Book Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Book Synopsis

From Amazon: For most children, summer vacation is something to look forward to. But not for our 13-year-old hero, who's forced to spend his summers with an aunt, uncle, and cousin who detest him. The third book in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series catapults into action when the young wizard accidentally causes the Dursleys' dreadful visitor Aunt Marge to inflate like a monstrous balloon and drift up to the ceiling. Fearing punishment from Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon (and from officials at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry who strictly forbid students to cast spells in the nonmagic world of Muggles), Harry lunges out into the darkness with his heavy trunk and his owl Hedwig.

As it turns out, Harry isn't punished at all for his errant wizardry. Instead he is mysteriously rescued from his Muggle neighborhood and whisked off in a triple-decker, violently purple bus to spend the remaining weeks of summer in a friendly inn called the Leaky Cauldron. What Harry has to face as he begins his third year at Hogwarts explains why the officials let him off easily. It seems that Sirius Black--an escaped convict from the prison of Azkaban--is on the loose. Not only that, but he's after Harry Potter. But why? And why do the Dementors, the guards hired to protect him, chill Harry's very heart when others are unaffected?"

Charlotte's Rating

Charlotte's Review

This book is my favourite of the Harry Potter series. Everyone has one for different reasons, but personally I think the Prisoner of Azkaban is the best in the series because everything seems to come together so wonderfully. It has the benefit of being at a good place in the series, far enough into the series for the reader to be familiar with the characters, but still at the point where it works as a stand alone book, before the plot links the books until they all feel like one really long novel.

The opening to the third installment in the JK Rowling's series was as I expected; in the home of Harry's aunt and uncle, the Dursley's. However, it doesn't take long for the action to start, with Harry sending his uncle's sister, Aunt Marge, flying out the window. The fast-paced nature of the book means that there is little time for the reader to get bored because as soon as one thing finishes, something else pops up to take it's place.

The book has a much darker feel to it than the books that came before it, introducing the murderous criminal, Sirius Black, an escapee from wizarding prison, Azkaban. The sense of danger that this creates continues throughout the book as well as the dark atmosphere that goes with it, which I really enjoyed.

The writing style is clearly aimed at younger readers, although there are some aspects that older readers will also enjoy.

But what makes the story so enjoyable isn’t the writing style, it’s the characters and the situations JK Rowling puts them in that kept me turning the pages.

Disclaimer: May not be appropriate for young children due to a mature theme.