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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

*WARNING - SPOILERS...IF YOU HAVEN'T READ OR SEEN HP 3...THEN MOVE AWAY...ALTHOUGH I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU HAVEN'T.*

July 27, 2016

"What you fear most of all is - fear." - (Remus Lupin) J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

"I solemnly swear I am up to no good." What a treat. A treat worthy of being sold at Honeydukes in Hogsmeade, if I say so myself. "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" is just so beautiful. Now perhaps dementors and accused serial killers aren't what most people think of first when I say beautiful, but the way Rowling describes them, it is just phenomenal. Book 3 is my absolute favourite. It's my favourite book and my favourite movie. It is the only book in which Harry never interacts with Voldemort directly and it starts to show the darker side of the wizarding world.



Yes, in "...Chamber of Secrets" we get a glimpse into the more sinister areas of Hogwarts, but with the introduction of the dementors and Peter Pettigrew, a much more "realistic" danger is presented in the world of Harry Potter. Potter starts to realize that, Voldemort can return if his followers start to regroup and that scares him. The quote above is on the back of the copy I have. I have the Special Edition Harry Potter Box Set in which I will link below if you want to get it.

When Remus says this, it really makes you look at Harry's life and realize that he is right. Never has Harry refused to go and help his friends or his school because he was afraid of Lord Voldemort. If and when he was afraid, it was because he didn't like the way he felt when he was in those situations. He didn't like that these creatures or people made him scared and I think that shows a lot about his character. Harry wants to be brave, and when he does get scared, as a thirteen year old should when being chased by a creepy cloaked prison guard, he gets frustrated. In my opinion, that is how all heroes should be. I think it shows their vulnerability without it becoming a full blown weakness. Does that make sense?

This book is also the first that you see Harry really stick up for not only himself, but his parents to the Dursleys. When Aunt Marge fumbles into the house and starts insulting James and Lily, I was about to smack her myself. Harry loses it and well...the term Large Marge comes to mind in this situation. I always liked the fact that Harry always stood up for his parents even though he had never really met them.

Then we have Romione! That is Ron and Hermione's ship name for those who don't know. They develop this sort of bickering throughout most of the book and I think it is so adorable. It all starts when Hermione buys a cat that keeps trying to get to "Scabbers" and from there they fight like little kids all year. There are moments that they are acting so awkward around each other that you almost see their future. J.K. Rowling has said in many interviews that they start liking each other in Book 3 and you can definitely tell, it's subtle, but it's there.

One of the best scenes in book 3 is when Hermione smacks Draco. In the movie she straight out punches him, but I think the smack would have worked a bit better. For two years Draco has tortured her and everyone thinks Hermione is this quiet little bookworm who is just really good at spells, but I think when she hits Draco everyone, even Malfoy, starts to understand that Hermione is one badass girl and they know not to mess with her.

Now, of course I have to talk about my boys! Fred and George Weasley are by far the most loveable characters in the HP Universe. If I could change anything about the books and movies it would be to give the twins way more dialog. In "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" they have their moments of course, but I think in book 3 they really start to show their personalities. They give Harry the Marauder's Map and it's like they are sort of passing the torch in a sense and I love it. The boys will forever live in my heart as not only the comic relief for the novels, but also the big brothers that Harry never had. They are always looking out for him and helping him along, sometimes even more than Ron.

Speaking of Marauders, let us speak about our new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Remus John Lupin. The addition of Lupin was very necessary as it started to reveal not only James Potter's past or Sirius Black's past, but it also started to reveal Hogwart's past. For example, the Whomping Willow was planted because of Remus, little fact for you! Nobody really wanted a werewolf at Hogwarts, but Dumbledore accepted young Remus anyways as a teacher and a student. My favourite part in book 3 is when Remus and Sirius explain their past as Marauders with James and Peter to the trio. I love to hear that Remus and Sirius are still very loyal to James and Lily and that begins my love for Sirius Black also known as Padfoot.

At the beginning of book 3 we are told that a murderous lunatic known as Sirius Black has escaped Azkaban and is on the loose to kill the last Potter. For most of the book, the fear around Black is very prominent. He snuck into the castle twice and was spotted not to far from Hogwarts. A very dark omen who we eventually find out is Black follows Harry around in the form of a large black dog. This dog shows up in his neighborhood, at his Quidditch match, and near the end right before all the truth is revealed. We later on realize that Black's intentions were merely to send Harry on his way to Hogwarts and watch his godson play Quidditch and I just think that is so goddamn sweet! Like, he is pretty much a proud papa to Harry and when he sends him the firebolt...I just can't. I love Sirius Black so much. For the first time in twelve years, Harry has someone who is willing to take care of him and be, in a sense, his father.

The relationship between Harry and Sirius is very easy once Harry learns he wasn't the one who betrayed his parents and that shows Harry's morale. As soon as he realized Sirius was innocent and that he had broken out to make sure Peter wasn't going to hurt his godson, he was all about him! I also love that Remus forgave him so fast once he realized that Sirius was innocent. That really shows the bond between them and I think that if Lupin wouldn't have forgave him when he did, Sirius wouldn't have been able to move on.

Everyone is happy and there are reunions and then snap snap, comes Snape. Severus never liked the Marauders and when Dumbledore hires Lupin, Snape isn't happy. Of course Severus knows that Lupin is a wolf and he believes he is letting Sirius into the castle, which isn't true. Although he does give him a potion that allows him to stay sane when he is a wolf. So in retrospect I think Snape, even though he hates Remus, still in some ways cares that he doesn't go all crazy wolf and hurt others and himself.

There is so much in this book that I would love to rant about, but I think I have gone on long enough. I give this book 10/5...yes that is a thing. Well, I'll make it a thing. The story-line, the characters,  and the settings are just brilliant. From the exposition to the denouncement, it is an emotional ride that is a perfect segway for the rest of the series. I can't help but feel so warm and fulfilled after reading this book and I really hope you enjoy it as well!

"Mischief Managed!"

Happy Reading

- Haley

HP Box Set: Special Edition: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/special-edition-harry-potter-box-set-j-k-rowling/1114540338?ean=9780545596275

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