirl said...

This is my favourite of the series! I love it. Great review!

Okie said...

I still haven't read through the entire Harry series (hopefully this summer). I'm only up to book 4...but so far, Prisoner is my favorite and largely for the reasons you mention. This was the first book in the series that felt real to me in the sense that I really got attached to the characters and story line as vivid entities. The first story was whimsical fun that playfully introduced us to a complex fantasy world with its own adventures, but in some degree it felt a little superficial...which is to some degree necessary when starting out a series. The second story expanded on some of the ideas from the first book and set up some backstory for future books...it also allowed some growth for Harry, but it was largely a transitional book that, to me, felt like it was just laying more groundwork before getting into the real story Rowling wants to tell. The third story takes what's been built and begins to expand on the ideas of friendship/family that we've seen thus far and proceeds to turn many of our expectations upside down, exposing the fact that this world has a much deeper plot to it than previously believed. Thus far I'm enjoying book 4 but am finding it a little drudgerous in that it's trying to balance too much...it's trying to balance the excitement and wonder of this big tournament, while also trying to answer some questions and pose more questions. I was also largely put off by the amount of "fluff" in the first ~100 pages (or however much it was) that really didn't matter to the plot of the fourth story or to the overall Potter saga.

So, yeah, so far book 3 is my fave. Loved it!

Great review.