Friday, July 17, 2015

Nostalgia Review:: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Title: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Author: J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter, #3
Format: Hardcover
Rating: ★★★★☆

Still Good?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

I remember as a kid thinking that Prisoner of Azkaban was much better than Chamber of Secrets. Of course, that's really not saying much, as I didn't like it as much. In my other re-reads of the series, I felt like this was a turning point for J.K. Rowling, where she really started to get a handle on her writing. This re-read, I felt that way as well.

While Prisoner of Azkaban still has some misdirection, it's more misinformation. While pointing the finger at Snape in Sorcerer's Stone feels obvious as an adult (granted, it is a children's book) and Malfoy in Chamber of Secrets was just eye-rolling, somehow, Prisoner of Azkaban feels much more natural.

Maybe it's that our intrepid trio are working with the information they, and everyone else, had, rather than jumping to conclusions that from an outsider's perspective cause sighs. When we find out that Sirius is innocent, it doesn't feel like a "gotcha!" twist; it just feels like we're being filled in on missing information.

However, it's not just the plot that jumps a level of Prisoner of Azkaban. And it's not just that the writing is growing up with the characters. (Although that's more and more obviously true as you go through the series.) It feels more like J.K. Rowling is getting more confident in her writing.

Also, I actually really love the plot of this one, besides the annoying bit about the time turner. Mostly because it felt like that was thrown in less for the fact that Hermione needed it for her classes, and more so the ending could happen. That felt like blatant misdirection. But I guess because it was on a larger scale, rather than a smaller, it didn't feel like as big of a deal as when they kept pointing their fingers at the obviously wrong person in the first two.

Maybe it's less of the plot I love and more the characters in this book. I love the introduction of Lupin as a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. I love the introduction of Sirius. I feel like there's a significant amount of character growth in this book. And I love the fact that Harry is finally able to make a connection with people who were close to his parents.

I also love the fact that Harry saved Pettigrew's life. I know it was partially a plot setup, but I really like the idea that Harry isn't out for revenge.

All in all, Prisoner of Azkaban is a quite good book, even as an adult. Though, there's probably some nostalgia glasses in there.


  1. I realised when I reread that ending that Harry saving Pettigrew is basically a Frodo-saving-Gollum type moment...

    I kind of adore Sirius. And Lupin.

    1. My re-reads of later books are not going so well. :(

      I'm just going to adore Sirius and Lupin.